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The role of the predictive gamification to increase the sales performance: a novel business approach

Elenise Martins Rocha (Department of Production and Systems Engineering, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil)
Giancarlo Medeiros Pereira (PPGEPS, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, Brazil)
Diego Augusto de Jesus Pacheco (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil and Department of Production Engineering, Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis – UniRitter, Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 29 October 2019

Issue publication date: 23 April 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of predictive gamification, through a sales simulator game, as a strategy to minimize sales problems in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study was executed in a large global company that produces and markets footwear for B2B and B2C markets. The company operates in more than 18 countries and adopts the gamification to train 7,600 sellers and 10,052 professionals directly linked to the sales area. The methodology adopted followed a qualitative and exploratory approach based on an in-depth case study analysis.

Findings

Results indicated that the use of predictive gamification allowed mitigating future problems, in average, four months in advance of the arrival of the new products at the points of sale. The main findings included improvement in sales arguments, product knowledge and sales closure. The company assigns the results to the implementation of the gamification and the possibility to simulate the evaluation of the level of readiness of the sales force resources. For this, the following three primary variables emerged: adequate definition of training content, analysis of the learning process and simulation of store reality.

Research limitations/implications

The authors introduced to the sales training literature the concept of predictive gamification. The predictive gamification allows anticipating and reducing future problems before the arrival of the new products in the market, improving the argument of sales, the knowledge about the products and the ratio of sales conversion of stores.

Practical implications

First, the content design of gamification needs to be carefully projected before the simulator development, considering the target audience and its particularities. Second, the construction of evaluation activities needs to consider contexts, actions and results. Third, monitoring the paths taken by the seller in the simulator environment is requisite. Fourth, the analysis of the results of vendor responses in the simulator environment can be obtained through learning management system reports. Fifth, the development of game simulators with advanced technologies may be done with low investment.

Originality/value

The findings have implications for the field vis-à-vis three main research gaps identified in the literature discussing gamification in sales training. First, the authors identified best practices from the application of gamification in sales training. Second, they showed the sales qualification processes, which can be improved by applying gamification. Third, they presented strategies of use of gamification as an approach allied to the training of sales professionals to generate enhanced sales results.

Keywords

Citation

Rocha, E.M., Pereira, G.M. and Pacheco, D.A.d.J. (2020), "The role of the predictive gamification to increase the sales performance: a novel business approach", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 817-833. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-01-2019-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited