How To Create Sales Gamification Rewards That Really Work

Adam Steele

Mar 23, 2023

Have you ever wondered why sales contests are so popular and effective? The answer lies in the power of sales gamification rewards. By transforming the sales process into a game, we tap into the natural human drive to compete and achieve. This article will delve deep into the world of sales gamification rewards, providing you with creative and in-depth ideas and examples that go beyond the basics.

Before we jump into the rewards themselves, it's crucial to understand the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Both types of motivation play a significant part in determining the success of your sales contests. By striking the right balance, you can drive your sales team to new heights of performance.

Our goal is to provide you with innovative ideas on how to create effective gamified rewards and incentives that truly work. We will draw from various disciplines, including behavioral psychology and sports, to offer unique insights and strategies for personalizing and optimizing your sales contests. Ready? Let's dive in!

Understanding Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators in Sales Contests

In order to create effective sales gamification rewards, it's essential to understand the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators are driven by an individual's internal desires and passions, such as the satisfaction of achieving personal goals or mastering new skills. Extrinsic motivators, on the other hand, are external rewards or incentives, like bonuses, recognition, or promotions.

Both types of motivation play a critical role in sales contests. However, relying solely on extrinsic motivators can lead to short-term success at the expense of long-term engagement and growth. It's like a professional athlete who only trains for the fame and fortune—without the love for the sport, their performance will eventually suffer.

Drawing on sports psychology, the key to sustained sales performance is striking the right balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. By doing so, you create an environment where sales professionals are driven by their internal passion for success, while also being rewarded and recognized for their achievements. This combination leads to a more engaged, motivated, and high-performing sales team.

Now that we have a solid understanding of the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, let's dive into how we can apply this knowledge to create innovative sales gamification rewards.

Tapping into the Competitive Spirit - Sales Gamification Rewards Inspired by Professional Sports

Professional sports offer a wealth of inspiration for designing sales contest rewards. Athletes thrive on competition, camaraderie, and the pursuit of personal bests—all elements that can be incorporated into sales gamification rewards. Let's explore some sports-inspired ideas for creating rewards that fuel the competitive spirit and drive sales performance.

First, consider implementing a sales "playoff" system, similar to the structure found in many sports leagues like March Madness or the NFL playoffs. Sales team members can compete against one another in a bracket-style format, with winners advancing to the next round until a champion is crowned. This approach encourages friendly competition and provides multiple opportunities for recognition and rewards throughout the contest. Learn more on multiple levels of competition here.

Another sports-inspired idea is to create sales "teams" within your organization, modeled after sports franchises. Each team can have its own identity, complete with a team name, logo, and colors. This fosters camaraderie and encourages collaboration among team members as they work together to achieve common goals. Team-based rewards can include group outings, team lunches, or even custom apparel featuring the team's logo.

Finally, take a page from the Olympic playbook and create a sales "medal" system, where top performers are awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. This tiered approach recognizes multiple levels of achievement, motivating sales professionals to strive for their personal best. In addition to the prestige of earning a "medal," recipients can be rewarded with exclusive perks, such as priority parking spots or prime office locations. 

By drawing inspiration from the world of professional sports, you can create sales gamification rewards that tap into the competitive spirit and drive your team to new heights of performance.

Personalizing Sales Gamification Rewards for Your Unique Company Culture

Every company has its own unique culture and values, and your sales gamification rewards should reflect that. By aligning rewards with your company's values, you create a strong sense of purpose and pride among your sales team members. In this section, we will explore some strategies for personalizing rewards to suit your company culture.

First, think about what your company values most. Is it innovation, customer service, or perhaps social responsibility? Consider incorporating these values into your sales contest rewards. For example, if your company is committed to environmental sustainability, you might offer eco-friendly prizes, such as reusable water bottles, solar chargers, or donations to environmental causes in the winner's name. If your company is passionate about giving back to the community, consider rewarding top performers with paid volunteer days or organizing team volunteering events as part of the contest.

Another way to personalize rewards is to involve your sales team members in the rewards creation process. Solicit their input on what types of rewards they find most motivating and meaningful. By giving your team a voice in the process, you demonstrate that you value their opinions and are committed to creating a rewarding and engaging sales contest experience for everyone involved.

Remember that personalizing rewards does not always mean spending more money. In fact, many of the most meaningful rewards are non-monetary, such as public recognition, professional development opportunities, or flexible work arrangements. The key is to find rewards that resonate with your sales team members and align with your company culture, creating a powerful combination that drives engagement and performance. For more creative prize ideas, check out the fourth section of this article.

Behavioral Psychology and Sales Gamification Rewards: A Winning Combination

Behavioral psychology offers valuable insights into human motivation and decision-making, making it an excellent resource for designing effective sales gamification rewards. By understanding the psychological principles that drive behavior, you can create rewards that tap into the motivational sweet spot and propel your sales team to new levels of performance. Let's take a look at a few key concepts from behavioral psychology and how they can be applied to sales gamification rewards.

First, consider the power of social proof. People are more likely to engage in a behavior if they see others doing it, especially if those others are seen as similar or influential. In the context of sales contests, think of a marathon runner finding inspiration and motivation from other runners around them, pushing each other to cross the finish line. To harness the power of social proof in your sales contests, consider showcasing the success stories of top performers, similar to how sports channels feature highlights of star athletes. Share their strategies, techniques, and even their setbacks and how they overcame them. This can inspire your sales team members to learn from their peers and motivate them to replicate that success.

Another way to tap into social proof is by creating a leaderboard where team members can see how their peers are performing, much like the ranking systems used in professional sports. To make this even more effective, consider incorporating real-time updates and personalized progress reports. You can also provide a platform for peer recognition, where sales professionals can celebrate each other's accomplishments and encourage one another. For instance, create a virtual "wall of fame" where team members can post congratulatory messages, words of encouragement, or even friendly challenges to their colleagues.

Next, let's talk about the endowment effect, a powerful cognitive bias that can be utilized in sales contest rewards. People tend to place a higher value on things they own or believe they have a claim to, much like how sports fans take pride in their team's home stadium or arena. To leverage this psychological principle in your sales contest rewards, consider offering "ownership" of a desirable prize, such as a coveted parking spot or prime office location, to the contest winner for a specific period of time, similar to how professional athletes compete for prestigious titles and trophies.

For example, you could establish a "Sales Champion" title accompanied by a physical trophy that the winner can proudly display at their desk. This trophy would then be passed on to the next winner in a subsequent contest, creating a sense of urgency to defend one's hard-earned title. You can further enhance the endowment effect by personalizing the trophy with the winner's name, making it even more meaningful and sought-after. Stanley Cup anyone?

Another way to capitalize on the endowment effect is to offer exclusive, members-only benefits to contest winners, such as access to a VIP lounge or a special Slack channel where they can interact with company leadership. This creates a sense of belonging and exclusivity.

Lastly, let's delve into the principle of reinforcement, a fundamental concept in behavioral psychology. Reinforcement refers to the process of increasing the likelihood of a behavior by providing a specific consequence. In the context of sales contests, offering timely, positive reinforcement for desired actions can lead to higher motivation and better performance, much like how a coach's praise can inspire an athlete to push through a tough training session.

To apply the reinforcement principle in your sales contest rewards, consider offering incremental rewards for achieving specific milestones along the way to the ultimate goal. This could include smaller prizes or recognition for meeting weekly or monthly targets, or for closing significant deals. By providing immediate feedback and rewards for sales professionals' efforts, you can create a powerful incentive for them to continue striving for success.

Additionally, make sure to tailor the type and frequency of reinforcement to each individual's preferences and needs. For instance, some sales professionals might be more motivated by public recognition, while others may prefer private, personal feedback. By understanding and accommodating these individual differences, you can create a more effective and engaging sales contest that appeals to a wide range of motivational drivers.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, creating sales gamification rewards that truly work is a delicate balancing act that requires a deep understanding of behavioral psychology, sports principles, and your unique company culture. By leveraging powerful psychological principles such as social proof, the endowment effect, and reinforcement, you can design sales contests that inspire and motivate your sales professionals to achieve their full potential.

Remember to think creatively when crafting your rewards, and always consider the individual preferences and motivators of your team members. Personalizing rewards and incorporating elements of friendly competition can create an environment that fosters camaraderie, engagement, and ultimately, better sales performance. Like a skilled coach crafting a game plan that plays to their athletes' strengths, you can create sales contests that unlock the potential within each member of your sales team. By fostering teamwork and employing intelligent strategies in your sales contests, you can build a winning sales team that consistently achieves its goals and rises to the top of the leaderboard.

Outfield is pioneering performance-based CRM with the industry's leading sales gamification software. Learn how our modern approach boosts output up to 3x.


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