Revolutionizing Sales: The Synergy of Gamification and AI with Spinify
April 13, 2023
Few can have missed the preponderance of stories (positive and negative) about AI in recent weeks. GPT 4 has been launched, and there’s been much talk about how AI should be ethically constrained and best used.
Within sales, AI’s functionality should primarily be benign–helping brands find customers who will benefit from their products and services. That can only be a benefit for both parties. However, there’s a range of different uses that AI can have within sales departments and the gamification of sales.
In this article, we’ll look at the intersection of gamification and AI and how both operate in a sales setting. We’ll begin with some reminders of the definitions we’re using.
What is Sales Gamification?
Sales gamification uses game-like strategies to motivate sales reps to achieve targets and KPIs. It’s an age-old technique that combines traditional concepts like leaderboards and “rep of the month” with newer ideas like social channels and automated celebrations.
Gamification increases engagement by enlisting the natural endorphin release when we achieve a desired goal. This chemical stimulus creates a pleasurable response and can even prove addictive. It makes sometimes onerous tasks more fun to complete as we anticipate the rewards which will come.
What is AI for Business?
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and is a topic much misunderstood. Modern AI systems are less intelligent than self-conscious human intelligence.
However, they share some of the properties of human intelligence, including pattern-based learning, which makes them far more sophisticated than previously encoded algorithms.
Machine Learning (ML) is the primary technique used to create the complex algorithms that make ChatGPT and other open AI systems seem frighteningly smart. AI systems are first given a sample data pool to analyze for patterns, then set loose on a much larger supply of data.
The more data AI systems absorb, the more they learn and the better they grow—just like a human learner.
In effect, AIs are given a problem to solve and a huge number of solutions to that problem. The AI will then determine what all the solutions have in common and derive an algorithmic key to apply to new data.
It can feel sinister that the human programmers of such systems won’t know exactly how the AI has derived its algorithmic solution. They’ll only know whether it works or not.
Fortunately, the world is a long way from being controlled by AI, so we are nowhere near living in the dystopian future of I, Robot. AI systems cannot act of their own volition but only as directed by human operators.
Business uses AI for a massive range of data analytics, including:
- Business analytics for trendspotting within your sector.
- Competitor analytics to assess rival threats and detect opportunities.
- Sentiment analytics to gauge what customers think of your brand.
- Data-Scraping and targeted research, i.e., new patent filings.
…and much more.
How Prevalent is AI within a Sales Setting?
If the combination of gamification and AI seems a little too much like science fiction, here are some surprising statistics:
- According to Statista, AI in marketing was worth 18.21 billion USD in 2021 and is anticipated to reach a market valuation of 107.5 billion USD by 2028.
- 79% of surveyed organizations employing AI said that it had improved their revenue by a minimum of 5%. [source: Business Solution]
- As early as 2016, a Harvard Business Review report found that companies using AI to inform their sales department could boost sales conversions by over 50% while reducing costs by 60-70%.
Forbes’ Harald Collett, CEO and co-founder of Alkymi, says: “Instead of AI making talented staff obsolete, it empowers them with a version of their tasks that is higher level and more easily executable.”
This is a crucial point. AI will not replace the subtleties of human interaction that make your sales team so brilliant. Instead, it will empower them to talk more intelligently to more customers, providing relevant answers to questions or objections that arise.
How Does Gamification Fit with AI?
There are several ways in which AI and gamification intersect.
Firstly, gamification requires the marshaling of large amounts of behavioral information. If you reward your sales team for their performance or assign a “salesperson of the week,” you’ll want to apply consistent evaluation methods. AI gives you access to data and high-level analysis to support your intuitive decision-making.
Machine Learning can look at a wide range of performance metrics and KPIs and tell you how well your reps are performing, considering many variables. You can benchmark performance better, highlight improvement areas, and appropriately award those all-important badges, points, and kudos.
Secondly, gamification and AI can work together to give reps better insight into how to approach individual prospects. Machine learning can derive insights from customer behavior and suggest strategies for converting them and closing deals, particularly with upselling or subscription renewals.
This is analogous to a poker player analyzing the cards that have been played, the probabilities of success in their own hand, and the likely hands of other players, then coming up with the best strategy to compete. The difference is that machine learning is enormously more complex in its capabilities than any human strategist.
Thirdly, gamification can help automate some of the smaller, simpler components of gamification for sales motivation. Think points, badges, and task-based celebrations. AI enables an algorithmic approach for handing out these kudos tokens to motivate sales reps maximally.
Managers need no longer guess which reps to motivate, when, and how. Their sales platforms will tell them when reps need a thumbs up or reward and when they deserve one (these criteria may differ). Such a use recognizes that morale is sometimes as important as achievement.
Other Reasons to Employ AI Alongside Gamification
Gamification applies psychology to motivating your sales team and achieving better results. AI replaces gut instinct with hard science and statistical analysis on a level no human analyst can achieve.
Combining the two creates a way to leverage human psychology in a subtle and complex manner informed by an enormous volume of data. Even better, the system will adapt itself to any workplace, and produce a positive outcome, regardless of your workplace demographics or ethos.
It’s the very opposite of one-size-fits-all, in other words.
Here are some more reasons why gamification and AI make excellent collaborators:
- They take the guesswork out of motivation, substituting science.
- They permit rapid course corrections and strategy optimization.
- They stop you from wasting time on strategies that won’t work.
- They help you prioritize prospects that will most likely bear fruit.
- They offer non-intuitive solutions you might have yet to consider.
- They get better with time and adapt quickly to change.
It’s this real-time adaptation and data-empowered improvement that makes AI solutions so ingenious and effective.
Sidekick – Powered by Spinify
Here’s where our generative AI, Sidekick, comes in.
Spinify’s new AI tool finds clever and personalized ways to motivate your reps. It makes goals more personally effective, renders insights more specific, and creates more enticing rewards.
There’s a range of ways in which AI-empowered gamification can make your workforce more efficient. Here are just a few of them:
- Better competition. Sidekick can analyze prior responses to competitions to improve future challenges and create maximally engaging and effective competitions.
- Better badges. By optimizing for performance over time, Sidekick can offer badges that truly motivate exactly when a flagging rep might need them.
- Better morale. As your AI-empowered assistant learns what empowers your sales team best, it will optimize performance, and individual reps or teams should start seeing significant improvements. This will lead to a boost in morale.
- Better experimentation. Sidekick lets you alter parameters in your gamification strategies, so you can try different things and see what works best. It then analyzes your new results and suggests improvements to reach the desired outcome.
- Better strategies. AI should be able to analyze rep-client interactions to identify patterns of success and failure, which will inform future training and strategy.
- Better prospects. AI can analyze many data sources to help prioritize prospects based on the likelihood of conversion. It can do this more efficiently and in a shorter time than human analysts. This means you’re delivering the right leads to the right salespeople.
In short, when well-directed, AI can supply the very things that human leaders and managers sometimes lack – a 360° overview, lightning-fast responses, and deep insight.
And let’s face it—your competitors are probably already looking into how AI can improve their sales conversions and revenue generation. You need to join that arms race to compete and stay relevant in a competitive marketplace.
Why not check out Spinify’s new Sidekick tool today, and book a demo?
Put those insights into practice.
Set your team up for success by improving their performance through gamification.
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