The thrill of competition. It’s something we’ve experienced since competing for our first trophy in soccer, a chess tournament, baseball, or a spelling bee. Competition can motivate us, drive us to be creative and innovative, and to find ways to work as a team toward a common goal. And when you achieve your goal, there’s no feeling quite like it. It’s why so many of us continue to find ways to seek out competition as adults… fantasy football, coaching, video games, cards, 5K’s, and so on.
In sales, we all understand the importance of competition. It’s a pretty simple formula, if you don’t compete you don’t survive. So if competition is a critical driver in sales, why don’t we see the excitement like we do with other competitions? Sure it feels good to meet or exceed your numbers, get your bonus, or get promoted. But something’s still missing.
Where’s the Trophy?
So why isn’t this thrill of victory such a thrill? Think back to when you competed in school. Part of the excitement was the visibility and attention of it all. The scoreboard, the trophy, the fans, being in the paper, and having something to show people. So how do we recreate that feeling within our sales environment?
Gamification has become a popular term in recent years in the sales and marketing world. For those who don’t know, gamification is taking the typical elements of a game (rules, competition, point scoring, badges, awards, etc.) and applying them to non-game activities like sales. Savvy business managers have been using gamification for years to motivate their team’s actions and behaviors to achieve company goals.
For example, a 2011 Wall Street Journal article states that “LiveOps Inc., which runs virtual call centers, uses gaming to help improve the performance of its 20,000 call agents - independent contractors located all over the U.S. Starting last year, the company began awarding agents with virtual badges and points for tasks such as keeping calls brief and closing sales. Leaderboards allow the agents to compare their achievements to others.”
“Since the gamification system was implemented, some agents have reduced call time by 15%, and sales have improved by between 8% and 12% among certain sales agents, says Sanjay Mathur, vice president of product management at LiveOps, Santa Clara, Calif.” The article also cites that companies like IBM, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and SAP use gamification to encourage friendly competition and motivate performance.
The issue for many managers however has been trying to really create the gamification experience through traditional business tools like emails, white boards, reports, and company meetings. And it’s particularly difficult with a team that spends most of its time away from the office.
Recognizing this gap, software vendors have begun creating gamification platforms for business. Zoho Motivator is an example of a sales gamification platform that puts the competition front and center for your sales team.
Tools like Motivator use visual elements to provide easy to read, real time dashboards, score cards, trophies, and even TV channels to showcase the events and winners. Since Motivator is in the cloud it puts this information right at your team’s fingertips no matter where they are. And many of these gamification platforms will integrated directly with your other sales tools like CRM to automatically feed the data for contest results.
Getting into the Game
Hopefully this post has inspired you to learn more about what gamification can do for your sales organization. And if using a gamification platform is something you’d like to learn more about feel free to contact our team at Three30 Group. After all, sales quotas aren’t fun but contests are.