4 ways to use gamification to boost channel partner experience

Posted by Dan Kelly

Building a successful relationship with channel partners, is the opportunity to increase revenue, accelerate growth and enhance brand awareness. But how can vendors create an engaging partner experience?

Channel partners are a business asset. Collaboration is required to align to business goals and to develop market knowledge, sales expertise and long-term loyalty, for continual success.
The key to having an effective partner experience, is the approach to engaging and motivating the salespeople within channel partners. What mechanism will drive them to wanting to achieve the desired goal?

Why gamification?

Gamification is “the addition of game elements to non-game activities, to motivate, educate and engage participants.” Examples include points, badges, leader-boards, competitions and rewards.

Research shows gamification can result in a 100 – 150% increase in engagement. And 40% of sales people are motivated by making progress or winning. The participation of online games with a desirable reward included, is designed to achieve high impact results.

Four reasons why gamification works:

  1. Salespeople love to be competitive
  2. Offers flexibility for budgeting
  3. Slick and simple automation
  4.  Drives interactions and engagements by having fun

Our latest ideas paper explains how Gamification can be beneficial to your business.

Learn more

Using gamification to drive behaviour

How can gamification be used to drive desired behaviour and boost the channel partner experience? Here’s four ways…

1) Onboarding

Onboarding is critical with any channel connection. It sets the tone for the entire path forward; it helps a brand stand out even more, it empowers vendors for success from the very first transaction, and it lays the groundwork for ongoing trust and prosperity.

The onboarding phase is a prime opportunity for companies to win over the hearts and minds of new partners. Businesses that invest in improving the onboarding experience are more likely to see better long-term outcomes—like increased engagement levels across the channel, faster paths to partner proficiency, and decreased attrition levels.

Encourage sign up registrations and activation rates of channel incentive and reward programs, through a game like ‘spin the wheel’.

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2) Learning & development

Gamification has been credited with the quick and comprehensive absorption of working knowledge. Through leaderboards, badges, certification opportunities and other elements, gamification can link the completion of lessons learned to achievement levels and/or other forms of status.

Developmental initiatives can underperform when the content is not reinforced. Professionals charged with training and development say it is often not the curriculum or the delivery that is to be blamed for education’s lack-luster performance. No, training investments sometimes fail to yield the desired business results because the lessons learned are not bolstered through activities like games and/or rewards.
Gamification helps to improve the knowledge retention curve by emphasising the key takeaways and encouraging ongoing utilisation of lessons learned through incentives.

Increase knowledge of newly launched products or services or improve learning of existing targeted sku’s, by utilising an e-learning style ‘question & answer’ game or a concept like ‘Orbiter’ to encourage partners to earn badges through successful online incentivised learning.

3) Tactical promotions

Tactical promotions are designed to create a new focus and inject some energy into the target audience, over a short amount of time.

By creating a new point of difference with a dedicated communications strategy, will encourage engagement and a change in behaviour, driving impressive peaks in activity, productivity and performance.
Using Gamification in an incentive programme, enhances productivity by 43%. With a 48% increase in programme engagement achieved from tactical promotions.

Utilise games like ‘code breaker’ on virtual sales activation days or ‘Nitro’ to encourage partners to sell faster and frequently.

4) Loyalty

Vendors should be looking at the business value of developing long-term relationships with channel partners. Loyalty to your brand and products provides a strong foundation for future growth.

Establishing brand ambassadors within channel partners will promote and advocate your product, to other salespeople within the business. Brand ambassadors need to therefore interact and engage regularly with the brand, in order to be motivated to promote within.

Create interest to these champions through a game like ‘sports scratchcard’.

Gamification can be used in many different nuances, depending on the objectives and goals. Games can be designed bespoke to include company branding and themes or off-the-shelf games can be chosen. With hundreds of types of games to choose from, contact us for some new ideas…

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.