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August 30, 2022

What is Sales Gamification?

If your revenue targets are growing next year like ours, ensuring your sales team is motivated will be a key factor for your success. 

Sales leaders have been using a variety of battle-tested methods to keep their team motivated such as training, team building exercises, and incentive programs. Another valuable tool in any sales leader's tool belt is gamification, which draws on the basic principles of motivation.

Before we jump into gamification as a motivational tool, it’s important to understand the basic components of motivation which will help you best apply gamification as a method.

3 Components of Motivation

While there are numerous theories behind motivation, most can be boiled down to a few key components which compel people to work a certain way. Understanding these functions is key to understanding how to drive a desired action among your sales team.

  • Activation
  • Intensity
  • Persistence

Activation is the decision to engage in a certain behavior in pursuit of a larger goal or incentive. This is the first step in the motivational process as all behavior starts with an action. In addition, the amount of activation depends greatly on the importance of the goal or incentive. Ensuring your goal or incentive resonates with your team is a crucial part of initiating the preferred behaviors amongst your team.


Intensity is the level of dedication an individual puts towards pursuing a certain goal or incentive. A high level of intensity can be characterized by how an individual prioritizes their time and resources around achieving said goal. That being said, based on the individual's expertise, available resources, and perceived importance of a goal or incentive, not everyone’s level of intensity is the same. For example, the level of intensity to achieve a goal generally varies across the team while some members may need more or less intensity to achieve their established goal.

It is important to recognize that the level of intensity individuals exhibit is not always an indication of effort or motivation. For example, more senior members of your team may exhibit less intensity to reach a goal compared to newer members who may need to work harder to achieve the same goal.


The final component of motivation is persistence. Persistence is the ability to push through challenges while maintaining the intensity necessary to reach a goal over time. For sales teams, fostering persistence is key for pushing through rejection, deals that don’t materialize, and managing multiple opportunities and ever changing pipeline. While action and intensity are key aspects of motivation, persistence is the make-or-break characteristic responsible for achieving one's goal and receiving the associated reward.

Now that we’ve covered the 3 basic components of motivation we can shift gears to sales gamification and just how to apply these 3 pillars of motivation through this powerful tool.

What is Sales Gamification?

Sales gamification is the process of turning tasks and KPIs like sending emails, booking meetings, generating pipeline, and closing revenue into a game. Establishing a goal for these tasks, and assigning each a reward when met is a powerful way to motivate salespeople to take specific actions that help the individual and team succeed as a whole.

To run a successful gamification program, sales leaders must understand how to leverage the above components in order to motivate and drive engagement from their reps. When sales gamification is successfully implemented, sales leaders can foster a team culture that motivates reps and drives business results.

sales gamification built for teams on HubSpot


5 Ways to Gamify Your Sales Process

  • Contests
  • Leaderboards
  • Challenges
  • Badges
  • Instant Notifications

Just like any individual, sales reps are motivated in ways unique to them. For example, some sales reps find motivation in winning a prize, others may be laser-focused on meeting a specific KPI, while others may feel the most motivated by peer and leadership recognition. The key to an effective sales gamification program is a variety of success indicators that reflect different styles of motivation within the team.

Here are 5 sales gamification ideas that will help you achieve full motivation across your team.

1. Contests

Sales contests are a great way to boost morale and engagement of the team as a whole instead of only rewarding top performers. Typically, sales contests are a great way to motivate behavior at the top of the funnel. For example, a sales contest could involve tracking the team’s prospecting behavior volume, such as emails sent, meetings booked, or leads generated, instead of total generated revenue. This approach sets an attainable goal for the entire team, allowing new or under-performing sales reps to participate.

Contests with varying metrics for success can be a great way to create additional leads while motivating underperforming reps who may need a quick win or two to build persistence levels and get back into the groove.

2. Leaderboards

It’s no secret — competitiveness is a key personality trait of most successful sales reps. Using leaderboards to showcase wins and inspire competition is a great way to drive performance across your team. Leaderboards celebrate wins and provide individual recognition, while setting the bar for all team members to aim toward higher goals. 

To create an effective leaderboard, it’s critical to display more than just revenue metrics. Sticking to one single KPI such as revenue can actually demotivate team members who feel they have no chance of winning. Having multiple leaderboards that can play to individual strengths and weaknesses is crucial for not alienating certain members of your team. 

The key thing to remember with leaderboards is to ensure reps feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how small, the last thing you want to do is discourage certain members of your team from engaging completely.

3. Challenges

Creating individual or team wide challenges is another great tactic to get your sales reps to rise to the occasion. Challenges can range from a wide variety of activities such as encouraging your reps to complete a certification within a certain time frame to increasing metrics past a previous benchmark. 

A key aspect for a successful challenge is that it’s attainable but not too easy. The right balance of attainability and difficulty will help keep your reps engaged and motivated around the high-value behavior you’re looking to drive. Additionally, you need to be sure you communicate any desired outcomes and rules effectively. Lastly, ensuring your reps are able to track progress to their challenge is essential for driving persistence and accountability throughout the game.

4. Badges

A great way to motivate newer sales reps is through badges. When newer employees reach certain milestones such as receiving a certification, completing ramp, or closing their first deal, awarding them with badges can help to reinforce a prefered behavior and give them a real sense of pride. This sense of accomplishment acts as a motivating factor for your reps to continue to collect badges and exhibit behaviors that not only help them grow professionally but help fuel business revenue.

5. Instant Notifications

Instant notifications are one of the best ways to provide positive feedback and recognition amongst your sales team. Notifying your team when someone reaches a milestone, books a meeting, or closes a deal helps give your reps recognition while also letting other reps know the competition is on.

At New Breed we love to notify the team when someone closes a deal through win songs. Check out a few of our favorite songs over the years below:

This Girl is On Fire - Alicia Keys

We Are The Champions - Queen

Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor

5 Tips to Implementing a Successful Sales Gamification Program

1. Understand what motivates your reps

Understanding what matters to your reps is critical when implementing your sales gamification program. By understanding what your reps care about you will be able to structure your program in a way that keeps them motivated and rewards them appropriately when they succeed.

A simple way to learn what motivates your reps is to just ask them directly. Many gamification tools allow sales managers to survey their reps to learn what motivates them individually as well as the team as a whole.

2. Set clear objectives, rules, and rewards for your sales gamification program

Setting clear objectives, rules, and rewards for your gamification program is key to not only your reps' success, but also the program's success. Without a clear understanding of how the contest, process, or payout will work, reps won’t be as engaged with the program. Ensuring everyone understands the process will help reps stay accountable, aligned and plugged into the objectives.

Ensuring the program is broken down into weekly, monthly, or quarterly milestones will allow larger goals to feel more attainable. Without specific milestones, reps may lose sight, or even interest, in achieving something far out in the future.

3. Track the right metrics

Knowing which metrics to track based on the type of gamification program as well as what team members you’re looking to motivate is crucial for your program’s success. For example, tracking closed revenue for your top performing reps help foster competition amongst the group, however this metric wouldn’t be an appropriate way to motivate new or underperforming team members. For this group, tracking other sales activities such as sent emails, logged calls, or booked meetings can help motivate specific behaviors and still provide rewards and recognition for hard work.

4. Celebrate wins as a team

While it’s important to give rewards and recognition to individuals when they achieve a desired outcome, it’s also important for the team to share in the win as well.  Ensuring you have an open forum, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, that your team can come together and share wins is an important aspect of any successful sales gamification program.  Not only does this help foster recognition for the achievement, but also provides a space for dialogue to share challenges and tactics all while building team camaraderie and culture.

5. Use a sales gamification app

While the process of sales gamification is generally based in human to human interaction, having the right technology can improve the rate at which your reps adopt the program and provide you with meaningful data and insights into how the program is performing.

Without the right technology support, your team will have a hard time visualizing success and actually immersing themselves in the experience.  This is why we’ve created a sales gamification app called UPonent.

Purpose built for HubSpot, UPonent creates healthy competition and camaraderie, ensuring reps stay motivated and engaged. Easily create contests and competition leveraging your existing KPIs and sales processes to drive behavior adoption and business revenue.

New Breed is on a mission to ensure sales teams are motivated and happy which is why we are providing the first 5 seats of UPonent free for anyone currently leveraging the HubSpot CRM.

If you’re interested in receiving a demo of UPonent simply click the link below and start motivating your reps.

Sales gamification built for teams on hubspot


Jay Peterson

Jay Peterson is the Startup Segment Sales Manager at New Breed. Jay is a career sales professional and is passionate about helping startups grow and scale their businesses.


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