A lot of the conversation surrounding gamification tends to focus on how businesses can better engage and relate to customers. While it obviously can increase brand loyalty, gamification can also be used to better motivate and educate employees. In her recent blog post, Lauren Carlson over at Software Advice theorizes how game mechanics can be utilized in SFA (Sales Force Automation) software with help from designer, Russel Pryor. SFA is often helpful for those in management positions to oversee the sales department more efficiently, but is often tedious for employees to use. The post has some really interesting ideas for making such a system easier and more enjoyable while fueling a sales staff which she refers to as a “a notoriously competitive bunch”.
In the piece, Ms. Carlson starts off with the common idea of achievement badges for completing training programs with the possibility of an increased commission to add extra incentives. The badges would be displayed on an employees profile that can be seen by the entire department. While the badge idea might be useful, if commission increases as employees complete necessary training programs, how long would it take before they all even out again?
She goes on to consider the how to track the quality of data – whose entries are the most accurate and complete, with the fewest duplicates. This would be represented as circular graphs on the employees profile. Duplicate entries usually go unnoticed because users will tend to work with just one of them. Having a system in place that informs you for the error helps to put the user on a search and destroy (or at least, search and merge) mission of fixing these multiple entries just to reduce the amount of “bad” red on their profile. Finally there is the idea of tracking outbound call intensity. This is probably the idea with the most potential as it allows sale staff to compete in a direct way at what they do best. There is even a tier ranking so more experienced salespeople can be compared to other veterans.
Ms. Carlson has received a great deal of feedback from readers about her ideas including someone who may be developing a gamified SFA in the near future. It would be great to see these ideas implemented and actually help to make boring tasks more exciting to complete and help to further drive competition for success amongst employees. The ideas in the article are simple, yet effective. You can read the entire piece here and share your thoughts.