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Want to inspire solid behaviour change? Start by tracking KPIs like a pro.

Gamification provides more than just a fun way to boost morale – it’s also an innovative way of tracking KPIs to drive lasting behaviour change when it comes to your in-house sales team. Here’s why.

By now you probably realise that gamification can improve sales team performance which is obviously great in and of itself. Now we’d like to get you excited about the ways in which it can be woven into your business processes to help you to set and track the key performance indicators (KPIs) that underpin sales success.

Let’s be honest. It’s a challenge to motivate a sales team to meet targets every single month. It’s a high pressure job with a fair amount of stress, so pushing performance means more than just selling more. It means selling better.

This is where gamification comes in. When applied correctly, gamification is more than a way to make the drudgery of sales admin amusing. It can be designed and scaled to track any number of performance metrics tied to specific goals.

Why gamification is so useful in a sales environment

The benefits of gamification in the South African work environment are far from anecdotal. A recent study on the impact of gamification on employee engagement in advertising agencies in South Africa showed that employees from companies that use gamification have significantly higher overall engagement levels, intellectual and affective engagement levels, and social engagement levels. They also had increased organisational citizenship behaviour levels and reduced turnover.

When it comes to sales, the results are much the same. Major companies like Hewlett-Packard (HP) have included gamification elements in their personnel management strategies and reported a significant rise in revenue (up to 44% in some cases!) as a result. Every internal sales team is different, but they also have certain things in common – they thrive on friendly competition – and frequent rewards encourage them to achieve higher results. And sales leaders who promote collaboration and mentorship are effective in driving innovation from within the team.

All of this can be done with the help of gamification mechanics like leaderboards that focus on both sales and performance, points that make difficult tasks and behaviours more attractive, badges that commend experience gains in certain areas, challenges that reflect differences in roles and function, and so on.

It all comes down to three psychological principles that go beyond rewards, namely:

  1. Compulsion loops that are based on anticipation, action and reward.
  2. Scheduled reinforcements that reduce boredom and promote continued participation.
  3. Intrinsic motivators that tread a fine line between ‘it’s too hard, I won’t win’, and ‘it’s too easy, what’s the point?’.

How setting and tracking multiple KPIs can improve sales performance

When sales competition is solely focused on sales closed, rather than all the activities that lead up to a sale, things are bound to go wrong. Multiple KPIs provide a more nuanced yardstick that gives a better indication of specific areas where sales people tend to drop the ball, or where teams need to change their approach to the process overall.

When you track the right KPIs, it’s much easier to up your game as a sales manager because you have access to data that makes revenue generation easier to control based on visibility and predictability. As such, you are able to gauge whether each member of your team is operating at peak efficiency, and whether there are gaps in the process that have to be bridged. This, in turn, makes it easier to adopt suitable workflows, share resources and schedule staff training and coaching to increase overall productivity in the long run. In short – you can make smarter strategic decisions and put them into practice by means of clear targets and assessments.

Choosing your metrics – which KPIs to track for sales success

Think about your KPIs as the game rules that will ultimately align your sales team’s behaviour with your corporate goals. A well-balanced set of KPIs will include both performance indicators (e.g. more sales, better leads) and process indicators (e.g. timeous completion of admin, efficient use of the internal CRM system) that are tied to specific business objectives.

Well-defined goals and metrics are the foundations of good gamification design; supporting both the effectiveness of the rules structure to motivate behaviour, and the value of the data to monitor progress and guide modifications.

Here are a few examples of the performance measures you might consider.

  • Lead-generation activities. How many calls are they making, meetings are they taking, emails are they sending, demos are they booking? Classic gamification mechanics like points, badges and leaderboards are an ideal way to inject a spirit of friendly competition among the sales team. Progress and feedback bars help people stay focused on targets and motivated to meet individual goals.
  • Response time and follow-up. How promptly are your sales people responding to queries from prospective customers, and are they getting back to existing customers on a tight enough timeline? If this is an area that’s lagging, maybe it’s not a performance issue, but a training issue. Gamification can make that kind of learning real and relevant.
  • Resource usage. Are they leveraging the marketing content or customer resources you’ve made available to them? Define the precise behaviours you’re looking for and build them into your rules.
  • Upselling and customer retention. Do existing customers stick around to order more, and is your sales team successfully upselling additional goods or services? Again, define the targets and build them into your rules.
  • Alignment with company ethos. Are your sales reps going about their business in a way that aligns with your overall vision and mission – do their actions reflect well on your business and do they contribute to positive company culture? Yes, gamification can help you evaluate those softer issues and provide feedback you can use to design interventions.

These are just a few basic examples of KPIs that could be measured using gamification. Remember that your goal should always be to analyse the behaviour and actions of your top performers and to use these insights to encourage those tried-and-tested methods among the rest of your team, as opposed to promoting quick-fix behaviours that won’t stick or have a significant impact.

Keen to give gamification a go to see how it drives lasting behaviour change to meet those all-important KPIs? We say go for it – gaining a better understanding of individuals’ motivations will help you boost sales performance and get the most out of your team. Schedule a chat with the experts to get the ball rolling – contact us today.