Sales Role-Plays: The Best Bet For Effective Training

Tips For Creating Role-Playing Scenarios

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.”
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

How right and on point Von Goethe was. Selling has never been simple or straightforward. All the prospects have unique needs, personalities, and buying motivations, which means no single sales script or strategy will work for all. So, no matter how many lessons or books a salesperson crams, they can never learn the true skill unless they practice in the field.

And that’s what makes sales training so hard to put into practice. But there’s a solution—role-plays. Role-play training exercises have long been recognized as a powerful training tool in sales. Role-plays are a proven way to boost the performance of sales teams by enhancing their confidence both in new product features and in how to handle objects in a safe environment.

When you give your new sales hires different role-playing scenarios, you’re helping them develop their conflict resolution skills, build empathy, handle rejections, and learn to perform under pressure. They also learn how to improvise under different scenarios.

Role-Play Scenarios In Sales

In the sales profession, there are broadly four main scenarios, or you can say customers, a salesperson will encounter.

1. Complaining Or Argumentative Customer

This is a must-have scenario in any of your role-play training exercises. A customer can be angry for a host of reasons—unsatisfactory service, delays in refunding, defective product, etc. And as a salesperson, you can’t escape such customers and will have to deal with them, because no one wants unhappy customers. The role-play exercises must involve a good amount of info about products as well as offers, currently running campaigns, etc., so that the sales reps can counter customers’ arguments positively and effectively.

2. Undecided Customer

Sometimes, even after giving it your best shot, a few customers will always be undecided. The objectives could be focused on features, service, or pricing. In some situations, the customer actually likes the product but is not in a position to authorize the purchase. Role-play exercises in this scenario must be about how sales reps can do their homework right. You must discuss how your business is validating leads and how to properly categorize leads in their correct categories.

3. Nitty-Gritty Customer

This type of customer is detail-oriented and will do thorough research before making a purchase. Role-play exercises to handle such customers must focus on specific questions that would need further education. Such exercises would also help your reps deal with the unknown, and at the same time, you can assess your reps’ knowledge about the brand and its products.

4. Tech-Savvy Customer

These customers are extremely tech-savvy and are one step ahead of the sales reps when it comes to products, features, and functionalities. You might think that you have covered all your bases about your business and that of the competitors, but there’ll always be one tiny detail that you miss out on. Role-play exercises for such customers would involve in-depth scenarios about the products, including even the tiniest, most unnoticeable details. Such exercises would force your reps to think out of the box.

How To Create Effective Role-Playing Scenarios?

Once you know the different types of customers you encounter in your business, you can chalk out a strategy to create effective role-play scenarios that will help your sales teams to come out on top of their game. Here are some tips that you can use to make the role-plays effective:

  • Use a script
    It’s okay to let your sales teams use a script while hashing out exercises. It’ll enhance their confidence levels and give them fair opportunities to succeed in the role. Once they are comfortable enough, they will switch to improvisation during the exercises.
  • Rejection happens
    It’s very important to help your sales reps understand that rejection is a part of the game and they must not take it personally. Ideate some scenarios with rejection to enable reps to handle this better. And share your stories with your team, it will humanize rejections.
  • Take notes
    The point of an effective role-play scenario is to not interrupt your reps during the exercise. You must take notes and allow the reps to steer the conversation on their own. This helps them to think on their feet.
  • Test listening skills
    Listening is an extremely important skill every salesperson must have. In the role-play exercises, interject some false information about your products or services to test your reps’ listening skills. Their response can help you to coach them better.
  • Negotiation scenarios
    Most of the customers want a good bargain and will ask for it. Develop negotiation skills in your reps through role-play scenarios by creating situations where buyers deliberately ask for a lower price based on competitor pricing or budget. You can leverage Artificial Intelligence to evaluate such role-plays because it identifies the number of filler words used, tone, and confidence, which are typically more difficult to provide feedback on without concrete data.

Role-Plays For Effective Sales Training Using Interactive Templates

Role-plays encourages sales reps to think more critically about the products and services and to see situations from a different perspective. If done right, role-plays can motivate reps in a fun and engaging way. But for that to happen, they should be content-focused, matching the business objectives, and be relevant to real-world situations.

However, creating role-plays for online sales training needs more than an understanding of real-life scenarios and business objectives. Especially if you are building more than a one-off custom sales training module, you need templates to streamline the development process and create a consistent learning experience. Organizations widely deploy interactive templates for role-plays to create business simulations and branching scenarios quickly and affordably. These templates are customizable and can be used for any industry and audience.

These templates often work through a compelling storytelling technique and use several motion graphics and talking head videos to make your role-plays effective and boost engagement and performance. There is no need to provide boring digital catalogs or customary page-turner sales training courses when you can offer interactive role-plays that can be accessed remotely across devices.

Liqvid eLearning Services

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