pokemon-700Can you believe the level of Pokémon Go fever these past weeks? It’s amazing how quickly it caught on. I’ve even heard Charzard and Squirtle speak in the lunch room and hallways of major companies. The energy, chit chat, and determination to catch Pokémon are all activities most sales leaders wish they could harness for their sales team, isn’t it?

The craze provides a huge lesson for sales leaders, company owners, and anyone who wants to engage and energize their team. Here’s how the Pokémon Go craze can help your team sell more.

The Gaming Factor

Make the pursuit of what you want your salespeople to do engaging and even fun (gasp, fun at work?). Make the achievement something they want to pursue. Whether the activity you desire is picking up the phone more, completing their reports, or following-up on stalled sales opportunities; give it a “gaming” focus. Games at work? How silly and wasteful you might think…just like I used to.

Step back and observe what is happening with Pokémon Go. There are millions of people running around the streets trying to capture Pokémon, paying real money for PokéCoins, and sometimes endangering themselves to do so. There is NO real financial incentive for them to capture a Pokémon or win a battle.

Yes, people are taking action, giving up other pursuits, and achieving challenges without a financial reward. While many leaders still believe all that is needed to get more productivity from salespeople is financial incentive, not all salespeople are motivated by money. In fact, OMG research finds that many people on your team are most likely motivated intrinsically (for personal satisfaction, self-competition) and incentive plans won’t get them doing anything different.

They are driven to do more and success may look and feel different for them. One way to offer intrinsically motivated people a challenge is gamification. Trends show gamification being incorporated more and more into business efforts. The term gamification is a buzz word in the learning and sales world. It sounds so childish and yet high techy, doesn’t it? That’s what I used to think-and why I’ve been researching gamification for months now to make sense of what it is and more importantly, how we can use it to help our teams sell more.

“Gamification” was coined in 2010 and is the application of game elements-with challenges and contests to earn points, badges, certificates, and other non-financial incentives- in non-game contexts in order to affect behavior.

Gamification taps into people’s need for competition, status, achievement, and closure/completion.

Why You Need to Incorporate Gamification Into Your Sales

Businesses can use gamification in many ways to increase sales, user engagement, ROI, data quality, and learning impact.

There are many software solutions available for gamification, of course. For example, a few I’ve noticed are GamEffective, FantasySales Team, Hoopla, and LevelEleven. But you can accomplish gamification without spending time and money on developing or implementing new software. It’s the Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) approach to gamification.

4 Non-Tech Gamification Types

There are many ways to implement the games, whether they are for individual, small team, or entire department challenges.

  1. Treasure hunts. The treasure may include items such as: a meeting with prospect they’ve been working on getting an appointment with, a meeting with a higher level contact in an existing company, a cross-sale, increasing their pipeline, etc. The activities should be ones that will lead to desirable outcomes.
  2. Board games may be old school, but they work! Features and Benefits quizzes to advance spaces on a board or chart for example.
  3. “Party” games – for example, we incorporated Jeopardy into a recent sales skill review, it took only 15 minutes to set up and the review was productive and competitive for skill drills.
  4. Score cards with points earned for various outcomes and activities. Set up scoring against themselves and each other (easel charts still work!)

If creating different ways to engage and motivate your team isn’t your “thing” ask someone on the team (rep, SDR, admin, HR, etc.) to help.

While there are many things to do to help your team sell more, incorporating gaming aspects should be one of them. It comes down to this: pay attention to what your people respond to and give them opportunity to have some fun by incorporating the following into as many meetings, challenges, and daily activities as you can:

  1. Interaction – with each other, you, others within your company
  2. Competition – whether with self or others
  3. Transparency – progress and results are visible
  4. Progression – learning , activity, and results
  5. Relevancy – if what you are measuring, and challenging doesn’t matter, nothing will motivate anyone
  6. Fun – different types of fun for different types of people necessary

Who knows, maybe you can power-Up (it’s a Poké term) your sales team so they are so productive that they’ll have time for Pokémon hunting and battling on the weekends.

Join the conversation! How have you used gamification in your sales efforts?

Did you know that Sales Pro Insider develops custom training programs? The workshops are followed by reinforcement activities to “bake” in the skill and commitment. We make sure to include some of the ideas above professionally.

Read more here about some of our success.

4 Success Drivers You Need to Know...and Grow


How do you strengthen this "Will" among your sales associates? How does the lack of drive impact your daily life? I discussed this and so much more on a recent virtual training event you can access below. It's valuable information for any business leader who needs to maximize performance of their people to grow their company.

Click here to access the replay.