Fun + Games = Sales Productivity?

April 19, 2011 - 3 minutes read

Gamification and SalesPeople like fun n’ games.

If yours is like most sales organizations, there are programs or motivational initiatives with fun themes, possibly involving sports or other games. A desire for recognition and winning brings out something extra in us, and what better place than sales to showcase that, where there’s motivation to scale new heights against the competition and to personally and professionally benefit.

According to gamification.org – a terrific collection of resources – gamification is “the process of adding Game Mechanics and Rewards in non-game contexts to boost Engagement, Loyalty and Fun!” If that doesn’t seem intuitive, you’ll recognize it from first-hand experience because a popular application of gamification is frequent flyer programs.  Gamification is simply a methodical approach to engage your audience, create a two-way give-and-take, and connect with people’s motivations and aspirations.

In a business context, engagement through games can be targeted towards customers, sales reps, partners and even employees. Let’s look at the core components of a gamification strategy:

Game mechanics are the building blocks of the process. Gamification.org says these “are constructs of Rules and Feedback Loops intended to produce enjoyable Gameplay that can be applied and combined in any context.” According to gamification.org, there are 24 distinct blocks to assemble. Here we will focus on a few most important for sales enablement and productivity.

In sales as in life, you have two kinds of people:

  • Those who are self-motivated (intrinsic).
  • Those who need an outside factor to motivate them (extrinsic).

To appeal to these types, from the 24 items described by gamification.org, we have created logical groupings called intrinsic (what matters to the individual) and extrinsic (about an aspect of the game or community) to organize the building blocks of game strategies. We’re not claiming to have the final word on these groupings, but rather invite your input on them.

Intrinsic Extrinsic
Achievements Appointments
Behavioral Momentum Bonuses
Blissful Productivity Cascading Information Theory
Discovery Combos
Epic Meaning Community Collaboration
Free Lunch Countdown
Loss Aversion Infinite Gameplay
Ownership Levels
Points Lottery
Quests Progression
Urgent Optimism Reward Schedules
Status
Virality

When you combine the right mix for extrinsic or intrinsic motivation personalities, you can leverage these to achieve superior results from sales reps and sales organizations. Take stock within your group of who is likely to belong to one group or the other, and apply the right motivations.

Think about these game building blocks and consider their application to sales, and where you could implement them. For example, they could be part of a compensation structure, employee retention plan or customer service scores directed at the inside sales rep team.

This article was first published on Focus.

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