How to implement gamification techniques in sales

Gamification is a popular technique in every industry, and its prevalence is expected to continue to increase. According to Gartner, 70 percent of businesses will have at least one corporate game by 2014. The growing popularity demonstrates that many companies are recognizing the advantages of applying game mechanics to everyday practices. 

Few fields benefit from gamification as much as sales. Vendors can use use gaming software for every task like incentive compensation management (ICM) and monitoring revenue, while employees can easily track their quotas and sales incentives. Implementing gamification applications can be a difficult process for companies because many representatives struggle to adapt. Basic training, feedback and unique rewards help businesses ensure that the transition from regular operations to games runs smoothly. 

Basic training and feedback
Representatives cannot be expected to understand how new software works on day one. There is a steep learning curve when businesses change their entire system, so employees should be given time to adapt and become familiar with the new applications. Before the games are debuted, managers should hold regular training courses to streamline the learning process.

The training should be similar to basic sales on-boarding processes. Supervisors should lead their staff members through the games and show them how to use different tools to manipulate the software. The main focus should be on updating sales figures and tracking quotas. Employees must be able to maintain their statistics in order to effectively use the gamification tools. 

Additionally, managers cannot stop communicating with their representatives once the games are operational. Business 2 Community writes that companies should regularly seek feedback to ensure that the gamification strategy is successful. If the software is not intuitive and hamstrings basic sales practices, vendors should make changes to increase the game's effectiveness. 

Rewards and prizes
Gamification is a successful sales performance management (SPM) technique because it taps into the competitive nature of every salesperson. Representatives want to earn rewards for their accomplishments, and Michelle Accardi, vice president for Internet marketing at CA Technologies, believes that digital prizes are sufficient in most cases

"One of the important lessons out of the psychology research is that people are not just motivated by tangible rewards. There's some situations where the motivation comes from the sheer fun of the challenge rather than something specific being at the end," Accardi told Time Magazine. 

Additionally, in-game achievements should be tied to physical rewards like bonuses and commissions. Agents should know how close they are to earning their regular sales incentives by receiving updates from the games.