Sales Performance Management (SPM) has recently gained traction as a ground-breaking approach to traditional sales management. Its primary purpose is to maximize the performance of sales reps through the incorporation of a sales management best practice: gamification.

In order for Sales Performance Management to be effective however, sales leaders have to find the right ways to incentivize and motivate their reps while actively monitoring their individual standings and progress.

Games such as ‘Angry Birds’ happen to be great examples to model your innovative SPM interfaces around. Why? Because they have all the things a regular dashboard has, disguised under the fun premise of birds engaging in a battle to death against the evil pigs.

Not convinced yet? Let’s take a look at the examples.

It holds players accountable for their performance

As you can see, there are 3 worlds, at the top of the screen. Each of these worlds contain their own respective stages that a player must conquer before advancing on. The goal of the game is to win every stage until there are no more levels left to unlock. In this picture, we see that World 2 has 21 levels. So far, this player has only been unable to unlock 17 of the 21 worlds, leaving four levels left unlocked.

This is akin to an onboarding program, or a road map for your sales reps. Each of the levels are representative of different skills a rep is responsible for honing. The four levels that remain locked represent responsibilities or skills a rep has not yet reached due to the lack of proficiency in a previous stage or because his sales manger has not yet trained him on the qualifications. As a sales manager, create an onboarding program where new reps have to master step-by-step skills on their way to sales success.

It identifies levels of achievement

There are three degrees of achievement in Angry Birds, represented by one, two, or three stars. Using the same picture from above, you can see that on certain levels, such as 10, 11, and 13, there are three stars – indicative of a job well done. There are several other levels however, such as 2, 3, and 4 which show an obvious struggle – indicated by the awarding of only one star. A Sales Leader would take one look at this dashboard and realize immediately where her rep was struggling and needed coaching to improve his ‘score’ from one to three stars. If every player is awarded a star based on his or her score, the same concept would be applied to each of your reps. What is the quality of work being done at each level, or as stated above, each accountability or competency? Have your reps been performing at one, two, or three stars?

It recognizes where they stand at any given time

Leaders like to know where their reps stand at any given point in time – luckily, Angry Birds also has a screen for that. As indicated by the picture above, we know how many birds (or lives) are remaining, how many points have been attained thus far, and how many pigs are left in the field. Put simply, your reps’ screen should always show how many opportunities he has closed, what the state of his pipeline looks like, and how many ‘pigs’ he is forecasted to sell.


Because progress indicators have proven to be primary intrinsic motivators, the main prerogative of Sales Performance Management is to incentivize reps to view their progress not only at tactical level, but also a strategic one. In turn, your reps will have the inner drive to deliver their best performances. Angry Birds provides just one example of a simple, yet fun way to demonstrate these concepts.

Now the next time your CEO tells you to put away the iPad, you can tell him you’re conducting some research into sales performance management strategies.

I know, we’re excited too.

Have you implemented gamification techniques as part of your sales management strategy? Share them below!

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