Gamification is one of the latest trends in sales performance management (SPM). The thinking behind the strategy is that sales is already a highly competitive field and managers can motivate representatives to sell even more goods by creating opponents and rewards. While gamification seems to be turning the workplace into a battlefield, the social aspect of the games is what makes them so effective.

Inc. Magazine recommends having clearly defined rankings for people to share and track. Zach Sims, the founder of Codeacademy, uses gamification to make his website more interactive and allows competitors to check leader boards.

“We have leader boards which lets users compare themselves with friends. It’s not just you sitting on your computer alone anymore,” Sims told the news source.

Sims’ philosophy has merit when it comes to sales, which isn’t an inherently social venture. Even without gamification, agents are often competing with their co-workers for leads, clients and new business. This attitude has helped companies – when agents are aggressively pursuing potential clients, they’re earning more money than they would if they rested on their laurels. However, competition doesn’t foster a sense of community or teamwork, and representatives were mostly left to their own devices after sales on-boarding.

Gamification means connections
The social aspects of gamification, such as leader boards, bring agents together even while they’re fighting for the top spot in the rankings. Rajat Paharia, the founder of a gamification development firm in California, told Inc. Magazine that games show representatives how they’re co-workers handle their positions.

“For years, no one could see how they were doing – it was all opaque,” Paharia said. “It encourages the notion of teams, that an not only doing it as part of myself, but part of a group. It’s all about focusing on internal.”

Games can include real-time updates so that agents receive points as soon as payments are processed. Managers can use the software to create actual games without using hard sales data. For example, Nitro, Paharia’s program, has point systems so rewards can be scaled based on different criteria. The feature allows managers to track performances without making sensitive information widely available.

Additionally, gamification makes it easier for representatives to stay on pace to earn sales incentives. Instead of making rough estimates, employees can check their profiles and monitor their progress to see how close they are to bonuses and commissions.