Gamification is one of the fastest-growing business strategies to drive employee performance as well as customer loyalty. In my last article, we explored five reasons why gamification is perfect for motivating sales teams and driving performance. In this installment, let's look at 10 specific sales team behaviors that can be rewarded, and how this enhances performance and productivity.
When gamifying a user experience, it's important to first determine which behaviors you aim to encourage. We've established that competition, collaboration, structured processes, reinforcement and a scorecard of success are the keys to a successful sales gamification program. But what specific elements should be gamified?
1. Creating a Lead:
Before a deal can close, and before an opportunity is created, it must begin with a lead entered into the system. Tracking the entire process with clean data regarding the time that it takes to move from sourcing a lead to closing a deal is highly valuable. Under normal circumstances, account executives may be tempted to avoid putting leads into the system until they've become clear opportunities to boost their own metrics. However, using gamification, managers can create competition around lead count, encouraging lead entry, and improving the accuracy of new lead reporting.
2. Lead Response Time:
There is often a disconnect between a company's marketing efforts and sales involvement. Encouraging fast lead response time is proven to increase the number of leads that become qualified opportunities. For account executives and sales development managers, gamifying lead response time can dramatically increase performance, not only in the pace of lead follow-up but also in the conversion rates that follow as a result.
3. Converting a Lead to an Opportunity:
Account executives may wait until their deal is almost closed to consider a lead converted to an opportunity. Yet without timely conversion, the sales manager has a difficult time quantifying a realistic pipeline. Sales reps will convert leads to opportunities quicker if you use gamification to call out a special leaderboard and reward reps for the fastest conversions.
4. A Clean Pipeline:
Once a quarter has closed and the dust has settled, sales managers rely on reps to clean up their pipelines. However, celebrating a solid close to the prior quarter or diving back into selling to make up for a rough couple of months usually take priority over updating their pipeline. But it's extremely important that pipelines be kept clean and accurate to optimize the marketing budget and sales team growth. Use gamification to reward reps for having the most accurate pipeline each quarter.
5. Entering Information:
Each marketing department and sales team collects and records unique information on leads. Perhaps your team wants each rep to ask the lead where he/she heard about your company, or what their timeframe is for a potential purchase. Gamifying this information entry with rewards is a powerful way to motivate teams to ask for and input the data.
6. Onboarding New Employees:
Sales teams typically experience a certain rate of turnover each quarter, and each organization's rate is different. This requires continuous onboarding of new employees who often must memorize complex materials. Gamification is a natural fit within educational systems, creating a structured series of challenges as an employee/student learns. By immediately tying this application in the sales department into a larger system of recognition and progress for the company, you can simultaneously onboard new sales players into your company's larger gamified system, setting them up for success when they get started "playing."
7. Enablement Programs:
A successful sales program relies on continuous education of professionals in the field. But, it's challenging to train and re-train account executives, business development representatives, and account managers on new products and upgrades, especially when they're so busy selling. Gamification not only helps ensure proper onboarding of new employees, but its educational merit also makes your ongoing enablement process more efficient-and fun.
8. Contributing to a Deal: Your sales team likely has its own unique areas of expertise and experience. While the rep who closes the deal and their sales development representative will likely be the only team members to obtain a spiff, gamification enables the sales manager to reward others who contributed along the way. Gamification implemented within the company CRM system allows the sales manager to offer a thank-you badge to team members across the organization, beyond just sales, encouraging cross-functional collaboration and creating a more efficient sales team.
9. Speed of Closing the Deal:
Account executives will always be judged on their total deals closed. But there are other metrics that, when rewarded, can drive overall performance. For example, using gamification to reward reps for total deals closed and closing speed will encourage teams to compete to get deals in quicker, not just within the last few hours of the quarter.
10. Lifetime Opportunities Closed:
Rewarding reps for deals closed in the current quarter is certainly valuable, but creating a career scorecard of lifetime opps closed, including details on average deal size, time to close, and other metrics turns each quarter into a competition among reps to triumph over one another's personal record.
As you can see, many everyday sales team behaviors can be incentivized using gamification. Integrating the right gamification platform with your existing CRM systems makes it easy to boost results and increase efficiency across your sales organization.