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Game On! Motivate Your Sales Team With Gamification

Jun 30, 2015

Written by: Walt Ruckes
(View Author Bio)

Don't let your sales team run from bear-sized problems! Learn how you can leverage game mechanics to overcome tough challenges and inspire friendly competition within your team. 

“Two guys are walking through the woods. Suddenly a bear starts to chase them. Before they start running, the first guy stops to put on a pair of tennis shoes. The second guy says, “Why are you putting on tennis shoes, you are never going to out-run that bear!”  The first guy says, “I don’t need to out-run the bear. I just need to out-run YOU.”

It’s no joke – too many salespeople today focus on the bear-sized problems out there, which ultimately prove to be un-solvable.  But getting your team to focus on the short-term behaviors that ultimately lead to results is the biggest challenge many sales managers face today.

A popular solution is to “gamify” sales, which can definitely drive short-term success. But how do you know if you are using game mechanics correctly?  If you can answer “Yes” to these questions, you are headed in the right direction.

#1 – Are we engaging everyone, not just top performers?

On average, top performers can return single-digit growth. But to achieve double-digit growth to your bottom line, those middle performers need to get off the fence and start heading in the right direction.

#2 – Are we celebrating small wins? 

Tracking and technology give us the tools to reward for small wins that lead to bigger results. Daily or weekly opportunities to win drive the most engagement.

#3 – Have I identified the leading indicators that drive sales performance?

Interviews and analysis can help determine which measures, activities and behaviors lead to above-average sales performance and results. If you don’t make the connection, any time or money spent is likely to be wasted.

#4 – Do I have tools or a system to recognize a variety of behaviors? 

Meaningful recognition helps you connect with your sales team at all times, recognizing behaviors large and small that lead to success.

#5 – Am I building momentum from day one?

There are possibly no higher levels of enthusiasm and motivation than on the first days and weeks of a new job. It’s a great time to recognize and reward those behaviors that will have long-term benefits.

Connecting Activity to Results:


The ThrowdownTM App for our G5 global recognition system is designed to drive the behaviors and activities that lead to sales success. It uses friendly competition between individuals to engage all levels of performers – on their terms. So a new team member, with lower activity and sales levels, no longer has to feel the futility of competing against a top performer. Your best compete against the best, middle against middle and lower performers and new team members challenge each other to gain momentum and continue in the right direction.

Throwdown can help you motivate your entire team and help them progress toward their goals faster than ever. Then, instead of putting on your tennis shoes and running away from the bear, you might find yourself enjoying a day at the beach!

“A policeman pulls over a guy driving a car with a bear in the passenger seat. He says, ‘Hey buddy, you really should take that bear to the zoo!’ The guy drives off. The next week, he pulls over the same car. Same guy. Same bear. This time they are wearing sunglasses. He says, ‘Hey buddy, I thought I told you to take this bear to the zoo?’  The guys says, ‘I did. And we had so much fun today we’re going to the beach.’”

Walter Ruckes

Walter Ruckes

Vice President
Life Sciences & Healthcare

As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Life Sciences & Healthcare Group, Walter Ruckes' primary focus is to develop engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of employees, salespeople, channel partners and customers. With over 25 years of experience, Walter has developed strategies and programs for teams of all kinds.

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