Martin Moran General Manager and Senior Vice President - EMEA
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How your sales reps could learn from Pokémon trainers

4th Oct 2016
Martin Moran General Manager and Senior Vice President - EMEA
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Since its launch in July, Pokémon Go has taken the lead across app stores. With more than 100 million downloads, generating more than $10 million in revenue each day, these monsters appear to have taken over the world.

However, more than just a turning point for AR, this is also an opportunity for smart businesses to crank up their sales.

If you haven’t already been caught up in the craze, a quick introduction: Pokémon Go is a game that allows players to “travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon”, using real locations to encourage players to search and explore their surroundings to find the “creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the wild or alongside humans.”

You don’t have to go far to find someone with a smartphone in hand, wandering the streets in search of these creatures. The game’s viral success is tantamount to its brilliant strategy. What’s more, there are applications of this technology that can work for the world of sales. 

Much like Pokémon Trainers (the term for Pokémon hunters in game play), sales teams spend a huge amount of time searching for the perfect lead.

Here are five examples of how Pokémon Trainers could add skills to the sales rep’s repertoire:

Customise your trainer, or for sales reps, optimise your social profiles. In this game, it’s critical to establish your personal profile. In the world of sales this doesn’t only mean dressing the part, but also making sure that your appearance online - social media included - reflects you and your company in a positive light.

Add to your Pokédex, or in sales, identify target accounts and contacts. As Trainers level up in the game, they’re able to catch more powerful Pokémon and add them to their Pokédex. In sales, you have to identify your strategic accounts, put an attack plan together, and build a personalised approach plan to add key decision makers into your sales pipeline.

Join a team and sell as a team. While playing Pokémon Go, you’ll be asked to join a team: Mystic, Instinct or Valor. In the same way, sales is a team sport too. You can’t win alone. Sales, marketing, and sales development must have a combined strategy to attack – and win – target accounts.

Search high and low for Pokémon, or for sales teams, take a personalised prospecting approach to buyer personas. In order to ‘catch em all’, you have to get out and explore cities where Pokémon might be. Similarly, in sales, it's all about the prospect, exploring their world and finding what resonates with them. The closer you get to understanding their needs the better chance you’ll have to turn them into a customer.

Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, throw a Poké Ball to catch it, or for reps, give value to get the sale. You can’t just walk up and grab a Pokémon, you have to throw a Poké Ball and catch it. Similarly, prospects don't buy easily. You have to use your own tools to catch them, and in sales, that usually means demonstrating value. Become a trusted advisor. Make your prospects look like a hero and you'll be a lot more likely to win the deal.

So perhaps we should all listen to our friends at Nintendo, as the sales reps that tackle each prospect with a Pokémon Trainer’s “gotta catch ‘em all” mentality are often those who exceed their quotas.

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