Organizations have been implementing sales gamification as a part of their growth models. With new and more sophisticated applications being developed, gamification of sales can now be more streamlined for workplaces.
Analysists and sales managers have started to understand the principles and techniques that make it so effective.
With the evolution of marketing strategies, company heads are beginning to realize the link between behavior psychology and their sales growth. Game designers now focus on human behavior aspects, the reasons why people make certain decisions/actions. This helps them to design games that establish an emotional connection with them.
So what is sales gamification? Does it work? And what are the best ways to implement it to drive sales growth for your organization?
Let’s dig into these aspects.
What is sales gamification and why is it important?
Sales gamification involves the use of game mechanics to set up challenges for the sales team. The idea is to use games and fun to help the sales reps to compete against each other for a top leaderboard slot.
Various performance measurement indicators can be used, depending on the situation. The sales team can be rated based on individual member’s results, deals won, total number of leads generated, calls made, revenue generated, etc.
Healthy competition is extremely important in a growing sales team. It is perhaps one of the best motivators (of course, rewards and recognition matter too).
So what is the scientific logic behind the effectiveness of gamification in sales?
Neuroscience reports that accomplishments, rewards, and recognition trigger the release of endorphins in the brain. Neurotransmitters like Dopamine are released as a result. These help in elevating the mood and giving a feeling of pleasure and excitement which further helps in boosting motivation.
The human mind recognizes the effects and pushes the desire to continue playing in order to keep getting the feeling. And that’s exactly why games are so engaging.
So what does it mean in the world of sales?
When your sales team members are rewarded for their efforts and enjoy their work due to the fun elements of gamification, they will naturally want to keep themselves more engaged. And the more they play, the more sales revenue growth comes in for the organization.
Following are some key aspects that make sales gamification a success:
The use of positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement works by making use of human behavior psychology. The likelihood of positive responses is significantly increased when rewards are offered for it.
Sales gamification makes use of this fact for driving revenue and meeting business objectives. Milestones are set in a gaming context, and sales team members receive rewards, badges, and recognition for meeting those levels.
However, when it comes to sales, managers need to understand the importance of combining short term sales goals to long term (annual) business objectives. Keeping the employees engaged on a daily, weekly basis by rewarding small bonuses/badges will create high achievers at the end of the year.
Gamification makes the process of sales completely visible. With options like leaderboards, every member of the team has a chance to publicly see the high performers and the low performers.
The idea here is not to specifically punish the low performers. It is about motivating them to move up the ladder since their stats are published transparently. Additionally, high performers are encouraged to share their work strategies with the team.
However, it is important to ensure that the environment is that of mutual cooperation, not competition.
Focus on Revenue
Sales gamification is all about driving revenues. It helps the teams to focus on larger business objectives along with the daily wins. When sales reps are rewarded for closing deals, it helps them achieve more and focus on the overall revenue generation in the long term.
Top 10 sales gamification strategies that work
Following is a list of tips and guidelines that are a table turner for gamification in sales.
1. Track the right metrics
It is important to define the metrics that you plan to track with your gamification plans. It could be anything from sales calls made, new clients contacted, appointments made, etc.
It is important to consider the objectives of your business and list out the metrics that are important for you. Once you have these identified, incorporate these into the levels/challenges of the game to motivate your team.
2. Incorporate new technology
CRM (Customer relationship management) operators are now implementing gamification techniques into their process. Using modern automation systems can help streamline the sales process.
Sales rep often find it hard to learn new technology and adapt to it. Incorporating modern technology would help increase sales and help the employees learn new technology.
3. Create teams with common goals
Working in the sales department can be hard. Sales people often have to stay out of the office for days and work in tough conditions. This can often feel very isolated.
Pairing your sales employees in teams and giving them common goals is a very efficient tool. Some sales managers like to pair the best and worst performers in order to create a balanced team. This also helps in sharing knowledge and best practices.
Sales gamification is an effective way to connect all the members of the team. This helps in creating better collaborations and motivates the employees to work for common goals. Additionally, it leads to increased interactions which eventually fetch better results for the sales group.
You can also plan to create group challenges and develop common gamified goals for a team.
4. Conduct sales tournaments
Sales tournaments and championships can be a fun way to motivate the employees to compete as individuals or as teams. High performers can get on to the next stage and the winner gets valuable/meaningful rewards in the end.
However, one of the most important principles of gamification is to reward and recognize the journey, instead of only focusing on the results. It is therefore important to also reward (in dome way) the people who did not win but made serious efforts.
5. Leverage Social Media feedback
Social communications and social networking platforms are a part of existence for the modern generation. Creating a space where the results of your sales games are discussed and shared helps recognize the high performers publically. This again is a big motivator.
Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, etc are an effective yet informal channel to create interactions, initiate discussions, and exchange ideas. Social feeds allow collaboration between team members who work in different geographic locations.
Additionally, feedback from co-workers on informal social platforms helps boost employee morale and motivates them to work hard.
6. Sales contests with leaderboards
Creating sales contests and using leaderboards in the right manner is an excellent sales gamification strategy. However, it is important to ensure that leaderboards are designed to recognize all types of efforts. Simply rewarding employees who closed the deal is not enough. Recognizing the efforts of everyone else who helped to reach the goal is also required.
Creating contests can be motivating but it is important to design the games at an appropriate difficulty level. Additionally, it is important to ensure that all employees have equal prospects of winning.
7. Tie the games to business objectives
No gamification plan can be a success unless it is in harmony with the business objectives of the organization. Playing games is fun. It is engaging. And yes, it can be addictive. But you don’t want to forget why you’re doing it in the first place.
Games should tie to your business plans and goals. If not, the strategy ends up bringing no value to the organization as a whole.
8. Mentor and induct new employees
It is often difficult for new sales employees to approach their seniors directly for the issues that they encounter.
The use of sales gamification makes the process a little easier. Ideas can be exchanged on an open platform and learning automatically follows. Since gamification is a collaborative process, new sales employees find it comforting to reach out to their seniors.
The process of induction and mentoring hence becomes easier and open.
9. Use gamification for data maintenance
Poor data maintenance eventually leads to lost deals. Most sales employees find it more worth spending their time working on deals than managing the data records. However, what they forget here is that clean data helps in closing more deals in the long run.
Sales gamification is a great way to add some fun to the otherwise tedious task of data management.
10. Incentives that are worth it
One of the most important sales gamification strategies is to incorporate incentives that are valuable and worth fighting for. Monetary benefits are of course great in a sales role. However, you could include interesting and attractive nonmonetary benefits like free trips. Free dinner bookings, badges, paid leaves, etc.
Remember, the overall idea is to boost motivation and increase productivity.
Sales gamification is the modern approach towards taking your sales graph to its next peak. The key is to motivate the sales reps, include healthy challenges and competition, and create a higher level of engagement.
Gamifying the sales adds fun to the daily work routine. And what’s more, it is applicable to all the stages of the sales process.