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Transforming Your Dealership Sales Team with Gamification

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The old dealership model is changing. "Sell or be fired" isn't viable anymore, for a number of reasons. But that doesn't spell the end of dealerships as a whole. Here's how gamification can modernize your dealership and keep it thriving amidst these changes.

Published on:
July 24, 2020
Illustrations by:
Written by:
Dave Cherrie

The old dealership model is changing. "Sell or be fired" isn't viable anymore, for a number of reasons. But that doesn't spell the end of dealerships as a whole. Here's how gamification can modernize your dealership and keep it thriving amidst these changes.

New Car Sales Lot

The Problem

Aside from Tesla's & Co.'s outward challenges to the current dealership model, dealerships face an inward challenge, as well. Culturally, "sell or die," doesn't work. Not only does it give you reputation problems on Glassdoor, it's just plain expensive.

In 2017, Work Institute found that replacing an employee can cost you as much as a third of his or her annual salary. And since we're in the middle of a labor shortage, your salespeople might just choose to leave for higher-paying jobs elsewhere anyway.

Another issue is that salespeople have less control than ever over a customer's decision whether or not to buy. According to Gartner, the average customer is now 57% of the way through the buying process before ever he or she steps onto the lot. So much is done online before your salespeople have a chance to talk to any given customer.

Yes, sales skills are still important, but so much is out of a salesperson's control, making "sell or die" a constant source of anxiety. You may end up firing some of your best people.

Struggling to run sales games that lift performance? Learn how to design effective, exciting games by downloading our guide.

How Gamification Can Help

Gamification, the idea that you can make work fun and rewarding via innovative, task-based games is nothing new to the sales world. But setting up, maintaining, tracking, and rewarding sales games used to be labor-intensive.

Not anymore the latest wave of gamification is easier than ever to set up and can all be done via smartphone. Here are a few ways gamification can help your sales team.

Boost morale

The aforementioned loss of control of sales can be extremely frustrating, especially for new salespeople. If a completed sale is the only rewarding experience they'll have throughout the day, many of their days will feel like drudgery.

Enter gamification. Imagine setting up a game that offers small rewards for the number of on-lot customers each of your salespeople talks to every day. Just rewarding the approach will help your new salespeople understand that every conversation matters, even if it doesn't end in a closing. That's an essential rule of business, and you can post small rewards for those learning it.

Meanwhile, your sales team will have more fun. And believe it or not, fun is important. even found that workplace fun is directly related to job performance.

Improve online ratings

Fun, obviously, affects attitude. And your customers will pick out attitudes right away. Then, whether they buy a car from you or not, many of those customers will go home and review your business online.

Online reviews are a part of that 57% that other customers will go through before contacting you. So positivity on the sales floor feeds into success, cycling back around through online reviews.

The better your reviews, the more people will show up to your lot. Podium found that 93% of consumers reported online reviews as having an impact on their buying decision.

Promote encouraging competition

To the uninitiated, Formula One might seem boring. Usually one driver dominates the whole season, clinching the championship long before the season ends. Right now it's Lewis Hamilton, who has won 4 of the last 5 world championships. Yet, F1 gets more interesting when you start to watch the other drivers. The ones gunning for the top ten spots. Sure, they all want to be world champions, but they'll fight for every point.

Often dealerships face the same issue. They reward the top seller of the month, week, or quarter, but never reward those in the lesser spots. And it’s not uncommon for the top seller to win month after month. This can be discouraging to the others, leading to a reduction in effort.

Gamification allows you to reward all effort, whether it's a top seller or not. Rather than just tossing out a single lump reward for the biggest seller, it rewards each salesperson according to his or her efforts. Your team members will begin to track and invest in their own growth, pushing each other, all without necessarily getting within range of that #1 spot.

The best sales games will also accurately track employee performance, so you'll have real data on who is converting and who could use some improvement.

Keep your people trained

If you're reading this, you probably know what a pain it is to get your people to finish their training modules about new products or changes in procedure. Either they're "on a roll" and don't want to take the time, or they're "experienced" enough to believe they don't need extra training.

The answer is simple: Gamify your training programs, rewarding each team member for his or her efforts to learn. This doesn't just get the modules finished and "out of the way," it helps to cultivate a culture of ongoing learning, one that will doubtless benefit your team on the sales floor.

Modernizing your dealership's sales model is easier than ever, all thanks to gamification. At Arcade, our unique, smartphone-based system allows your employees to build up points via completion of everyday tasks. They can then use these points to buy real rewards in the Arcade Store. You set the games, you pick the prizes. It's completely customizable, and we'll work with you to build the best solution for your store.

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