Sales leaders face many challenges on any given day. One of the biggest is knowing how to be an effective coach. You can have all the right strategies in place, but everything can quickly go out of the window when individual sales reps leave those coaching sessions.
This isn’t to say that you’re a bad sales coach. Much like your challenges, teams face obstacles of their own and it can be difficult to cut through the noise to focus on what’s most important.
Perhaps an unexpected way to have your coaching efforts create a lasting impact is to reinforce them with the inclusion of gamification.
Effective Sales Coaching
Before we dive into the whys and hows of reinforcing your coaching strategy with gamification, let’s circle back to the topic of sales coaching as a whole. Examine your current coaching cadence. What does it look like?
Perhaps you’re a tactical sales coach, offering in-depth suggestions about specific scenarios that come up in real time. Or maybe you focus more heavily on skill development, such as cold calling, discovery question strategies, objection handling, etc.
You know better than anyone that sales coaching is something that must be tailored to individual needs, and the strategy and type of coaching can shift as needs shift. What doesn’t change, however, is the need for consistency in session format and leveraging data.
How are you setting up your sellers to perform, track, and learn from their coaching sessions? Where is the data coming from? Many sales leaders are turning to technology to help boost their efforts with solutions like LevelEleven.
Coaching with LevelEleven empowers leaders to have better conversations, and keep track of important notes and activities all in one place. Additionally, LevelEleven brings real-time data into the conversation for more targeted next steps as it pertains to sales activities and performance as a whole.
Let’s talk about those next steps for a minute. You just found your groove with the right sales coaching strategy and cadence for a sales rep. The coaching sessions are going very well and all the documentation is there with the data to back it up, helping both you and your rep know what’s what.
But in between those sessions, how are you setting your reps up for success to act on the tasks, skills, etc. that need a little bit of attention without being a micromanager? This is where gamification comes into play.
Reinforcing Sales Coaching with Gamification
If you’re new to the idea of gamification — specifically sales gamification — have no fear. The concept is actually pretty basic.
Simply put, sales gamification is the implementation of games or activities to encourage certain behaviors using classic elements of games. Those elements are often seen as contests, leaderboards, badges, etc.
All of these principles can be easily applied to the workplace using the right technology. And, when introduced correctly, sales gamification has the potential to boost skill development and contributions to the company’s bottom line — a win-win for everyone involved.
Now, what does gamification have to do with sales coaching? Well, think about the time in between your coaching sessions — or even simple 1v1s — no matter their frequency. It’s vital to have the right strategy in place outside of the sessions to set your reps up for success in tackling what’s been discussed and agreed upon in those meetings.
Let’s say your team is struggling with their cold-calling activities. You have your individual meetings to help understand the problem and coach to rectify what’s going on. After those meetings is when gamification can come into the mix. You can set up a sales contest to track specific activities identified as needing improvement, which motivates employees to continue engaging with what’s being asked of them.
In this sense, gamification allows you to really help hyper-focus your team on what needs to be happening in between the coaching sessions.
Gamification is more than just sales contests, too. When we talk about elements of a game, we naturally think of things like leaderboards. With LevelEleven, those leaderboards are not meant to discourage, but rather encourage and engage. Providing reps with the opportunity to see how they’re improving over time, as well as how others are performing, can be extremely invaluable. A middle or low performer is more likely to seek out the high performers for peer-to-peer guidance and, as we know, there is so much power in collaboration.
While it might seem like gamification is most important for individual reps, there is something to be said for what it offers sales leaders. The rep performance in between sales coaching sessions is a crucial benefit, but this type of performance comes with data and that data can be leveraged by managers in coaching conversations.
It may sound surprising, but gamification is a really great way to really drive a data-centric sales coaching strategy. You can see activity snapshots and performance metrics as individuals pace toward the goals you’ve set together and use those for more targeted conversations. When it comes to coaching, the more specific the better. And there’s never anything better than data.
As another example, let’s say you have been coaching one of your reps on a specific part of the sales cycle because they just can’t quite go in for the close. In your coaching sessions, you have been doing role-playing activities as well as listening to call recordings to see what can be improved. Over the course of a few weeks, you have noticed a marked improvement in their activities. With gamification tools like LevelEleven, this is a great time to award a Badge for hard work. Badges can be seen throughout your organization, as a job well done.
With a gamification-specific tool like LevelEleven, the data and the celebrations will all be in one place, and can easily become part of those sales coaching conversations.
Coach and Gamify with LevelEleven
Gamification has the power to take your sales coaching efforts to the next level. In between those meetings, your reps will know exactly what to be focusing on and how to accomplish the goals that have been set.
Importantly, gamification brings more to those coaching conversations from a data perspective. You can better guide your conversations and know where to be spending your time as a sales coach leveraging the specific data that comes from gamifying your process.
If you’re ready to learn more about how combining sales coaching with gamification can boost your business, contact our team to see LevelEleven in action.