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Let’s face it, working in sales can feel monotonous at times, as with any job. Day after day of calls or visits to pitch the same product, employees may lose motivation or engagement with their company’s goals. In order to recommit team members to their work and goals in an industry where using more and more remote work taking place, many companies are turning to sales gamification to peak the interest of their teams.
Salespeople tend to be extroverts motivated by helping others; they’re energized by people and enjoy a fast-paced environment. The ideal sales representative is an ESFJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—they’re naturally comfortable around people, realistic, driven, and comfortable following rules. Given these characteristics, people working in sales are well-suited for a competitive, goal-oriented, and fun work environment. According to Gabe Zichermann, co-author of Gamification by Design, “gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.” So employers needn’t worry about their teams being the most technologically advanced in order to successfully introduce game-like tools in the workplace. By understanding the psychology of their extroverted teams, businesses can see increases in sales because gamification tools focus on motivating individuals to accomplish a specific thing, facilitating the user’s ability to carry out a task, and triggering users to meet their goals.
Extroverts thrive in environments where their accomplishments are acknowledged and appreciated. They are most successful when there are clearly stated objectives—much like athletes. Implementing an office leaderboard, for instance, allows employees to see in real time how well they’re doing compared to their colleagues and therefore work to overcome challenges in reaching their goals. For example, Conductor, a New York City-based SEO technology company, displays a leaderboard on TVs throughout their office. After implementing this tool, the business saw a 126 percent increase in annual sales.These leaderboards tap into the ambition of salespeople who are fueled by opportunity and objectivity. Similarly, should an office implement a system where a sound is made when an individual or team reach a goal, those who were not included in the accomplishment will recognize that each time they hear the sound and feel motivated to push past whatever roadblock to achieve. Consider Pavlov’s dog—the same application of sensory reception and psychology works in an office as well. A sound refocuses and reminds a person of the challenge at hand.
But, according to Zichermann, gamification in the workplace is less about actual games than it is using the tools games give us to tap into the psychology of motivation and productivity. For instance, Target stores uses tools to capture speed and accuracy of its cashiers by simply employing a green and red light each time they scan an item—green meaning it was scanned in the proper amount of time and red if it was not. Target saw employee and customer satisfaction go up in what is a fairly stagnant role. And just as gamification is not intended to make work feel superfluous, there isn’t always a tangible prize at the end of each day as there would be in a game. Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik explains, “The return for us is that we have a simpler, more functional way to recognize people more consistently.” Just as salespeople are extroverted and excited by competition, they’re also feelers whose decisions are rooted in values and emotion. Employing a tool of immediate recognition of a team and individual’s success will surely tap into the psyche of a salesperson making them happier and more confident in the workplace.