Sales Gamification, defined as "the application of competition and leaderboards to motivate sales behaviors”, is a hype technology that in last years has received extensive attention in many sales organisations over the past few years. Many big corporations such as SAP, Comcast, PayPal, and Stanley Black & Decker already have already discovered how Gamification can inspire sales teams and increase revenue. However, there are still critics predicting the death of Gamification.
In this article there will be no debates about if sales Gamification is an intrinsic sales motivator for the competitive sales agents or theoretical discussions about why Gamification actually works. Instead, we will look at a case study for a biggest European telecom company that increased their revenue over 20% in just 3 months after implementing Gamification mechanics.
Last month, Apparound, a software company specialising in mobile sales productivity apps and Gamification mechanics, received results from a Sales Gamification project with one of its customers, a leading European telecom provider.
The results were unprecedented: 3 months after launching the project to less than 10% of their sales agents, revenue growth was about 20% YTY. Those agents who were involved in the Gamification tournament had significantly higher performance, with 20% more sent offers and 9% more activated contracts then their non-gamified peers. Moreover, they demonstrated higher usage of the sales productivity app (almost double compared to non-participants) and training materials (almost triple compared to peers).
This proves the great power of Sales Gamification and shows its potential for a highly competitive telecommunications business. The biggest advantage for telecom vendors is the ability to push the sale of specific products and win market share in a pre-defined period. Gamification helps telecom vendors drive “sympathy” of the sales agents towards their product instead of competitor’s ones (e.g. Samsung vs Apple phones). Same time Gamification's real-time results help to plan sales volume, production and logistics, which is also a big plus for telecom players.
Another opportunity is hidden inside real-time data about employee progress and results in a gamified system: Managers can quickly identify weaknesses and places where additional training may be needed; employees can be segmented into similar performance groups to analyse, so managers can learn why some groups perform better than others, or pair top performers with those lower on the ladder to even out performance.
Good gamification requires user research and great planning. Today’s employees are smart and can recognise when game elements are masking something boring, a common failure point for many gamification projects.
Here are some tips to make sure gamification is successful for your business:
- Think about what behavior you want to encourage in your sales agents.
Do: Use your CRM’s reporting capabilities and other sales automation systems to find the right sales insights and identify behavior to be rewarded.
Don't: encourage the wrong behavior. It is important to identify the right metrics and to motivate the correct sales agent behavior. An example here might be a contest that encourages reps to close deals faster. This may have the unintended consequence of sales agents cutting margins too much to close deals. At the same time Gamification, which incentivises more customer meetings guaranteeing significant revenue growth.
- Make contests and competitions transparent, with clear goals and objectives.
Do: Make your Gamification as simple as possible, including straightforward goals and clearly communicated rules.
Do: Keep it public and track sales agents activities in real time. Communicate the contest results to everyone in your sales team and transparently show how sales agents are doing compared to others.
Don't: Let your sales agents get bored. No Gamification content should last longer then 30 days, but you can still setup several contests at the same time.
- Use multiple different game mechanics, as each "player" may be motivated by different types of encouragement.
Do: Apply multiple motivators and different game mechanics such as team and individual accomplishments. Consider different game mechanics elements such as leaderboards or progress bars, points or virtual currency, missions or quests, badges, levels of attainments and competencies linked to games.
Don't: Focus only on cash rewards and gift cards. Most of the time sales agents are far more driven by recognition and competition, not rewards themselves.
By Apparound. Apparound has been developing and delivering best-in-class CPQ solutions since before the category had a name.