Sales Role Plays:  Let Me Count the Ways They Suck

  1. Sales reps are generally not used to delivering in front of their peers.

Just because they are in sales does not mean that they are comfortable in front of any audience.  An audience of peers can be the toughest.  What if I suck?  You can bet that crosses more than a few minds during a group role play exercise.

  1. talkTeam feedback isn’t necessarily objective.

Any sales rep watching peers do a role play knows their turn is coming. There is a delicate balance between giving constructive feedback and making someone feel like you are criticizing them.  Like they say, payback can be a…

  1. Annual and quarterly sales meetings leave little time for practice.

Doing a role play once is not even remotely enough practice.  But often that’s the only “rehearsal time” provided to reps before they need to go out and have conversations about a new offering. One role play equals a lot of trial and error in the field in front of customers and prospects.

  1. The quality of feedback is uneven across the team.

Some people are good at delivering feedback, and some are not.  What is the criteria for evaluating someone’s performance?  We assume that we all know how to role play – so often there are few guidelines on how to actually conduct it, and how to deliver actionable feedback.

If you want the team to communicate consistently, than the process of practice has to be consistent as well.

  1. Sales reps can’t really see how they are doing.

While sales people are in the moment of a role play, they’re trying something new and have to rely entirely on what their partner decides to tell them (see #2 and #4 above). It’s hard to objectively and completely evaluate their own performance because they can’t “see” it.

Role plays continue to be a requirement of many sales training efforts – and there is a better way that corrects all five of the issues above.  Rehearsal Video Role-play is an online sales training platform that makes role plays impactful and effective.  I’ve been delivering sales training for almost twenty years, and am now a licensed reseller of Rehearsal.  Check out my demo to see how role playing can be ramped up for maximum impact.

 

Lisa Dennis

 

 

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