6 Reasons For IT Staffing Firms to Adopt Gamification into Sales Training
There is a lot of buzz in the eLearning world about gamification. OK, I understand you might not be following trends and best practices for the training, learning & development industry but let me share with you how this impacts the growth of your IT staffing business.
Gamification is a learning methodology where you take gaming mechanics and design that you find in a video game and incorporate it into your sales training to create a more engaging learning experience. Studies have shown that gamification is a powerful component of online sales training to engage employees and change behaviors and drive skill adoption and innovation. Gamification is used to help learners apply what they were taught through real life scenarios but in a controlled environment. Sales training courses that apply gamification incorporate elements such as story lines, rewards, badges, certifications, challenges and analytics.
Below I share with you six reasons for IT staffing firms to adopt gamification into sales training.
Gamification Creates Engaging Learning Experience
Let me ask you, how engaging and motivating do you find the the following training methods to be?
- Shadowing another employee?
- Reading tons of documentation (word docs)?
- Reviewing PowerPoint presentations?
- Being on the receiving end of PowerPoint presentations (death by PowerPoint)?
- Being lectured to?
- Being told what to do?
Not very engaging, right? Certainly not motivating.
The key to getting salespeople to recall and retain skills and behaviors taught in sales training is to create a learning environment where learner engagement is high. Gamification does just that because learners get to have fun while they learn. Gamification also allows for putting learners in real life scenarios where they must make decisions that have consequences. This helps learners retain what they’ve learned.
Gamification Improves Learning
How does gamification improve learning? Here are some interesting facts that I picked up from eLearningindustry.com.
- Over 75% of people are gamers (50% casually and 27% moderately to fairly often). That blew me away too!
- A little less surprising, learners can only recall 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. Throw visuals into the mix however and that number rises to 30%.
- When people observe someone carrying out the action or behavior while explaining it, they retain 50%.
- Here is the kicker, learners remember 90% "if they do the job themselves", even if only as a simulation."
- Close to 80% of learners surveyed said that they would be more productive if their university/institution or work was more game-like.
- Over 60% of learners would be motivated by leader boards and increased competition between learners. I think this is most definitely true with salespeople!
Instant Feedback, Feedback Loop
With gamification learners get instant feedback with regards to the decisions they make and how they are progressing. This also enhances learner engagement which drives improved retention and adoption of the behaviors and information being taught.
Driver for Behavioral Change
Training, especially sales and recruiter training and certainly training focused on teaching managers how to transition from the role of a traditional manager to that of a coach is all about changing behavior. That is what training is, teaching people new behaviors to drive improved results. Gamification plays a large role in driving behavioral change.
Drive Greater Return on Your Training Investment
As I mentioned previously, introducing game mechanics into the learner's training experience not only makes it fun but it brings out the best in people, especially competitive recruiters and sales reps. This makes them not only want to finish the training and exercises but to finish with the best score. I get phone calls and emails all the time from learners going through our sales training and our recruiter training programs. They call me wanting to debate and argue over questions they got wrong on a quiz that they feel should be marked correct. This is a good thing! This shows me they're truly engaged and actually care about their progress and their learning. The key to getting "your bang for your buck" is the training must engage your learners. Gamification does just that.
Gamification Engages Millennials
Millennials continue to make up a larger percentage of the overall workforce and one thing is for sure, this generation prefers to learn much differently than previous generations. If your sales training plan is for your employees (who are Millennials) to sit through a presentation or read a three ring binder of documents than my advice to you is….good luck with that! Fortunately, because this generation grew up on electronics, mobile devices and gaming, their learning profile correlates well to gamification.
How are you incorporating game mechanics into your sales training? How confident are you that your sales training is engaging and impactful for your learners? Let's start a conversation in the comments section below.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.