How to Incorporate Game Mechanics to Motivate Your Sales Team

Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

Your sales reps need incentives to reach their full potential.How do you get the best out of your sales team? For many companies, the answer has traditionally been found in the core strengths of individuals who pursue sales as a career choice: they are motivated, competitive and results-driven. When your livelihood depends on your own ability to inform and persuade others to purchase your products or services, there is normally an intrinsic incentive to perform to the best of your abilities.

Avoid Unrealistic Expectations
However, there is a grim ignorance underlying this line of logic. It assumes that all your employees will extend themselves after the benchmark has been reached. There is an expectation they’ll continue to carry that fire in their belly to fill up an increasingly fat rolodex of dependable clients which unfortunately doesn’t always measure up to reality. This scenario can lead to lagging sales and a department that doesn’t have motivation to improve.

Related: What a Disengaged Sales Team Could Cost You

Realize the Need for Recognition
When people achieve their goals, it’s important to recognize what they’ve accomplished. You don’t have to make this an overblown celebration if, for example, a sales rep increases their monthly numbers by 0.1 percent. Certainly, this represents progress, but you run the risk of patronizing your workforce by pulling out the red carpet for any semblance of improvement. That being said, goals are relative to the business and industry, so it’s up to management and the sales team to develop a recognition system that will help provide incentives for them to keep setting the bar higher.

Follow the Leader?
Game mechanics – or gamification, as it’s more commonly referred to – tap into very fundamental human elements, according to a 2012 report published by the Incentive Research Foundation. On some level, the majority of people enjoy healthy competition. This is one reason to support the use of leaderboards for a sales team. By seeing the level at which their colleagues are performing, your salesforce can get a better idea of their status within the team. It engenders a sense of achievement as top salespeople understand the standard they’ve set. Those with more ground to make up can see what they need to do to improve their performance.

Related: How to Motivate Your Sales Team in 9 Easy Steps

According to the study, the use of a leaderboard to bolster motivation can also reinforce good habits. As their sales numbers improve, sales reps can identify what tactics they’ve employed have caused them to rise up in the standings. Similarly, it allows them to see what may not be working so well. According to a 2012 Aberdeen Group survey, competition with colleagues was the best non-financial motivator. In fact, gamification has resulted in 8.5 percent annual increase in revenue, which is nearly double the rate of organizations that didn’t integrate this motivation tool. As a result, fostering a strategy that allows your sales team to compete for recognition can go a long way.

Maintaining Motivation
However, nearly 60 percent of organizations indicated internal recognition was the best way to motivate sales teams. Financial rewards normally been identified as an effective way for companies to motivate their employees, but the alternatives to cash can be just as beneficial. Ian O’Brien, president and CEO of, told Incentive Magazine gift cards ranging from $5 to $25 are viable incentives that operate on a micro level, meaning these types of rewards help to reinforce positive behavior.

Related: The Morale Booster: The Six R’s

The amount offered can adapt to the level of achievement, as a $5 gift card may not go very far depending on the company. Given the rise of mobile devices, digital gift cards represent a smart option for companies aiming to provide employees with a  convenient and useful reward for meeting their goals or raising their level of achievement.

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