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Sales role plays have long been recommended as a successful method of teaching salespeople new behaviors and abilities. When done correctly, sales role plays may be incredibly beneficial because they give learners the chance to practice their abilities in a safe setting and receive sales coaching from others who watch them.

However, if done incorrectly, sales role plays can demotivate learners and undermine their self-assurance.

Five Tips for More Powerful Sales Role Plays

Here are 5 sales training role-play advice to help you develop your solution selling abilities rather than lowering them:

1. Make the Sales Role Play Objectives Simple, Clear, and Specific

The tasks they are expected to complete and the precise skills they are being tested on should be apparent to sales representatives.

How far along are they with this customer in the sales process?
Do they just now start to develop a relationship?
Are they still in the research phase?
Have they given assurance that they comprehend the client’s needs and issues?
Is there a particular sales barrier they need to try to get past?
Are they getting near the end?
Ideally, you should rehearse each stage of the sales process with a focus on the crucial few that matter most for your particular sales strategy, culture, and target market. Keep things straightforward to maximize the impact.

2. Customize the Role Play so It’s Real

Your team’s most common and critical sales situations should be reflected in the sales training scenarios you develop. The top five sales scenarios that have the biggest impact on your sales performance measures, such as revenue, margin, win rate, cycle duration, and portfolio mix, should be identified.

Additionally, reflecting on your particular sales environment is beneficial. Role-plays should take place in several settings, including “over the phone,” “at a meeting with slides,” and “one-on-one.” The benefits and drawbacks of each location vary. Your sales representatives should practice in the settings that matter.

3. Ask Reps for their Feedback First

When a learner can evaluate their performance and make necessary improvements, real learning continues. Inquire with the representatives about their performance in the role play, including any positive and negative comments, and what they plan to do differently in the next round.

After they’ve given a self-evaluation, give them balanced and fair performance criticism. If you place too much emphasis on the positive, they might believe they have little to learn, and if you place too much emphasis on the bad, they might lose confidence.

4. Create Clear Sales Performance Tests

A performance test specifically evaluates how well candidates perform (or apply) their targeted sales abilities in realistic simulations. Through observation, scenario questions, and simulations, for example, one can determine whether a sales training participant is genuinely capable of performing their duties on the job. This is a more effective technique to see if your sales team can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

5. Suggest Next Steps

Give your sales reps concrete, obvious, and straightforward actions they can do to improve. You should improve your questioning techniques, or similar generalizations, which are not useful. You must offer precise language, an alternative strategy, or possibly better preliminary research. The list you provide for taking action serves as your guide for the next conversations and coaching sessions.

The Bottom Line

Only 1 in 5 sales representatives alter their performance and behavior as a result of solitary training sessions. Use targeted sales role plays, performance testing, and sales performance coaching to boost revenues, margins, and customer satisfaction if you want your solution-selling sales agents to perform better.

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