Every superhero has a superpower. It’s what makes them super at what they do. For the Flash it’s fleet of foot. Captain America has endless stamina. Wolverine has amazing reflexes. And Spiderman has…well…spider-sense. For sales personnel with the channel partners of an iconic global tech company, their super power is the knowledge of…the company, its products and how best to sell them . That’s now. It wasn’t always like that.
The company built an array of sales enablement tools for its network of channel partners all available through a central sales portal, a Fortress of Solitude for selling, so to speak. This online presence includes a platform to train, and a social media center, a community where channel sellers can share best practices.
However, most steered clear of this tremendous resource. You’d think it was kryptonite. Efforts were made to get channel partners to engage with the portal and use what it contained. All fell flat. No one took courses on the training platform, and no one logged in or posted anything on the social media center. The available content, from comparison charts to product sell sheets, and more, wasn’t touched.
Even though the tech company’s sales portal is akin to the Xavier Institute in its ability to create super-performing salespeople, it had to find a way to raise engagement levels with content, materials and services. Importantly, since the salespeople were with channel partners, they weren’t required to sell the company’s products. That meant that a lack of engagement with the portal translated into a lack of sales through the partner channel..
The company came to realize the challenge was to find a way to make engaging with the portal and its contents relevant, exciting, and fun by utilizing game mechanics . It also had to integrate seamlessly with other portals operated by the company and its learning management system. He chose Centrical’s platform because it was customizable, could include different data sources, and offers lots of ways to create engagement. In addition, it provided plenty of flexibility in the number and types of KPIs that could be tracked.
The company worked with Centrical to create a game narrative around a superhero – each channel partner salesperson had the potential for such status. Missions were devised to drive the desired behaviors and actions. Each activity would gain points. Teams had weekly competitions and winners could exchange accumulated points for swag on Centrical’s virtual store.
While they all could be super, each channel partner salesperson was different. Different skills, roles and metrics. Centrical allowed complete segmentation by a range of profile attributes. Courses to take and certifications to pursue was one. Personalized communications based on behaviors would be transmitted to achieve and sustain engagement but also, and this is important, done in a way that would resonate with the recipient.
After just three months 31 percent of superheroes in training logged into the system at least once a week. Those more active did so at least twice a week, engaging with content to become more knowledgeable about the company’s products and programs. That’s super results, considering that before the superhero game engagement was nil.
Impressively, more than 50 percent of channel partner sales employees engage and complete all activities assigned to them through the Centrical system. Previously just 22 courses were taken over a 2-year period. After just 90 days 445 courses were completed, an improvement of 16,100 percent. In the same time period, some 10,000 messages were posted on the social media center. And that, if I may say, is truly super.
What’s more super is a sales enablement platform that is used by engaged, enthusiastic salespeople who were motivated to use it and, in the process, become super salespeople.