Drive Your Team to Victory: How Gamification Will Win You More Deals


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Thursday, August 26, 2021

If you're looking for a new way to motivate and incentivize your sales team, gamification could be the answer.

Article 4 Minutes
Drive Your Team to Victory: How Gamification Will Win You More Deals

A high-performing sales team is one of the most valuable assets any business can have at its disposal. The most successful companies will always be looking for ways to raise their sales performance and help their people achieve high standards.

If you're on the lookout for new tactics and strategies that could get the best out of your salespeople, one option worth considering is gamification.

The growing market for gamification

This is a concept that’s becoming increasingly familiar and popular among many businesses, thanks to the potential it offers to motivate teams and increase people's engagement with their work.

Research has suggested the market for software and solutions that incorporate game-like mechanics into businesses and workplaces had a value of US$9.1 billion in 2020. This is expected to reach US$30.7 billion by 2025, which would represent a compound annual growth rate of 27.4%.

Key factors that are expected to drive this growth include:

  • High return on investment for businesses
  • Increased employee engagement through rewards and recognition
  • Provision of lucrative customer offers

How gamification can drive sales

There are various ways gamification can be incorporated into your sales function. One of the most commonly used methods is to add an element of game-playing and friendly competition to regular sales pipeline activities such as:

  • Contacting prospects
  • Arranging meetings
  • Closing deals

Employees can earn points when they complete these and other tasks, and as they steadily accumulate more points they reach higher levels and earn badges and other accolades. You can also provide the option for people to exchange their points for rewards.

This is just one possible approach to gamification that can help salespeople feel more engaged in their work and enjoy positive reinforcement and recognition when they perform well.

There's evidence to suggest these methods are delivering positive results for many organizations and workers. Research has shown:

Finding the right approach

To get the most positive results out of this strategy, it's important to tailor your approach to be sure it will work for your business and your employees.

According to Mintis Hankerson, Senior Manager on the Sales Strategy team at HubSpot, it's vital to understand what motivates your reps and what specific rewards will prove most interesting to them. She recommends starting the process by sending out surveys to ask your people how they think performance should be measured and how they would like to be recognized for hitting their targets or closing a big deal.

You should also think carefully about the sort of behaviors you want to encourage with gamification. That could mean focusing on the fundamental processes and inputs in place, rather than just raw numbers. Another example from HubSpot is the provision of rewards for reps who generate the most qualified deals, rather than the most deals overall. Cody Normand, Senior Manager of Sales Productivity and Enablement at the firm, explained that encouraging people to close as many deals as possible without qualifying them first would ultimately limit productivity.

"I can't stress enough the importance of being extremely focused on what you want to gamify and what will make the highest impact on your numbers. You must stay focused on the right behaviors and inputs that achieve the highest outputs." - Cody Normand

Gamification in action

Many successful companies have gained positive results from gamification. Cisco, for example, used this approach when it wanted to get its sales, HR, external communications and internal partner teams engaged in a global social media training program. It introduced three levels of certification - Specialist, Strategist and Master - and four sub-certifications, as well as team challenges to encourage healthy competition and collaboration. As a result, more than 650 Cisco employees earned certifications and over 13,000 training courses were completed.

Tech giant HP, which serves more than one billion customers in more than 170 countries, partnered with Growth Engineering to create the HP Uni App, which used gamification techniques to train sales teams on cybersecurity. A key element of the program was the HP Security Cup, a league format that saw members take part in knowledge battles to make their way up a leaderboard. The app registered an average of 84 logins per user.

Another big name in technology, Microsoft, incorporated gamification into its training efforts and saw a more than threefold increase in the number of employees accessing information about software they were responsible for selling.

As these examples show, finding the right way to use gamification can make a big difference to levels of engagement and motivation in your sales team. These are powerful benefits that will have positive ramifications throughout the business.

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