Sales Isn't a Game...Or Is It?

Zorian Rotenberg, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, InsightSquared

One of the key characteristics among salespeople is  their inherent competitive drive. Just as professional athletes strive to win championships, sales reps strive to hit their quotas. Sales is a game that sales reps are out to win, and generating healthy competition is a critical aspect of sales management.

Gamification or “gaming principles” in the form of incentives is becoming widely used among organizations to inspire and motivate sales teams to thrive. According to industry experts, 40 percent of global organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations by 2015.

So how does an organization use gamification to manage the sales team? The following gamification techniques will serve a sales manager well:

A Grand Challenge – Make it a highly publicized competition. This should be reserved for a large and complex problem. For example, a competitor’s account has been sniffing around looking to make the jump – create a cash prize for the sales rep most capable of closing the deal.

Real-Time Feedback – This is more of an internal incentive to try to motivate reps to engage in sales training. Instead of stacking all the reps in a room like a pack of sardines and overwhelming them with too much information, provide an interactive element. For example, real-time quizzes with prizes for the right answer will ensure reps stay focused and they are actually learning the material.

Simulations – Forget those dreaded role-playing meetings where sales managers have to sit down in a room and enact different sales scenarios with reps. Instead, businesses can move sales reps online and give them more of a game-type feel with points and rewards along the way. This is also an excellent way to track sales reps’ responses and measure performance.

Quarterly Marathons – Think of this as more of a frequent flier program or a hotel rewards membership. This is a game that should be deployed at the beginning of each quarter and monitored using a visual display such as a Sales Leaderboard. This makes rewards, points, and progress visible to all of the other players and truly draws out their competitive nature.

The overall goal of gamification is to motivate sales reps to focus on the right objectives and drive bottom line results and ROI. An organization can use these gamification techniques to achieve anything from making calls, to data entry, to engaging reps in a training session.

Zorian Rotenberg drives the InsightSquared team with a strong passion to revolutionize sales and marketing analytics.