How to Use Gamification for Sales Onboarding

Gamification-sales-onboardingFinding  and onboarding good salespeople takes time and money. Not only is it hard to find good salespeople, but the cost of a new hire not working out is enormous.

Think about it; say it takes three months to find a solid candidate, but after six months of mediocre or poor performance, you have to let them go. You spend another three months searching for a strong replacement. Suddenly you’ve spent a year investing in a fruitless new hire, and searching for their subsequent replacement. That's a year of lost sales productivity.

How do you avoid this disaster? Efficient and effective sales onboarding. Get your new hires ramped up as soon as possible, so you can tell if they’re going to succeed or fail.

No two sales teams are the same

No matter how experienced or skilled a new sales hire is, it takes time to get them up to speed on your company’s CRM system and general processes. To do this quickly, create metrics and measurable goals for new reps that you can review with them weekly. Keeping in constant contact with your new rep is particularly important, since it takes many months for a salesperson to contribute meaningful sales numbers.

Make sure new reps are ramping up on quality client conversations and generating a qualified pipeline that will advance through your sales process.  Even when that rep is familiar with Salesforce, your organization probably has unique ways of logging calls and meetings, tracking sales opportunities, and defining sales stages. The sooner you familiarize a new rep with your team’s CRM protocol, the sooner you can compare their performance with the other recent hires, and coach them to success. Plus, having measurable goals with clear expectations helps new reps know exactly how they’re progressing.

Amp it up with gamification

With these metrics and goals in place, you are in a great position to onboard sales reps even faster with some gamification elements. Pick one or two key metrics, say meetings and building a qualified sales pipeline. Design competitions around these goals with other recent hires, and socialize their performance by running competitions via leaderboards. Onboarding in the context of a contest makes the process more fun, results are front and center, and the team will naturally start asking each other - especially the leaders - what they are doing differently. And don’t worry - it doesn’t take big fancy prizes to make it work. Just a little competitive energy can have a dramatic impact.

Let salespeople learn from each other

Having new and recently hired reps’ progress displayed on high impact leaderboards with everyone’s name in lights allows them to learn and compete on a level playing field - everyone’s figuring it out at the same time. If someone is at the bottom of that leaderboard, it won't take long for them to notice something is awry and to become self-motivated to get things on track.

By putting new hires in competitions with their peers, they get used to competing, and learning from each other. Once they’re onboarded and ready to join the seasoned reps’ leaderboards, they know what to do and how to knock it out of the park.

 You may want to get your team’s top performers collaborating with the new folks, too. Create a little competition around the use of Chatter. Key reps and new reps earn a point for posting a question to Chatter and another point when commenting on someone's post. This encourages people to start working together, while at the same time learning how to use a powerful tool like Chatter.

Onboarding is hard enough, particularly for sales teams, so you should take whatever edge you can get. With the high investment you’re making in these reps, finding out if they will work out as soon as possible is imperative. By using gamification to amp up your onboarding process, new reps will learn quicker and they’ll have fun while they’re at it. 

About the author

Bob_Marsh-1Bob Marsh is CEO of LevelEleven, a sales gamification and CRM solutions company that has one of the most popular apps on the Salesforce AppExhange: Contest Builder. LevelEleven was incubated by ePrize, where Bob managed sales teams for 13 years. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobMarsh5.

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