Sales Gamification: The Trend That’s Working


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Turning your sales into a game may sound like a poor strategy, but it's actually one trend that is changing the industry.

Article 2 Minutes
Sales Gamification: The Trend That’s Working

One of the biggest obstacles in sales is identifying which trends will evolve the industry and which will be a quick flash in the pan.

Much to some people's dismay, gamification appears to be falling into the first category rather than the second. It's estimated that around $5.5 billion will be spent on gamification in 2018, a significant increase from 2016's $2.5 billion. These stats make it clear that this trend is only going to get bigger; and this is because, when properly implemented, it offers genuine value to sales teams.

What is sales gamification?

Sales gamification isn't all fun and games - in fact, it's much more than that. When properly executed, it's an effective way of changing behaviors by utilizing engaging game mechanics.

Instead of having one or two standout performers in your team, gamification allows you to upskill everyone, including the low-performers and encourages them to sell like your top sellers.

Badges, points or levels are tools used to encourage one type of behavior over another, and are usually accompanied by a network of incentives and feedback, as well as game dynamics, to ensure the highest levels of engagement over the longest period possible.

Long-term engagement with gamification

Game dynamics are a crucial part of gamification but are often overlooked by those looking to jump on the bandwagon, rather than wanting to genuinely invest in their sales teams. No two employees are the same, and so are unlikely to be motivated in the same way. This is where game dynamics come in.

Focusing on incentives alone may give you a short-term spike in performance, but it will soon become repetitive. Game dynamics aim to make sales gamification interesting enough to engage employees over a long period of time.

Sales professionals are typically competitive, so leaderboards based on a points system should be effective, but what about those mid-level performers who aren't motivated by these because they know they won't win?

Motivating everyone

Game dynamics account for the different ways people are motivated and how they interact with gaming mechanics to offer an evolving sales gamification strategy that gets the best results possible across the team. Game mechanics can then be refined or altered to suit individual employees to reach the desired outcomes.

One of the key reasons why gamification has become so popular and effective is because it delivers long-term cultural shifts, rather than focusing on reaching a short-term goal. It's also something that can be utilized by sales teams regardless of their size, making it applicable to any business that is willing to invest in their employees.

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