How encouraging a little healthy competition can improve the performance of your outbound sales team.
Rivalry always makes for good television. Think of any reality TV show or films from the eighties like Ferris Beuller’s Day Off and Top Gun. Even Harry Potter featured some next-level rivalry. (We’re not saying we’re team Draco, but y’know…)
A little rivalry, believe it or not, can also boost performance in the contact center. And not in a cutthroat way.
Gamification as a way of engaging agents
Down with boring corporate culture!
Companies that take measures to improve employee engagement generate 147% more revenue than their rivals (ha!).
Nothing engages staff better than a little fun, and what could be more fun than turning work into a game? (That’s a rhetorical question, we all know the answer is NOTHING!)
The contact center environment is the perfect playground for gamification, as metrics for performance include all sorts of targets you can utilize.
The trick is to align your game mechanics to your business goals. So, for example, if your objective is to increase your outbound sales targets by 40% in the first quarter, that becomes your target for the game.
According this report in Forbes, ‘Well-designed gamification can make employees feel more empowered in their tasks, because it gives them a wide range of feedback and a stronger sense of accomplishment.’
Gamification in practice
Right. This is where your humble call center manager takes on the role of game master.
Let’s say your organization has 40 outbound sales agents. Divide those agents into four groups of ten, with a team leader serving as team captain.
You now have four teams.
At this point you might need to re-arrange your floorplan a little so that team members can sit closer together.
Task each group with coming up with a unique name for their team. Let’s for argument’s sake say your agents are huge series fans. Your team names could look a little something like this:
- Team Stark
- Team Lannister
- Team Targaryen
- Team Arryn
To get into the spirit, encourage your teams to decorate their workspace in the colours of their flag. While this is happening, you can abuse the company printer to make colour copies of the team emblems for your wallboard.
Pin your team names and emblems on your wallboard and create a grid to record your weekly sales results. The end goal would be highest number of successful sales closest to your company target, which in this case, would be however many sales a 40% increase would work out to – let’s say it’s 3000 sales.
This way everyone on the floor will see the progress of your game in real time. You’ll also be creating a healthy rivalry between teams, adding a sense of fun to making targets and boost team spirit.
(As an added bonus, according to HR Daily Advisor: Top 10 Strategic HR Trends for the New Era, gamified workplaces experience a 24% higher attendance rate.)
The winning team takes the throne
What would a game be without a reward? Obviously, we would never advise you go out and buy an actual throne. That’s madness. (Unless you want to, in which case, cool!)
But remember, prestige value isn’t enough to motivate agents. In order for your game to work you need to incentivize your players properly. We would suggest this reward fall outside of your normal commission structure to make it even sweeter.
It could be in the form of a cash bonus above normal commission or a team trip to Disneyland.
Keep the momentum going by offering a weekly reward to the best performing team. Not only would the winning team want to keep their position in first place, the other teams have more reason to work harder.
Weekly rewards can be in the form of lunch vouchers, a small cash bonus, a product or service or even a day off.
Our Quest for the Throne scenario is a very simple way to introduce gamification into your contact center. There are many more sophisticated techniques as well as actual products out there to suit your individual needs. The point is, it works. Gamification increases engagement and efficiency, reduces absenteeism, and most importantly, gives your agents a reason to want to come to work.
Want to read more advice on how to motivate agents? Try this.