I won’t be offering any Earth-shattering news today by telling you that salespeople are motivated by money and other rewards. Of course, there are always other motivations that impact professionals of every discipline, whether that’s personal influence, professional growth, or even helping others in need. But, it’s impossible to deny that the all-powerful reward has always been a critical tool leveraged by businesses.
Simply look at a salesperson’s compensation plan. You sell x amount, you make x percent of that sale. You achieve or exceed your quota, you make an additional amount. Besides cold hard cash, sales leaders have also gotten creative with spiffs. I’ve seen everything from restaurant gift cards to Beats headphones to custom athletic jerseys. Regardless of the incentive, the process largely remains the same: close the deal and earn a reward.
When you’re the leader of a direct sales team, you have a certain level of influence over your sales reps’ activities. You’re in their CRM pipeline. You’re probably talking to your reps in one-on-ones about their business. You’re reviewing the hottest opportunities in weekly sales meetings. As a direct sales leader, you’re able to play coach, counselor and chief strategist to ensure your reps are engaging in the right activities to move each and every opportunity through the sales process. And why? Because you all have a quota to make, and when your reps sell, they win, and you win as well.
Now, let’s face the elephant in the room. Yep, I’m talking about your indirect sales reps. They’re just as responsible for meeting quotas, and they’re just as motivated by those glorious rewards. So, how do you coach a player who doesn’t even report to you … from hundreds or thousands of miles away … across another continent … or, even who perhaps speaks and conducts business in another language? How can you ensure those reps are engaging in the right activities, leveraging the best content, and following the tried and true sales playbooks that you as your company’s expert know will produce results?
And here is where the simplicity of gamification enters our equation. Imagine if, just for a moment, instead of rewarding that sales rep at the completion of a sale, you could incentivize the sales behaviors that you know produce those lucrative results? This very simple shift in sales incentive philosophy has the power to vastly influence the trajectory of your indirect sales pipeline.
With more and more marketers now dedicated to revenue-producing content marketing activities, there lies a phenomenal opportunity for us to marry the tried and true rewards-driven motivational techniques with solution-focused content that speaks to the needs that are downright demanded by today’s information empowered buyer.