“To stimulate creativity, one must develop child-like inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.”
– Albert Einstein
At the sales training, have you ever seen a person who is not paying attention and has no idea of what exactly is going on? Of course YES. Most of the sales reps try to focus on the session but they continue to nod off as the trainer drones on some policies that organization has implemented for sales force or some topic.
Truly speaking each and every professional in his career at one or other spot of time might have been that person once or twice.
As sales reps needs regular sales training, as these training sessions are the backbone of the sales force, we need to make each and every session interesting, engaging, and motivating. But how can we do this?
Is there any better way to spread knowledge for sales reps? Can we motivate and engage them while training?
Fortunately, there’s a path to train the sales reps best and engaging – Gamification.
People generally like playing games, as they involve them into the context and the story as well fun and engaging. According to a recent survey, 55% of the respondents revealed they would be interested in working for a company that offers games as a way to increase productivity.
But still few organizations grapple with some questions such as how to:
- Motivate sales reps for voluntary participation in internal training
- Encourage sales reps to perform their duties in due course and be proactive
- Reward sales reps for their voluntary contribution towards several organizational community initiatives
- Inspire sales reps to be effective and complete tasks efficiently
- Improve sales by maintaining track of each and every project activity and update / close them on time
Gamification leverages the solutions and the elements of motivation to induce the desired behavior.
Before we further move on, let’s see……
What a Game is?
According to Raph Koster in his seminal work, A Theory of Fun:
“A game is a system in which players engage in an abstract challenge, defined by rules, interactivity, and feedback, that results in a quantifiable outcome often eliciting an emotional reaction.”
What is Gamification?
According to Karl M. Kapp, “Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics, and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems”.
It drives participation and engagement by integrating game mechanics and game dynamics in your training. It even influences the behavior of the learner, who zeal’s to learn by exploring and learning i.e. competition.
Let me tell you game mechanics are the basic action control mechanism used to gamify an activity. It includes:
- Virtual goods
Game dynamics are:
These are the elements that help in creating a game that make up it play and create an engaging and compelling user experience.
Important point to remember is to maintain a balance between fun and learning. A perfectly designed course with Gamification comes out when we could induce a moment of learning with fun.
Here are some ways that games transform the learning experience of your sales reps.
Through gamification, you can:
Prevent the Need to “Cram” New Product Knowledge:
Generally there will be too many product launches in a product-oriented organization, which are stressful and complicated events for everyone to get involved. Sales reps are the one who should have knowledge about each and every product and its technical knowledge as they deal directly with the customer. If we provide the launched product information through PDFs, or via some PowerPoint decks, sales reps finds it difficult and they might not retain the information for a long period because of improper reinforcement. The researchers state that games are the perfect fit for any sales rep. They provide a perfect way on how to learn product and its technical know-how. When the product and its technical knowledge or information is highly complex, sales reps feels comfortable through gamification approach as it helps them learn and remember. Games linked to learning help sales reps retain most of the important and necessary information in a short period of time – the real time savers.
Create a Healthy Competition:
The perfect or true method of motivation for most of the learners’ especially sales reps is by creating the fire of competition. But most of the people never think that competition at work is a fun experience. Most of the sales reps relate or describe themselves as “competitive”. Leaderboards help your reps know where exactly they are and create a sense of competition to achieve more and be the top person among all other individuals taking the course. Meanwhile, the sales training manager can track reps individual performance by taking the record of their scores from the leaderboard, by which he even will know how better the reps are able to grasp the key product knowledge, procedures, and selling skills.
Help Sales Reps Retain and Apply Product Info:
Games can be as simple as possible or as complex as a 3D world. Business needs mostly call for an experience that is in between these two limits. As sales reps have very limited time for training they will like to try limit their time on training unless it is directly relating to their sales i.e. earn more revenue. Gaming which itself an ideal solution for them done in short bursts helps them learn and retain the product features, specifications, and benefits, which in turn help them challenge, cooperate, and compete with others for best sales performance.
Connect With Simulated Reality:
For every sales rep to be successful, they have to do more than just simply remembering the product information or its related knowledge. He has to face certainly few complex situations in selling a product, wherein that particular training could be a full-fledged curriculum. Game platforms are the only solution that can be used in this context. Simulated reality is an artificial computer generated simulation or recreation of a real life situation or environment to immerse the learner by making them feel like they are in the real life context. For example, if you have some products that offer automation solutions, then your sales reps should have an idea of what they are and how they could help the customers. But at this point of context, in order to connect the rep towards the course, we need to use visually rich backgrounds that replicate the real automation shop floor and office space backgrounds with characters to easily resonate the customer, sales rep, and the trainer (Superior).
Finally, these are some ways that gamification transform the learning experience of your sales reps.