The concept of gamification in learning has been capturing the attention of business leaders for a number of years now. As the world we live in becomes increasingly more complex and technology evolves, companies need to find ways to engage their staff with intuitive development strategies.
Gamification, the process of adding “game-like” experiences to training and workplace settings, has proven to be an incredible tool for boosting employee engagement, productivity, and retention. While gamification can be applied to virtually any kind of training, there are certain areas where it appears to deliver more powerful results – such as the sales landscape.
Here’s everything you need to know about sales gamification, as well as some tips and best practices for implementing sales gamification ideas into your workplace.
Gamification is the process of adding “gaming” elements to non-game environments. For instance, instead of inviting teams to take part in one-on-one lessons to learn a new skill, you could encourage them to take part in competitions, move through training levels, earn points, and compete for the top score on a leader board.
The idea of gamification, and gamification in sales, is linked to psychology, and the principle of operant condition. Psychologists like B.F Skinner found the consequences of our behavior determine how likely we are to continue the same behaviors in future. For instance, if we take part in a fun training course, the happy emotions we experience, and the rewards we receive from accomplishing our goals, mean we’ll be more likely to continue the same actions in future.
Sales gamification simply takes the concept of gamification and applies it to the sales landscape. Sales teams benefit from gamified learning more than most, simply because they need to constantly experiment with new strategies, and develop new skills to achieve revenue results.
When implemented correctly, sales gamification ideas can have a significant impact on the performance of teams and businesses overall. Research has shown that almost 90% of people believe gamification makes them more productive at work. Plus, 71% of employees say gamification improves their energy levels and engagement.
There are plenty of different sales gamification ideas companies can experiment with to start upgrading the quality of their learning and development programs. Around the world, countless organizations have already begun to demonstrate the results. For instance, sales gamification examples from Deloitte and IBM show the right strategies can increase revenue, employee satisfaction, and staff retention rates.
However, implementing sales gamification into your business correctly means more than just choosing the right methods for “gamifying” learning. Here are some sales gamification best practices you can keep in mind when launching your new strategy:
First, it’s important to be clear on what matters to your sales team, and what motivates them to sell and achieve their goals. Many sales gamification ideas revolve around the use of rewards to keep team members engaged, such as paid time off, access to bonuses or gift cards, and even badges or status symbols team members can use on their social profiles.
To find out what’s most likely to keep your team members engaged and motivated, start by talking to your employees. Send out a survey or questionnaire to find out what kind of gamification ideas your people might be interested in, which rewards they want to achieve if they reach their goals, and how they like to be provided with feedback and guidance.
Once you know what matters to your sales team, the next step is setting some clear objectives and goals. The goals you set for your employees, and your business in general, will help you to determine what kind of skills you should be focusing on giving to your employees. For instance, if your goal as a business is to improve customer retention, your sales training strategies might focus on concepts like building rapport and relationships with clients.
Make sure your employees understand the purpose behind your gamification strategies. Highlight the expectations you have as a business, and let them know what you want them to take away from each training session. Crucially, remember to consistently reward your employees when they do something that moves your company closer towards your goals. This will help to boost motivation levels.
It’s easy to stumble into making a few mistakes when you start implementing sales gamification strategies for the first time. If you’re using things like points and leader boards to keep track of employee performance, you may be tempted to focus on rewarding employees based on the numbers they achieve, such as revenue or number of sales. However, it’s important to look beyond the numbers, and reward people who are showing the right behavior too.
If a member of your team is following your instruction perfectly, but not seeing results, this is simply a sign you might need to adjust your training strategy. It’s also worth making sure you clarify exactly what you’re going to reward. For instance, if you set up a contest asking employees to compete to earn the highest number of “qualified” leads, don’t just reward people who generate the most leads. Focus on the keyword “qualified” to pinpoint the top performers.
A lot of sales gamification ideas take advantage of the power of healthy competition. However, that doesn’t mean businesses should focus on constantly pitting their team members against each other. Sometimes, gamification delivers the best results when it’s used to unify people, and get different members of staff on the same page. With this in mind, think about how you can combine sales gamification strategies with collaborative experiences.
For example, you could set up a group competition, where different members of staff are asked to work together, using their diversified skills and knowledge to achieve a goal. Bringing different staff members with different perspectives into the same environment and encouraging them to work together with gamification techniques can be a fantastic way to improve company culture.
To thrive in today’s competitive landscapes, sales professionals need a number of skills. They need to be technically savvy and understand how to use different resources. However, they also need to develop a number of crucial soft skills to build rapport and engagement with customers. Since the chances are you’ll have numerous members of staff in your team with different skill levels, it’s worth creating a variety of gamified experiences to help people focus on specific strengths and weaknesses.
Allow people to gradually “level up” their knowledge of certain concepts over time, starting with simple and beginner-friendly gamified learning sessions, followed by more lessons for more advanced techniques. Make sure your employees can actively see their progress as they move through each level of the sales gamification process, to keep the momentum going.
While gamification can deliver rewards and opportunities to individual sales professionals, it’s worth bringing everyone together to celebrate wins and accomplishments. For example, you could host regularly scheduled meetings where team members can showcase their achievements and progress, explain what they plan to accomplish next, and get tips on how to overcome challenges.
Celebrating successes and wins together, and providing positive peer-to-peer feedback not only improves the full sales gamification experience, it strengthens the bonds between your team members too. Working together to celebrate wins minimizes the risk of unhealthy competition damaging your team dynamics.
While the best strategies above will help you to make the most of your sales gamification strategies, it’s worth noting there are also various resources and tools you can use to strengthen your chances of success. For instance, there are apps online you can use to create gamified resources from scratch, such as quizzes and competitions. Tools like Gamifier are great for turning routine tasks into fun activities, with challenges and quests.
It’s also worth leveraging employee management and performance tracking tools, so you can leverage in-depth insights into how your gamified strategies are really driving results for your team. The more data you gather from your gamified sales strategies, the more likely you are to move in the right direction. You can even consider joining a fantastic, gamified community.
Hypcccycl is an incredible online community, committed to running regular GTM games and simulations, which provide sales professionals with the skills they need to thrive in the competitive world. Anyone can get involved, learn from peers, and share ideas for free. Sign up today to explore the world of gamification in sales with step-by-step guidance and support.