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Using Sales Role-Play to Improve Sales Performance

Working as a sales person can be very challenging and sales role-play is one tool that can be used to decrease uncertainty of how a sales person is going to perform.  Role-playing refers to two people practicing a sales scenario with one person being the sales person and the other being the prospect or customer.

Why Role-Play

One reason that the environment or job of a sales person is challenging is that there is likely a large amount of information that the sales person needs to embrace.  When working with prospects, there is usually a large number of details that we need to be fully up to speed on including details around our products, our services, general company information, etc.  Of course we need to sound knowledgeable in all of these areas not only to educate our prospect to build interest, but also to be able to qualify and establish credibility.

But to be consistent and effective, not only do we need to be knowledgeable about our company and what we are selling, we also need to be very knowledge about sales tactics, methodologies, processes, etc.  Whether there is formal training provided or not, there is a tremendous amount of logic and philosophy that can be applied to improve results and this is an additional layer of information and knowledge that a sales person must develop and manage.

Through sales role-play, we can begin to work through all of the information and knowledge that we need to fully embrace in order to be successful.  Of course most positions will provide some sort of sales training that will include tools like presentations, videos, tests, etc.  These are all great tools as they will help to establish a baseline or entry-level of knowledge.  But to get us to the next to level, we need to practice and work through all of this information and that is exactly what role-playing can help with.



Role-Playing in Sales Training

A typical sales position will come with some sort of training and this may occur when an employee is hired but also likely to recur as there are product changes or to simply improve sales skills.  When this time and investment is being made, it can increase the return on investment tremendously by adding some sort of sales role-play.

Whether the opportunity exists to role-play during the actual training or if it needs to be added informally after the training is done, the act of practicing can tremendously increase the amount of absorption of the training information.  A reasonable expectation can be for a major portion of the training information to go in one ear and out the other and role-playing will reduce this loss.

Role-Playing in Sales Coaching

Another time when role-playing can be powerful is during sales coaching.  Sales coaching is a little more informal than sales training so identifying when to use it or what topic to focus on will not always be clear.  But an opportunity can exist where a client is having a challenge or wanting to improve something and a role-play is a tool that can be used in that scenario to improve results.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales role-play software helping companies to increase the level of role-play for their sales force.

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This article was published on Saturday 27 August, 2011.
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