Using Gamification for Sales Training

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Most companies have been working on getting their employees trained in all aspects of their business. One such key set of employees is in their Sales Organization. During my years of working with sales organizations around the globe, I have found that internal functions such as training and development, R&D, Product Development, marketing, and sales operations all have the information they want to get out to sales. But when these functions aren’t working together, the result tends to be a costly chaos.

Studies have shown that organizations who have invested in sales training have met their sales goals to greater levels and have therefore made sales training an integral part of their T&D efforts.  According to ATD’s recent research report, “2019 State of Sales Training”, organizations spent an average of $2,326 (median = $1,000) on training per salesperson annually. No doubt, investing in the right sales talent does take a hefty bite out of your sales budget–and if the sales training methods that your organization deploys don’t work, then it’s a problem area both for the Sales and the L&D teams.

In this new digital world that we live in, traditional sales training and enablement techniques need enhancement. Salespeople simply can’t maximize their learning and retention of information when they’re brought into a classroom and pushed with a content they won’t use right away and resultantly there is an inability to apply learned principles to real-life sales scenarios. This is why L&D should be looking for solutions that maximize engagement and recall. An initiative that we at Upside Learning have taken to urge the L&D team is to #GoBeyond and bring about that business impact through learning solutions.

When working with our clients, I ask them 3 basic questions to help them assess whether this is an issue for them.

  1. Is your traditional training methodology competing for your salespeople’s time?
  2. Are your salespeople retaining all the knowledge they learn through these trainings?
  3. Is time being wasted in training that doesn’t engage them?

A Better Way – Go Digital with Gamification

Most of the organizations have taken the digital route through self-paced learning courses using eLearning, videos etc. However some of these interventions fade away due to the lack of content engagement.

To ensure maximum engagement and reinforcement, one such learning intervention that is widely known is Gamification. Contemporary scientists strongly believe that play is a major part of the human experience. The #Upside to implementing gaming as a learning strategy and education is significant.
Did you know –
By 2025, as much as 75% of the global workforce will consist of millennials. 
Oh, yes! Everybody, brace yourselves…

83% of employees claim that they feel more motivated when their training is gamified. Most of the major organizations have already implemented gamification in their business and learning strategy.

Many people in today’s sales forces are Gen X and Y and they have grown up with technology in their hands – playing video games. This makes it easier to get them involved in learning when gamification is employed. Simply getting through one learning module (or “level”) at a time before moving to the next with rewards at the end of completion of the level with badges / points motivates them to compete and participate.

A gamified learning experience implements a fun and exciting way for your sales teams to learn important sales techniques and behaviors. It also provides instant feedback to the learners so that they know whether they’re doing it right or wrong. This facilitates a better learning curve and an increased level of confidence, thus increasing the engagement, as well as results.

A complicated process, topic, or goal may seem overwhelming when approached through traditional training methods. Gamification can eliminate potential intimidation by breaking the subject down into small segments. Trainers can organize content into bite-size topics like sales techniques, campaigns, promotions, competitors, market trends, and product knowledge. Bite-size topics are easy to absorb while salespeople are in the field and makes complex learning more fun and engaging. It promotes open communication between reps, allowing them to cheer each other on.  This further increases program participation, engagement, and results.

An equally important benefit is the insight it provides to sales managers and coaches. Gamification allows managers to identify who knows the most about a given topic, or who’s best at a particular skill, based on metrics. This helps to identify team members who are becoming subject matter experts or excellent resources for others on the team. This may be used to facilitate rewards to officially acknowledge the key accomplishments.

Conclusion: Gamified Sales Training Creates More Engaged Sellers

When teams sell successfully, they feel more fulfilled and engaged – and having happier, more engaged sellers lowers costs and further boosts revenue. Clearly pointing to the positive impact lets training and enablement teams more effectively advocate for the tools that will make a real difference. What does that mean? In short, when your sales trainings use an element of gamification, it facilitates engagement, motivation and reinforcement. And in turn, the more they are “playing” the game of sales, the more you will see deals closed and revenue growth.

Summarizing –

  • Employ gamification to train employees
  • Put the right technology in place
  • Identify key metrics to track
  • Leverage a leaderboard to boost competition
  • Drive motivation through positive reinforcement
  • Constantly assess and re-evaluate

Sales gamification has the potential to catapult your team to the next level of efficiency and effectiveness. In the future, people will be able to use gamification to develop skills. With the miracle of machine learning,  virtual and augmented reality, one thing is for sure – there is a lot of potential in the future of gamification.

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