For many people, the competitive world of sales may sound as far from fun and games as you can get. But gamification can actually be a very practical way to get the most from your top-performing sales reps.
Like many other trends, gamification has received a lot of skepticism. However, some of the biggest companies in the world, such as PayPal and Black & Decker, use the technique in their sales departments.
If you're not convinced that it's anything more than a buzzword, then read on and find out how you can use this principle to get the most out of your sales team.
What is gamification?
To execute sales gamification properly, you need to understand what it is and the ways it can be applied. This allows you to identify the ways it can motivate your team and help them achieve your business goals, as well as their own performance targets.
It may not be a core part of sales performance management (SPM), but the elements of the technique are. It focuses on providing incentives to your sales team, while also encouraging competition and best practice.
This is done in the form of integrating game mechanics into the everyday tasks of sales. There are a wide variety of ways this can be achieved but most ideas incorporate a social element and a real-time leaderboard.
When implemented correctly, gamification can be incredibly beneficial to a business and provide a boost in morale and productivity, making it an important part of SPM for many businesses.
By using different metrics to determine a winner, people will be able to see the areas in which they are particularly strong or weak. This objective data should enable them to see where they need to improve, and where they could provide support to others. It can also be used as a way to onboard new staff or increase skills in a specific area.
Gamification is also a fantastic way to track improvements. Running competitions every quarter or at regular intervals can monitor your performance as a company, at a team level and for individuals.
You don't have to watch The Apprentice to understand that at the core of every salesperson is a competitive streak. Gamification allows you to not only encourage this but set the parameters by which you want your team to perform, focusing efforts and ensuring they are prioritizing the right actions.
Using a gamification app to run sales contests will bring out the competitive side in everyone, especially if their performances are tracked using real-time data. For salespeople, it's a chance to beat their peers on a level playing field.
Collaboration in the workplace
Although it works well for boosting individual performance, gamification can be just as successful for team-based targets. The nature of sales can mean people actually spend very little time speaking to their co-workers, whether they are working in the same location or not.
Gamification apps can be used to bring people together, connecting them and pooling talent. To get the most out of an initiative like this, place your top sellers with those who sometimes struggle as it can provide a mentoring service too. If you put all your best-performing people together, you'll have one team that excels and the rest either become demotivated or lose confidence.
By putting your best sales reps with those who don't perform as well, you'll encourage strong sales teams across the company. This means your long-term sales should increase as more of your department favors effective techniques.
In this way, gamification apps aren't just a business exercise to drive more sales, but also a learning experience for everyone involved. The key is ensuring you have the right balance of talent throughout your teams so colleagues get the most out of each other.
Boost company culture
Few people want to work for a company that takes itself too seriously, but you can't get away from the fact that sales targets need to be hit in order for the business to stay successful. Gamification allows you to solve both of these problems, creating a lighthearted atmosphere that actually drives more sales.
By using contests to encourage more sales, you also help counteract the element of disappointment that can come with a dead-end lead or a poor day. In this way, it can help disillusioned professionals engage with their sales targets again and push to improve themselves.
Putting it into practice
You'll need to find an app that is easy for everyone to engage with, as well as an efficient way of displaying the real-time data and league table. This may be the most difficult stage if you have people of variable levels of tech savviness.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that gamification will only be truly effective if it’s maintained and pushed by managers and team leaders. Gamifying the sales process for a few weeks will not have the same result as when it’s successfully done for an entire year.