Finance

A sales team that plays together, succeeds together

Trent Leyshan /

If 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 challenge themselves.

Read more: Your success relies on a fearless sales leader

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 or experience, motivation, confidence and skill levels. How you develop your individual team members will determine your team’s success.

Your sales 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 and upsell, 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 don’t enjoy role-playing 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. They are not scared to share or intimated by being challenged. In fact, they encourage it because they want to improve.

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

Role-play should be built into your sales culture from day one in the onboarding process. Role-play should be habitual, treated as important and conducted consistently. When a new team member is immersed into this type of playful culture – one that supports, guided 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.

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Trent Leyshan

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

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