One of the aspects of gamification that I find most intriguing is how powerful social elements are to the overall success of a game. Particularly in the casual gaming space (think Farmville, Bejeweled Blitz, etc.), players are motivated most by challenges they can complete with their friends. This is why you see those posts asking for cows and such on Facebook. You can’t “win” if you don’t involve your friends.
Now obviously this is important to game makers, because the more people who play the game, the more potential there is to monetize. But the impact on behavior is also powerful. People like these games BECAUSE they can participate with their friends. In fact, one of my friends recently said to me that the only interaction she has with certain friends is through Words with Friends. They are her “game friends” and she’s happy to have that outlet in which to interact with them.
Now what if we took our understanding of the social element in encouraging behaviors, and applied it to the salesforce experience? In some ways we already do…team meetings, booking blitzes, convention, etc. But what if we could do it with technology too? What if many of the daily tasks a consultant needs to do in order to succeed were turned into social opportunities? Wouldn’t that encourage the salesforce to complete these tasks more often, and therefore be more successful?
- Nike Plus has an app for running. When a member of the community starts a run, the run is posted on Facebook. Every time one of the runner’s friends “likes” the run post, the runner hears cheering WHILE they’re running. Now imagine if, when a consultant begins (for example) making calls, they can post this task where their consultant friends can see it. Every time one of their friends likes the task post, they get some sort of encouragement that their friends are cheering them on. Don’t you think this would encourage them to stick with it when they get the inevitable “no’s”?
- The company has a team meeting competition. Every member of a team can “check in” to a team meeting when they attend. The team with the most check ins earns a certain status for the month (maybe a pizza party, a special recognition at convention, etc.)
- Consultants within a team are paired up. Each of the pairs is competing to meet the most new people and share the business in a given time period, and enter that data into the system. New contacts from both individuals in the pair count towards the pair’s total. The team with the most new contacts in a given time period get special recognition (as well as a lot more business.) This could be an ongoing incentive with either the same or new pairs throughout the year.
And these are just a few ideas. Yet within all of them it’s not just about the individual. It’s the social element that provides a powerful encouragement to keep at it. And a bonus is that the social behaviors we encourage can lead to greater salesforce retention as well, as our sellers build stronger bonds with one another.
How could you create social experiences that encourage the consultants on your team to work their businesses more consistently? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.