Sales Training Gamification: A New Approach to Sales Skills Development

BY:  Rebecca Herson
May 17, 2023
Updated on October 2, 2023
13 MIN. READING

Table of Contents

Sales success can only come through effective sales training. Your sales representatives need to have all the information about your solution at their fingertips, together with deep knowledge about the pain points it comes to solve and your organization’s overall value messaging. All of this can only be achieved through consistent sales training.

Unfortunately, sales training is not very popular among most sales teams. Completion rates for certification and retraining tend to be low. But sales training gamification can be a game-changer! Read on for all you need to know about gamified sales training. 

The Benefits of Gamified Sales Training Programs

Sales training gamification can bring many benefits for your sales department, from employees with more confidence to increased sales deals and revenue. Did you know that 90% of employees say that gamification makes them more productive, and companies that use gamification are seven times more profitable than those that don’t? It’s true! 

Here are some of the benefits of using gamified sales training programs. 

Higher Completion Rates

Let’s face it, anything with the word “game” in the title is going to be more appealing than something that sounds like work! Gamified sales training tends to boost participation and completion levels. Sales enablement folks are fed up with having to hound sales reps to complete their certification, but when you introduce gamification like leaderboards and interactive sessions, you’ll find that sellers actually want to do more sales training!

Better Performance 

If your salespeople can practice conducting a tough sales call or handling fierce objections, they’ll feel more confident when they pick up the phone to a real prospect, which translates into more fluency and better performance. They’ll be less likely to forget to mention a key feature or mix up crucial messaging, and won’t sound uncertain or hesitant. Gamified sales training programs also deliver immediate feedback, helping sellers avoid developing bad habits. 

Transform Your Sales Team
 

Increased Revenue

It’s simple: salespeople who have more confidence and better sales skills can close more deals. Gamified training empowers sellers to target tough prospects who can make decisions about big-budget purchases, instead of taking the safer – and less lucrative – option. They are able to speak more naturally, and can take the time to listen to the prospect and respond to their pain points and concerns, rather than sticking narrowly to a rehearsed script. 

Faster Onboarding 

The longer it takes to onboard new hires, the longer you have to wait for them to start driving revenue. Gamified sales skills training can speed up onboarding significantly because it’s available on demand 24/7, so sales reps don’t have to wait for the next lecture or look for someone to serve as a role play partner. Gamification also makes it possible to personalize the training program, so sales reps can learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their individual learning style. 

Enhanced Retention

Churn can be a real handicap for sales departments, but gamification can help here too. 69% of employees said that they’d stay for 3+ years if their employers used gamification in some way. Salespeople, like other employees, are more likely to stay at a workplace that invests in their personal and professional development. When you offer gamified sales training, you’re showing that you care about improving the training experience and helping strengthen their sales skills. It’s a way of saying your sales force is worth the cost of cutting-edge training tech, and your employees will respond in kind. 

Why Sales Training Gamification is Key to Engaging and Motivating Sales Teams

Sales training gamification might sound like a gimmick, but there’s real science and logic behind its success. Gamified sales training programs are designed to improve the performance and motivation of sales teams through game mechanics, such as points, badges, leaderboards, and rewards. 

Here are some of the ways that sales training gamification increases engagement and motivation. 

Improved Learning Retention and Application

Several years ago, the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus developed what he termed the “forgetting curve.” According to Ebbinghaus, a typical student forgets 75% of new material just 1 day after they learn it. But he also found that those who review material at intervals remember more of it, and for longer periods of time. 

Sales training gamification combats Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve by encouraging salespeople to review new material regularly. It also enables active learning, which involves more parts of the brain than simply listening to a frontal lecture or reading a text. Psychologists proved long ago that when more of your senses are stimulated by the learning process, you have a greater chance of remembering what you’ve learned. 

A gamified sales training platform allows sellers to practice their knowledge and skills whenever they have some free time, helping them integrate their new knowledge and apply it in real world scenarios. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered role play sessions make it possible to learn new material and then immediately use it in a practice sales conversation, no matter what time it is. 

Higher Engagement and Motivation for Sales Teams

Sales teams are typically anything but motivated to carry out sales training. They tend to view it as boring, not relevant, and/or a waste of time that they could be using to achieve their quota. But sales training gamification can change that mindset.

With gamified sales training, you can turn sales skills training into something that’s fun and engaging. For example, dynamic leaderboards can kindle a spirit of friendly competition, motivating sellers to practice again to see if they can improve their scores just a little bit more. 

Even something as simple as receiving another star on their dashboard can trigger a dopamine hit to the brain, just like when someone “likes” our post on social media. This encourages them to run another training session or conduct another role play conversation, in the hopes of receiving another hit. 

An Innovative and Interactive Way to Build Sales Skills

Traditional sales training is typically not exciting. It often reminds employees of their schooldays, which isn’t always a positive memory. But sales training gamification replaces lectures and old-fashioned instructions with interactive and innovative experiences that actually build sales skills. 

The more often you swing a baseball bat, the stronger your arm muscles will be and the better your game will become. In the same way, the more often you hold a sales conversation, the stronger your sales muscles will become and the more deals you’ll close. Gamified sales training like AI role play practice creates realistic scenarios which require sellers to flex those selling muscles again and again. 

How to Maximize the Potential of Gamified Sales Training for Business Success

Gamification is not a silver bullet. Sales training gamification can have a powerful impact on sales teams, but it can’t compensate for a siloed organization or uncertain messaging. Before you implement gamified sales training, make sure you have clear objectives and defined KPIs that align with business goals, so you can track the effectiveness of your program and make necessary adjustments. 

It’s important to remember that sales training gamification is just one tool in the sales training toolbox. Integrate it with a learning management system (LMS) and various sales tools to provide a seamless learning experience. You’ll also still need engaging content and continuous evaluation, to make the most of your sales training programs and tactics. 

Finally, take advantage of gamification to personalize learning, providing customized feedback, adaptive learning paths, and tailored challenges based on individual learner needs and performance.

The Future of Sales Skills Training: Embracing Gamification

Agility and resilience are buzzwords in the business world today, and gamification should be part of that drive. With the help of sales training gamification, organizations can more easily pivot to take advantage of opportunities in the market and stay one step ahead of their competition. 

Gamified sales training makes your sales team more agile. You’ll be able to roll out new messaging more quickly and consistently, no matter how large your sales department, and you can feel reassured that your entire salesforce will be on message and on their toes at all times. This is particularly important during inflation and recession, when sales are harder to close and nurturing becomes the focus for most enterprises. 

Incorporating Gamification into Existing Sales Training Programs with Second Nature

Second Nature makes it easy to bring sales training gamification into your current sales training programs. The solution integrates natively with Salesforce and leading LMSs, so you can slot it into your existing tech stack without any hassle. Leading companies like Zoom and Check Point run gamified sales competitions using Second Nature, offering motivation-sparking prizes together with exciting training experiences. 

Second Nature also fits easily into your sales training strategy as an on-demand, interactive role play partner. It uses generative AI, just like ChatGPT, which makes it able to mimic human conversation in a realistic manner. With Second Nature, you can invite your salespeople to practice authentic sales conversations with knowledgeable AI-powered simulations, which not only listen to your sales pitch but also raise objections and even answer your discovery questions. 

Second Nature also delivers objective scores as soon as someone finishes a session, together with constructive critique of their performance. Users immediately receive feedback and feel motivated to jump back in and smash their current score. Additionally, Second Nature provides dynamic leaderboards with exciting graphics, so your sales teams and individual sales people can track their progress and compare their achievements. 

Conclusion: Gamification Could Transform Sales Training

Sales training gamification brings clear benefits in terms of employee engagement, sales performance, and overall revenue, so it’s no surprise that it’s becoming a priority for sales-oriented organizations. It’s important to integrate gamification into your broader business objectives and sales tech stack, but when done correctly, gamified sales training programs can drive significant business advantages. 

FAQs

How does gamified sales training benefit sales training programs?

Gamified sales training can increase engagement and motivation levels among sellers, which can lead to better retention and application of learned skills. It can also provide a safe and controlled environment for sales reps to apply their sales skills without the pressure of real-life sales situations. Gamified programs can offer immediate feedback and progress recognition, which can boost confidence and reinforce positive behaviors. Overall, gamification can enhance the effectiveness of sales training programs by making them more interactive, engaging, and fun for sales teams.

What are some examples of gamified sales skills training?

There are many ways to gamify your sales skills training programs – the only limit is your imagination! Some of the most popular approaches include leaderboards and competitions, gamified quizzes, and role playing games. With advanced sales training software, you can also include realistic AI-powered role play scenarios, virtual rewards and progress bars, and personalized feedback. 

What are the benefits of incorporating gamified sales training into traditional sales training programs?

When you incorporate gamified sales training into your traditional sales training programs, you’ll make sales training something that sellers actually enjoy, boosting participation rates and easing the burden for sales enablement who have to ensure completion. Gamification has been found to push up employee engagement by 48% overall, and to increase test scores by 34%. Gamification can make training more fun and interactive, resulting in better learning outcomes and a more effective sales team.

 

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About the author

Rebecca Herson

Rebecca is head of marketing at Second Nature.

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