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25 January 2024

Application of gamification mechanisms in the implementation of sales strategy in a large IT company

Client

One of the top six technology companies in the Polish market, an IT solutions integrator. The company actively acquires customers in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in African markets. A significant aspect of the company’s operations is its sales structure. Sales are conducted within several technological departments, including networks, security, hardware, application solutions, etc. Each department has a similar structure, based on the performance of several basic business functions: sales department (dedicated to the area of specialization), project implementation department, support and process administration department. Sales in each department are responsible for acquiring customers for their area, with the additional goal of selling integrated IT solutions composed of components from various company units. 

The company, in line with its new strategy, would like to carry out more complex, high-margin technology projects for key customers. 

 

Client’s business need

The company is developing dynamically, and one of the elements of the newly developed sales strategy is precisely the integrated offer of highly specialized services for the company’s key clients. The company’s product structure offers great possibilities for building dedicated solutions, tailored to the client’s specifics. The substantive scope of the solutions offer coincides with the product offer – the unifying element is to be integration services, e.g., comprehensive computerization of a company starting from IT strategy planning, through the implementation of a dedicated ERP system, delivery of necessary equipment, also server equipment, connecting everything in a universal network solution (also in mobile technologies), to ensuring the security of the entire environment. 

However, a significant limitation is the company’s siloed structure, which prevents the construction of common integrated solutions. The previous sales model did not reward this type of solution, and sales representatives were accounted for in the same way for the sales of proprietary products as for combined solutions. With the emergence of a new sales strategy, the remuneration strategy was changed, and the level of commission for the sale of comprehensive solutions was increased. 

Despite these actions, the implementation of the new sales strategy was halted due to employee resistance to combining products into solutions. Despite systemic changes, employees were not willing to put more effort into planning solution concepts and close cooperation with other company departments. 

An attempt was made to level this problem – a series of workshops explaining the assumptions of the new strategy were conducted. However, 12 months after the announcement of the new strategy, there were still no visible effects – the sales coefficient of combined projects was defined by the company’s management as very unsatisfactory (hovering at the level of 4% of total sales). New ways to solve the problem began to be sought.

Proposed solution

Although the strategy had been created and communicated, and its implementation had gained support in internal motivational systems, the practice of most salespeople had not changed. To support the real implementation of the new strategy, we proposed the use of gamification mechanisms. In our opinion, they guaranteed an increase in the indicators of combined sales and, consequently, the company’s result.

In addition to reminding the main assumptions of the sales strategy, an important element of the planned process was to be the introductory e-learning training. The next element was a stationary workshop in the format of a sales game (based on the guidelines of the new strategy). After this, there was a several-month process of implementing business indicators such as the number of generated sales leads in comprehensive solutions. All these elements were framed with gamification mechanisms.

All employees dealing with sales in the company’s product divisions participated in the project – a total of 260 people. The total duration of the project was 7 months.

 

Gamification was used in the following elements of the process:

  • in the introductory e-learning training, available in the development environment skills@work — the main emphasis was placed on familiarizing with the e-learning materials and on the completion and passing of implementation tasks. These actions were rewarded with points.
  • during the stationary workshop, based on the concept of a business game – project participants came to the workshop with points earned in e-learning training and for completing tasks.
  • during the 6-month stage of knowledge implementation in the organization – during this time, project participants carried out implementation tasks available in the skills@work environment related to specific sales activities. In parallel, the business indicator related to the number of generated sales leads for combined solutions was subject to gamification mechanisms. Each project participant entered into the system the number of leads generated over 6 months with information on the components of combined offers. The cumulative results were presented in the form of a ranking table, which showed not only individual results but also departmental results.

Achieved results – change

Throughout the project’s duration, we monitored the number of points gained, achieved results, and business indicators covered by gamification mechanisms.

After 7 months of the implementation project, the average number of combined leads increased from 4% to 38%. This translated directly into an increase in company revenues from solutions. 96% of participants positively evaluated the effectiveness of the project. The company’s board also positively reviewed the results obtained. The program is being continued.

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