The ultimate goal of sales enablement is to give client-facing employees the tools they need to have sales conversations. It all begins with recruiting and hiring highly skilled employees, but it also includes training and coaching current employees.
One of the best sales training strategies is role-playing. Role-playing is often underutilized in sales training because learners do not take them seriously. However, throwing unprepared salespeople into an actual sales conversation could cost the company the sale. Role-playing strategies are a safe way to test out a sales person’s skills before they are engaged in a live sales situation.
Role-playing is ineffective unless it is structured and framed by some rules. First and foremost, all learners need to take their roles seriously. Facilitators should:
- Choose one thing to focus on. The facilitator should preface each role-playing opportunity with a specific theme or focus. Learners will need to work on their technique gradually, so working through particular issues during each activity will help them perfect each skill. For example, the first round of role-playing could focus on greeting the customer and gaining an understanding of their needs. Once learners have mastered that, move on to something that requires more skill such as basic sells technique, then upselling, and so on.
- The customer should never be the same. The learners playing the customers should vary their characteristics with each new scenario. Choose from: the angry or defensive customer, the quiet customer, the demanding customer, or the disinterested customer. Make sure that the customer is giving the learner an authentic experience of what it will be like to deal with these personalities.
- Learners should reflect on the process. After the role-playing scenario is over, allow the learners to reflect on what they did wrong and what they could have done better. Let the customers chime in on how they felt during the interaction and what would have been a better approach for their character.
- Encourage teamwork. Let role players work together to discuss ways they can approach the situation differently. Learners playing customers can discuss realistic ways they can challenge the sellers.
Training that is conducted online can benefit from role-playing games too. Discussion boards can be used to present the scenario, and video responses can be posted. Alternatively, skilled instructional designers can create interactive learning content that gives learners options from which to choose in response to a scenario. The outcome of the scenario will change based on the learner’s responses.
For sales enablement training, online learning, and role-playing means give way for new assessment opportunities as well. Using tracking and reporting features, trainers can check to see how learners are doing in the role-play scenarios.
Use Mindflash for Sales Training
Mindflash is a learning management system that has integrated content creation software in addition to tracking and reporting features. To see how Mindflash can enhance your sales enablement training, request a demonstration of the Mindflash platform.