There’s a new buzzword in town: sales gamification.
Using the psychology – and fun – of a game, to help sales teams reach new heights.
You be the judge…
First thing’s first, how do game developers make their products so unbelievably addictive?
73 billion player hours, 5000 levels and enough swipes to travel from Earth to Mars five times.
Say hello to the reward compulsion loop. Simply put: take action, get feedback, feel good.
So good you’ll match those candies again and again and again. And each time you open the app, you’re reinforcing the behaviour the game makers want – forming a Candy Crush habit.
The feedback you get in this game’s completely disproportionate.
Long celebrations, exploding candies, affirming words (‘sweet’, ‘divine’ etc.)… it’s intended to give you a sense of achievement, even though there’s luck involved.
And your brain reacts too, releasing the feel-good chemical dopamine.
Of course, you never really know if you’re going to pass the level or not. This introduces the powerful effect of variable rewards.
It prevents the game getting boring and multiplies the dopamine effect. No wonder people keep coming back for more.
So how can this be applied in a sales environment? And even then recruitment, where even more moving pieces exist.
It’s no secret: the recruitment industry has a problem with retention. Staff turnover is 27% higher than in call centres. Most companies already invest in financial reward schemes, so it’s culture that needs to lead the way here.
Who doesn’t want to have a bit of fun in the workplace? Even if it’s just beating Steve in a head-to-head. After all, we’re going to be working a lot longer than our parents.
Gamification gives a new meaning to ‘work hard, play hard’. Take the dreaded CRM updates. Include them in your competition – for example, no sale counts unless it’s in the CRM log. Now there’s a new motivation to getting it done.
New data, new insights
It’s the increased data and visibility that really makes these systems exciting. Not only can the data power competitive head-to-head battles for more fun at the office. It also reveals where your processes are falling down.
You might think of a process as a work habit, because both consist of a repeated sequence of actions. The competitions will show who has the most effective habits. This opens up the opportunity for recognition, but also for training and process change. It lets you take the competition to the outside world, beating other companies at their game.
You might call them socializers, fun seekers and reward chasers. Or talk about the tribe, the hunt and the self. In other words, social connectedness, resources and personal fulfilment motivate people. Or rather, a unique, individual combination of the three.
It makes sense to cater to multiple personality types. Why not talk to your team about what motivates them? Gamification systems like OneUp Sales offer a range of competitions that appeal in different situations.
Ever opened a loot box in a video game and found an uber-rare item? Another great example of variable rewards in action. What would your team like to find?
Victor Vroom created his famous theory of motivation to explain how decision-making works. He argued that motivation is a complex mental calculation. Will we be able to perform at the required level and will this lead to a reward?
Is the reward worth the effort? If you don’t want your system to feel gimmicky, make sure that the rewards feel valuable to your team. Include a mixture of social experiences, gifts and personal growth opportunities.
Finally, don’t concentrate on a single metric. Or you’ll risk ending up like the company that wanted its team to increase the number of deals closed. They were successful, but the deal size decreased substantially.
Your CRM can help you to understand which metrics are leading to sales – e.g. phone calls, CVs submitted. Make them the parameters for your game – and always include CRM logging.
72% of employees around the world receive praise less than once a week.
Gamification systems are great for increased recognition. Think personal dashboards, automated reports and big-screen TVs. Celebrate small successes with sight, sound and action. Without an Excel file or whiteboard in sight.
That’s the end of our whirlwind tour of sales gamification.
Senior Recruitment Consultant at Signify Technology
Client Consultant - Early Careers Team at Freshminds
Recruitment Consultant - Isle of Man at Boston Link
Trainee Recruitment Consultant at Monarch Recruitment
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