Gamification – What’s the big deal? Data!

I got an email from someone offering to “gamify” my sales force.

I’ll admit…it piqued my interest.  Gamification is the use of ‘game thinking’ and ‘game mechanics’ in non-game contexts to motivate and engage employees.  And according to a recent survey of the Fortune works.  It reported that a majority of companies used, or were looking at gamification solutions to generate higher performance from their sales teams and employees.  Huh…What the heck have I been missing out on?

I did a little reading.  I want to know what is driving this.   Behind the obvious “it’s fun”…why would anyone want to make the sales process a game?  Well…I found out that the driving reason is Employee Engagement.

  1. Employee engagement drives employee satisfaction
  2. Employee satisfaction drives loyalty
  3. Employee loyalty drives productivity
  4. Employee productivity drives value
  5. Value drives customer satisfaction
  6. Customer satisfaction drives customer loyalty
  7. Customer loyalty drives profitability and growth

Let’s face it…sales process, workflow, territory managment…all require employee engagement…and often…this is a monotonous task.  The dreaded four letter word.  WORK.

Sales managers deal with this every day.  Pipeline reviews, forecast reviews, sales force activity reviews.  How are you prospecting?  How many sales calls are you making?  Why is the customer buying?  When is the customer buying?  Who is driving the sale?  WHAT PROBLEM IS THIS SOLVING?

I can see how gamification could make this process less monotonous, and tap into the base competitiveness inherent in a team of hunters.  But how can it be more…scientific?  And what is the REAL reason?

Big Data folks.  Think about everything Facebook, Google, NetFlix, Amazon (the list goes on)…knows about YOU.  Your habits, what you like, what you don’t like…and who you know.  THIS is what is driving gamification.  And for companies that employ this tactic as a sales strategy, they are building 2 sets of data:

  1. Employee Data (and performance metrics)
  2. Customer Data – preferences, organizational maps, buying traits, purchasing history, processes…

When it comes to Big Data…these are the essential components:

1. What sources to pull from (Data Sources Layer)
2. What and where to store it on (Data Storage Layer)
3. What to analyze/When/How (Data Processing Layer)
4. How to deliver it (Data Output Layer).

I can see using gamification with Salesforce as the Data Source – and create the engagement to pull as much information as possible from the customer.  The theory is if the employee is engaged (and competing) they will do the action required.  On the flip side…it will be easy to compare the success of teams based on their records.  Could be very useful as a management tool.

Every company can take advantage of Big Data…and most could be better at capturing data…viewing it..and taking action on the data.  But it all starts with the Sales Team…and the customer.  The real question is…what information is needed?  What really drives the sale.

That’s why you need a strategic sales leader – someone who understands what drives customer purchases, what questions to ask, who to ask and how to progress…because how and when you get the information is just as important as determining what information to collect.

I will be keeping my eye on this.

Might require a shift in perspective.


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