Accelerate Your Sales Performance Through Gamification

5 minutes read

Over the past few years, gamification has become a much talked-about approach towards increasing engagement. From Nike’s Fuelband to My Starbucks Rewards, gamification is being used in every situation as a positive motivational tool. But did you know that gamification approach can really supercharge your sales team’s performance? Let us see how.

What is Gamification?

Gartner, in its report on ‘Gamification 2020: What Is the Future of Gamification’ says:

Gamification is a tool to design behaviors, develop skills and enable innovation. Combined with other technologies and trends, gamification can cause major discontinuities in innovation, employee performance management, education, personal development and customer engagement.

Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity. One of the most notable applications of gamification is in engaging and motivating people to achieve their goals.

How is Gamification relevant to Sales?

Companies have been using gamification one way or the other in their sales training programmes. Take role playing and playbooks as examples of conventional gamification techniques. In today’s world, gamification takes on a whole different meaning. It talks about interaction, instant feedback, team competitions, scores, leaderboards and much more.

Salespeople are extremely competitive by nature. And gamification just taps into that. Be it sales performance or knowledge, gamification helps to quantify it and reward achievements through interactive modes.

Why use Gamification?

L&D professionals and CSOs today are very keen to implement gamification within their organization. Some of the compelling reasons are:

  • Motivate - Gamification helps to motivate salespeople to achieve better results.

  • Motivate more often - Gamification solutions, coupled with CRM systems, make it easier for managers to run competitions and run them often.

  • Increase Performance - Gamification helps to increase sales performance by increasing the competition

  • Increase ROI - Gamification can increase ROI for your corporate sales training. Optimal application of game mechanics means your training can link directly to performance improvement making it that much more effective.

How can you use Gamification?

There are various ways of implementing gamification. What is important is to link gamification to clearly defined objectives - whether it’s to increase sales performance or increase knowledge level.
Some of the most common ways to implement gamification are through:

  • Points - Scoring points is crucial to any gamification. Points are given against accomplishments. For example, 10 points are awarded for every correct answer or 100 points for every converted opportunity. These points add to a person’s score for that quarter or year

  • Badges - Badges can be awarded for specific accomplishments. Like, achieving the most sales in Q1 or acquiring 100% in some quiz. These badges can be displayed on the reps’ screens. This leads to better engagement.

  • Levels - Points can be aggregated to reach pre-defined levels. For example, a score of 2000 in ‘Selling Techniques’ take the rep to Level 5.

  • Leaderboards and Activity Streams - Results can be socialised by publishing them onto a leaderboard. This leaderboard is visible to all. It draws on competitiveness by displaying top performers.

Points, badges and levels can be linked to different types of rewards and recognition. There could be gift vouchers, cash prize, etc.

What should you consider while implementing Gamification?

There are several points that you need to consider before you implement gamification in your organization. Gamification has emerged as a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. So its important to understand what Gamification is and how it can help you in achieving your business objectives.

  1. What is your business objective?
    Tie gamification to a business objective. It is important to know what is it that you are trying to achieve through a new initiative. Your business objective could be as particular as ‘to introduce a new concept’, or ‘to launch a new product’. Or it could be as generic as ‘keep my reps engaged’.

  2. Which activities will you gamify?
    Once you have defined your business objective, it’s time to identify the steps that you want to gamify to achieve that. For example, your business objective could be ‘to successfully launch a new product’.
    Now, what are those activities that will lead to the highest gains? In this case, you need to arm your reps with information about your new product which helps them to do value based selling. Like Information on features and benefits, competitor information, sales objections and rebuttals, etc. So, gamify the learning.

  3. Is your sales team competitive or collaborative?
    Understand the nature of your sales team when it comes to competition. That will be a primary factor in determining whether your gamification initiative will be successful or not.
    The question to ask is: what is the prevalent culture when it comes to competition? Do the reps believe in working alone or do they believe in achieving goals through collaboration? If its collaboration, then your gamification can give maximum results through team competitions. If the reps believe in working alone, your preferred gamification technique could be one rep challenging the other.
    Gamification is not only about spending thousands of dollars and building complex systems. It could be as simple as creating a team competition amongst your reps and rewarding the team with the highest score with a cash bonus or a congratulatory email. Gamification is essentially the spirit of keeping your reps engaged and motivated to achieve better results.

Published on Thu Sep 22 2016