Fun sales training exercises can be a great way to help your team develop those critical skills that make the difference between a rookie and a pro, and they don’t even take that much time to do.
Let’s be honest, not everybody is born a smooth-talking, deal-closing sales hero, in fact, for most, becoming truly great at sales takes years to develop. You need to build confidence, become an expert communicator, think on your toes, and all the while be charming as you engage your customers. It’s not easy.
Below we’ve outlined 5 sales training exercises that will improve your team’s ability to:
- Identify their audience
- Identify their problem/need
- Narrow in on the most critical questions
- Describe the features and benefits of the product
- Close the deal
None of these exercises require any additional equipment, so all you need is to carve out a few minutes of your day with your team and have a little fun with it.
Exercise 1: Why Should I Buy?
In this exercise, you’ll split your teams into groups and a trainer (or yourself) will go around to each group and assign them a product that they want to buy. The trainer will provide limited detail to give your team a sense of the target audience and their needs, for example, “I’m looking for a tablet for my daughter. I don’t want to spend too much, and it needs to be light enough for her to carry with a battery life that lasts.”
The team then needs to sell that product. They’ll take turns, with one person providing a feature, and the next providing the benefits to that feature. At the end of the game, whoever has listed the most benefits wins.
Exercise 2: Can You Explain A Little Further?
This exercise requires you and your team to interact a little bit with the unexpected public which is why it’s a great exercise for thinking on your feet. The objective is simple: each individual team member is a now a tourist, and they need directions to somewhere in the city.
Here’s where it gets tricky: they can only ask a stranger and no matter what the stranger says, they need to keep asking them for further assistance. The more your team gets the strangers to help, the more points they get. For example, after being given auditory directions, maybe see if they’ll draw you a picture, or give you a nearby landmark to help guide you, maybe they’ll even walk you there or give you change for the bus. You get the idea.
So many salespeople fail to follow-up and subsequently fail to close the deal, this game is aimed to encourage them to persist, persist, persist.
Exercise 3: We’re Listening
We’re Listening can be one of the most effective sales games in providing instantaneous feedback while boosting the morale of your team. At any point throughout the day, you can pull your team together to play, since it requires them to make a sales call on speaker phone for everyone to hear.
The team lead will stand by with a checklist, marking a point for everything your team member does well, whether it’s getting an email address for a follow-up or scheduling an appointment to meet. Your team lead can be as creative as they like with this. Every team member will take a turn, and at the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins.
The key here is to also provide each team member with a boost of confidence in what they did well, and a point to consider for their next call. By listening in on other calls, as well, they can better develop those key skills we mentioned at the start of this article.
Exercise 4: The Generic Sale
Selling the latest Apple innovation is easy since it usually comes with its own wave of super-cool new features to boast about, but what about selling a pad of flip chart paper? Way less exciting, but it makes for another great sales exercise.
You can write up a bunch of different generic products and put them into a hat to randomly select, this can be anything: a pad of paper, a toothbrush, a washcloth, a stapler; the more generic the better. Your team will be split into pairs and the goal is to sell the product to their partner. Whoever has the better sales pitch wins.
This game is great for developing creativity and getting your team to really think about the core qualities their customers want in any product.
Exercise 5: The Detective
This game is designed to see just how resourceful your team is and who might need a little more work on their research skills. This game best works as an individual exercise, but it can be played in teams, too. You’ll assign everyone with their own client; it could be one of your business’s future prospects or a random CEO of a competing company; it can even be someone famous, but be mindful not to make this exercise too easy. You’re going to give everybody 10 minutes to do as much research as they can on their client, and at the end of the exercise, they’ll present what they learned and how that information will be useful to them to sell your product. Whoever learns the most valuable information will be crowned the team’s best detective.
Engaging your team and working on their sales skills through creative games and role-plays can be a fun way to encourage them to further develop their skills and boost morale. The exercises don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming to be effective, so why not try one out and see how they do? At the very least, it’ll provide an enjoyable break from the day’s usual hustle and bustle, and your team will thank you for that.