Sales 2.0 and Gamification: A Q&A with Anneke Seley


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You can’t think about the Sales 2.0 movement without talking about Anneke Seley. She literally wrote the book on the topic, pioneering many of its tenets way back when she started the inside sales team at Oracle (where, by the way, she hired founder & CEO Marc Benioff to her sales team).

Next week, Anneke will address the intersection of Sales 2.0 and gamification in a webinar sponsored by Badgeville. Earlier this week, we caught up with Anneke to talk about Sales 2.0, the evolution of the movement she started, and how she sees gamification fitting in.

What has changed since you wrote Sales 2.0?

The fundamental principles of Sales 2.0 are still valid. People have asked me, “When does Sales 3.0 come out?” That’s not the point. It’s just always evolving. This is really about finding and executing on a more efficient way of doing business for both the buyer and the seller. Better measurability, predictability and scalability based on the science side of things. Equally important is how we measure and leverage engagement, collaboration, relationships – that’s the art side of sales.

I don’t think those are going to change, but what will change is our ability through technology to improve both the science side and the art side. Gamification addresses both. It’s an amazing way to drive engagement, and get people to think of what they’re doing as fun. There are a lot of typical things within a sales team which are activity based, that typically can become mundane day to day, but add some fun and game elements, and it’s not only easier to do but also taps into the natural elements of the sales team that leads to revenue.

The way I hear a lot of sales managers talk about it is, they don’t necessarily want to put numbers of calls or call-to-demo conversions in the compensation plan, you still want to pay people based on a revenue plan. But there are a lot of things that if you don’t do them well, they won’t lead to revenue. That includes connecting to your people, converting leads to qualified sale-ready leads, adding opportunities to your pipeline – all the day to day mechanics that are an amazing opportunity for gamification.

There’s also the whole customer side, how do we involve them in our online communities, our products, and perhaps on the service side sharing their thoughts on how to optimally use and improve a product or service.

But for the sales team, there’s the science side. If we can understand what’s motivating, what changes behavior on a sales team and territory level, that’s amazingly powerful for management. You always try to come up with a comp plan or a quarterly goal tied to what the company is trying to achieve. If you can understand at a rep level what’s going to help them help you make that goal, that can make the difference between a disengaged, bored someone who’s going to leave the company and someone who’s really jazzed to make the goal.

Sales managers have been using promotions, contests and the like for a long time. How is gamification better?
Gamification takes what we’ve been doing manually and puts it directly into the data and metrics-driven world. Especially if you put it in the context of your CRM system, that’s the ultimate efficiency driver. Sales reps in a 2.0 world are living in their CRM. We don’t want them distracted by a leaderboard or checking manually where they fit against their competitors or fellow sales reps. If they are distracted from the environment that makes them as efficient as possible, that’s just going to cut into their ultimate results.

So, I think if you set up the contest or behavior modifier within the context of where they work, that’s a productivity gain.

Do you have examples of others combining Sales 2.0 and gamification well?
I went to all the gamification sessions at Dreamforce, and one speaker in particular shared what’s been happening with his sales team. In short, he’s driving a 200% increase in call activity across their sales team. He saw a 50% increase in meetings with targeted prospects, a 100% increase in pipeline, while raising employee morale.

Where does gamification fit into how sales managers think about 2013?
I think about that a lot. My current point of view is that engagement and collaboration and relationships are really important with customers. If you don’t do that first with your own employees, it’s a futile thing to do it with customers.

My recommendation in Q4 is to focus on your own people. Losing people into Q1 is never a good thing. Make sure they are jazzed and closing the year for you, and the rest comes naturally. Gamification directed to your own employee morale and effectiveness is a really good place to start, along with other enablement tools to help the internal team crank on all cylinders.

Catch more of Anneke’s thoughts on Sales 2.0 and gamification next Wednesday, Oct 3, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific, register here to join the webinar.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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