According to LinkedIn, companies spend an astounding $15 billion on sales training every year and another $800 billion incenting those new employees to stay. Investing in the right talent takes a hefty bite out of your budget–and often sales training methods don’t work.
There are three major problems with traditional training practices: a lack of motivation for trainees to employ what they’ve learned, resistance to engaging fully in training activities, and an inability to apply learned principles to real-life sales scenarios. In other words, old-school sales training is probably not going to offer a good return on your investment. So how do you onboard your sales team quickly but ensure that they retain what they learn?
Gamification continues to gain popularity as one of the most effective ways to drive employee engagement and revolutionize training and knowledge retention. Researchers estimate that the gamification market will grow to nearly $3 billion this year.
Here’s how to effectively ingrain it into your sales training programs so your team can remember what they’ve learned and hit the ground running–creating greater loyalty and a better return on investment for you.
Tie gamification to your business needs
Gamification is only as valuable as the business outcomes you tie to it. In other words, throwing a meaningless competitive challenge into your sales training program is not going to produce positive results.
Before you plan your gamification strategy, chart your immediate business goals. How will you measure the success of your sales team (and the program you create to train them)? Do you want to reduce attrition? Increase enterprise sales? Drive cross-sell revenue? Pick the metrics that matter the most to your goals and tie your gamification efforts to them. Asking your team to complete a challenge that has no bearing on the mission of the organization will only confuse them. Instead, paint a clear picture of how each element of your gamification program will drive key business outcomes. Choose a gamification solution that integrates with your CRM and other key business applications to give your team even greater transparency and to boost motivation.
Consider unique learning styles
Just as each of your sales reps has unique strengths and abilities, they also learn and retain information in different ways. A competition or challenge that works for one team member may be completely uninteresting to someone else. A best-in-class gamification solution can solve for varying learning preferences through a variety of game elements and displays.
Some employees may prefer to consume performance data through traditional leaderboards. Others may respond to the competitive nature of unlocking badges and achievements through tasks or challenges. As you explore gamification tools and platform elements, ask your team periodically what is resonating with them. Gamification isn’t one-size-fits-all.
With the right gamification platform, you can change the way your sales team learns by structuring challenges to meet their interests and strengths. 70% of employees report feeling disconnected from their employer and their role. It has never been more important to reinforce learning behaviors and create a culture of engagement.
Combine competition with collaboration
While gamification is meant to foster an atmosphere of healthy and friendly competition, it can also be used as a valuable team-building tool. Instead of creating only individual challenges, consider grouping challenges by teams. It’s not only a great way to drive momentum toward those business goals you’ve already defined, but it’s also a simple way to connect your team members with one other. It’s especially helpful for distributed teams. As your team members bond, morale and company loyalty naturally increase.
Employee retention is one of the biggest obstacles that businesses of all sizes and industries are facing today. By integrating team-building activities into your sales training plan through the help of gamification, you’ll protect the investment you’ve made in training and onboarding your team.
Gamification only works if you are intentionally transparent with data and performance progress. Before you launch any challenge or competition, clearly communicate the “rules,” as well as how each person will be scored and on which actions or behaviors.
After you launch your challenge, give your team the tools, charts, and leaderboards they need to track their progress at a glance. Consider adding a mobile app for even greater accessibility. The easier it is for your team to see information, the more engaged they will be.
Whether you’re building a brand new sales team, or simply need to rekindle engagement with your current team, gamification can help your sales reps absorb and retain the knowledge they need to be successful.
Spinify can help elevate your sales training strategy to the next level, through customizable gamification elements that are designed to reinforce learning, drive employee engagement and motivate your team. Are you ready to help your team hit new targets and connect with your business? Set up a free trial today.