5 Sales Gamification Software Features to Motivate Your Sales Team

March 6, 2020 Marc Shumaker

Sales gamification software just might be your ticket to a more focused and engaged sales team, which in turn provides massive benefit to the company’s bottom line. How massive? Gallup determined that companies with a high employee engagement rate enjoyed a 147% earnings-per-share boost over their competition.

That’s a pretty serious value proposition.

Sales gamification software is a platform that provides additional motivation and incentives for sales teams by facilitating competitions and administering “game-like” achievements and badges. The goal of these solutions is to foster a culture of healthy competition leading to a more engaged and higher performing sales force.

Read on to determine if gamification will be the newest tool in your arsenal in the ongoing war against revenue-draining employee disengagement.

How are companies using sales gamification software?

All the cool kids are doing it, including Microsoft, Zillow, and Box. In 71% of companies that have implemented sales gamification technology, sales performance increased anywhere from 11% all the way up to - wait for it - 50%!

A little company called Salesforce had great success with gamification at an enterprise client of theirs. Their goal was to increase logins from the client’s sales team into the Salesforce CRM, which had been stuck around 30%. After 12 gamified weeks, using badges and rewards, the company saw a colossal increase in logins, all the way up to a peak of 68%, approximately double the engagement. By the one-year mark, that figure climbed all the way to 84%!

Here’s a quick rundown of how some of these hot companies are using gamification:

  • Microsoft- 3.5x the number of employees who engaged with and used information about product updates on software they were responsible for selling.
  • Zillow - Sales team was energized and focused on which metrics they need to improve upon in order to close more deals.
  • Box - the sales team bonded and competed for prizes by answering product knowledge-based questions leading up to a sales kick-off with a gamified app.

A case study in sales gamification: Kenco’s journey to improved sales metrics

If the last section didn’t completely convince you of the value and remarkable power of a gamifying tool, here is another number that is sure to grab your attention: 45%.

Kenco, a large third-party logistics company out of Tennessee, opted to implement a sales gamification tool called Ambition, and looked at the total sales margin. Now we’re cookin’.

Using this concrete measurement allowed Kenco to see just how effective a sales gamification software could be. In that time period, they experienced a 45% increase in their bottom line total sales margins! The return on investment was achieved in under two months.

These kinds of results are prompting companies of all sizes to treat gamification as a strong competitive advantage.

Other benefits of sales gamification

Another benefit of these solutions is how they are able to use teamwork as a driving force for sales performance. Many tools feature team exercises that allow for the formation of sales groups that work together in competition against other sales groups. These can be done in the form of a “March Madness” style sales bracket that emphasizes both team play and friendly competition.

This focus on teamwork and communication builds stronger relationships between coworkers, brings newer employees into the fold, and increases retention rates for new hires.

Your new hires are your most crucial employees to retain, as 33% will decide to leave within the first 90 days of their employment. It costs up to 20% of these employees’ salary to replace them, so your HR department AND your Finance department want to keep them on board.

Among the statistically relevant reasons that salespeople leave their jobs?

  • Feeling neglected
  • Feeling under appreciated
  • The perception that the workplace was “not fun”

Gamification tackles each of these negatives and flips them into reasons that these would-be-quitters might decide to stick around.

What are the best sales gamification features?

The following features are the most popular, but as most things go, your mileage may vary. If you have a particularly competitive sales squad, they may respond better to 1-1 matchups. If you have a newer team that is still learning the ropes and finding where they belong, team features like tournaments may be a better fit.

1-1 or “head to head” matchup feature

Ambition is a sales gamification toolSales gamification tools with a head-to-head feature allow your reps to enter into mini contests where their sales numbers for the day, or even the hour, are pitted against a friendly rival.

Put bragging rights on the line, lunch, or use tournament-style brackets to create sales “playoffs” with bigger prizes!

Solutions that have this feature:

Leaderboard feature

Leaderboards are essential so the sales team knows where they stand amongst their peers, and more important, how close they are to moving up and what they need to do to increase their standing. Many solutions opt to display these leaderboards consistently throughout the workday with live updates as teammates move up and down in the rankings.

Solutions that have this feature:

Badges

Just like the ones you used to get at summer camp, only digital. This is a sales rep’s virtual bragging platform, allowing them to show that they have reached certain sales milestones or completed certain training sessions. These are little digital reminders that let your team know they are doing a good job, and boosts their professional profile with a publicly displayed virtual trophy closet.

Solutions that have this feature:

Live scoring / TV style broadcast

ConnectLeader Top Rung is a good sales gamification software toolThis feature provides sports-style broadcasts about all things sales gamification. This can include displaying leaderboards, team standings, daily leaders based on various metrics, one-on-one matchup winners, and more.

These broadcasts are often customizable with walk-up music so that employees can mix up the traditional “sales gong” and give it a personalized flavor.

Solutions that have this feature:

All of these are common product features in most sales gamification software. Many other tools have specialized options, and really cool features not shared by all products.

Built-in rewards marketplace

Engagedly features a point accumulation system that allows employees to redeem points earned through various gamified activities to get gift cards from an online database of a variety options to choose from. Many solutions do not come with baked-in rewards systems, so if this is a must-have, Engagedly has you covered.

Bunchball’s Nitro for Salesforce offering allows it to integrate with Salesforce Sales Cloud, and in their own words is the “only proven cloud-based gamification engine with a deep integration” to both sales and service cloud. For sales teams heavily reliant on Salesforce, this is worth a second look.

How does sales gamification increase engagement and motivation?

Games boost your sales team’s problem-solving skills, and can also change negative behaviors, through a structured reward and recognition system. This process builds up the sales force through repetition, and motivates them with the SAPS model, giving team members Status, Access, Power, and last but not least, Stuff:

  • Status is possibly the most straightforward reward type in the model, which is achieved by most solutions by using a ranking system on a sales leaderboard.
  • Access can take the form of private or exclusive rewards, such as lunches with the VP of sales, or special parking accommodations.
  • The power reward type isn’t often a factor for sales reps, but would consist of anything that provides a competitive advantage over colleagues (think something along the lines of providing a rep with the coveted “Glengarry leads”).
  • Lastly, you have the stuff. This can be anything from company swag and gift cards to high end electronics and even getaways.

Through gamification, the sales team can compete in a fun way to follow up on more leads, convert more demos, upsell more accounts, and bring in more revenue.

These solutions take advantage of the competitive nature of the sales beast, coupled with the psychology of motivation through increasing rewards and recognition.

What’s the bottom line?

Maybe your sales team is crushing it, they’ve been cruising along and hitting sales goals, but you can’t seem to hang onto new sales team members.

Or maybe your sales team gets a boost around the annual sales kickoff but lags the rest of the year or doesn't close quarters as strongly as you’d hope. Perhaps the sales team is just unmotivated.

Whether your sales team has been struggling with low motivation, or you just want to see them post bigger sales numbers, sales gamification software may just be your ace in the hole. You may deploy a gamification solution and find that new hires feel more connected, more appreciated, and are having more fun. That could mean an increase in the bottom line through lower rehire and replacement costs.

Your new solution could also make your employees, both veterans and newbies alike, more engaged with the sales process. That’s another increase in the bottom line through higher sales margins and more deals closed.

Has a sales gamification solution benefitted your sales team? How about leaving a review to let others know how your team improved!

About the Author

Marc Shumaker

Marc Shumaker is a senior content specialist at ZoomInfo, specializing in written content for Datanyze. Previously, he held a management role in the technographics division of research at DiscoverOrg, allowing him to gain a well-rounded view of technology trends and their functions within the enterprise.

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