Sales is one of the most competitive fields in every industry. Businesses constantly seek new clients and try to lure customers away from competitors, while representatives are always jockeying for the top spot within their organizations.

The field of sales is similar to a game, and treating the practice as such can simplify sales performance management. Gamification turns business practices into actual competitions, instead of hypothetical contests in the minds of sales personnel. Companies are beginning to implement programs that turn sales into head-to-head games, which provide fast analytics and motivation for agents.

Promoting different goals
Businesses have different goals and managers must ensure that their motivational tools are geared toward their desired results. Games can be set up to be direct or collaborative competitions to differentiate between individual efforts and teamwork.

Sales agents always want to be at the top and frequently check internal reports to see how their numbers measure up to their associates. Managers can turn regular updates into rankings and points, so that employees can monitor their figures and goals against those of their co-workers. Alternatively, rewards and prizes can be given when representatives are asked to work in teams. The function can foster unity instead of competition.

Deloitte, a financial services provider, notes businesses can use gamification as a supplement or replacement for current motivational strategies. Companies frequently use sales incentives to keep their employees on pace. Games can provide clear metrics for representatives who aren't sure of how their figures match up against the company's benchmarks.

Additionally, gamification can be used as an simple incentive program by declaring regular winners. Managers can set monthly, quarterly and annual deadlines for certain goals and the salesperson with the best score can receive a prize.

Software designers are simplifying the process of turning sales into games. VentureBeat recently reported that Bunchball, a gamification firm, has added customization and real-time updates to its programs, which make it easier for companies and employees to track data. With Bunchball's applications, managers can create leaderboards based on points like a game or on the actual sales figures.

The tools are proving invaluable to many businesses that want to motivate agents and provide clear analytics. Christopher Anderson, the IT director for Schumacher Homes, said in a statement that gamification has changed his company for the better.

"Gamification has proven to be a successful engagement strategy. We've seen how Bunchball's solutions have transformed workforce processes into an effective approach to our business," Anderson said.