5 of the Best Sales Training Games: How to Boost Your Skills and Have Fun
These are the best 5 sales training games and activities because they're not only fun, but sales reps can also rapidly build skills together as they compete playfully, making better decisions in a safe and memorable environment.
Your sales team works under lots of pressure to close deals and hit sales quotas. How can you, as a leader, ensure that your team members are regularly learning and improving on their performance? How do you find training that’s enjoyable and lessons that stick long after the training exercise has ended?
Using game-based training significantly minimizes costs while enhancing retention. Five of the best games that are fun and boost long-lasting sales skills include:
1. The Sales Sleuth
There’s a story of a sales rep who was selling construction machinery. The rep called up a crane consortium and pitched their earth-moving cranes. As it turns out, the prospect was a network of nonprofits committed to the protection of cranes (the birds, not the machines). They had no interest in construction and were the wrong prospect to pitch to.
The Sales Sleuth works by reps playing detective to uncover the customer’s needs. Asking probing and practical questions is the sales rep’s weapon to achieving high sales performance. With the right questions, sales reps can uncover valuable information to determine the customer’s wants and needs.
By engaging team members in a fun, collaborative way as they work in pairs, The Sales Sleuth fosters greater learning potential. The team learns to see each scenario from the perspectives of both the prospect and the seller.
- Learn to listen actively.
- Know when to ask which questions.
- Cultivate the right attitude.
How to play
Pair up your reps where one acts as the salesperson and the other as a prospect. Tell your prospects to imagine that they face the challenges and needs of a real-world prospect. Asking them to start by jotting down a few keywords can make this exercise more real.
Give each pair 10 minutes where the rep can use effective questioning tactics to learn as much as they can about the prospect’s needs. The rep who can get their lead to divulge the most information wins. The overall winner is awarded the team’s super-sleuth title.
Find out how resourceful your team can be, and learn who may need to refine their research and questioning skills. A competent sales sleuth is one who knows how to build rapport with the prospect. As the conversation deepens, the sales sleuth asks the right questions to discover the prospect’s real challenges.
The rep may then guide the lead to design a solution to their problems. The rep should understand how the offer fits into the prospect’s solutions and desired outcomes.
2. Role-Play Champions
According to The Marketing, 88% of sales reps are not ready to make a sales call. Equip your sales team with the necessary call-handling skills by playing the Role-Play Champions game.
- Learn how to persuade and negotiate on calls.
- Practice handling objections.
- Practice pitching under pressure.
How to play
This game is reminiscent of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street) training his crew on cold-calling techniques. In Role-Play Champions, team members pair up to act out scenarios where a sales rep calls a prospect. The situation may be reversed into an inbound call by the customer to the seller.
In the game, the prospect takes on a different character with each call. Different enactments depict varying temperaments, using different types of objections, and/or selling different types of products. The pairs interchange roles, so the seller becomes the buyer and vice versa. The pair with the most engaging conversations, advancing negotiation goals such as uncovering the buyer’s needs, wins the game.
A third “observer” role can be added to each pair. The observer’s objective is to stay out of the content or words, and focus on the structure and nonverbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. The observer should check in with the seller at the end of the exercise.
Prepare sales reps to successfully convert on customer calls and inbound calls. Role-Play Champions is one of the best and long-used techniques for training reps on the sales process from start to finish.
The game allows reps to learn how to navigate all phases of a sales process. The players experience ways to deal with objections and to use persuasive techniques to sway buyer opinions.
3. Lead Inspector
A sales VP had been seeking a meeting for months with a CEO for a multinational company. When the VP finally got the meeting, as he sat down, he quickly searched around the CEO’s office for a clue to a conversation starter.
On the bookcase, he noticed a photo of the CEO standing with someone familiar. Looking, from some distance, at the slightly heavy figure with the orange-blonde hair, the VP exclaimed, “I didn’t realize you’ve met Trump in person!” The astonished CEO responded, “That’s… that’s… my wife!”
Sales reps achieve more success when they know as much as possible about a prospect before they meet. Lead Inspector is all about unobtrusively getting to know all available details about your prospective customer.
By knowing your prospect, you become familiar with their personality, preferences, needs, wants, and challenges. With this info, you can personalize a relevant pitch that tackles possible objections and appeals to the prospect’s personality. You also avoid possible embarrassments.
- Learn to define buyer personas.
- Understand a prospect’s culture, industry, and challenges.
- Develop personalized sales pitches.
How to play
Split up your sales team into groups of 3-5 people then assign each team one name from your company’s list of prospective clients. Use the profiles of prospects who have never bought before, so teams can use the results of the game directly in their real-life sales processes.
Each team should use all available tools to find out as much as possible about their target. The team can use LinkedIn, Facebook, CrunchBase, Glassdoor, professional listings, directories, and any other available resource. Research the person’s hobbies, background, memberships, and any points of commonality. The team that digs up the most exciting and the most amount of data about the target wins the game.
Research leads to cultivating positive and lasting buyer–seller relationships. Lead Inspector is a fun way to reinforce the idea that sales reps need to know as much about the prospect as possible to customize their sales pitch. Make researching prospects a fun and entertaining activity while matching personas with solutions.
4. Tenacity Target
Sales professionals often come across prospects who are tough to sell to. It takes lots of endurance, empathy, and soft skills to win over some tough customers. The Tenacity Target game equips sellers with the right attitude and stamina to withstand a tough prospect and to win customers over.
- Learn to be creative in coming up with persuasive ideas.
- Describe your offer in ways different target groups can relate to.
- Practice sales negotiation skills even when faced with a hostile prospect.
How to play
In Tenacity Target, participants form a sort of round table. One participant names a product or service from your company’s portfolio, and the person next to them has to explain the positive qualities of the product.
Everyone takes a turn, going around the circle, to name positive product/service aspects, until one person runs out of ideas. If you run out of ideas, you’re out, and the game continues with the next person. The last person standing wins the game.
For example, the first person may name a vacuum cleaner as the product. The roundtable participants roll off qualities like:
1st – Has superior suction power at 280 AW.
2nd – At $135, it’s cheaper than a Roomba yet more effective.
3rd – It has a highly effective HEPA filtration system.
4th – It comes with a longer-than-standard warranty of three years.
…and so on.
Learn how to keep coming up with benefits on the fly. Know your product and refine your negotiation strategies. Tenacity Target teaches sales reps to look beyond the obvious.
Product knowledge allows the reps to present benefits with accuracy, persuasively, and even passionately. Customers are more likely to respond positively to sellers who are knowledgeable and passionate about the solutions they offer.
A stellar sales pitch is key to closing a deal, and a great sales pitch isn’t about rambling on about how perfect your product is. The best sales pitches are about having an honest two-way conversation, asking real questions, and actively listening to your prospect. Only then can you truly offer a solution to the prospect’s problems.
Your sales pitch should be appealing and must also communicate a value proposition that’s superior to that of your competitors. Holding a Pitch-o-Rama game prepares your reps to create effective pitches and modify their pitches on the go.
- Learn to apply sales techniques for different offers and to different prospects.
- Develop a pitching system that builds trust and attracts buyers.
- Practice persuasion and negotiation skills.
How to play
A neutral person, such as a team leader, should pre-determine the roles involved in the game. For example, there could be a role for the sales rep as well as a critic, a grump, an idealist, and a smart aleck. Each team member is randomly assigned a character.
The person assigned to the sales role has the task of convincing the rest to buy a product. The team leader can either pick a random object from around the room or a product or service from your portfolio. The sales rep then needs to go into “sell” mode.
As the sales rep presents the features and benefits of the product on sale, the other team members chip in with their questions and comments. For instance, the smart aleck may start obnoxiously contradicting the sales reps on the technical details of the product’s features. The grump may snort out some objections about the sales presentation. The idealist may offer hippie-like conclusions about the product’s use.
Participants make the game fun by finding ways to challenge the sales rep’s presentation. The rep who makes the presentation most interesting and provides the best responses to objections wins the day.
Learn to present your sales offers as effectively as possible. Practice modifying your pitch to persuade different personalities.
Wrap Up – 5 Games That Best Combine Fun and Skill Development
Games make sales training experiential. Reps get to bolster their theoretical knowledge and reinforce their application in an enjoyable setting. The five games discussed are prime examples of how reps can interact, compete playfully, and make decisions in a pleasant and memorable environment.
Thanks to recent advances in technology, many organizations are implementing tech-based simulations to enable on-demand training. Simulation games are making it ever-easier for facilitators and managers to teach key skills to sales teams.
For example, The Negotiation Experts’ online simulation game can be tailored to present games that reflect a particular organization’s sales training needs. Reps can log in at their convenience and practice the skills they need most. The simulation logs the results of training, which facilitators and players can use to refine and improve their sales strategies. Is your sales team using games to develop sales reps’ skills?
6 instructor-led half day sessions
8 am to 12:30 pm PST
8 am to 12:30 pm PST
4 instructor-led half day sessions
8 am to 12:30 pm PST