Gamification for Sales Teams: What It Means for B2Bs

August 01, 2014 | Ann Lambert
Gamification for Sales Teams: What It Means for B2Bs

In a previous blog post, I looked at the use of gamification in marketing to create a network of advocates and habitual content sharers for your organization. Having effectively convinced you to gamify your content marketing efforts (I did, right?), I’m back to share the benefits of a similar approach – specifically for sales teams.

Despite the 2012 Gartner report that called gamification a fad “being driven by novelty and hype” which was sure to die by 2014, gamification has proven to be a powerful sales tool for many top organizations.

“Corporate giants such as SAP, Comcast, PayPal, and Stanley Black & Decker are tapping gamification to inspire sales teams,” writes Bob Marsh for Inc.com. “Some of the country's best and brightest companies have leveraged gamification theory and produced legitimate business results.” 

Implementing gamification into your sales strategy can be as simple as providing a systematic method of tracking and publicizing reps’ goals and progress toward meeting them.  Whether stats are updated daily on a whiteboard or by the second through a CRM, all it takes is a competition to gamify your sales force.

Here are 4 reasons why you might consider gamification to motivate your own sales teams:

#1. It reinforces desired behaviors

Depending on your organization, your objective may be for sales reps to make more calls, follow up on leads, shorten their sales cycle, get more face time with clients, or some combination of the four.

Bob Marsh, CEO and Founder of LevelEleven notes, “When you take those critical sales behaviors and launch contests and leaderboards around them, you can watch your sales team’s competitive side kick into high gear and they’ll be excited to do it. But the key is that the goal isn’t ‘adoption,’ it’s motivating the right sales behaviors that will help you sell more and grow faster. And because salespeople understand that the leaderboards are populated based on what they enter into Salesforce, adoption will come along for the ride.”

#2. It’s easily trackable

Sales stats for each individual rep can be manually tracked with spreadsheets and whiteboards to support your gamification initative. CRM systems or other enterprise software tools simplify this process even further, as metrics can be streamlined for the behaviors that sales managers want to reinforce in their reps. This makes it much easier to track numbers and measure performance-based goals.

#3. It holds sales reps accountable

Beyond just generating numbers, gamification enables sales teams to publicize and recognize individual reps in front of their peers.  This does two things: 1) It encourages the adoption of the desired behaviors for continued stellar sales performance, and 2) It helps sales reps who aren’t high on the leaderboard identify areas for growth and motivates them to get ahead of the curve. 

This kind of transparency also creates opportunities for mentorship and collaboration between stragglers and top-performing peers.

#4. It improves performance

Rajat Paharia writes, “Gamification is about taking the big data that your employees are generating as they interact with your systems and using that data to motivate better performance and drive a hard ROI.” 

A Salesforce blog post quantifies its impact, reporting that 71% of surveyed companies saw an increase in measured sales performance between 11% and 50% after implementing gamification. Simply put, if you get buy-in to your gamification initiative, sales will increase and it’s going to work in the favor of everyone involved. 

Why do you use gamification to strengthen sales performance at your company? Why don’t you? Any ideas or best practices worth sharing? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

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