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TEBThe Turkish bank Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB) - part of the BNP Paribas-group - launched a gamified sales program named HIPPO to better track sales objectives and the performance of sales teams. With the help of the game elements it covers, the focal point of the users, which is “sales” itself, turns into a game which in return increases employee engagement, employee satisfaction, yet providing continuous performance.

Project HIPPO was the winner of the very first intrapreneurship program by (TEB). As a result of the developments that kicked off after becoming the champion of the intrapreneurship programme, HIPPO is live since December 2015 and is being actively used by sales team in TEB.

As one of the dynamics of HIPPO, users can create profiles. Once they create a profile, they can interact with each other on the system and get in contact to exchange information and share their expertise in any topic they would like. Thanks to the ability customized profiles, users declare that they now have  a tool to better represent themselves at their workplace. HIPPO, being widely accepted and easily embraced by the users are HIPPO’s key factors on the high ratio of being actively used.

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Bad competitionConventional wisdom has it that sales people love competition. They want a challenge, beat their friends and colleagues, and be on top of the leaderboard. And sales managers constantly use carrots and competition, because this is what “motivates" sales agents. But is this true?

We know that sales reps have to make money for the company. Depending on the product or service sold, the sales process and effort can vary significantly, from products and services which need a lot of explaining and have long sales cycles, to others that need nearly no explanations and sell quickly. Either way, competition puts stress on the fragile relationships between sales agents, colleagues, and customers and here are nine reasons why.

#1 Competition is the opposite of collaboration.

When we consider the reason why we start companies, it’s because together we can achieve more than as individuals. If we pit sales agents to compete for a scarce item such as a bonus or the top spot on a leaderboard, we discourage collaboration. To stay on top, successful sales agents will not disclose their secrets of what makes them land all the deals.

#2 Only a handful of people compete.

If you’ve used competition in the past, have you also crunched the numbers? Then you've very likely found out that only a few percent of your sales force actually do participate and hit the top. But what about the others? Given the number, it is nearly always better to find a way lifting the sales numbers of the whole team than just the ones who participate in a competition. And these numbers are confirmed from the game world as well. According to Richard Bartle's player types, killers (the competitive players) make less than 1% of the population. Lifting 20 sales agents by 10% and not just having the first two double their sales is a better strategy.

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Zappos metrics (C) Maury Weinstein"Sales people are competitive! They love competing." Or so the logic goes. But with the raise of gamification and a better understanding of the behavioral and motivational science, this popular stereotype should make way for better incentive systems.

The global financial crisis of 2008 – under which we still suffer – spectacularly demonstrated the flaws in ill-designed and misunderstood reward systems. A melange of multi-layer detachment of metrics from real money, short-term thinking, unlimited reward potential, bad management and oversight, players willing to beat the system, and other factors profited few, but hurt many. What seems so obvious in hindsight for most of us, is also a tell-tale sign of our ability to ignore the facts when we think it can help our short-term goals.

Sales people across the globe are basically managed by the same type of incentive system: close a deal, get a commission. The more deals, the more money they get. But we know that this is not always leading to the best outcomes. We shiver thinking of the "car sales guy" who's pushing more care features on my list and me to buy today and not tomorrow. Or we have met the sales person in a tourist resort who's switching from "I am your friend"- to "please buy or my kids go to bed hungry"-mode.  

It turns out that this is not the exception, but the standard. Customers show buyer's remorse more often than you may think. And the reaction is that customer avoid these stores or that person in the future and the long-term relationship is destroyed. From where does this behavior originate and what can be changed? And if it's changed, would the world be a better place?

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Learning and OnboardingWhen a new customer service representative (CSR) joins our service team, a new sales rep joins our salesforce, or even when a new user starts using our product/service, we need to take them through an On-boarding process – allow them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.

Tactics used in this process include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations. However, in many cases you just do OJT (On Job Training) this could lead to discouragement and frustration.

One of the innovative elements that could help at these times is Gamification. We strive for a game-like user experience for improving the self-learning process, in order to save money, time and improve the success rate.

Here are five tips for using Gamification in an On-boarding process:

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PlayVoxThe collaboration platform provider Arcaris launched today PlayVox, a web platform that helps to improve employee motivation and talent management at contact centers through gamification. PlayVox - which is free - offers an app-store with a variety of gamified apps that can be used in call centers. PlayVox-customers included Groupon, which used it for their agents to help with hiring and training.

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GamEffectiveAn indication of how hot the enterprise gamification market is, can be seen by the number of companies being spawned right now. The list of gamification platforms and technologies that we maintain in our Matrix is every growing. Latest one in the series is a young startup from Israel called GamEffective, which is offering a gamification platform for call and contact centers.

The platform provides a decent number of game mechanics, as well as an integration to the agent's desktop, IVR/CTI solutions like Avaya and Genesys, as well as CRM solutions like from Salesforce, Microsoft, or Oracle.

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