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Gamification to increase sales motivation

# 46 December 2015

Gamification is a growing trend where you apply game design techniques to motivate people in achieving their goals. The Airlines’ Frequent Flyer Programs are usually mentioned as the first example of gamification but sales competitions in their traditional form also contain the same elements.

Gamification takes advantage of people’s natural competitiveness to achieve results and status. The concept is based on several components, where the most common ones are called Points, Badges, Levels, Leader boards and Challenges. Over the years we’ve seen some good examples where these have been applied.

Points. Formulating targets as points can be a way to achieve flexibility in monitoring sales performance. It allows you convert different measures into points and to present them in a common format. As an example, you may combine both gross margin and order value in the same sales competition.

Badges. Being appointed the sales person of the year, or to the 100%-club, are examples of badges. If this award is displayed at the sales person’s work space or as a plaque in the reception area, it becomes a positive announcement of the salesman’s success.

Levels. Where a company has an established career path, formal recognition of advancement through the levels becomes a motivating factor. You may begin in the tele-sales department, move on to field sales and end up as a key account manager. We have not yet seen that “Levels” have been applied in the sales competition context, but this could perhaps be a new development.

Leader boards. Ranking lists, comparing all sales people, are frequently used in successful sales organizations, both for monitoring budget performance and for sales competitions.

Challenges. Formulating sales competitions as challenges are common in organizations with a developed sales culture. “The first one to take an orders on the new XYZ product will win “a dinner for two” is a simple example.

A real example
An IT company performed a sprint competition at the end of the year. The competition ran for three months and scores were allocated as follows: 2 points per order dollar on products, 1 point for signed maintenance contracts, and double points for the newly launched X system.
If you achieved a certain level in a four-week period you got to two crystal champagne glasses with the opportunity to get six glasses in total, when you also were additionally awarded a bottle of champagne.
After the completion, the earned points could be used for buying home and leisure products from a specific catalogue. In addition, at the end of the competition, the three sales people with most points won a weekend trip to Paris. Ranking lists were published twice a week throughout the competition, and during the final week it was published daily.
Since the prizes from the catalogue suited the whole family, the catalogue was sent to the home address. Postcards, showing the earned points, were also sent on a weekly basis to create involvement from the whole family.