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Gamification: Does it Work for Sales Teams? - Nicola Brookes - Blog

Gamification: Does it Work for Sales Teams?

By Matt Tuson, NewVoiceMedia

Gamification works on the simple principle that if you turn work into a game, where there’s a winner or a prize, your employees will work harder. Essentially gamification aims to change the attitude towards work – from working because you have to, to working because you want to.

What’s surprising is the number of sales people who don’t feel engaged at work. In 2014, only 30.6% of US sales people said they were “engaged” in their job. And this is where the idea of gamification comes in.

The psychology of gamification

If you take the well-known analogy of the carrot and the stick, gamification often employs both tactics. The ‘carrot’ part is the points and rewards you can get and the ‘stick’ is often the fear of being at the bottom of the leader board.

From a psychological perspective, dopamine is the brain’s version of a carrot. It’s a chemical signal that gets passed from one neuron to the next when you experience pleasure – such as achieving a goal.

If you split your day-to-day sales activity into individual goals, each with points, every time you achieve a goal, dopamine is released in the brain.

Gamification is also a way to tap into the intrinsic motivation of competition. Studies have shown that competition positively motivates some people – namely, those with a competitive spirit.

And as sales people are a competitive bunch, gamification for sales teams is the ideal solution.

What can sales managers gain from gamification?

Sales managers were employing gamification techniques long before the word ‘gamification’ had entered the language of business.

The sales contest is one of the oldest tricks in the book – it’s just now, this kind of contest can be measured with more metrics, and in real-time with tools like NewVoiceMedia’s Motivate. Here’s what sales managers could gain:

1.    Increased user-adoption for your CRM

As a sales manager, it’s hard to predict revenue without up-to-date knowledge of what’s happening right now and what’s in the pipeline.

While your CRM should be able to give you the data you need, this relies on your team inputting all of their data correctly.

Beyond competitions to boost sales, gamification can be used to ensure that your team use your CRM properly. If you work under “if it’s not on the CRM, it doesn’t exist”, your team won’t be able to gain points or rewards from activities they don’t record, thereby encouraging a good and standardized CRM practise.

2.    Boost productivity

Introducing friendly competition can encourage sales people to push that little bit further each day. Whether that’s making an extra call or doing a bit more prospect research, it could be the motivation your team need to keep pushing themselves.

And as sales people are by nature competitive, this ‘game element’ to their working day keeps them engaged.

3.    Encourage collaboration

With the rise of home-working, sales teams can feel disjointed, making it hard to foster a team atmosphere.

While you may think gamification only encourages individual ambition, it can also promote team spirit. By dividing your company into teams (some businesses even use popular sports teams as the names), it becomes a team game, where everyone has to work together, sharing ideas and best practices in order to win.

Gamification may seem like the latest buzzword, but could actually be the solution to the age-old problem of employee boredom.

Beyond engaging employees, it can create a better working environment, where employees collaborate more and each sales rep follows the same CRM practices. All of this, not only makes the job of a manager easier, but the company as a whole more efficient.

Have you tried gamification techniques at your company? Share your experiences below.

Publish Date: August 28, 2015 10:07 AM

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