Goofing off can give a salesperson a bad rap. But what if gamification in sales could actually aid in productivity and innovation? Here, we examine research from Harvard Business Review about why making time for gamification in sales may be the best thing an organization can do to bolster performance.
Gameplay can simulate real-life experiences
Well, maybe not Final Fantasy-style, but role-playing, say HBR authors Martin Reeves and Georg Wittenberg, whether it’s on a board or online, allows players/users to test out strategy without failing in real life. And yet you can apply real-life modes of thinking and problem-solving to your game play to see what works and what doesn’t. The result is that an organization can test the waters while removing financial risk—a win, no matter what the scoreboard says.
It fosters creativity
Want fresher ideas? Gamification allows employees and leadership teams to stretch their modes of thinking by utilizing gamification in sales. That out-of-the-box thinking is where new ideas come from, say the authors, and new ideas can help drive innovation, and ultimately, sales.
It alleviates pressure
When you know you have unlimited opportunity to try, fail, and try again, you’re more likely to take the risk. That’s the benefit here—because if the stakes are too high, people shy away from risk. But give them a forum to test out decision making, and they strengthen that risk-taking muscle. When an employee knows that his or her actions don’t have real, actionable consequences given the game-play scenario, he or she will be more apt to take on challenges that they might not adopt in real life.
The article even goes so far as to point out that the military—certainly one of the most streamlined and organized groups around—encourages their ranks to engage in game-play while mapping out strategies.
These are just a few of our favorite takeaways about gamification in sales. What are yours? Let us know if the comments below.
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