Do you find your sales team members seeking excuses to skip the sales training programs?

Does the feedback reports after a classroom sales training program shows a negative or a downside trend?

If these are some of the issues affecting the sales training of your organization, then don’t look elsewhere, as it is time to revisit your current sales training strategy and make it an engaging one through gamification of sales training.

Let’s look at the challenges of existing classroom sales training.

•Assembling in a room to attend the sales training programs or product training for hours can disengage the learners

•Information overload which brings no results

•No option to revisit the learning topics and have to wait for the next classroom session

•Lack of assessment options which are crucial in sales training

What does the research indicate?

Studies indicate that participants in traditional curriculum-based training forget more than 80 percent of the information they were taught within 90 days. I presume that the figures would have definitely surprised many. So what can be a good learning strategy to train your sales team then?
I recommend gamifying the sales training modules. If you want to know why gamification, I recommend continuing reading the blog.

So what is gamification of sales training?

Gamification of sales training is inclusion of the strategy of gamification i.e by bringing the right game elements and game mechanics into sales training. It could be through the use of elements like competition (leaderboards, points), challenges (levels) and collaboration.

Why gamification of sales training

1. Gamified sales training help in creating competition among the learner

2. Gamification of sales training can give instant feedback to the learner

3. Higher retention and recall of the learning topics

4. Gamification of sales training is future proof.

5. Sales Performance is increasing with the implementation of gamification

Let us understand each of these benefits in greater detail:

1. Gamified sales training helps in creating competition among the learners

The element of a healthy competition is essentially required in learning. This is especially true for sales training. The sales force of every organization is tuned to compete. With gamification of sales training, the organization can induce healthy competition among the learners.

I recommend following the Bartle Taxonomy of players to understand the target audience and tap into the right motivational factors. If the sales team comprises more  of killer player types, include more challenges and tasks to enable the learners to achieve points as these( killer) player type enjoy the spirit of winning, achieving points and rewards by defeating the peer players. Another way to  introduce competition is  leaderboard….. linked to the rewards and points earned by the learners.

To know more about how to get the right design while gamifying your learning, read my blog here

2. Gamification of sales training can give instant feedback to the learners

‘So that’s the end of today’s session, hope it was informative and useful to you in your sales career’

Isn’t this a usual closing line of a classroom training session?

Learning is not complete without giving the learners a proper feedback, classroom training fails to do this effectively. A classroom training is usually for a larger group and it becomes impossible for the trainer to give a customized and personal feedback to every learner. With the application of gamification of sales training, immediate feedback shared to the learners. The instant feedback allows the learner to take corrective actions if required.

For example, a scenario-based gamified sales training can show customer interaction with the salesperson. Upon making a selection or choosing an option, the learner gets the immediate feedback depending on the choices made. Gamified sales training modules can also include a set of gamified assessments which serves the purpose of ensuring individual and personalized feedback to the learners.

3.Higher Retention and recall of the learning topics

‘Sorry sir, I forgot the price of the product’….

Sometimes this mistake(memory lapse) from a salesperson can completely kill a prospective sale.

A salesman is expected to know the a-z of a product that he is pitching to the customers and hence an effective training is a key to ensure better retention and recall of the learning topics. By gamifying the sales training techniques, the learners gain better retention and recall of the learning topics. Let’s see how gamification can help for better retention and recall  of the learning

Studies have found that when learning is gamified it’s more enjoyable for learners leading to increased engagement with content which means higher levels of knowledge retention. Also, Games can activate the hippocampal area of the brain (the part of the brain that is responsible for recall for the learners.

Gamification of corporate training focuses on giving learners instant feedback and rewarding the correct actions of the learners. Rewarding the learners(sales executives) can definitely motivate them to continue the learning process and achieve the objectives. This is a simulation of real-life behavior where the organisation rewards the sales team(with incentives, commission etc) for achieving the targets. By achieving the rewards and milestones, the learners begin to associate the learning with positive emotions, prompting them to repeat the process. Thus the learners are motivated to continue the learning process and revisit the gamified learning.  leading to enhanced retention and recall of the learning topics.

Another factor to advocate gamification is Gameplay reduces the stress- as per the studies by Texas A&M International University . A stress-free environment can help the learners to enjoy the learning process thus aiding better retention and recall of the learning topics.

4. Gamification of sales training is future proof

When you look from the business point of view, for an organisation every training is an investment. Hence every organisation would want to ensure that the chosen training strategy is future proof and gamification of sales training is one such strategy. With the trend of  gamification continuing to register a healthy growth rate over the years, the organisations can definitely choose to gamify their sales training as it is likely to stay.

Further with the rapid increase in the penetration of mobile devices and the adoption of new learning strategies mobile learning etc, the gamification of sales training will see a shift to the gamified mobile apps, bite-sized games, gamified quizzes, gamified learning paths etc. There are already a large number of players in the market like Atrivity, MindTickle etc performing similar functions.

E-learning gamification can also blend with other learning strategies of sales training like gamifying a scenario based sales training and even combine it with the new trends of learning like using augmented reality and Virtual reality making it future proof.

5. Improved Sales Performance with gamification of sales training

An infographic claims that nine out of 10 companies that have implemented gamification initiative have been successful, and 71% of those organizations boosted sales performance. 
Here’s a video of Cisco talking about how they used gamification (in the call center) to  improve sales by almost 10%:

These are some of the important reasons for gamifying sales training. Feel free to share your views and suggestions in the comment box below.