Best Practices for Salesforce Gamification

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You run a sales organization that relies on Salesforce to track employee activity, pipelines, and revenue. Chances are, one of the following 5 scenarios sounds familiar.

  1. Your sales team is engaged and focused in their actual sales performance, but indifferent about logging their info into Salesforce.
  2. A large segment of your sales team is disengaged and unfocused.
  3. Sales team members needs constant direction about the activities they should be doing.
  4. There is a lack of communication and peer-to-peer coaching amongst your sales team.
  5. Your organizational culture needs work and is causing you to lose top talent.

Any of those ring a bell? If so, you’re not getting the full value out of your Salesforce CRM. The good news: You’re reading the right article.

We’re about to discuss how implementing a Gamification software (weird term, I know) on top of your Salesforce CRM can help address all 5 of the above issues.

What is Gamification and How Does it Work?

Let’s start with a primer on the gamification itself. In the sales context, the term refers to any software that takes everyday sales activities (phone calls, emails, demos, deals closed, lead conversation rate, talk time, etc.) and turns them into a competition.

You can think of gamification as the age-old sales contest — but on steroids. The most cutting edge Gamification products on the AppExchange score overall employee performance, create real-time TV leaderboards, offer both team and individual competitions, and provide automated email notifications and custom “walk off” music that let the office know the moment someone closes a huge deal or reaches a major milestone.

The average Gamification App costs between $15-30 per user, per month, and integrates seamlessly with your Salesforce CRM. From there, managers can set up competitions and designate their participants. The App will pull real-time Salesforce data from each user to keep track of overall numbers in each metric that’s part of the competition.

Long story short, gamification apps — under the right conditions — can automate and strengthen both sales contests and Salesforce user data.

Best Practices for Selecting and Using a Gamification Vendor

Let me preface this section of the article by noting that, even as the Marketing Director for a sales gamification industry member, I’ve actually written my fair share of criticism about gamification.

Before you commit to adopting a gamification solution for Salesforce, it’s important to understand how to obtain maximum value from your initiative. The objective: Find the product that will sustainably drive Salesforce KPIs across your entire Sales Team.

How do you find that product? Look to the key findings of three major Harvard Business Review articles and ask these pivotal questions:

  1. Will this software impact the middle 60% of my sales team’s performers.
  2. Will this software add more structure to our sales process?
  3. Will this software create a healthy form of transparency?

What makes those the key questions? Each goes to a prevailing issue that can derail the success of gamifying Salesforce.

Issue #1. You’re only impacting top performers.

For the average Salesforce user, a TV Leaderboard is great — if he or she is on it.

You should look to augment the recognition for top performers a TV Leaderboard offers with additional features that impact the middle 60 percent of performers.

Team competitions, individual performance scoring, and contests that involve multiple sales metrics are great ways to maintain engagement and focus across the middle-tier of your sales team.


Issue #2. You’re only impacting a small part of your sales process.

Again, the idea here is to drive KPIs across your entire sales funnel. As with only recognizing top performers, using gamification only to drive outbound phone calls or another individual metric is the wrong approach.

You should adopt a gamification solution with the idea of driving all of your key metrics. Multi-metric competitions, overall performance scoring and metric benchmarks are powerful ways to hit the maximum number of important sales activities.

2Issue #3. You’re creating a negative kind of transparency.

This issue goes to user perception of the gamification product. As with any enterprise software, you need user buy-in towards the gamification solution you adopt.

To achieve that, it’s important that you adopt a gamification platform that drives and rewards performance, not just productivity.

Platforms that recognize performance in ways that go beyond a leaderboard are your best bet here. If a platform can offer advanced metrics, such as lead conversion rate, time per call, or email reply rate, even better. Such features instill that users are competing on how well they perform, rather than how hard they work. They’ll also offer insights into where each user can improve his or her performance.


Driving Salesforce KPIs via Gamification

Gamification is still a relatively young technology, but as it continues to mature, expect to see a growing legion of Salesforce companies adopt it to augment their CRM.

I also highly recommend looking into Salesforce automation platforms, such as Cirrus Insight Yesware and ToutApp, to adopt alongside a gamification solution. The rationale: The more accurate your Salesforce data, the more buy-in and overall value you’ll get from a gamification platform.

Sales automation platforms automatically input phone and email data into Salesforce, removing the risk of user error and strengthening data quality. Plus, many Salesforce gamification apps integrate with those platforms, and can track advanced data like email open and response rates, talk time, and so forth.

If you’re struggling in 1 or more of the 5 areas mentioned in this article, there is immense potential value to be gained from adding a gamification solution to your Salesforce CRM. Check them out on the AppExchange and remember the 3 questions to ask when you evaluate each vendor and begin implementation.

I hope this article has been helpful — feel free to email me at the contact info listed below, and best of luck to your sales organization moving forward!


Jeremy Boudinet – Director of Marketing at Ambition

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4 thoughts on “Best Practices for Salesforce Gamification

  1. What you describe above is “Gamification for Sales”, not Gamification on a whole. Gamification can exist for employees, but also for customers, prospects, and regular users of your Community. I wish companies that specialize in making Gamification tools for companies’ sales teams would stop referring to it as encompassing all that Gamification is.

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