Gamification: How to retain salespeople in the retail sector

October 10, 2022

Retail sector training implies a number of very specific constraints: disparity among populations, their mobility, competition among multi-brand distributors and turnover. Mobile learning and its entertaining features provide a tremendous opportunity to address these challenges. Let’s explore the ways gamification can help to captivate and retain salespeople and distributors.

Learning loops for better and faster learning

Mobile learning platforms represent a genuine opportunity for training teams managing a sales or distribution network. But the tool alone is not sufficient, courses must be adapted to the format to create a new kind of training. By adjusting courses to the rhythm of your learners, mobile learning training helps attain unparalleled completion rates and unfailing loyalty.

The major point of interest in mobile learning is its mobility; learners can learn anywhere and anytime (ATADAWAC). You need to instil in them the desire to use their application to learn, and there’s nothing better than drawing inspiration from mobile games to reach this aim. 

Like a game of Candy Crush, 94% or 2048, your learning loop must be short, dynamic and engaging. In this way, learner engagement comes more easily and naturally: learners don’t need to prepare for or ‘make an appointment’ with their course. Once the short content has been completed, learners can move on to the next piece of content because other engagement drivers will have taken over (viable feedback, unblocking levels, etc.).

The operational orientation of your content should not be left out and the aim should be clear and achievable: discover product X and learn how to sell it.’ On average your microlearning content lasts 2-5 minutes, will contain at least one activity that explains the information and one game activity and will always end with a link to a new piece of content. By meshing content, you let your learners’ serendipity run wild.

Bring out the gamer in every salesperson

You might not know it but we all play each day, whether it’s a crossword, an Escape Game or by tracking the number of steps we take. Humans are naturally playful.

One of the best points about games is undoubtedly the motivation and interest players find through playing. How much satisfaction does amusement bring to someone’s life?

Understanding players to better reach salespeople

Richard Bartle, a neuroscience psychologist studied motivation levers in gamification and identified 4 main profiles.

  • Killers” love rankings: use them to make gamified courses more attractive.
  • Achievers” want to win all the badges, to do so they are willing to repeat an activity several times.
  • Explorers” enjoy digital treasure hunts. Unblocking a module (subject to conditions) allows you to re-engage with them and to build loyalty.
  • Socializers” meanwhile, prefer social challenges and are eager to publish photos and comments.
Bartle's profiles - UQalify

Bartle demonstrated that these edutainment levers are strong drivers of engagement. This can be seen in particular in the applications of our luxury and retail clients. Among populations with a strong commercial aspect, competitions and challenges are particularly strong driving forces in learners’ lives and help to create a culture of learning.

Build loyalty thanks to gaming world expertise

Using gamification is also a good way of rejuvenating traditional courses. There where traditional courses can sometimes suffer from limited diversification of modalities, gamification offers an infinite number of possibilities. By building on the entertaining aspects, training becomes more efficient: by competing against the clock, by being at the top of the rankings and by interacting with peers, your salespeople and distributors are part of a learner experience which places an onus on skills development while “having fun”.

Games also have a social component. They compensate for the fact that digital training is often done alone and remotely. The amusement factor (competitions, challenges, battles) brings training closer to people and relationships once again: it’s an excuse to create bonds and to find a source of enrichment while learning.

Gamification - Teach on Mars UQalify

Standing out from the pack

Apart from the entertaining drivers, surprise plays an important role in building loyalty. Due to competition, offering an innovative and fluid learning experience is crucial if you wish to stand out. More importantly, it is also an opportunity to create a “wow” effect thanks to customisation, design, immersion, videos and visuals. Just like video games, whose graphics contribute greatly to the overall experience, even if they don’t necessarily have an educational aim.

Drawing inspiration from immersive learning to engage and build loyalty

Gamification is also about immersing players in a unique experience which enables you to reengage learners at every stage. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains this clearly in his flow theory. He believes a state of fusion exists between players and their activity when the level is a perfect fit, when the fluidity of the experience is optimal and when learners are totally immersed in the game. Designers should therefore be aiming for flow in order to provide salespeople and distributors with an exceptional learning experience.

Inspired by immersive learning, Teach on Mars gamification lets you integrate 360-degree videos in augmented reality (VR): this enables salespeople to visit stores and workshops as though they were really there.

Do simulation activities enable us to place learners in situations to test their knowledge under almost-real conditions? Trainers recreate real situations in a “safe” setting in which the person can try things out, make mistakes and more importantly, try again.

Thanks to immersive content, stand out from competitors and make salespeople loyal to your products. This way, they will be more inspired to sell them.

Original article by Teach on Mars.

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