June 21, 2018 | 05 min read
“Welcome to the Sales Tournament at <Your company’s name> Stadium! It’s a bright, sunny Monday morning and Team NewYork looks all set to increase their lead from last week’s phenomenal sales score. Oh, but it looks like Team London is closing in on them with 20 orders already captured from around the city! Coming in at a close number 3 are Team Tokyo with 420 orders so far this month! This game is still wide open, folks! Stay tuned for updates on the nail-biting action!”
Imagine if your sales teams could be engaged in a similarly intense competition to outdo one another in scoring sales and orders. Imagine what it would do for your sales numbers and revenue. What would your strategic goals look like if your sales force worked with as much motivation and collaboration as players in a high-stakes sports tournament? The good news is that the solution to supercharging your team’s performance is very much within reach today – the secret lies in deploying a concept called gamification.
The term gamification suddenly burst on the business scene sometime after 2010 and climbed the charts steadily, prompting 2013 tech predictions that soon gamification will be commonly used as the primary mechanism to transform business operations”. Today gamification as a buzzword has been eclipsed by newer terms such as AI, ML and blockchain. However, gamification as a practice has now become an integral part of product and UI design. Have you ever written a restaurant review for a travel portal just because they told you that you can unlock the next level and attain “Food Expert” status if you added one more review? That’s gamification.
Simply put, gamification involves turning a task or activity into a game. According to the Gartner report, in gamification “companies apply feedback, measurement and incentives — the same techniques that game designers use, to keep players interested — to achieve the needed engagement for the transformation of business operations.”
The game could involve just you playing against yourself (like when you make the effort to fully complete your 80% complete profile on a social media site) or you could be competing against all the employees in your team/organization or against the rest of the world; as part of a team or individually.
The game could award badges, titles or rewards in cash or kind. It can involve maintaining a leader board and a dashboard and can be used to achieve a wide range of outcomes in learning, training, customer engagement, employee engagement, collaboration, fitness, and so on.
However, every successful gamification strategy has the following common elements:
Consumer goods companies face unique challenges in managing their sales force. Gamification helps to overcome these limitations.
Customer Overview: Kores is a highly diversified conglomerate with a dominant presence in several sectors, from stationery to pharmaceuticals to textiles and lighting.
Challenge: To increase sales by improving the morale and productivity of its sales force
Bizom Solution: Sales Gamification
A market leader in the stationery business, this 75-year-old company has always believed in investing continuously in state-of-the-art technology and in employee training and development. The Kores team bought Bizom’s SFA solution a few years back and was very keen to sign up for Bizom’s gamification feature.
Bizom’s gamification feature offered the following benefits:
The Kores team worked with Bizom to set clear goals for the first game, KPIs/KRAs for the executives, metrics and benchmarks for performance measurement and rewards and accolades for the players.
According to company representatives, the gamification effort showed immediate and dramatic results. The first game had been designed to maximize the number of sales executives who qualify for incentives in a quarter. An analysis at the close of the quarter showed that incentive eligibility on the basis of productive calls alone had hit an all-time high of 85% in the first month of implementation and rose to 95% in the following month. “The outcomes (of the first round of gamification) have been achieved in this quarter,” the Kores sales team declared.
The company now plans to launch its second round of gamification and is looking to push the envelope even more by designing a multi-metric game to build sales rigour and to reward the pushing of their more profitable focus SKUs. “Our last iteration was so successful that we’re now looking to make the game tougher so that only those who work consistently hard and put in efforts throughout the month will qualify for the incentive. At the same time, even those who are easily qualifying now will be forced to work harder,” says a Kores representative.
As the co-author of Gamification by Design Gabe Zichermann points out, “gamification is 75 per cent psychology and 25 per cent technology.” So for any gamification effort to work you need to start out by studying what will work best for your team and find an automation partner who understands your team and your business needs. In addition, gamification cannot work in isolation, as a one-off attempt in a separate application. It should ideally be woven into the tools your sales force uses every day to plan and execute their work.