How to encourage engagement in incentive programmes, through fun gamification

Posted by Juliet Caswell

Gamification – according to Merriam-Webster is the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (like a task) to encourage participation – is fast becoming a staple business tactic, to increase engagement within sales and channel incentive programmes.

Language apps like Duolingo enable users to rise up to new levels when they’ve completed modules, and health insurers like Virgin Active now use points-based systems to motivate people to make healthier life choices. Even political campaigns have got on board, during the 2012 US presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s campaign website ran a competition to encourage site visitors to donate, by offering dinner with the president and the First Lady.

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Why use gamification

The surge in gamification across industries isn’t surprising. According to M2 research, gamification can result in a 100-150% increase in engagement, making it a no-brainer. With the psychology of gamification being rooted in triggering positive emotions, it’s a great tool to encourage and reinforce good behaviours.

Gamification can be used to:

  • Make dull induction or compliance training content more fun and interactive
  • Facilitate learning on the launch of a new product or service
  • Encourage sign up and activation rates for an incentive programme
  • Improve users overall experience and increase productivity
  • Add a short-term tactical promotion to boost engagement activity
  • Drive brand loyalty and awareness

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Utilising gamification in channel and sales incentive programmes

Gamification is fast becoming a popular tool to support channel and sales efforts. Salespeople must be motivated to sell your products and brand over a competitor, so need to be engaged with a highly interesting initiative to produce the best possible results. By incorporating a gaming element within an incentive programme, is a sure-fire way to capture their attention, spark interest and be driven to participate and fulfil targeted objectives.

We’ve seen an uptick in channel vendors using gamification elements within their programmes to boost engagement. Ranging from incorporating the concept of earning points for prizes through achieving desired behaviours, to more game based activities such as solving challenges, missions, or puzzles, or alternatively digital games like slot machine style games, travel themed games, sports scratchcards and ‘spin the wheel’ games to incentivise partner sales teams.

For example, while working with HP Enterprise, we created a themed incentive programme whereby partners would need to work their way through different worlds, achieving points and prizes along the way. They created their own personal avatar as part of the game, taking part in quizzes and virtual scratchcards, with the winners achieving a place on an incentive trip to Tokyo. The results were fantastic, achieving 100% of the desired results.

When working with NFON, we introduced a fun, attention grabbing game with a Halloween theme. This resulted in an 88% increase in web site visits during the promotional period, improving SEO, as well as 55% active users engaging in the quiz included within the programme. The benefits of gamification in an incentives programme support both the usual sales efforts but to gain a boost for short term tactical promotions, and the process benefits both the company and the user.

Education and gamification

Gamification supports e-learning programmes; motivating teams by encouraging them to increase knowledge by taking part in online quizzes and adding reward elements such as badges, points, trophies and interactive leaderboards to be given for success. Using these fun and interactive methods, vendors are simplifying information, engaging teams, reinforcing messages to encourage teams to learn more about a newly launched product or service, and drive brand loyalty and awareness.

In competitive sales environments like the tech channel, gamifying business processes have always been a motivation driver. In the past, getting sales people to do exciting challenges on the shop floor peaked interest and provided amplification to sales messages. Now, digital transformation has seen these challenges move online. People increasingly listen to friends or peers, which is why we’re seeing an increase in crazes for ‘challenges’ on social platforms being so successful. It’s human nature to be competitive, people love a challenge, and this is only set to increase in the sales environment.

With almost 2/3 of learners saying that leaderboards and competition make them more motivated, gamification is a tool and technique that is here to stay. Benefiting sales teams and businesses alike, it’s a positive step towards more engaging, productive processes that also boost morale; a win-win if you ask us!

To discuss how we can implement gamification in your channel or sales incentive programme, contact us today. Or check out how we have successfully implemented reward solutions in these businesses.

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide, Juliet began her journey with the company in 2002. Moving from Operations Director to Product and Propositions Director in 2014, she has played a significant role in shaping all aspects of the business to help it become the award-winning company it is today. In this time, she expanded the operational side of the business, – from her sole role to a department of over 40 – a team that successfully delivers and manages over 1000 reward and recognition programs for clients worldwide.