Here are a few sales training exercises to liven up your sales training. The goal of sales training is to give salespeople a set of skills and tools that radically improves their sales performance. The use of sales training courses is an essential part of the whole sales industry, but we need to continually ask what value it adds to sales growth. In fact, up to 85% of sales training fails to deliver a positive ROI. The reason for this is that sales training sessions can vary from being brilliant to being absolutely boring. So hopefully the below sales training exercises can help positively impact on a salespersons experience when it comes to sales training.
Sales Training Exercises: 1. Expectations.
What will sales training have done for you?
Get the sales course participants to imagine it is 1 year from now, they have been using what they learned during the sales training course continuously as part of their sales activity. Get them to write down, in as much detail as possible, exactly what sales training will have done to make them more successful, their customers more engaged and helped them win more deals.
Sales Training Exercises: 2. Creating Value
This sales training exercise is based on the adage “If a customer can’t see the difference between 2 products, they will decide based on price”.
The object of this exercise is to assist salespeople to create and demonstrate value to a customer who is either comparing your offering to a lower priced competitor or has become too price focused.
Select two participants, 1 is the customer, the other is the sales person. Give the salesperson 2 household batteries. One is priced at $1, the other battery is priced at $10, ask him/her to prepare a list of differences in 3 minutes. The customer asks the salesperson for a cheap battery for their kids toy. The salesperson presents the 2 batteries and points out the price for each and asks which one would the customer like. (The customer can either pick the cheaper one or ask what’s the difference)
So now the salesperson should explain a list of differences that can create real value difference and reasons to purchase the $10 battery.
Guaranteed to last 100 times longer than the cheaper one.
5 times more powerful so can power larger toys.
Child safe, will not leak.
1-year warranty v 3 months warranty
The $10 battery has a limited special offer of buying another within a year for $5.
The point is that, depending on the customers own situation, people will opt for the $10 battery, proving that it is value, not price that drives decision-making. Done well, building customer value positions salespeople with a great chance to win more sales, and grow longer term customer relationships.
Sales Training Notes: Creating value not only transforms sales effectiveness, it also provides a cushion against price pressure.
Did the salesperson get to know the customer and develop a good understanding of what they value?
Explain clearly why the $10 battery will help the customer and communicate why it is the better option?
Sales Training Exercises: 3. Hit the Target
This exercise is based on consistency with sales techniques and in the sales process.
Roll up 50 or 60 pieces of paper into balls. Ask 3 course participants to volunteer to throw the paper balls into a waste paper basket. Give each person 10 balls.
Inform them the goal is to throw as many paper balls into the basket in thirty seconds. They can only retrieve any balls that have landed in the basket during the time to increase their score.
Now begin the countdown and count louder as they get to the last 10 seconds. Watch how their pace of throwing picks up (and they try to be more accurate).
Selling is about consistency and habits. Why did they throw more or try to be more accurate as the deadline approached? Was their plan to focus on speed or accuracy (or both or none!!)
As you had 50 or 60 balls, did any of the volunteers ask for more balls (you never mentioned they couldn’t ask for more balls). Ask them why didn’t they ask for more balls? You could link this back to parts in the sales process such as “initiative” “thinking outside the box for solutions” “asking for more resources” “determination to hit their targets” etc. Also, the more balls they threw, the higher the score which is all about sales consistency.
The nice thing about this exercise is you can expand more examples that link back to your own sales challenges.
Sales Training Notes: By having a consistent approach coupled with focus, speed and accuracy of actions will give any salesperson the blueprint to sales success.
Sales Training Exercises: 4. Hold or Fold
This sales training exercise to focused on a salespersons ability to clarify where the prospect is in the sales process and in doing so cleans up the sales pipeline.
Using 5 or 6 sheets of paper, write down real reasons a prospect stalls a deal – budget slashed or gone, boss or member of the buying committee not convinced, preference for another vendor, not convinced solution meets their needs, not a priority, perceived risk with product or company etc.
Ask for 2 or 3 sets of volunteers, one will play the stalling prospect, the other the salesperson. Give each prospect player 1 real reason sheet why they are stalling.
Scenario: The prospect has agreed after weeks of chasing by the salesperson to a catch-up meeting. The salesperson must ask a series of questions to see if they can get the prospect to reveal their true reason for stalling. At the end of the exercise, the salesperson must state why they think the prospect is stalling and whether to hold onto the prospect or move on. The prospect then reveals his/her sheet to see if there is a match.
Sales Training Notes: Have each salesperson ask the prospect questions to understand whether to hold or fold. Questions such as, “I noticed you haven’t taken advantage of your demo account, usually when this happens it’s because it is not a business priority right now, is this the case here?” can help your prospects confront whether they do or do not want to move forward.
Once the salesperson has asked their series of questions and does/does not understand why the prospect is stalling, and have either moved the deal forward or folded and walked away, have an open discussion on what went well, what made the prospects feel uncomfortable, and suggestions on what to do next time around.
Sales Training Exercises: 5. Walk the Buyers Journey
The goal of this exercise is for salespeople to understand their own market and how they could influence the buying process using social selling as more buyers use social media to conduct research.
For this exercise, the seller (all the sales course participants) becomes the buyer of your own product/service. Using their industry knowledge and a typical customer profile, how far can they go in the sales process doing web searches/LinkedIn/social media in selecting your own product/service without having to interact with a sales person? (In some markets, you can get pricing, free trial, video demos etc without having to talk to a salesperson)
Awareness (window of unhappiness) – “I may have a problem”
Example buyer question: What features should I expect in a CRM system?
Consideration (window of alternatives) – “I can see a definite solution”
Example buyer question: What CRM systems would the group recommend?
That is a quick list of 5 sales training exercises any salesperson or sales trainer can conduct to liven your sales training courses.