Gamification

Gamification is still a new craze hitting the Sales Enablement Community.  Why?  Because if done right; it educates, rewards, and influences behavior of a sales organization.  Gamification gives you visibility into how Sales is adopting your enablement and systems initiatives.  In other words, it works!

 

So, what is Gamification?   It’s a strategy which applies game design techniques to non-game experiences to drive behavior.  And according to Gartner: In 2014, >70% of Global 2,000 organizations will have at least one “gamified” application.  So as the Sales Enablement Leader you are likely asking yourself,  “Should I implement Gamification as part of my Enablement Program?”   The answer is, unequivocally, yes.  Why?  See the benefits below.

 

What are the benefits of Gamification? 

 

  • Education:  Gamification will teach your sales organization to acquire new capabilities.  These capabilities will be an improvement from the methods and approaches of today.  When reps acquire new skills and knowledge, it increases their chances for success.
  • Rewards:  Sales people are inherently competitive.  Take advantage of that.  Reward excellence.  With the proper incentive, your sales team will strive for excellence in the game.  Excellence in the game, means compliance with your initiatives and systems.  Make the reward tangible.  Cash, trips, prizes, etc.  The intangibles, like ‘bragging rights’ will come along with it.
  • Behavior Change:  Education and incentive will lead to behavior change.  Think about a cultural shift in your organization.  Reps will follow the path of least resistance towards money and success.  Incent the right initiatives and you will see the behavior follow.  Behavior change means, ‘Mission Accomplished’.  Any sales enablement initiative is drive a change in behavior.  Gamification can do that.
  • Visibility:  Visibility breeds accountability.  Driving visibility into the field will breed the competition.  But more importantly, it gives you visibility into the adoption of the initiatives and systems.  You may have been asking “Am I reaping the benefits of the sales training platform I implemented?”  Now you know.  You’re no longer guessing into which enablement programs are driving adoption and behavior change.  You’re no longer guessing to see if your new systems are driving compliance. 

     

None of the bullets above is more important than the other.  But having full visibility enables the previous three. 

 

So how do you implement Gamification into your Sales Enablement program?

Now that we have a better understanding of the definite benefits of Gamification; we need to implement.  Follow the 4 steps below: 

 

  1. Define:  What are your major initiatives and what are you trying to drive adoption on?  That’s where you start.  Decide what it is that you want to track.

     

    • Example:  Social Selling – Trying to fill the top of the funnel?  Use social as the catalyst.  Connecting to the right personas to drive appointments and leads.  Expand your reach and grow your relevant network.

     

  2. Design: Design the process and rules of the game.  What behavior are you trying to reinforce?  That will drive the metrics of the game.  Remember to weight the most important metrics the most.  Not all ‘activities’ are created equal.  In addition, design how systematically you are going to track the game.  This blog isn’t about promoting Gamification tools.  It’s about the importance of Gamification.  And how it provides visibility and compliance into your enablement initiatives and systems.  Choose the system that is right for you.  It can be as simple as an excel doc, or as complex as a Gamification tool.  Don’t fall down in execution, ensure you have the right system to provide visibility.  Let the complexity of the game and metrics tracked guide your decision.
  3. Prototype:  Create a prototype of the final product.  The game isn’t going to be perfect from the onset.  That is why this phase is important.  Create a pilot group.  Could be a region, could be a specific set of reps.  The importance of this phase is to be agile.  Know where you need to adjust and make changes in real time.  Regardless, this will allow you to work out the final kinks before you go live.
  4. Launch: You now have the game defined, designed and tested.  Time to launch.  Ensure you communicate effectively.  The forefront of the communication to the sales reps is the WIIFM.  ‘What’s In It For Me?’  For them, it’s about the reward and new skills.  That’s it.  Don’t make it about you.  The behavior change will be the benefit for the organization as a whole.  Articulate what worked in the pilot and the benefit to the remaining team.  Don’t be afraid to communicate what didn’t work and what you learned from that.  In the end, if you executed on steps 1-3, the launch should be simple.  

     

Sequencing and execution are key.  Remember, visibility provides accountability.  Track and monitor the results.  Coach the lagging players.  Sing the praises of the players excelling in the game.  You now have visibility into adoption.  You now have visibility into whether your LMS and Enablement systems were worth the investment. 

 

Are you trying to drive adoption and track compliance of your sales enablement initiatives?  Then stop guessing and stop being blind to what is happening in the field.  Implement Gamification into your organization.  The benefit is tangible and complimentary to your entire sales enablement program.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Estrella

Helps clients grow by creating innovative go-to-market strategies.
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Eric specializes in helping clients solve some of the most prevalent go-to-market problems in today’s complex selling world. He is an expert in many industries including software, telecommunications, ecommerce, manufacturing and technology. He helps them align strategies and develop go-to-market programs to lower the cost of customer acquisition and increase customer lifetime value.

 

Recently he developed corporate, product, marketing and sales strategies for an emerging telecommunications solution provider that resulted in a quadrupling of revenue and EBITA in two-year span.

 

Eric’s background in strategy, sales operations and enablement allows him to provide thought-leadership in emerging best practices in sales and marketing.

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