Gamification has steadily become one of the most effective sales performance management (SPM) techniques. The process involves tying popular game mechanics like rankings and points to selling merchandise or services. Managers now view gamification as a core component to their success, instead of just a fun alternative to regular business. 

Business News Daily writes that games have become the primary modes of tracking employee behavior. Instead of disorganized data or comprehensive spreadsheets, a growing number of vendors are funneling their sales figures through gaming software. The information is broken down into easy to understand metrics so managers can easily monitor how many goods or services their agents have sold. 

Games also allow for real-time updates by eliminating delays between sales and reports. According to Business News Daily, companies are installing gamification software and building apps so that representatives can log their numbers from any location instead of being restricted to their laptops. Mobility ensures that managers can supervise their staff members from any location and receive accurate sales reports. 

The increased visibility that gamification provides will improve SPM during 2013. As more companies adopt the technique, supervisors will have a better understanding of their representative’s behaviors and motivations. 

Studying incentives and motivation
Effective SPM is predicated on knowing what motivates employees to perform well. Managers who fail to learn what sales incentives interest their workers are hurting their own companies. The data that gamification applications provide allow vendors to instantly monitor trends and adjust their strategies accordingly. 

When businesses implement new compensation solutions, they can use their software to see how salespeople react. Successful incentives will lead to an uptick in business, while less effective rewards will lead to stagnant or negative numbers. Gamification software eliminates all the guesswork involved with judging the effectiveness of an incentive program. 

Controlling and shifting behavior
The benefits of gamification are not limited to analysis – the strategy also helps managers engage salespeople with their work. Sales is a fast-paced world and it is difficult to keep employees from working outside of their employer’s best practices. Justin Gary, who designed a learning game for the Wharton School of Business, told Destination CRM that games make people want to work within certain guidelines.  

“The goal is to make people do the behaviors you want them to because it’s what they want to do,” Gary said. 

Managers can use gamification to guide their staff members. It is easier to keep sales agents in line when they enjoy their company’s practices, instead of feeling restricted by the rules.