A team the plays together, succeed together

February 11, 2016


IMG_3643 2If your sales team is reluctant to role-play with each other, you have a problem.

High-performing sales people are no different to elite athletes. The same attributes that drive self-motivation, discipline and innovation apply. Most importantly, habitual practice, training and development. They live to play and thrive on challenging themselves.

Elite athletes have a suite of specialist experts at their disposal. Technique, conditioning, nutrition and psychology advisors are just some of the areas. In addition, data analysts eat and crunch their numbers from every angle, the result: an edge.

Every sales team has a mixed bag of experience, motivation, confidence and skill levels. How you develop your individual team members will determine your team’s success.

Your team may not have an array of expert advisors on hand. However, what they can do individually and collectively is practice their craft. Playful pitching, presenting, asking for the business, objection handling, cross & up-sell and follow-up, can all be refined and improved via structured role-play.

Role-play is such a simple yet incredibly effective form of skill development — so why don’t more sales teams embrace it?

Average sales people are reluctant to role-play because it exposes them. They claim this process is uncomfortable and unnatural.  And that’s exactly why they need to do it! This forces them out of their comfort zone to be challenged, evaluated and guided by more experienced peers. This fosters collaboration and shared best practice.

High-performers on the other hand, are quick to put their hand up and show others their wares. Not scared to share, nor intimated in being challenged. In fact, they encourage it because they want to improve.

The highest paid experts in their field, such as; musicians, surgeons, actors, athletes and the like, all rehearse, refine and practice relentlessly. Elite sales people are no different.

Role-play should be built into your sales culture from day 1. Activated in the on-boarding process, role-play should be habitual, treated as important, and conducted consistently ongoing. When a new team member is immersed into this type of playful culture, one that supports, guides and challenges each other to improve, a high performing sales team will always emerge.

At BOOM! we don’t recommend practicing on your customers, we encourage practicing on each other, that is to say, your peers, team mates and Fearless leader™ (s). Your customers deserve better than practice, they deserve the best.

 Trent Leyshan is the founder of sales training company BOOM! Sales and author of Outlaw and The Naked Salesman

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Trent Portrait

Trent Leyshan

Trent Leyshan is founder and CEO of BOOM! Sales. Sales expert, sought after speaker and facilitator. He is the author of Outlaw & The Naked Salesman.

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