Heres how the sales role play usually goes:

The manager gathers the team and tells them that they will be doing some role-playing to prepare for an upcoming presentation.

One of the exercises in this book covers what most people think they already know how to do.

The second exercise was too artificial to learn from. The third one is worse.

Here is a poorly structured, awkwardly delivered speech that will not be effective.

Sales role play is a vital component of becoming proficient in sales conversation and messaging. Its amazing how little attention people pay to doing it right.

Practice makes perfect. Its time to start practicing and earning those medals.

Here are the 8 exercises that are most effective for sales training. These can be executed by 1) Role-playing a scenario with the customer as if you were on the phone and had to answer their objections2) Have each person in your team create 3 objections of what they think might happen when trying to sell something


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

8 Exceptionally Effective Sales Role Play Exercises

  • Learning is Listening
  • Objection Island
  • Persona Mixed Bag
  • Extreme Conditions (Hot Seat)
  • Role Reversal
  • Boardroom Brawl
  • The Ringer
  • Pay the Pros

Exercise #1 Learning is Listening

In order to be a good listener, we need to keep practicing. We should do this exercise often.

Playing telephone can be done with as few as two people, or in a large group. If the game is played in groups of three to four players each, have them play against one another so that they are not waiting for their turn.

  • We’re going to start by having one person share a statement. It can be anything that they feel is related to your organization or something entirely abstract.
  • When you are next in line, start your statement with the last three words of what was just said.
  • Continue circling the group until you have gone all around or for a specified period of time.

Improv is a technique that can help salespeople to be more engaged in what the customer is saying and not just focusing on their own agenda.

Exercise #2 Objection Island

This is a great exercise to run any time your team is together. It allows for rapid fire objection response and peer coaching, while also helping people get over their fear of public speaking.

Heres how this sales role play it works:

  • As a team, have one person call out the reps name and then list off some of the common objections that you hear during calls.
  • In order to avoid being voted off, reps have 5 seconds of the call left before they need to respond in a way that moves things forward. If not, they will be eliminated from the conversation.
  • In this game, the reps have to pick a person from their team and go around saying why they deserve recognition. They do not repeat themselves.

The leader of the sales team must be the final judge on timing, quality and originality for objectionsresponses. Typically each time an objection is raised, a unique response should follow.

If you want to change things up, have the sales leader present an objection to every team member. The objections should be followed by a scripted response.

It is important to understand what motivates your salespeople and how they might react in certain situations. The article provides a list of four types of objections that can be used as tools for overcoming them.

Exercise #3 Persona Mixed Bag

Sales role playing exercises are a great way to develop multiple skills at once. The most important skill that these exercises help improve is the ability of reps to interact successfully with different personas within an organization.

This exercise is to make a list of personas that you typically come across in your day-to-day work. Examples are CEO, Director X, or gatekeeper.

  • I write down the names of my favorite people on small pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a bowl or hat.
  • For the first few minutes of each role-play, participants will be assigned a character to play. They’ll read that person’s biography and then act as if they were them.
  • Now we’ll role-play, and I will provide feedback after each try.
  • When I can’t think of anything else to say about a persona or trait, it’s time for me to switch and start over.

Make sure that the rep’s goal is always to help their customer, but also remember that they may need some feedback from you on how best to do this.

Exercise #4 Extreme Conditions (Hot Seat)

This sales role play exercise is not for the weak of heart and should be reserved for those teams that are confident in their skills. It will add a level of difficulty to this practice session, but hopefully it wont exist during real-world calls.

The idea is the same as warming up before batting. A batter will swing a weighted bat before stepping up to the plate, then drop it and pick up their normal one that feels much lighter. With this method they can easily move through an incredible swinging motion.

  • The first step is to outline the rules and structure.
  • When pitching to potential customers, it is important that the pitch be perfect. Any deviation from this will result in a buzzer or gong sounding and the rep being moved back one spot.
  • The more the salesperson does well, the more difficult it becomes. The management role play continues until they are confronted with objections or otherwise fail to succeed.
  • If the sales leader wants to keep pushing for more and more, they can continue this cycle of constant pressure.

One way to help this is by making the next person in line have to pick up where the last one left off.

Exercise #5 Role Reversal

Sales role playing is a great way to get reps to think like the customer. They should be able with practice, assuming both roles and having an understanding of what it feels like on either side. Here is one of the selling role play scenarios.

  • Sales leaders are the most important people in a company. They conduct selling role-plays, response techniques to objections and closing methods.
  • Let the salesperson give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about your company or product.
  • Once you’ve identified what worked well in the previous round, switch seats again.
  • Create a list of the skills that are most important to sales reps and then help them develop their comfort level with these. Work on wording until they can deliver in an effective way.

This strategy also works well with a high performer as the sales leader, who would be able to demonstrate how good of an employee they are.

Exercise #6 Boardroom Brawl

Companies that can benefit from this sales role play exercise are those with a culture of excellence and high performance.Here is one of the customer service role play scenarios.

  • Have your team in the boardroom, and prepare some recorded calls that could have gone better. It’s important to make sure all reps are present for this exercise so they can learn from each other.
  • If you have a large team, divide them into manageable groups and let everyone know that their time will come.
  • I now make sure to broadcast my call for the entire office.
  • After the call, study what was said and prepare a selling role play scripts of how you would have responded if you were on that phone.
  • After playing out a scenario, have the salesperson take on that role and then work through it. The goal is to help them correct their own mistakes while also adding pressure by having everyone in attendance watch. It could also have a follow up like mock sales training.

Variations:

  • Encourage your reps to work together during these conflicts, and even reward them for it.
  • Have a different representative take over after the call is played and handle it in their way.

In Boardroom Brawl and Extreme Conditions (Hot Seat), the players have to put their egos aside in order to improve themselves.

It is important to remember that a paycheck does not motivate people. Salespeople are looking for challenging work, opportunity and achievement.

Exercise #7 The Ringer

When you find the right person for a sales role play, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Its an entirely different thing to take your time and look within your organization for someone who matches that persona and invite them to participate.

If your team is focused on C-Level prospects, go ahead and bring them into the sales training process. They have nothing else to do anyways.

  • The most successful salespeople are those who do not try to imitate someone else. They should be themselves and treat the job as if they were a customer on the other end of a phone call or email.
  • I now solicit feedback from my salespeople about what tactics they are most interested in, and I have them detail the goals that motivate them.

If you can take what has worked for your company and apply it to other companies, then this will pay off.

The majority of executives are all very different, but there is a normal curve. The vast majority face similar challenges and demands, have the same thought processes as well as motivations for their work.

Exercise #8 Pay the Pros

It is common for a leader to have the dilemma of implementing new ideas and making decisions on whether or not they should buy an idea from someone else. If you are in this position, reach out to Roleplay.co who can help with your decision.

Selling role play offers a “sales gym” where your team can be trained in real-world sales by experts and receive feedback from today’s best. They also offer an option to build out programs for you based on the needs of your company.

There are many people who would tell you that they’re not motivated by pay. I know this is true because when I first began hiring salespeople, my assumption was wrong.

Tactics for Better Sales Role Play

Establish a Practice Routine

Improving sales techniques is not a once-a-week or even monthly activity. It’s something that needs to be done at least twice per week, and can include anything from improving your website copy to practicing new ways of handling objections.

In order to create a successful sales pitch, you need not only think about what words you use but also how and why.

If you want your team to be successful, plan for more practice time in advance. You should front-load the amount of time that you allocate for practicing and then stretch it out as they improve their targets.

For telesales role play examples, if your company launches a new product line and the reps need to get up-to-speed on it, you can run some role plays. The more they improve with these sessions, reduce them from every day to 3 times per week then 2 until they are really dialed in.

Make a Scouting Report

Sales role-play should not be based on fictional events. You will get the most out of role-play when you are able to base it off real life interactions.

Tools such as Gong.io and Chorus.ai can provide insights into your reps weak points in their phone conversations, what they say to customers during the call, and how they deliver it all. 

  • When reviewing call recordings, it is helpful to note down any objections that are brought up by the prospect.
  • The best way to gauge a salesperson’s true skill is by testing their responses when faced with difficult objections. You can then use these challenges as opportunities for training.

Increase Your Training Concentration

The sales role play should be focused on the entire conversation, not just objection responses. They are an important part of a successful sales call but there is more to it than that.

Effective salespeople must have the ability to speak with an enthusiastic tone, use vocabulary that is understood by everyone in order to keep their audience engaged and comprehending what they are saying. The pace of speech should be kept at a steady rate so as not lose attention.

One way to listen for these characteristics is by creating a scorecard during each session.

  • There are many factors that go into the success of a salesperson. For this exercise, I am going to assign ratings for each category on an arbitrary scale from 1-10.
  • When you go through your role-play schedule, look for a pattern of improvement. If the salesperson is improving in one area and not another then that will be apparent.
  • You can also create a performance matrix that compares your employees and provides opportunities for competitions based on intentional improvement.

No Surprises

Provide your reps with the framework and goals for each practice session. This helps them think more creatively, producing quality delivery in their own voice.

As you get to know your reps, they will begin identifying their own needs and goals for improvement. And once you’ve grown enough as a practice manager, this is where the real work begins.

To keep your real estate role play exercises as close to the real world, it is important for reps to prepare just like they would if this were a live call.

Be the Buyer

Buyers are the best salespeople. To get better at selling, it is important to practice being in the buyers seat.

One of the most important skills for a salesperson is to be able to empathize with their customer. Ive been on both sides of the role player account and it can help you in any type of sale.

  • The first step is to consider the person and what they are trying to achieve.
  • It is important to know what the individual in your prospect company does and how they might react. This way, you can tailor your pitch accordingly.
  • Training sessions can be difficult, especially when reps role-play with each other. Try to keep the wild and crazy responses at a minimum so that we don’t distract from learning.

They will come if you provide feedback.

Another sales role play tips: The secret sauce is where the rep steps into batting practice for some encouragement.

Sales role plays can be an effective way to train reps in how they should behave. The key is giving them feedback on their performance.

Don’t forget to give positive feedback. Sales is difficult, and we all know that practice helps for improvement so let the prospects dish out their opinions.

Provide real-time coaching. When a rep makes an error, stop the role play and provide feedback then start again from that point to ensure proper timing.

If the rep is doing well with their role-play, provide positive reinforcement by allowing them to progress towards a win. If they have trouble overcoming objections from you as an interviewer, continue on and allow progression if they’re able to overcome those obstacles.

Finally, I debrief the session with the rep. Provide them their scores and ask if they attained their goals for that meeting

Conclude

A champion does not come without hard work.

I found that my athletes were spending more time practicing and training than they did competing.

If you want to give your sales team the best chance of closing deals, it is important that they have regular practice sessions with a strict structure.

Make the time for it, and make sure you have a well-designed practice facility to maximize your team’s potential. And finally, work with them on building their skills so that they can become an efficient sales machine.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.