5 Tips for Using Gamification to Improve Sales
Motivating salespeople is a recurring problem for managers. Yet, that motivation is key to both productivity and improving morale. After all, happy salespeople sell more, offer great customer service, and have longer tenure. For these reasons, your team’s success depends upon engaged and empowered members. A great way to increase both sales and morale, gamification takes the tried-and-true sales contest and upgrades it for the 21st century. If you’ve ever been ranked on a leaderboard, whether it’s in sports or a video game, you’ve participated in gamification. A gamified experience motivates us by bringing out our competitive nature to strive for the best. It’s the feeling of not wanting to be last, the chance to be in the limelight, and the opportunity to show everyone what you’re capable of. This is why gamification, when used correctly, can be a great motivating factor for your sales teams. With motivation in mind, it’s easy to devise an effective, results-driven strategy that speaks to your team. With this in mind, here are five of our best tips for using gamification to improve your company’s sales:
Set Clear Goals
What makes your team tick? A good place to start is by looking at the metrics that drive the most sales. Is it a meeting a high call quota, or the number of times a rep follows up on a lead via email? Whatever it may be, start accounting for it and start measuring it. Once you get at least 5 solid metrics you find to be your drivers to success, make these your top 5 goals of the quarter. Work your team to be motivated by these metrics and make their progress visible for the entire team through digital leaderboards. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing your cube-neighbor beat you by just 1 call in the last hour to get you revved up to put in the extra effort to fly past ’em on the leaderboard.
Using gamification to encourage teamwork and healthy competition among peers is good for business. Even though it may seem like each rep is fighting for themselves to reach higher on the leaderboard, if you think about it, they’re all working toward a common goal — to close more deals and better the company. The visibility and availability of metrics and progress give everyone a sense of engagement and unity within their teams.
Boost Individual Performance
Many people don’t start to boost their performance (at least on their own) until the end of quarter or toward a performance review. By then, it’s all too late to better an individual’s habits or improve the metric that would’ve made a difference this selling quarter. When you have a system that tracks performance in real time, the data becomes more beneficial in changing your reps’ habits for the better. Are the numbers staggering for follow-up emails, or quotas not being reached for lead qualified? When you can find the issue faster, you can resolve it much easier. If you notice a particular metric isn’t worth tracking, try another.
Make Sales Training Fun
Most meetings are boring, and keeping your team engaged and awake can be a chore. But by using gamification, things get a lot more interesting. Gamification lets users take control of how they access information, instead of pushing it at them. Gamification can test sales professionals’ knowledge and skills during training sessions, and they will retain more of what they learn as well. Adults prefer learning through self-directed exploration, and that will keep your team engaged and excited, leading to more sales.
Giving Instant and Public Recognition
Though cold, hard cash is always welcomed, other incentives can foster the competitive spirits of fun you are looking to instill. This is especially true when game-winners are instantly rewarded for all the team members to see. Through instant recognition, good habits are more likely to stick with positive reinforcement. There’s nothing like a good ol’ standing ovation to get your juices pumped again to close another deal for that next chance in the limelight. When each of the games finishes, spend time encouraging your team to share what works best for them. For best practice, have them offer strategies to improve the game and better motivate them for the next round.
5 Ways Sales Gamification Increases Morale
Building a highly motivated sales team is key in laying the foundation for success within your company. Gamification is a motivation technique that is growing rapidly — M2 research predicts that the gamification market will reach $2.8 billion in direct spending by the end of 2016.
Gamification rewards and motivates sales teams by utilizing recognition and throwing in a dose of fun. Here are five ways you can use it to increase morale among sales representatives.
1. Organize and Structure Goals
Simply meeting for 30 minutes each week to discuss goals with your sales team is not enough. Streaming real-time data of your team’s progress helps employees stay focused on their goals while aligning them with your organizational tactics at hand.
To best maximize the effects, create different categories of goals for different groups, products, and clients. For the best results, promote public recognition on TVs for all teams to see.
2. Promote Personal Advancement
More than pitting employees against each other, sales gamification works to promote personal advancement. Each team member should have their own personal dashboard that allows them to go head-to-head against their own past performance.
Turning personal advancement into a game allows employees to essentially “beat” their top scores, which leads to a team of top performers determined to better themselves and the company.
3. Increase Engagement Through Visual Stimulation
Human brains are wired to respond better to visual material. In fact, if you simply hear a piece of information, you will only remember about 10 percent of what was said. However, if you add a picture to that information, recall goes up to 65 percent.
Gamification provides a visual platform in which easy-to-read graphics provide personal insight into peak performance and statistics. By turning these graphs into a game-like dashboard, you are visually stimulating your employees and therefore increasing their engagement.
4. Provide Real-Time Feedback
Allowing salespeople to constantly see where they stand in rankings and goals allows them to more effectively manage their time as well as engage in a healthy amount of friendly competition among their peers.
One study asked more than 200,000 employees, “What motivates you to excel and go the extra mile at our organization?” They responded that camaraderie, peer motivation, an intrinsic desire to do a good job, and feeling encouraged and recognized were their top motivators.
What’s a better motivation technique than broadcasting accomplishments and achievements over digital signage for the entire office to see? Real-time feedback through gamification displayed on easily accessible digital signage throughout the office touches on all of these motivators, leading to happier, more engaged sales teams.
5. Contests and Competition
Contests incite a healthy dose of competitiveness among sales teams. For a greater impact, create teams that pair top-performing employees with lower performing ones so everyone stays motivated and learns.
Contest standings can be sent to each member of the sales team at the closing of every day, with digital rewards and badges for the day’s leaders. Utilize digital signage to display a constant leaderboard of contest leaders in real time.
Be sure not to overdo contests, or your employees can become tired. You can also create smaller, easier competitions to increase engagement from sales reps who may be struggling to perform. For example, offer a digital reward for the employee who can write the best cold call opening line.
Motivating Starts With Learning
However you decide to utilize gamification, the key to successful sales gamification and digital signage campaign is understanding how and when to apply each type of motivator. This means that you have to continually learn and experiment with your sales team to see what works best for them.
How to Use Gamification to Increase Sales
Most salespeople are competitive by nature, so it’s only natural to use friendly competitive games to motivate sales teams. In fact, sales competitions have always been used as a motivator. The difference today is that technology is making that process even easier, and now – it’s called gamification.
Similar to every other business process, gamification works best when it’s done effectively. Here are the secrets you need to know to make gamification a useful tool.
1. Reward the Right Things
Take time to analyze your business goals and turn them into effective key performance indicators (KPIs). Then, break down the KPIs into discrete objectives that are required to achieve excellence in each one.
Beware of unintended consequences. Rewarding the wrong actions can have far-reaching negative results. For example, it may seem reasonable to reward an increase in the number of sales orders. However, what if offering discounts is a standard in your industry, and the sales team starts offering large discounts to close more sales? It would be more effective to reward an increase in sales orders that meet certain criteria such as no more than a 10 percent discount.
2. Reward Progress
If your sales cycle takes some time, don’t wait until the deal is closed before offering a reward (get creative). Keep motivation strong by identifying steps that lead up to that closed deal and offer rewards for progress. Using another example, your sales team may need to make many contacts before converting a lead into a customer. Find ways to reward the number of phone calls placed, emails sent or meetings held that lead up to a conversion.
3. Establish Visible Real-Time Recognition
This is where technology comes in. You can promote successes by broadcasting progress on large monitors throughout your office. Motivation software like Hoopla lets you display leaderboards that recognize outstanding performance. There’s no longer a need to wait for month-end reports, since you can reward progress toward a goal as it happens.
4. Use a Variety of Rewards
Monetary rewards are always welcome, but there are lots of ways to provide recognition and motivation that don’t cost anything. With motivation software, you can ring a digital sales bell for closing a deal or display celebratory messages for meeting interim goals.
In addition, by integrating your CRM with your motivation software, employees can personalize their own rewards. For example, you can integrate Salesforce with Hoopla. Then, an employee can enter a new deal into Salesforce, which will trigger an invitation to personalize a newsflash.
The employee can upload an image (perhaps a selfie or a customer logo) or a note thanking others in the company who contributed to the win. That personalized newsflash will immediately display on monitors around the office, allowing others to share the news.
5. Keep Employees Engaged
It’s important to avoid establishing unending competitions that wear out your sales team along with the rest of the staff. Keep open communications with employees in order to find out what motivates them and when they feel as if they’ve really accomplished something that is worthy of recognition.
Continually evaluate and update your reward systems to ensure that you’re providing the type of friendly competitions that are meaningful within your organization and that keep your employees engaged. In addition, incorporate the gamification results in your normal employee recognition process, such as monthly or annual sales meetings.
Overall, keep focused on the fact that gamification isn’t really a game; the goal is to increase sales. When you establish an effective gamification program, and include it in your company’s normal business operations, you’ll help your sales team meet and exceed their goals, with a resulting increase in sales.
5 Effective Ways to Boost Sales with Gamification
Gamification is revolutionizing the business world. It is not only being used as an effective tool to connect with consumers, organizations are also using these techniques to engage with their employees. These organizations have discovered that the use of gamification solutions in the workplace can increase employee morale, teach skills more efficiently and even alter behavior.
When implemented correctly, gamification has the power to improve customer service, increase productivity and ultimately boost overall sales. The trick is learning how to integrate gamification techniques into your current business processes efficiently and effectively.
What Is Gamification in the Workplace?
Gamification in the workplace is the integration of game-like mechanics into your already existing or newly formed business processes. The two primary goals of this type of unified process are to drive specific behaviors and to promote enhanced employee engagement. It works by tapping into three major techniques, including rewards, competition and recognition that drive employee motivation.
Tips for Implementing Gamification Strategies
In order to implement workplace gamification processes that provide the results your business needs, there are several factors to consider:
- Structured experience – The most important part of implementing a gamification strategy is to make sure it offers a structured experience for your employees. This is not some fad that your team can throw together overnight. You must carefully plan all elements of the process. It is equally important to ensure your employees have a clear understanding of how the new process works and how it can improve their workday.
- Overcome challenges – As any business manager understands, modifying behavior in the workplace can be extremely difficult. It requires three major things: ability, motivation and a trigger to fall into place simultaneously. Gamification can provide this unique placement, but it is crucial that you first identify the exact behaviors you want to achieve. This will allow you to develop a new process that not only inspires employee engagement, but also develops the right workplace behaviors.
- Instant feedback – In today’s age of technology, employees have come to not only desire instant results, but also expect it. Therefore, for any gamification program to succeed, your staff must have real-time results. This could be in the form of a digital leaderboard, a digital sales gong to announce a closed deal or celebratory messages from top management being live streamed once a specific goal is reached.
- Meaningful rewards – No gamification program is complete without a rewards system. These cannot be just any type of rewards. The reward must be substantial enough to motivate your staff to play along. On the other hand, you don’t want to start off too strong with your reward system because your staff is will only want bigger and better things as the program continues. Be creative, and select meaningful rewards that your company can manage and that will still motivate your employees.
- Fairness – Above all else, your gamification processes must be fair and transparent. If your employees feel that either the process itself or the reward system is unfair to certain departments or management levels, effectiveness will suffer. Create clear rules that ensure all eligible employees receive the recognition they deserve. Digital signage and digital leaderboards can help with this.
Studies suggest that more than 40 percent of all Global 1000 organizations have made gamification a primary focus within their business structure, and this trend is expected to grow even more in the upcoming years.
If you are looking for a dynamic way to improve employee engagement, reduce turnover rates, improve productivity and ultimately boost sales, gamification processes are the solutions you need.
Why Gamification Works in Motivating Sales Teams
Sales professionals were motivated by gamified rewards long before the term “gamification” arrived. The interplay of data streams, graphics and streaming video offers new ways to gamify the sales pro’s experience. Today, the path from data gathering to data display is easier and more direct than ever. Information from Salesforce or Excel is communicated quickly and clearly to hard-working sales pros.
Soaring Gamification Interest and Revenue
The explosive growth of gamification is undeniable. According to Business Wire, a Research and Markets report estimates 2015 global gamification revenue at $1.65 billion, and it projects annual revenue of $11.10 billion by 2020. The continued expansion of the social media market is a key reason for this impressive 46.3 percent CAGR. If anyone doubts the motivating power of gamified experiences, think back to July 2016, when Pokemon Go motivated tens of millions of people to scurry about their communities in search of Pokemon. According to CNBC, the app generated more than $200 million in revenue in July alone. BBC News reported how a man quit his full-time bartender job in New Zealand to set off on a perpetual quest for Pokemon across Australia.
The Release of Dopamine
Gamification is so powerful in part because it enhances pleasure and well-being through brain chemistry. By creating pleasurable experiences, gamification stimulates the production of “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain, especially dopamine. These molecules transmit messages from one neuron to the next, hence the term “neurotransmitter.” The “runner’s high” is rooted in the release of dopamine. Although both aerobic and anaerobic exercise release dopamine, so too will various forms of psychological stimulation. Properly harnessed in the sales space, a system of rewards promotes the release of dopamine, enhancing an individual’s pleasurable experiences. This sense of well-being enhances productivity. P. Read Montague, a researcher at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at the Baylor University College of Medicine, speaks of this dopamine release as the “proverbial carrot, a reward the brain doles out to networks of neurons for making survival-enhancing choices.”
Rewards and Recognition
Since sales tasks sometimes get repetitive or even burdensome, gamifying the experience lightens the load as sales pros feast on rewards and recognition. In a world of cold calling, rejections and long-term lead cultivation, gamified experiences are most welcome. Also, digital displays offset feelings of isolation through team-building and engagement. Digital signage and TV displays offer rewards that are convenient, affordable and sustainable. Recognition delivered through TV leaderboards are effective because of their immediacy. They are delivered instantaneously and publicly. This process fosters pride in achievement among one’s peers, thereby enhancing self-esteem. A winning team member’s name on top of the leaderboard is just one reward. Gamification transports individuals from the present to the closed sale via incremental rewards, like celebratory messages and digital sales gongs.
How Gamification Can Drive Team-Based Sales
People don’t always respond well to a one-size-fits-all approach, so motivating sales teams to perform has long been a challenge for business leaders. Different people are swayed by different methods. For salespeople, a system of gamification integrated with a strong visual communication network can provide incentives for all by playing to their motivation style and unique position within the team. Let’s explore.
Different strokes for different folks
According to an article in Harvard Business Review, a sales force is best treated as a “portfolio of investments,” and there are three general categories that most salespeople will fall into: stars, laggards and core performers. Employees in each category require a different form of incentive to maximize their potential.
Stars are the most efficient members of the sales team. Competition and rewards motivate them. Gamification can give them a nudge by playing into their competitive nature and innate drive to prove themselves. Leaderboards and contests will be their source of power.
The names of leaderboards projected on digital displays give stars a clear view of their place in the hierarchy. They’ll want to continue pushing to reach the top, so it’s just a simple matter of setting a goal, choosing a prize structure for top performers, and letting their competitive spirit do the rest. Putting limits on stars’ success will cause them to pull back their efforts. The leaderboard puts them in a constant contest with other stars, ensuring that they will be continually motivated to do more.
Gamification can take this concept to its next logical step by allowing stars to challenge one another directly. Face-offs will let two members of your team set a sales goal and a time limit, and then compete to hit the mark first. It’s the ultimate form of friendly rivalry that stimulates stars’ need to show what they are made of.
Laggards occupy the opposite end of the spectrum. Through inexperience or complacency, they perform at a lower level than the rest of the group. They still have to pull their weight, so gamification can cater to them by providing some much-needed (but still friendly) social pressure and rewarding them when they succeed.
Again, the leaderboard comes into play. It will show laggards if they are trailing the pack, and how much extra effort they’ll need to put in to compensate. To get them fired up, you can use the visual communication system to pepper them with motivational quotes and imagery to transform them into better performers. When they start to do better, congratulate them with celebratory messages that highlight their newfound success.
The last group is made up of core performers, who represent the majority of most sales teams. They outperform laggards, but not to the degree that a star does. Core performers are motivated by the combination of pressures and rewards that get your stars and laggards to do their best. You’ll have to gear your contests to still offer some kind of prize to these middle-of-the-road workers (as opposed to a winner-take-all scenario), but the framework is all there with a gamification system in place.
Let the games begin
All that’s left now is to put a gamification system in place for your team. Make sure you find a tool or software that fits the needs of your company. Are you more analytical and looking for something with key metrics and real-time data up on your displays? Or are you looking for something that gives you all the bells and whistles that celebrate wins to create a culture of fun and culture? Either way – whether your team is data-driven or interested in building a play-to-win culture, your team will appreciate having a newfound motivation and drive in the workplace.
Interested in bringing gamification to your workplace? Check out Hoopla’s 14-day free trial to get your team motivated and engaged today.
Using Gamification to Make a Good Sales Team Great
“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” This proverb is often adapted to a business context through the strategy of motivating a team by enforcing strict rules and stricter punishments for those who underperform. Modern organizations, though, are finding that injecting fun and teamwork into the process yields greater results — and gamification is providing the perfect framework for that strategy to flourish.
Fun? At the Workplace?
Yes. Harsh punishment alone doesn’t make for an optimal work environment. There may be some workers who thrive in a high-pressure, cutthroat corporate culture. But most people would prefer a workplace that rewards employees and fosters team performance in equal measure. A carrot-and-stick strategy provides the maximum boost in productivity to the widest range of workers, and making work enjoyable provides employees extra incentive to do their best.
For example, under older models, you might have a sales contest to see who could move the most product. The winner would take home the bounty, and everyone else would be rebuked for not performing well. Eventually, those feeling left out might stop making any effort, reasoning that there’s nothing in it for them to even try. Gamification solves this conundrum by involving the entire sales team and giving them a reason to care.
Instead of a bland whiteboard that only features the team members that sell the most, a real-time digital leaderboard showing everyone’s position within the group gives purpose to all members of the sales team. Not everyone feels the need to be the best. What they crave, however, is recognition for their personal effort. You can assign team members with individual goals and instantly congratulate them on an office-wide scale once they’ve hit the mark. This serves the dual purpose of keeping everyone focused on the greater team objective.
Case in Point
Steve might not be able to sell quite as much as Suzy. If you give Steve an attainable goal, display how it’s vital to the organization, and appreciate him once he achieves that goal, he’ll still feel like an integral part of the greater whole. By gamifying the entire process, you retain the element of competition that motivates everyone to do well. You also do away with the “there can be only one” attitude that negates the importance of your slightly less talented workers.
Lead performers will still get their due. They can jostle for positions at the head of the pack, fueled by the desire to be better than their peers. While they compete for the top slot, your other team members will see how their contributions combined to create the bulk of the group’s success.
Further aiding these efforts are features integrated into the gamification system that turn dull tasks and boring numbers into engaging and manageable mini-games. Integrate your data feeds to show what needs to be done, what your team has to do to reach the finish line, and how they are progressing. The instant feedback taps into their desire to succeed, and puts the personal achievement and development in the context of overall accomplishment.
How to Bring Fun to Your Team
Hoopla can provide customized solutions that will track and display your most critical metrics across your office TVs, computers and mobile devices. Discover how we’ve transformed the sales game and taken other teams to unimaginable heights.
Interested in trying out gamification for your team? Start a free trial today to bring a little more fun to the workplace.
How Gamification Is Taking Sales to the Next Level
Although once deemed as ineffective, the concept of gamification is showing that it has serious potential to expand a team’s productivity. Consider a few of these factors:
- Lack of motivation among employees can be the death knell for a growing organization.
- Studies have shown that gamification can improve both engagement and effectiveness among adults.
- The gamification market is poised to expand to 5.5 billion dollars by 2018.
- A majority of tech influencers believe that gamification has significant future potential.
Gamification is coming, and the savviest companies will adapt it to transform their workplaces into productivity machines. But how? The mechanisms behind how gamification works and how startups are capitalizing on it might not be immediately apparent. With that in mind, let’s delve into the how and why of this cutting-edge workplace strategy.
How Gamification Works
At first, it seems counterintuitive. How can turning work into a game make employees more productive? Gamification taps into some basic human psychology to positively influence behavior. The founder of Stanford University’s “Persuasive Tech Lab,” Dr. B.J. Fogg, notes that three factors must be present for something to change behavior: motivation, ability and a trigger. Gamification provides all of these in ample supply.
Gamification gives employees motivation in the form of rewards and recognition, and the chance to distinguish themselves from their peers. When the gamification system allows employees to “level up,” they feel an intense sense of progression and growth. The up-to-date feedback on their performance feeds a need for validation. These are techniques that game designers have long used to make their games more playable, and they are just as applicable in the work world.
Gamification provides employees the ability to complete their work in an ordered and methodical manner. By gamifying work, it is divided into smaller sub-tasks that are much more manageable. This also feeds into the motivation factor, giving employees attainable goals that keep them engaged better than one giant, daunting project can.
As for the triggers, those are built into the gamification interface. Deadlines and leaderboards give employees the spark they need to jump into action. Most people are competitive by nature. Harnessing that competitive spirit to achieve results only takes a small nudge.
How Comapnies Integrate Gamification Into the Workplace
Obviously, it would take considerable time and resources to create a system of gamification from the ground up and research which methods are most effective. That’s why companies rely on third parties like Hoopla, who have already created the mold on implementing gamification the right way.
What’s their secret to success? These companies have found that visual communication is one of the best mediums for folding all the main elements of gamification into a central hub. By broadcasting information onto digital signage and televisions throughout the office, these companies help their teams stay energized and motivated, and focused on cooperating.
The metrics on digital leaderboards provide instant feedback to employees about how they’re doing and what they are contributing to the team’s efforts. However, the power of digital displays goes beyond showing employees numbers.
To continually motivate employees to do better, companies can use displays to broadcast celebratory messages when a milestone is reached, a digital “sales gong” when a deal is closed, or personal walk-up songs to keep teams energized. Companies can also stream online tutorials and motivational quotes, and transmit background images to further enhance the employee experience.
The end product is a company culture centered on teamwork, positive motivation, and — above all — results. The statistics bear this out, and it’s in the best interests of every organization seeking a long-term strategy for transforming its workplace to check out what gamification stands to offer.
Interested in trying out gamification for your team? Start a free trial to get more productive and motivated today.
4 Reasons Why Sales Gamification Is a Trend You Should Adopt
Whether you offer products or services, sales are ultimately what keeps your organization in business. Marketing campaigns, website design, customer support and other factors all affect the quantity and quality of your sales. Even more than these elements, it is the sales department, in direct contact with customers, that has the most influence on your sales numbers.
The gamification of sales is a recent sales-boosting trend being adopted by both startups and larger corporations — 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations used this method as of the end of 2015. Sales gamification involves applying the motivational elements of gaming to the sales process, including a sense of competition as well as individual and group rewards for reaching certain levels or goals. Sales gamification has clear benefits, making it a valuable tool for your business.
Even if you offer the most interesting products, selling the same benefits and features day to day can become somewhat uninspiring. The rewards and recognition that gamification brings to your sales team can renew motivation and enthusiasm for closing sales.
The key to effectively using sales gamification as a motivator is generally in keeping the rewards simple and focusing more on recognition for successful individuals and sales teams. One way businesses do this in a readily visible way is by displaying real-time progress and results on a digital leaderboard. For sales team members, it is the recognition for the win and the element of competition that most motivates them to improve both techniques and sales quotas.
Improved Goal Focus
Another way you can use sales gamification to increase sales department productivity is by focusing the attention of your sales team — and your entire organization — on very specific goals. When you tie the goals of your sales gamification to organization goals, you ensure your salespeople are on board with those goals and making their best efforts toward meeting them. Examples of this include planning the next quarter’s sales competition around achieving a certain number of sales of a newly launched product, or special recognition for adding the largest number of qualified leads in a particular quarter.
Executed correctly, gamification also facilitates collaboration between sales team members, as well as divisions within the sales department. The motivators of competition and recognition encourage communication between sales team members as they work together to improve processes and techniques, and as they share in both successes and failures. This is especially valuable for sales teams that include remote employees or teams that are scattered across continents.
Ultimately, improvements in motivation, goal focus and collaboration will bring a strong sales boost to your organization. HelloWorld saw sales of a new product increase by 230 percent as it adopted these techniques. If you engage your sales team in friendly competition, encourage cooperation and provide recognition for accomplished goals, your sales team members will remain motivated and convert more leads into paying customers. The key is in providing real-time updates in a visual way, so employees can stay up-to-date with their progress.
These benefits make it clear that gamification is much more than a trend in sales, and that it adds value to organizations that use it effectively. Specified goals set in gamification activities make it easier to track success and ensure that all team members are focused on the same end result. Together, these advantages multiply the successful sales your business is able to make.
Interested in trying out gamification for your sales team? Start a free 14-day trial to get your team motivated and on track to increasing sales.
The Psychology of Sales Gamification
When we were kids, games were life. And even now, they aren’t our whole lives, but games continue to bring us fun and excitement. They bring us fun in the sense that we get to escape reality and play another role, and excitement from the competition that fuels us to play. Whether it’s through sports, classic board games, the expansive storytelling of video games or even something as simple as hide-and-go seek, games are a unifying and positive experience that lets us be ourselves while aiming towards a specific goal (which, nine times out of ten, is winning).
So, why not turn our professional lives into a game, especially in a naturally competitive career like sales? This is where gamification comes in.
What Is Gamification?
Gamification, simply put, is the process of transforming the mundane into a fun, game-based experience. If you’re working toward a goal, turning it into a journey of getting points and incentives for each milestone can get you more motivated to achieve it.
Why Does It Work?
Gamification works because it attaches a meaningful reason to be engaged within the workplace. Beyond that, as this Lifehacker article, mentions it also brings a pleasurable experience to the activity, thus setting off a dopamine rush, which is positively correlated to motivation.
“Let’s consider slot machines and a type of brain cell called ‘dopamine neurons.’ The latter are the bits of your gray matter responsible for monitoring levels of the pleasure — inducing chemical dopamine in order to regulate behavior and figure out how to get more of a good thing. It’s these cells that light when you something nice happens in your life (say a delicious Hot Pocket or a fuzzy puppy belly) and triggers a gush of the neurotransmitter dopamine.”
Essentially, your body has a positive response to enjoyable experiences and continuously seeks out ways to replicate that feeling, which is where gamification can come in.
One of the major benefits of gamification, as mentioned earlier, is to employ a meaningful accomplishment in the workplace.
Gamification can flip the stress of a sales career into a more positive experience and subsequently generate higher performance.
A Forbes article mentions that “a good game gives us meaningful accomplishment, clear achievement that we don’t necessarily get from real life. In a game, you’ve beaten level four, the boss monster is dead, you have a badge and now you have a super laser sword.”
Basically, there are clear goals to work toward that give people a sense of accomplishment, which is how gamification can impact employee satisfaction.
Gamification allows for sales goals to be set with the transparency of seeing everyone’s progress towards that goal. Also, you can create one-on-one competitions, like weekly sales thresholds, which give employees a healthy sense of competition without the weight of stress bearing them down.
A good salesperson has to be creative in their approach, whether that means gathering data into a compelling story or sparking up a clever approach in order to engage the customer.
Before these creative approaches can come to fruition, it’s likely that the team needs a brainstorm meeting to help fuel the ideation process. A good brainstorm for tackling these challenges can be transformed into a “gamestorm.” Gamestorming allows employees to be more engaged and present in a brainstorm. This Blinkist article gives a great example of this can be done to make an effective brainstorm:
“Go by the 3-12-2 rule. First, introduce an overarching problem and give players 3 minutes to write down aspects of that problem on index cards. Next, have the players pair up and give them 12 minutes to brainstorm ideas for the problems they wrote down. Finally, allow each pair 2 minutes to pitch their ideas. You can institute a rewards system for the winning idea.”
All in All
Gamification is a powerful tool to engage and motivate your employees to compete against one another and have fun. As Gartner Inc. notes, “while we should never underestimate the motivational power of a real-world pat on the back, there are many advantages of using digital over physical engagement — most notably scale and cost.”
So, why not bring a little fun to the workplace?