Want to make your sales team more focused and engaged? Sales gamification software just might be the answer.
According to Gallup research, companies with a gamification strategy enjoy a 147% earnings-per-share boost over their competition. That’s a pretty serious value proposition.
But what exactly does sales gamification software do? Keep reading to discover how such tools can supercharge your sales and improve staff engagement, without a hefty investment.
What Is Sales Gamification Software?
Sales gamification software is designed to motivate sales teams by fostering healthy competition, and rewarding staff with “game-like” achievements. Some deliver a game show-like format, while others focus on virtual badges or real-world prizes.
The goal of these solutions is to harness the competitive streak in us all, hopefully leading to a more engaged and higher-performing sales force.
As the name implies, this category of software is based on the idea of gamification — the use of mechanics, dynamics, and design aesthetics from video games, to encourage desired behaviors and performance from employees.
For instance, sales reps might earn virtual badges for successfully meeting individual requirements of a KPI (key performance indicator).
In order to be effective, gamification software should deliver games that are fun and addictive. Without this element, you’re unlikely to see good employee engagement.
Games should also help with team bonding, and add extra incentive behind goals. As a consequence, employees should be eager to master their craft and strive for better results.
How Are Companies Using Sales Gamification?
It would be fair to say that sales gamification is a hot trend right now. Thousands of companies have embraced the idea over the past few years, including Microsoft, Zillow, and Box.
The early results are very impressive, too. In 71% of companies that have implemented sales gamification technology, sales performance has increased anywhere from 11% to 50%.
One example is Salesforce, which had great success using gamification with an enterprise client. The goal was to increase CRM logins from the client’s sales team; this figure had been stuck at around the 30% mark.
After 12 weeks of gamification, using badges and rewards, Salesforce saw logins rising to a peak of 68% — more than double the original level of engagement. By the one-year mark, that figure had climbed all the way to 84%.
Here’s a quick rundown of how some other notable companies are successfully using gamification:
- Microsoft – After implementing gamification, the tech giant had 3.5 times more employees engaging with product updates on the software they were responsible for selling.
- Zillow – The sales team at this real estate startup was energized by gamification, and they became more focused on the metrics that needed improvement in order to close more deals.
- Box – Sales staff at Box bonded and competed for prizes by answering product knowledge-based questions leading up to a sales kick-off, all through a gamified app.
At a glance, these success stories seem to suggest that gamification has some merit. But to truly understand the potential of this software, it’s worth diving a little deeper.
Sales Gamification Case Study: Kenco’s Journey to Improved Sales Metrics
Sales managers at Kenco then created a leaderboard system for key sales metrics, and individual profiles for reps. When any individual reached a personal goal, their chosen anthem, GIF, or YouTube clip would play automatically on a big screen in the office.
At the same time, managers could monitor progress through real-time dashboards.
To measure the impact of implementing these systems, sales managers tracked total sales margins over the following three months. In that time period, they saw a 45% increase in their bottom line margins. A return on investment was achieved in under two months.
It’s results like these that are prompting companies of all sizes to regard gamification as a key tool for unlocking better sales figures.
Other Benefits of Sales Gamification
Another benefit of sales gamification platforms is the way they promote teamwork as a driving force for sales performance.
Many tools offer team-based sales contests, where groups of salespeople work together in competition against other groups. These games can be hosted in the form of a “March Madness” style sales bracket that emphasizes both good teamwork and friendly competition.
This focus on cooperation and communication builds stronger relationships between coworkers and brings newer employees into the fold.
Just as importantly, games based on team performance can increase retention rates for new hires.
Some of the most common reasons that salespeople leave their jobs include:
- Feeling neglected
- Feeling underappreciated
- The perception that the workplace was “not fun”
Gamification tackles each of these negatives and flips them into reasons that these would-be-quitters might decide to stick around.
What Are the Best Sales Gamification Features?
Gamification software comes in many different forms, but there are certain features that crop up frequently. Here is a rundown of the top five:
1) “Head to Head” Matchups
Sales gamification tools with a head-to-head feature allow individual reps to enter into mini contests against a friendly rival. In most cases, the scoring system is based around sales numbers for the day or even the hour.
The winner of such contests obviously enjoys bragging rights, and some reps put a lunch bill on the line. For a bigger challenge, you can create tournament-style brackets to create sales “playoffs” with bigger prizes.
Platforms that have this feature:
2) Sales Leaderboards
If you want to run contests that are open to everyone in your sales team, leaderboards are an essential feature.
They allow individuals to see where they stand among their peers, and more importantly, what they need to do to increase their standing.
Usually, leaderboards are linked to key metrics. Many solutions opt to display scores consistently throughout the workday, with live updates as teammates move up and down in the rankings.
Solutions that have this feature:
- Bunchball Nitro
3) Badges and Awards
Just like summer camp, many sales gamification platforms use badges and awards to highlight achievements. This is a sales rep’s virtual bragging platform, allowing them to show that they have reached certain sales milestones or completed certain training sessions.
These small digital reminders are a great way to spread the feel-good factor, and individuals get to enjoy the glory of a virtual trophy closet brimming with awards.
Solutions that have this feature:
- Enghouse Interactive
4) Real-Time Scoring / TV Style Broadcast
Real-time scoring and sports-style broadcasts bring added excitement to the sales floor. They make leading reps feel like franchise players, and give everyone a platform to show their talents.
Common functionality includes displaying leaderboards, team standings, daily leaders based on various metrics, one-on-one matchup winners, and more.
Broadcasts are often customizable with walk-up music so that employees can switch up the traditional “sales gong” and give it a personalized flavor.
Solutions that have this feature:
5) Rewards Programs
Some sales gamification platforms have a rewards program. These systems are usually based around scoring systems, where salespeople earn points for hitting targets or achieving goals.
Once any individual reaches a certain number of points, they can use them to unlock rewards, such as gift cards. It’s a bit like a loyalty scheme.
Because many gamification solutions don’t come with their own rewards programs, there are many standalone platforms that can add rewards to your gamified experience. Examples include:
How Does Sales Gamification Increase Engagement and Motivation?
Along with boosting your sales team’s problem-solving skills, games can also change negative behaviors, through a structured reward and recognition system.
This process builds up the sales force through repetition, and motivates them with the SAPS model:
- Status is possibly the most straightforward reward type in the model. It can be achieved through the ranking system on a sales leaderboard.
- Access can take the form of private or exclusive rewards, such as lunches with the VP of sales, or special parking accommodations.
- Power isn’t often a factor for sales reps, but it would consist of anything that provides a competitive advantage over colleagues — think something along the lines of providing a rep with the coveted “Glengarry leads.”
- Stuff can be anything from company swag and gift cards to high-end electronics and even getaways.
By providing access to such rewards based on results, gamification software takes advantage of the competitive nature of sales. It also harnesses the psychology of increasing rewards and recognition.
The additional motivation should see your sales team working hard to follow up on more leads, convert more demos, upsell more accounts, and bring in more revenue.
Top Sales Gamification Tools
Here’s a brief list of some of the most popular sales gamification tools and their use case:
- LevelEleven – For businesses looking for digital coaching along with a gamified performance management system
- Hoopla – For businesses looking to leverage Salesforce data to create simple customized leaderboards
- Playvox – For bringing gamification into call center teams to improve quality assurance
- Tango Card – For sales managers looking to send digital rewards as a part of their gamification efforts
- CRM.me – For businesses searching for a CRM that has gamification features already integrated
- WooBoard – For businesses searching for a white label social rewards platform
- Spinify – For sales teams looking for interactive performance management tools
- Gamescope by Zoho – For Zoho CRM users searching for motivating gamification strategies
- SalesScreen – For teams aiming to add gamification and forecasting to their CRM
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Gamification – For Microsoft Dynamics 365 users looking to get their entire organization involved in sales-oriented competition
Improving Your Sales Results
Whether your sales team has been struggling with low motivation, or you just want to hit bigger sales numbers, sales gamification might just be your ace in the hole.
As we have seen, there are many different types of software in this niche, and you can apply these tools in a way that suits your sales goals. If you’re interested in the concept, we recommend you sign up for some demos and try as many solutions as possible.
Going Beyond Gamification
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