Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014 - (Page 25)

BY JEB BROOKS GAMIFICATION IN S ALES TRAINING S E V E N C R I T I C A L C O N S I D E R AT I O N S B E F O R E T H E G A M E S B E G I N COMPANIES HAVE TRADITIONALLY INCORPORATED SOME LEVEL OF GAMIFICATION INTO THEIR SALES TRAINING PROGRAMS. ROLE PLAYING, FOR INSTANCE, IS A COMMONLY USED FORM OF GAMIFICATION. HOWEVER, TODAY'S PARTICIPANTS EXPECT MORE FROM THE TRAINING EXPERIENCE. THEY'RE LOOKING FOR A DOSE OF INTERACTIVE, TECHNOLOGY-INFUSED "EDUTAINMENT." Based on conversations with many learning and development (L&D) professionals, there's an industry-wide need to set best practices for implementing gamification into sales training. With this in mind, here are seven critical considerations L&D professionals must address before integrating gamification into a sales training initiative. 1. WHAT IS GAMIFICATION? Gamification is a buzzword and, like a lot of them, it gets tossed around a lot. So, it's important to gain a clear understanding of what it is (and what it isn't). First, gamification is not, as the head of one training department tried to explain to me, "quizzing participants about a topic and throwing candy at them." Instead, it's about thoughtfully and carefully applying game mechanics to an activity where they normally would not appear. These game mechanics include the elements that make a game successful, including a goal, milestones marking steps toward that goal, indications marking steps toward those milestones, increasing levels of difficulty and group interaction. 2. WHO RESPONDS TO GAMIFICATION? Some learning professionals claim that gamification works only with younger, American learners and that it won't be effective with more experienced professionals from other cultures. This is false. Recently, I was meeting with clients in Singapore. During a break, the conversation turned to the game Candy Crush. In case you don't know, Candy Crush is a mindless (many would say pointless) game that requires players to match candies in order to earn points and advance levels. The game incorporates Facebook for a social and competitive dynamic. One man from Mainland China explained that his 84-year-old mother joined Facebook only to give her a leg up in the game. It was so engaging that she couldn't stop playing. So, what's the takeaway? The same game mechanics that work with American millennials apply to Chinese octogenarians. If you're able to tie your content to the elements that make Candy Crush successful, you've got a cross-cultural, cross-generational win. Of course, everyone is different, so the next consideration is equally critical. TRAINING INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - WINTER2014 I WWW.TRAININGINDUSTRY.COM/MAGAZINE 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014

From Where I Sit
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Do You Feel Lucky?
Network Performance: The Power of Social Learning and Behavior
Meaningful Work: Not Just for Millennials
Four Levels of Engagement
What L&D Professionals Need to Know about Gamification
Enhancing Learning with Social Media
Gamification in Sales Training: Seven Critical Considerations Before the Games Begin
Let the Disruption Begin: Social Media and the Great Expansion of Enterprise Learning
Learning Made Fun: Gadgets, Games and a Safe Place to Explore
How Silicon Valley Inspired an Era of Social Learning
How Games Drive Learning
Roll the Dice: Learning with Board Games
Casebook: BAE Systems: Speeding the Business of Learning through Collaboration and Knowledge Management
Salespeople, Coaching and Gamification
Three Ways to Make Learning More Engaging
Stop Creating Dysfunctional Relationships with Employees
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014