5 Sales Role Play Games that Prepares your Team to Win

6 minutes read

Sales role-play: An improvisation game to prepare your sales team to face and win any customer scenario by making them act out different sales conversations.

Sales role-playing is one of the most underrated techniques to train employees in many organizations. But, if done well, it will have a huge impact on boosting the skill levels of your sales employees.

Here is how role play helps:

  • Creates familiarity with the types of individuals your team is most likely to interact with in the course of their work;

  • Builds empathy for your customers by having your staff perform as customers; and

  • Learning conflict resolution , through the acting-out of interactions with dissatisfied clients.

Usually this is how most managers conduct role-playing exercises for their sales team:

The manager gathers her sales team and makes each individual act out conversations with different customer archetypes. But, just training on conversing with different types of customers is not enough to turn your sales reps into expert sellers. They need to be pros in handling various sales scenarios. So, in this blog we present 5 sales role play exercises that will train your sales team on not only handling different customer personas but also on various other aspects of selling.

Effective role playing exercises

1. Learning is Listening

Before we can help anyone, we should listen to their problems, difficulties and obstacles carefully. It is specifically important in sales to be an expert listener. That is why this role play exercise has to be repeated on a daily basis.

This activity can be conducted with a group or with as many as 2 people. If in a group, you can either segment the group into smaller groups or play with the entire group “Telephone Style”.

  1. One person will begin by making a statement. It can be directly related to your organization or something entirely abstract.

  2. The next person in line should then begin their statement using the last three words of the previous person’s statement.

This continues until everybody in the group is covered or till the set time is up.

Purpose: This technique helps the reps to learn to pay attention to what others are saying, instead of just living in their own agendas and planned responses.

2. Objection Island

This is a great role-play exercise to run whenever your team is together. One key skill that every salesperson needs to learn is to overcome client objections. The more they practice dealing with these objections, the more successful they will be.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Begin by calling out a rep, then hurling a common objection heard during your team’s calls.

  2. The rep has 5 seconds to respond, and do so in a way that will allow the conversation to progress positively, or they are voted off Objection Island.

  3. If the rep is successful, the rep then calls out a person of their choice and repeats the process.

Each time, the objection and response must be unique. The sales leader gets to decide the timing, response quality, and originality versus other responses.

If you want to vary things a bit, the sales leader can throw out the same objection to every team member sequentially, following the same response guidelines. This shows how each individual in your team has got a different approach to the same situation.

Purpose: This technique helps the reps to practice handling client objections and overcome them tactfully.

3. Role Reversal

Turn the role-play around for your reps and allow them to be the prospect.

  1. Then have the sales manager take on the salesperson’s role and conduct an ideal role-play. Make them demonstrate their way of approaching clients, handling objections, conversational tactics, and closing techniques.

  2. Allow the rep to provide feedback, or comment on what they thought worked well or not at all.

  3. After a round or two, compile what has worked well and switch seats.

  4. Using this list of winning tactics, helps the reps develop their own comfort level sales conversations. Work on wordsmithing and delivery until reps have a strong grasp of the skills.

This also works very well with top sellers demonstrating as the sales leader would.

Purpose: This gives the sales reps an opportunity to learn from the best in their team.

4. Boardroom Brawl

This is another exercise best suited for culturally strong, performance-oriented teams.

  1. Gather the team in your boardroom. Come prepared with some recorded calls that could have gone better. Make sure you have at least one for all reps present so the field is level, and they all experience this together.

  2. If you have a large team, break them up into manageable chunks, let everyone know that their time will come.

  3. Now, play the call for all to hear.

  4. Once it is over, immediately adopt the persona from the prospect on the exposed call (make sure you have studied the call, and prepared a transcript to work from).

  5. Have the rep begin a role-play based on the exact scenario just played for the team. The goal here is to help the rep correct their own mistakes.

You can also encourage peer coaching during these brawls. Add a competitive twist by rewarding points and prizes to reps who can successfully correct the call.

Purpose: This enables the reps to not only learn and correct their own mistakes but they will also be able to learn from their peer’s mistakes.

5. The Ringer

It is one thing to act out a persona during a role-play. It’s an entirely different thing to seek out the exact persona within your organization and invite them to participate.

If your team targets C-Level prospects regularly, go grab your C-Suite and bring them into your sales training!

  • Have them simply be who they are, and treat your sales team as they would the numerous salespeople who are attempting to connect with them every single day.

  • Solicit their feedback on the tactics and have them detail what is important to them with respect to their position, demands, goals, and motivators.

Purpose: If sales reps can draw on this wealth of experience and knowledge within their own organization, you can bet it will pay dividends as they target these folks in other orgs.

Yes, everyone is different. But never forget that majority of C-Level executives face similar challenges and demands, have similar thought processes and certainly similar motivators. There are always outliers, but you’ll be far better prepared if you focus your improvement efforts on the majority.

Wrap up

Use these 5 proven role play games to facilitate sales practice regularly for your team and turn them into efficient sellers. You can always create your own scenarios for your role play exercises. Some of the best ones will come from your own team members who have had to face real-world problems. The more realistic you can make it, the better it will be.

Published on Sat Aug 3 2019

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