Why You Need to Improve Your Gamification Strategy Now

What comes to mind when you hear the word gamification? Leaderboards? Prizes? Colorful badges?

You probably didn't think "long-term behavior change"—and that's why you're thinking of gamification wrong. Engaging employees with sales performance software isn't just about running contests that offer the biggest prize to the highest scorer. At least it shouldn't be. Rather, it should be about building complete motivational campaigns that tap into employees' competitive natures and motivate what matters to your company through collaboration, visibility, and recognition.

Sure, it seems as if gamification is promising a lot. But with a correctly implemented plan, it's something that can be delivered. The root of the problem most companies have comes when sales performance software is used without clear, predetermined goals. If sales managers looking to maximize revenue post leaderboards around the office but don't do so in strategic ways that will optimize performance, they aren't adding much value to their sales system. They're simply adding more processes to the lives of their already busy employees.

Gamification software is only one way to motivate employees to perform better; it isn't a catch-all solution to a lagging and unproductive work environment. Sales managers need to use the insights that their gamification technologies provide and work with their employees to improve performance in order to holistically motivate the sales department across the board.

Optimizing sales performance is not an easy task, and it takes a seasoned manager to engage all employees and improve the entire sales department. But it can be done. Here's how:

Before the contest, define your goals. What key behaviors do you want to improve? How will your software's insights show you how employees are performing in these areas? Choose your metrics carefully, analyze your sales performance software options, plan your strategy—and then execute on it.

Work closely with all employees, especially those who rank lower on the leaderboards. The gamification software may tell you what isn't adding up, but it won't teach your employees how to perform better—that's the job of the manager. Use the insights your software provides you with and sit down with your employees to break down the results of their performance and show them where and how they can improve. If you're not doing this, your sales performance won't increase over time. You may see temporary surges, but those won't last in the long term.

Incite internal collaboration, so that employees can learn from each other during these motivational campaigns. For example, consider pairing up employees so that the higher-ranking performers can mentor those who aren't performing as well. Not only will employees learn practical tips and advice from each other, but the collaboration will boost your workplace morale as well.

Sales performance software offers the potential for great productivity and can serve as an essential tool to drive revenue. It needs a complement, though. At the end of the day, it's not just about showing your employees how they are performing, but showing them how they can improve. To do that, managers need to use sales performance software as part of a bigger sales strategy—one with long-term goals and individualized attention for employees. Only then can key behaviors morph into great, recurring habits across the board and, in turn, a bigger bottom line.

Bob Marsh is the CEO and founder of LevelEleven, a sales performance platform provider.

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