Game mechanics make sales coaching fun and engaging

One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your sales team is by providing agents with sales coaching and training. While the notion of training may bring back memories of school, it doesn't necessarily have to be boring. In fact, several organizations have been "gamifying" their coaching seminars by adding interactive elements.

Quota, a Canadian sales company, recently took this approach to developing game-like training initiatives. The company is using interactive seminars with game mechanics and thinking within the context of sales to buoy training efforts.

"When you look at the learning experience, the higher the degree of interactivity, the higher the degree of retention," Earl Robertson, founder of Quota, told the Financial Post. "It's really a slam dunk in a business context because gamification is competitive and I’ve yet to meet a salesperson who isn't competitive."

"There are way too many training programs out there where a salesman is basically sitting there listening to a lecture. By the end of the day, you’re lucky if they retained 10 percent of what they learned. It's boring," he added.

With gamified sales coaching initiatives, it is often the other way around – by the end of the day, salespeople are engaged and having fun. This approach improves retention and helps them practice the new skill sets they learned.

Leadership Fundamentals similarly noted the benefits of a game-like approach to training. George Anastasopoulis, president of the company, noted that while "fun" shouldn't be part of an organization's everyday vocabulary, it can be a vital variable when it comes to learning and internalizing new concepts.

It's all about engagement. Agents who are just sitting back and being talked at by a leader may take away some insight from the sessions, but they aren't going to remember what they were told as well as if they had been actively taking part. Engagement bolsters memory retention because salespeople become part of the training instead of passive bystanders.

That isn't to say that gamification is the only way to create effective sales coaching programs. The key is engagement. Gamification is one way to achieve that goal, but there are myriad other approaches that businesses could take. Activities, alternative media, exercises, group discussion – these are all tools that can be leveraged to maximize engagement of sales representatives.