This week saw the official release of Strategic Anarchy’s Sword of Sales game, an exciting piece of gamification that has shaken up the sales industry.
What is The Sword of Sales? It’s a new game with a specific twist, created in the style of an old text-based game from the 80s. Remember those? Where you made your way through the game story by typing in commands? This game is a throwback, but with a modern outcome—a customised sales script.
Today I’m interviewing Jenna Cosgrove, who wrote and helped develop the game, to find out where the idea came from and how it was implemented.
The 8 Percent: How did the idea for the game come about?
Jenna: It’s an idea that Leela, our CEO, had quite a while back; we both LOVED playing text-based adventure games back in the day. Our whole company is made up of geeks and gamers, so it seemed like a natural fit both with us and our niche, who tend to fall into the same category.
The 8 Percent: What makes the game so different?
Jenna: It has a very particular outcome. In the early days of development, our marketing team sat down and brainstormed different ideas and outcomes. As a sales and marketing consultancy, known for our revolutionary approach to sales in particular, we knew the outcome had to be to help people understand sales better.
After much discussion, we had an idea—what if we could create a game that helped people understand the parts of our famous script (the same script we gave to Digital Marketer’s sales team when we trained them, and the same script that has made our clients $25 million in the past 2 years)? Even better—what if, at the end of the game, the player received a personalised copy of the script? So, that’s what we did!
The 8 Percent: Was that difficult to develop?
Jenna: It seemed tricky, but once the idea was there we knew it was the way we had to go. Through a series of choices, players discover the correct elements of the script and also enter information about their own business. At the end of the game, they receive a copy of our sales script, customised for them using the information they’ve given us. Our game developers, ArticNet LLC, were amazing. They found so many out-of-the-box ways to set things up, and the result is perfect.
The 8 Percent: How does playing the game help your clients and prospects?
Jenna: When we give our scripts to clients, we find it normally takes them around 4 hours to customise it. The total game play time of The Sword of Sales to get a customised script, while having fun playing a game at the same time? 30 minutes.
The 8 Percent: You were behind the story and the worldbuilding. Where did the ideas come from?
Jenna: As a fan of fantasy since childhood, and considering our sales team’s ongoing warrior theme, when I sat down to plan The Sword of Sales it was obvious to me that a fantasy theme was the way to go. The development of the world happened quite naturally along the way. In The Sword of Sales, the land has fallen into economic turmoil. Gold is scarce and business owners are having trouble staying afloat. This is the world you find yourself in when you start playing and receive a visit from a mysterious stranger. The stranger tells you a tale about the legendary Sword of Sales, and how prosperity could be returned to the land if only the sword could be found.
As the hero of the game, of course you have a quest in front of you! You need to navigate your way south, away from the only home you’ve ever known, in search of the sword.
On the way you meet many people who can both help and hinder you in your quest. Each meeting is designed to teach you a different part of the sales script, which you will recognise when you receive it as your reward after you’ve played. At the end of the game you also have a big decision to make, which will test how much you really understand about sales and the journey you’ve undertaken.
The 8 Percent: Unlike a normal game, each part of the story had to be quite specific in content, right?
Jenna: Yes, because each corresponds to a different section of the script. Trying to do that in each scene of the game was challenging, especially since our sales script is so different to the norm! It was important to me that the game made sense to people who know our work, and also people who have never heard of us.
In the end, I feel like we came out with a fun, streamlined story that also helped people to really GET the script.
The 8 Percent: What has the reaction to the game been?
Jenna: Really positive! We’ve had people raving about it on Facebook and around the web since we launched. Mostly people find it really fun, and they love that with only a 30 minute commitment they receive a customised sales script. Of course there’s always going to be people who don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, so we’ve had our share of trolling – but nothing we’re not used to by now!
Ready to Play?
To find out what all the fuss is about, head to www.swordofsales.com to get started!