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8 Sales Role-play Scenarios that will help Prepare your Sales Team to handle any sales situation

12 minutes read

Like most skills, your sales reps’ ability to sell improves with practice. But how can you get your reps to frequently practice and hone their selling skills? The answer to this lies in something called the “sales role-plays”


What is a Sales Role-play?

A sales role-play is an activity for coaching and developing your sales team. It uses situations that closely replicate what the sales reps may experience in real-life selling.

Sales role-play involves you giving your employees some sales role play scenarios examples and asking them to act out their role as sales reps. This is basically like an improvisation game for the sales reps where they get to interact with their sales coaches acting out the role of different customer types and,

  • Ask questions
  • Learn from them how to navigate certain sales scenarios
  • And how they can overcome certain roadblocks that they may encounter throughout the process of new client acquisition and beyond

Now that you understand what a sales role-play is, we are going to introduce you to certain sales role-play scenarios that will get your sales team thinking on their feet and mastering various sales scenarios


Top 8 must-try sales role-play scenarios

1.Scenario-1: Discovery

Discovery call role-play is the most important sales role play that you can do, period. With discovery call being the first-ever real connection with a prospect, this can potentially set the tone for the rest of the sales process. So it’s absolutely crucial for your sales reps to prepare for this and make the best first impression.

This discovery call role-play particularly helps the BDRs in efficiently identifying the buyers’ problems. It also helps in getting the new hires comfortable in always asking “next layer questions” that will have an immediate impact on the quality of their discovery process.

How to run this role-play: Get each one of your sales reps to act as the salesperson making the discovery call to the client. And the manager/ coach/ another sales rep should act as the client. Then set the scenario for the role-play by giving the sales rep the demographic details of the client whom they should call.

Before the call, ask the reps to prepare for it by writing down all the questions that they want to ask the client during the call. Then set up a virtual call between the client and the sales rep and encourage your reps to try to

  • Find out as much information as they can about the client
  • And map the clients’ problems with the solution that you offer.


Example discover call role-play script: An ag-tech company talking to a vegetable greenhouse farm that is already using a ton of systems to run their business.

Rep: “Hi Julie. Looking forward to the conversation today. From our work with XYZ and ZYX there are definitely a few areas around [value statement] that I think will be good to talk through.

But first, every single organization we work with is different and has their own unique challenges. I want to spend the first 5-10 minutes talking about your challenges or upcoming projects at [Company], then we’ll spend the bulk of the time talking about what we do at [Rep’s Company], and then if it seems like a fit, we can talk about next steps, does that work for you?”

Prospect: “Sure, sounds good!”

Rep: “What are your top 1 or 2 challenges you’re having today?

Prospect: “We’re looking to optimize our org in order to scale our acres of greenhouses across regions.”

Rep: “Ok, what do you mean by optimizing your organization? Is it the process you have in place from seed to harvest?”

Prospect: “Optimizing our technology. We use a lot of tools, but they’re not really integrated.”

Rep: “Ok, and what challenges is that causing?”


2.Scenario - 2: Elevator Pitch

A good elevator pitch is everything to a sales rep. It is a short 30 seconds description of what your sales reps are selling. This kind of pitch helps the sales reps to capture a client’s attention in a short span of time. So, it’s absolutely crucial for the sales reps to practice this pitch and get it absolutely right. Also this elevator pitch role-play is like a fun challenge for the reps where they have to communicate their core message in just a few words..

How to run this role-play: Ask the sales reps to create an interesting elevator pitch, practice it multiple times, and then deliver it on a video call or in the form of a recorded message. Once the pitch is submitted, the managers should review it and provide helpful feedback.

Example of an elevator pitch script:

As an account executive for [company name], I talk to hundreds of marketers per month. And 99% of them hate creating reports. It's time-consuming, it's tedious, and it's usually not your highest priority. That's where our tool comes in — it pulls from all of your data to create any report you want in less than the time it takes to pour a cup of coffee.


3. Scenario - 3: Product Demo

The product demo is that phase in a sales process that has the potential to make or break a deal. It’s crucial for you to ensure that your reps’ messaging is precise and their product knowledge is evident in their product demos. So it’s always a good idea to get your reps to practice their product demo skills.

How to run this role-play: Get your sales reps to do a product demo role-play with their experienced colleagues or their managers. These demos can then be analyzed for

  • The proficiency of product knowledge
  • The ease with which they navigate the product
  • Keywords that they use
  • Filler words that they use
  • And their confidence when unexpected questions come their way

After the demo, the sales reps should be provided with helpful feedback on where they can improve and how they can improve


4. Scenario - 4: Remote Selling

Needless to say that in the current crisis, remote selling is the most important skill for the sales reps to have. This remote selling role-play sales training is especially valuable for those transitioning from field sales to inside sales/ remote sales.

This type of role-play scenario allows the sales reps to

  • Practice their remote selling sales conversations
  • Get used to using and navigating the video conferencing tool
  • Improve their body language while communicating through a video call
  • Use gestures, keywords, and phrases that help in building a good rapport and trust remotely
  • And practice exhibiting empathy with the client during these crises

How to run this role-play: Ask your reps to get into a zoom call with you and give a presentation of the product. During the call, you can evaluate the reps’

  • Knowledge of the product
  • Selling skills
  • Attitude
  • Facial expressions
  • Confidence in the tone
  • Video conference etiquettes etc

At the end of the call, provide valuable feedback on where they can improve and how they can improve


5. Scenario - 5: Objection Handling

Objection handling role-play gives reps the chance to practice answering tough questions and combat objections from buyers. This role-play also allows the sales reps to leverage the expertise of their seniors and managers and get to learn from their experience about how they can effectively answer the client’s questions or mitigate their concerns.

How to run this role-play: Get your sales reps to do a virtual or in-person role-play with their seniors or managers. Here the seniors/ managers should pose questions/ objections pertaining to your products, features, pricing, or policy. And the sales reps should try to handle these objections efficiently.

The sales rep’s performance can be evaluate based on,

  • Their confidence while giving an explanation
  • The validity/ correctness of their explanation
  • And their ability to convince the client with logic


Example Role-play Script:

The Salesperson: “Are there any questions you have for me today?”

The Prospect: “Yeah, I’ve read online that sometimes other people who use your tool have found that [insert common pain point].”

The Salesperson: “We’ve heard of people experiencing that. If a customer has that problem, we usually [insert solution].”

The Prospect: “That makes sense. But what if that doesn’t work?”

The Salesperson: “We haven’t had much documentation of that solution not working, but if it occurs we would [insert solution.]”

The Prospect: “Well my specific problem is [insert pain point]. What if I solve that but I still want to keep doing [insert other common objection].”

The Salesperson: “You’re actually not the first to have that question! We go on a case-by-case basis, but in other scenarios we have [insert solution].”


6. Scenario - 6: Negotiation

Great sales reps are skilled negotiators. You can develop great negotiation skills in your salesforce by creating role-plays simulating any of the following scenarios

  • Buyers asking for a lower price based on competitor pricing or budget
  • Buyers asking to give more feature for the same standard price
  • Buyers asking for an extension of the free trial period of the product
  • Buyers asking for something to be delivered in an unrealistic time frame
  • Buyers asking to make some changes in your t&c or purchase policy

How to run this role-play:

Get the sales reps to do a virtual or in-person role-play with their seniors or managers (senior/ manager act as the client). Present a situation to them where they have to negotiate with the client on,

  • Product pricing
  • Feature requests
  • Trial period
  • Service period
  • Or terms and conditions

Once they present their argument, evaluate it by identifying the number of filler words used, tone, and confidence. And then provide valuable feedback and coaching with which they can improve their negotiation skills.


Example Sales role-play script:

The Prospect: “Hi! My business just recently had a contract end with our supplier for [insert something your business provides] and we’re hoping to begin a new one within the next few days.”

The Salesperson: “It’s good to meet you! I can definitely help you out here. Can I ask what your specific needs are so I can answer any questions?”

The Prospect: “Yes! We have a fairly large list of clients, around 300, so we need enough [insert specific need here] to provide them with what they need on a weekly basis. Our last supplier was great with their [insert info here], but we always wished that we had [insert something your specific business offers]. I know that this is a bit of a tight time frame, but we’re really hoping we can make something work!”

The Salesperson: “I understand the time constraints! While it is a bit of a quick turnaround, I think we can make it happen. We specifically [insert business’ value proposition], which sounds like what you’re looking for. Our rates are [insert business-specific costs], and we bill on a monthly basis. As far as getting started, we usually need about a 3-week turnaround, but we may be able to get started sooner with an additional [insert extra cost] for the first month since we’ll be getting the ball rolling faster than normal. How does that sound?”


7. Scenario - 7: Letting a client go

Breaking up is hard to do. It is even harder when you must tell a customer (and their commission) goodbye.

It’s important to practice these scenarios because they can be nerve-wracking for new reps, and they can get tense. Role-playing prospect breakups is a crucial part of sales training because if this situation is handled correctly, it can open doors to new opportunities with the same client in the future.

How to run this role-play: Get into a virtual call with each one the your sales reps one after the other. Present a situation to them where they need to inform the client that

  • They cannot fulfill a certain request of theirs
  • Or that it’s not in the scope of your business to help them overcome a certain challenge

Evaluate the sales reps’ performance based on their politeness, confidence and positive attitude. After the role-play, provide coaching and feedback help them improve


Example Role-play script:

The Prospect: “We’ve been having trouble with [insert problem here] and want to use your tool to help us resolve that issue.”

The Salesperson: “I understand that that is a tough scenario to deal with. Unfortunately, our service isn’t meant for [insert prospect need here], we tend to focus more on [insert actual usage for tool]. I don’t think our product is the best fit for that specific situation, but maybe you have other pain points that relate more to what we have to offer?”

The Prospect: “No, that’s our only need — you don’t have any other options?”

The Salesperson: “Unfortunately not, I’m sorry that we won’t be able to help you overcome that challenge. Please know that if you ever get to a point where we can help you, I would be happy to have another conversation and discuss a potential partnership.”


8.Scenario - 8: Stalled deals scenario

Every salesperson will experience stalled deals. The prospect might repeatedly reschedule the demo, ghost for weeks at a time, or drag their feet in returning a signed contract.

Whatever the situation, it costs reps time and money. It’s important that they be able to identify these situations and discover the root cause to successfully discern whether to cut ties or move the deal forward.

How to run this role-play: Conduct a virtual or in-person role-play session where you present this stalled deal situation to the sales reps and ask them to

  • Try to find out the reasons why a prospect might be ignoring you
  • Try to get them to reinstate the sales engagement
  • Or close the case

Evaluate their performance here based on the way they handling this situation and provide feedback on the areas where they can improve


Example Sales Role-play script:

The Salesperson: “Hi [customer name], I’m calling because we’ve scheduled a product demo for today. Is this still a good time?”

The Stalled Prospect: “Oh, hi, sorry I was in the middle of something. Can we push this demo until next week? My boss is out of town and I want to make sure they can participate as well.”

The Salesperson: “That makes sense! I hear that you want to push the demo off, but we’ve rescheduled twice before. Can I ask if there are any hesitations on your end that I can help clear up to ensure we’re on the same page?”

The Stalled Prospect: “We don’t have any hesitations, I just want everyone to know what’s going on.”

The Salesperson: “Okay, we’ll I’m here to answer any questions if you have them, even if there are hesitations.”

The Stalled Prospect: “I actually do have a question. [insert question]”

The Salesperson: “I’m glad you asked! [insert solution].”


Want to gamify your sales role-play sessions?

Read: 5 Sales Role Play Games that Prepares your Team to Win


Want to learn some effective techniques to overcome sales objections?

Read: 10 Effective Techniques to overcome Sales Objections


Want to learn how to efficiently overcome the prospects’ resistance?

Read: How to overcome Prospects’ Resistance?

Published on Sat Oct 9 2021

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