How Useful is Role-Playing in Sales Training?

Looking to make sales training more practical and fun for new hires? Here are a few tips. As an educator and a hands-on learner, I am the type of person that has to see and experience something in order to understand it. I am sure there are many more business people who share my sentiments:

  • Record them – it’s not enough to complete the role play – you must record them. MUST. Our team went back and listened to their entire sales process from discovery to proposal – and that is where they learned the most.
  • Have each role player analyze the situation – getting multiple vantage points will help you see issues that you cannot see for yourself. It’s a great way to find your blind spots.
  • Learn with zero risk – the most important reason we do role plays at KiteDesk is that they give you the chance to learn without risking losing the deal. Our philosophy is that it is much better to learn from each other vs. learning from the market. Plus we can create situations that are more difficult then what most reps will see in the market – that way they are prepared for the worst
  • Role playing isn’t a one and done – you should make role playing a part of your regular routine. It’s one way you can continue to work together to get better.
  • They are incredibly useful – to finally answer your question – role plays are a great way to 1) see where each of your team members are at in their sales skills, 2) learn from each other, 3) due post deal reviews, 4) work on consistent messaging/process, and 5) build a culture of learning.

I direct you to read Harvard Business Review’s article entitled “Role Playing as a Sales Tool”: I am sure we all faced a situation where one of our employees was ill equipped to deal with customer questions and concerns. Giving them the practice during training will certainly avoid incidents like the one mentioned in the article.

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