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Sales employees are typically competitive by nature -- so you'll help your bottom line by tapping into that competitive spirit and holding sales contests or encouraging the "gamification" of your sales process. Options include team games that pit one side against another, individual performance games or even smartphone apps that encourage your sales team to do more.
Guidelines for Sales Games
Whatever games you choose for your sales team, follow some basic guidelines to ensure that you're getting the most out of your effort. Keep the games simple and easy to follow, yet also entertaining, reminds Bob March, CEO of gamification company LevelEleven. Be sure you're offering a method of delivering feedback, whether that's a leaderboard that displays team members' progress, an app that offers real-time progress, or a daily meeting. Another important thing to keep in mind: You don't necessarily need to make the game about sales, says March. Anything that facilitates a sale -- whether it's getting a lead, making contacts or attending sales pitches -- can help your bottom line in the end.
Some games offer a dual purpose: creating an incentive for employees to make more sales, while also helping to build team spirit in the workplace. Try games such as Feast or Famine, in which you break the group into two teams. When one side makes a sale or meets a target, they get a point on the leaderboard. The team to get the most points at the end of a week -- or longer -- gets a fancy dinner on the company. In-House Baseball can be another team-building game. Teams who make a sale under $100, for example, get a "single." They'll get a "double" for sales over $500, and a "home run" for a new client or contract. If they lose a customer or a sale, it counts as an "out." At the end of seven "innings," the losing team treats the winning team to lunch.
Individual Performance Games
Try games that motivate individual members of the team, such as Balls of Steel, for example, in which each member of the team starts out with five ping pong balls. When someone makes a sale or gets a lead, that person gets to take a ball from another team member. Whoever ends up with the most balls at the end of the day gets the daily prize. Also try the Power Hour, in which you choose a certain hour of the day and award the person with the highest sales revenues for that hour a prize.
The "gamification" of things like exercise and dieting can also extend into the workplace. Check out any number of sales-game apps that you can use in the office to motivate your staff to do more. Apps such as Hoopla allow sales teams to track their sales and then compare those to other team members. There's also a stopwatch feature that gives your team a certain amount of time to meet their goal and to see who wins. Bunchball's Nitro for Salesforce Gamification also tracks sales, as well as offering the option to create individual challenges based on who's in the group, their roles and where they live and work. If your budget allows, you can also have a developer design a game app designed just for your workplace.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.