The story behind the change he influenced began when he saw a group of construction workers building a house. Their work was labor intensive, and Coonradt could see the men becoming lethargic over the course of the morning. However, during their lunch break, they would all run over to the basketball court down the street, break into two teams of four, and play like they were in the NBA playoffs:
It was a motivational paradox. How come they put everything they had into a recreational game on their lunch hour, but couldn’t seem to do the same with their work? He realized it wasn’t a raw material or attitude problem. There was a motivation to recreation that he wanted to understand.
. . . [Coonradt] soon realized the power of instantaneous feedback. It became clear that companies that wait for a whole year to give feedback in an annual appraisal don’t just miss the mark by a mile, they miss it by half the globe.
Immediate feedback is the secret sauce. The scorecards and goals are just methods. (From: “5 Gamification Rules from the Grandfather of Gamification”)
Companies that try to implement gamification should pay close attention to what Coonradt realized, because there is research to back up his findings. According to a recent infographic, 69% of employees stated they would work harder if they were better recognized. In addition, more than half of the employees surveyed ― 52% of them ― were not satisfied with their current level of recognition. Part the problem behind a poorly motivated individual is the amount of time it takes for an employee to become rewarded.
In order to properly motivate employees with gamification and drive success, Xactly has pinpointed the three elements you need:
Offer ways to show your reps and managers where they stand and how a certain deal can affect them financially. Align reps to company goals by driving success in real time through something as simple and clear cut as a dashboard that’s easily implemented in your CRM system.
“If you even wait until the end of the month to provide feedback, you have basically done nothing to move the needle on behavioral change. All sports and recreational activities offer immediate feedback to drive success.” — Charles Coonradt (From: “5 Gamification Rules from the Grandfather of Gamification”)
Can your reps easily find answers to these questions with a single click on a link, or do they have to create reports and spreadsheets to know where they stand?
Am I at my year-to-date number?
How am I achieving against myself?
It’s important that sales reps understand HOW they are achieving. When you have a tool that’s built on the Salesforce platform, you can layer achievement elements directly into your CRM views and manifest panels inside so that any sales process, like creating achievement reports, becomes seamless.
More importantly, you don’t want to give reps the opportunity to waste valuable company time by “shadow accounting” with Excel. Since human error is bound to happen when an organization manually keeps track of deals and achievements, reps tend to take their financial matters in their own hands. But when you have a solution that automates the compensation process, and sales reps can easily fetch their deals and look at their numbers without creating their own spreadsheets, you boost productivity and increase trust.
In order to drive competitive behavior, real-time visibility is a must. There isn’t a salesperson I know who doesn’t want to see how he stacks up against his colleagues in the moment.
Receiving information one week or one month after a goal has been reached does nothing to drive the right sales behaviors. That’s why we value Hoopla, the program behind Xactly’s leaderboards. Hoopla enables real-time data to be displayed on a giant screen for everyone in the office to see. To use a football reference, it would be detrimental and a little bit silly if Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, waited a month after he lost a game to give his players feedback. Like Harbaugh, managers need to talk to their players after every single play about how their plays were executed and the ways in which they can better perform.
As a sales leader, I look forward to seeing where gamification will take sales organizations and their reps. What I feel gamification does to leaders is not only provide data but more importantly, help us become better visionaries. To quote Antoine de Saint Exupéry, “if you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, or give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”