We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.

Phil Everhardt is a Senior Sales Consultant at SPI and manages fast growing accounts.

What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
More companies are moving away from the annual performance review and toward using gamification to drive behavior change.

What is causing this trend?
Although the annual performance review was never an effective approach to changing behavior, it was accepted as a standard because it was easy enough to execute in most organizations. However, with new technology that provides more immediate and actionable feedback, it is now possible to put an end to the annual performance review once and for all. As technology becomes gamified, participants play and get feedback without even realizing they are working.

What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Organizations that provide more real-time, actionable feedback to employees stand a better chance of driving desired behaviors from their workforce. Short feedback intervals help the employees understand what they need to do before they get entrenched in a certain way of doing things. This approach is usually less painful and stressful than letting undesirable behavior fester and culminate in a serious corrective intervention. Gamification helps keep employees on the right track and can improve morale even during times of significant change because, in addition to correcting behavior, you are also rewarding the right behavior. Gamification gives you leading indicators of change versus lagging indicators.

In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Start by identifying the behaviors you want the workforce or sales team to adopt. Be as specific and granular as possible. Then, create incentive systems to reward people for making those minute but necessary changes. Be sure these align back to your operational objectives. Celebrate success and call-out those who exemplify the desirable behaviors. You can operationalize this system many different ways. There is some good technology that makes this incredibly simple.

Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!


Carrie Brown
Carrie Brown, Marketing & Demand Generation Consultant

Carrie Brown works with SPI as a marketing and demand generation consultant. With experience in copywriting, graphic design, and web development, Carrie uses her skill set to create and implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns for clients.

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