Is Gamification Something you Should try for Sales?

Is Gamification Something You Should Try for Sales?

Gamification has been tossed around a lot in the marketing world lately and has become very popular for B2C. However, it’s also become a little muddled by overuse. Think of it as the writing term “personification” except instead of overlaying personal attributes to non-human characters it’s when you use game attributes to describe non game type activities.

We’ve all been to sites where people earn badges right? has a great gamification setup. Now of course they sell games so it makes sense for them that their audience would be into game-like marketing. Downloading products, visiting a site and making purchases is not competitive…unless you decide to make it so through gamification.

Gamification is a solid technique, but only for the right companies. It’s the kind of thing that could get really bad, really fast. Remember that just like anything else in marketing, have a solid concept of your entire plan before you start rolling it out. Otherwise you will be up a creek without any sales.

Ding Dong – China Calling

We are meeting partners in Beijing this week, so here’s some insight into Chinese sales culture.

One of the main reasons that China’s distribution networks have been so fragmented is that they have been based on guanxi or relationships which are simultaneously personal and professional.  In a traditional distribution model, this guanxi holds you back because you are limited in they amount of personal relationships that you can maintain at any one time.  In other words, if my hometown is in Wuhan, all of my guanxi will likely be from that place because I grew up with many of these people, our families know each other, we went to school together, etc.  However, if I try to expand that guanxi network out to, say, a city like Chengdu (probably over 1,000 km away from Wuhan) it will not be possible to develop the same depth of relationships in that region.

Historically, sales in China have been based on this guanxi … I get the sale, not necessarily because I have the best price or the best quality product, but because I have good guanxi with you.  However, this is rapidly changing in China: while good guanxi is a necessary condition to successful sales, it is by no means a sufficient one — I now have to bring good products to the market at good prices.  And for most industrial and consumer products companies, this is a good thing because it means that they can develop more “professional” distribution channels and get a broader sales footprint in China.

How to Prepare an Incentive Game Plan

An incentive must support specific business goals or it is meaningless. From the beginning, it’s important to establish what the performance incentive program is designed to achieve and how those objectives tie in with the company’s overall growth strategy.

To design effective objectives arrange a brainstorming session with colleagues who will be involved. If possible, also include a few employees who will be participating in the final business incentive group.

This mix of people will provide valuable insight into changing market conditions or special characteristics of your customers.

Make a list of the company’s most pressing needs or issues, both sales and non-sales related. Some of these topics will pop up every year, others will be new. As your team works, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What are the company, industry and overall economic climates?
  • What factors may affect our business today and into next year?
  • What are my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are my product’s or service’s strengths and weaknesses?

Based on the answers to these questions and the list of specific corporate issues, you and your team will develop a clear picture of what business goals your company incentive will support. Make sure the objectives don’t contradict other company goals. For instance, if an objective could adversely affect safety or quality, you’re creating trouble. Overall, incentive program goals should be:

Simple and specific

Steer away from broad terms like “increase sales”. Rather, state “increase sales of computer systems 10 percent between June and December;’


Have an ambitious agenda, but don’t go overboard. Also, compare your goals to past history. If your company has never come close to its objective, make sure you can support why this time will be different.


If you can’t measure incentive performance in specific terms, it will be very difficult to prove to management the program was a success. Also, you want to be able to compare the incentive solutions against past and future initiatives.


Incentive promotion programs should be run when they will do the most good. For instance, a safety incentive award program should operate during peak rush periods. Also, adjust your objectives to suit fluctuations in the business cycle. A sales force incentive program aimed at increasing sales during a slow period won’t come close to peak-period numbers.

The Rapid Rise of Gamification

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, workplace gamification, which is defined as the introduction of game design techniques and mechanics into a workplace environment for the purposes of improving employee engagement and productivity, will be a 3 billion dollar industry by 2016. This is a 2000% increase from 2011! Trying to convince potential Chinese Partners that this is the case is harder than expected, carrot and stick seems to work just fine over here…

Check out if you want to move away from stick beating..

Pitch Perfect – Deliver An Awesome Elevator Pitch

You ride the subway, grab a coffee, and get to the office—it’s your typical Monday morning, until, bam! You step in the elevator and find yourself face-to-face with the CEO of your dream company or the client you’ve been dying to land.

She smiles and says, “Hi. What do you do?”

Scary? Absolutely. But it could happen to you—tomorrow—and you’ll want to be prepared.

The aptly named “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch” is a concise, compelling introduction that can be communicated in the amount of time it takes someone to ride the elevator to her floor.

Even if you’re never caught heading up to the 39th with someone important, this is an good skill to master when you’re introducing yourself during an interview, a sales pitch, or a networking event. People are busy, and being able to communicate who you are and what you do quickly and effectively will ensure that you get your most important points across, no matter how short the conversation.

Not quite ready for the elevator ride of your life? Check out our step-by-step guide to crafting—and perfecting—your pitch.

1. Start with a Blank Canvas

Take a blank piece of paper and number it from one to 10. Then, fill in the most important bits of information that you want to convey about yourself, your service or product, or your company. What, exactly, do you do? What have you achieved, and what are your goals? Who does your company serve and why? Focus on the most interesting or memorable facts—the ones that really make you stand out from others.

2. Red Pen It

Using a different color pen, edit what you’ve drafted with a critical eye. Eliminate any redundancies, unnecessary or unclear information, and broad business jargon. More importantly, hone and enhance the good stuff. “I’m great at sales” isn’t likely to pique anyone’s interest, but “I’ve exceeded my sales goals every quarter for the last two years” sure might.

3. Pick a Card

Grab five index cards, and label them “Who I Am,” “What I Do,” “How I Do It,” “Why I Do It,” and “Who I Do It For.” Add each item on the list you’ve created to the card where it fits best. Ideally, you’ll have two compelling sentences underneath each heading, so fill in any gaps if you need to.

4. Get in Order

Organize the cards in a logical order, making sure the most important information is first. Remember, you often only have a few seconds to communicate with someone. If you get cut off, what would you want her to walk away remembering?

5. Add an Attention-Getter

Add an interesting fact or stat to use at the beginning of your speech. Your goal is to immediately engage someone so that he or she is intrigued and wants to learn more.

6. Practice!

Recite your pitch to close someone who can be objective, and ask for constructive feedback (although we love our friends and families, sometimes they think we can do no wrong!). What may seem clear in your mind might come across as convoluted, long-winded, or fragmented to an outside observer.

Good Luck..

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