1. What is sales gamification?
2. Why should you implement gamification in the sales department?
3. Benefits of gamification for sales
4. Gamification mechanics
5. Psychology of gamification
6. Types of gamers
7. How you can use gamification
8. How to choose a proper KPI for gamification
9. Sales gamification ideas
Even the most desperate careerists may get tired of routine tasks. Monotonous information and methods of presentation affect the attitude of employees to the brand and their responsibilities. To increase team motivation and user interest in interacting with the product many companies use gamification strategies. According to statistics, experts predict the growth of the global gamification market to almost $20 billion by 2023.
What is sales gamification?
Gamification is a way to turn a routine process into a game, like scoring points for specific successful actions, introducing competitions, ratings, difficulty levels, and so on. The purpose of these gamification strategies is to increase the involvement of participants and motivate them to achieve goals.
The term “gamification” first appeared in 2008 and became widespread only two years later. Today, gamification is used by such well-known companies as FedEx, Nike, SAP, Pearson, Salesforce, Cisco, United Airlines, Microsoft, Target, Spotify, Siemens, GE, IBM, McDonald’s, and many others.
In business, the principles of gamification can be applied to marketing and personnel management. Both topics are interesting, but today we’ll focus on the second one. It is also called internal gamification.
Why should you implement gamification in the sales department?
Hewlett-Packard (HP) reported that gamification of a sales process helped them achieve a rise in revenue of about 31-44% (depending on the region).
In sales, people can quickly become unmotivated. Gamification makes it easy enough for a sales organization to solve the following tasks without coercion:
As your staff gets positive reinforcement for achieving the goals you have set for them, the chance of them completing the next important tasks increases. Gamification is a powerful tool that adds another reason for employees to complete their tasks more efficiently and on time.
A motivated and focused sales team brings in a great return on investment (ROI).
Improve sales performance
Thanks to gamification, sales managers can create rating tables based on quotas to be achieved, or similar goals. It encourages competitiveness and motivates team members to sell more to be recognized as the best players due to a good rating.
Benefits of gamification for sales
Proper implementation of gamification can produce many benefits, including:
#1 Friendly competition
According to the Salesforce blog post, 71% of surveyed companies saw an increase in measured sales performance between 11% and 50% after they implemented gamification for sales.
By nature, most salespeople are highly competitive, and if someone performs better than them, it strikes on their ambitions. A reward (a badge, a bonus, or a point) encourages your team to achieve higher results and succeed in every task, opportunity, or project because no one likes being at the bottom of the board.
#2 Mentorship between team members
Sales gamification can contribute to collaboration, knowledge sharing and mentorship in your team too. Sometimes people are just shy, or they don’t want to bother their colleagues with questions. With gamification, it’s more likely they will ask sales leaders for advice.
You can build a high-performance team by organizing games to share information and make people learn from each other even if they’re in different offices around the world.
#4 Enhance new approaches and creativity
Employers can reward their staff for thinking of innovative ideas.
Today, there are many gamification ideas for employees. While some companies use old-school points and badges, others prefer more modern approaches. But in this article, I want to take a look at the game mechanics which are well-known and time-honored.
When it comes to performance management, you need a way to track how everyone in the office is doing. Leaderboards can help you to do that. However, keep in mind that the leaderboard doesn't necessarily have to be about who closed the most deals. It is probably better if it is not. If you want the leaderboard to foster collaboration rather than disengagement and hostility, concentrate on such things as which agents assisted on the most sales, and NOT the ones who closed the most deals.
You can assign points to specific tasks you want your staff to accomplish. You can benefit from this by assigning less attractive, more difficult tasks with high points to foster faster completion. Remember that it is advisable to award activities that breed success, not success itself. If you reward people for closing deals, this won’t teach them how to get better at their job. Practice assigning points for sales behaviors.
Badges or certificates should be a sign of honor or an indicator that their owner has experience in a certain area.
Start with something simple that encourages friendly competition between team members such as “highest monthly customer satisfaction rating.” Pay attention that not all team members are the same; therefore challenges need to reflect differences in roles and function.
Psychology of gamification
Sales gamification isn’t just about rewards. It is more about understanding, motivating, and engaging your team members.
Three psychological principles can be distinguished in sales gamification:
If you have ever checked your Instagram, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram again because it's been fifteen minutes and probably something new came in, then you have gotten stuck in a compulsion loop. This principle can be used when implementing gamification for sales teams too. Let’s look at how it all works it in context:
Mark is a sales rep, and he has the highest sales this month. For this achievement, he receives a free dinner. Mark feels confident in his abilities and is motivated to achieve even better results. Another contest starts next month, and two sales leaders in a company are promised to win free annual gym membership and new comfortable office chairs. Employees try to demonstrate the highest sales results for the next month in the hopes of winning this sales contest too.
Design and introduce a reinforcement schedule to motivate the players and confirm continued participation in your gamification program. Keep in mind that employees should know when, how many, and at what scores they can get the reward. This will reduce the chance of team members boredom.
Don't set too complex rules of the game. At the same time, the competition shouldn't be too easy to win. If a player experiences too much uncertainty and hardly believes that they can ever win, chances are they will lose the motivation to continue. Likewise, if a person knows that they will win easily, they won’t feel motivated enough to continue the game.
Types of gamers
Just because an employer has implemented a gamification strategy doesn't mean that all team members will be automatically engaged. It is important to understand that people with different personality types require different approaches. While some might be motivated by material benefits like a free dinner or trip, others prefer recognition or networking opportunities. There are three dominant types of players: prize chasers, socializers, and fun seekers. As soon as you understand the differences between these types, you can create specific campaigns to appeal to each employee.
These are people who enjoy the rewards the most (discounts, free certificates, etc.) Best games for prize chasers are competitions with material rewards, daily bonus points, and so on.
Socializers prefer social benefits over the material ones. They like to be recognized and respected by others. Best games for engaging this type of players are progress bars, leaderboards, and badges.
These people play for finding enjoyment in the process. To engage them, use interactive advertisements, digital games that simulate real life, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku.
How you can use gamification
Now before you decide if gamification in sales is worth trying, here are a few ways employers can practice while implementing gamification into their business strategy.
Onboarding of a new sales rep
Use gamification to help onboard new salespeople into a sales team. As a rule, new employees are nervous, eager to be liked, and too confused on their first days of work. Integration into the work environment also means getting to know the people who surround you. Any chance to introduce a new team member to the rest of the employees is a chance to engage them in their work. For example, when an employer creates a leaderboard within the organization, including a new sales rep into the leaderboard can foster friendly competition.
When it comes to a new product or service launch, it is critical to make sure that people who will be selling the product/service know everything about it and are motivated to do their best to sell it. Sometimes employers don't get the expected motivation from their salespeople, and here is when they can use sales gamification to increase employee engagement. For example, they can create a leaderboard with the successful sales pitches and reward the players for the achieved results.
Increase sales in a seasonal drop
Have your sales slow down or declined? Use gamification to turn things around. Again, you can organize a competition with rewards for your salespeople.
For example, a company can use a leaderboard and display it on a large screen placed prominently throughout the office to drive its sales team to deal with leads more efficiently which would result in product demos. Those who find three and more demo opportunities in one day receive a reward. This might be both a company-wide email recognizing the sales leader achievement and a present as a free dinner for two.
How to choose a proper KPI for gamification
The great thing about games in a sales team is that there will always be winners. In the case of gamification, the winner is also the organization with the best-designed games linked to the right KPIs (key performance indicators). One of the main rules here is to tie KPIs to business goals. For example, you can set an improvement goal, stated as a percentage – where you are planning to improve a specific KPI by a certain percent. Let’s say the goal is to improve customer retention by 15%. Think what factors can possibly make that happen? Once you find the answer, you can create a game to reward for the key success factor (which, of course, influences the KPI).
Sales gamification ideas
There is a variety of gamification ideas for sales teams. And it is quite hard to say which of them work best because no two sales teams are the same. What works for one team, won't work for another. However, we have found some excellent ideas that could fit most companies very well.
Do you love to leave early on Fridays? Announce that meeting a certain quota or deadline in the last couple of days would mean every employee leaves early next Friday, and you will see the significant increase in the team’s output.
Buy a whiteboard, draw a grid on it, and ask each sales rep to record their sales. Then set monthly targets and total the gross profit column as you go along. This will help each rep visualize their gross profit in relation to revenue, building a culture of accountability. At the end of the competition, you can organize the event to celebrate with an off-site activity.
This game is ideal for the holiday season. The rules are simple: every week a person who made a sale over a certain dollar amount is allowed to open a gift from a pool of gifts. Next week, another team member can open another gift or take the one which was already opened.
Offer employees to win a prize every day/week/month. To keep your team engaged, don’t disclose what the prize is. However, you can still advertise the biggest prize in the contest.
Reward the employee with the best ratings received from customers. But be careful – sales reps can become annoying and pushy when they will ask customers for reviews.
Competition between teams
Split your team into several groups (make sure you mixed high and low performers). Ask them to share ideas with teammates and support each other. The group with the highest sales/best customer reviews/etc. at the end of the period wins.
This game is perfect for longer-term sales periods. Employees get raffle tickets in exchange for desired behaviors or outcomes. At the end of the period, mix the tickets up and select winners. Prepare one big prize and a few smaller prizes.
Salesperson of the week, month, etc.
Choose the top performer of the week/month. However, it's not advisable to focus on the number of closed deals or the money achieved. Often, sales games end up rewarding only the sales leaders, leaving those in the middle out in the cold. But they also do solid work on a daily basis. So try having different levels to give every individual a chance to win recognition for their work.
source: Ink Sales Culture
This game is similar to the Short Friday exercise. Gather team members toward common sales goals.
In this blog post, we’ve provided some of the core elements and ideas of sales gamification. By reaching a better understanding of your salespeople’ motivations and properly implementing game strategies, you can improve sales performance and get the most out of your employees. But be aware though that gamification is not the only sensible solution, and the change won't happen overnight. Implementing sales gamification should be a long-term strategy.