What’s the ROI on Sales Gamification?

ROI on Sales GamificationI recently spoke at the New York Salesforce.com User Group around the topic of sales gamification. Folks in sales seem to like this concept in general, but often hesitate a bit because they’re not quite sure what it means. Plus, many have heard about the Gartner study that 80% of gamification initiatives will fail. I’ve heard about several initiatives failing, and like most things, it comes down to effectively planning and knowing what you want.

So what does effective planning entail? As our friends and partners on the Salesforce Work.com team say: “Don’t focus on gamifying or slapping badges on things. Step back and focus on the business results you want to drive.”

That’s just the sort of thing I talked about at the Salesforce User Group. Below is a quick summary of the key points from that presentation and some of the ROI numbers we’re seeing in the marketplace. (For the complete presentation and commentary, click here.)

Sales Leaders Want to Crush Their Numbers

Crushing “the number” is what salespeople and sales leaders obsess about. It’s critical because small misses can have a huge negative impact on the company, their compensation and even their own self worth.

A great comparison is the world of sports, where coaches assess and train athletes around the small details. All those details add up and can be the difference between hitting and missing crucial numbers.

Or maybe you don’t need to compare it to sports, because you understand from experience. Ever get to 99% of your goal? It feels terrible because you’re so close; there certainly was a way you could have eked out victory. There is a humongous difference between 99% and 100%.

Salespeople  spend their days doing all sorts of activities that lead to sales – following up on leads; making calls; setting appointments; creating and progressing sales opportunities; and of course, closing business. What are the activities you need to spike from your team that could ultimately make the difference? Those are the sorts of activities that gamification should be used to motivate.

So Does It Work? What’s the ROI of Sales Gamification?

Here are a few examples (each of which is explained fully in the presentation):

  • HelloWorld: 230% more sales on a new product launch
  • Varsity Spirit: 137% increase in appointments, 307% increase in opportunities closed and $1.6 million in incremental sales
  • Kelly Services: 55% more wins, 6% increase in deal size, 46% more sales activities, 50% more face-to-face meetings, ultimately resulting in $5.8 million in incremental sales
  • Dyn: 60% more sales in 3 weeks
  • Detroit Pistons: From $0 to $500,000 in product sales in 6 weeks
  • Comcast: 127% more appointments set/day
  • Stanley Black & Decker: 29% more pipeline and 320% more record updates improving data quality

ROI abounds in the world of gamification – when it’s done right. Have you tried gamification? What kind of results, positive or negative, have you seen that we can learn from?


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