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7 Best Sales Training Games (And Why They Actually Work)

The Scotwork Team

All sales teams need to engage in regular training if they want to perform at the top of their abilities. Regular training can deliver insights into the best sales techniques, both old and new, and can also allow sales reps to put these tips and tricks into practice for the first time. No one wants to try out some new methodology whilst trying to land that big contract they've been working towards for months.

Of course, no one also wants to get stuck in dry seminars trying to force themselves to pay attention. Learning should be fun!

Introducing a sales training game to a learning session can engage everyone in a new way and can help them think outside the box when approaching sales and negotiation.

If you want to spice up your next training day with some sales training games, we have a few suggestions your team members may enjoy.

Why make sales training into a game?

Some negotiations are casual and straightforward, while others can be tense and complex. A sales rep needs to be prepared to face any scenario and to respond with ease to the tone put forth by their opponent. Even the most experienced and professional of sales professionals might find themselves feeling uncomfortable if they suddenly need to try out something to get the conversation back on track.

Practising different sales techniques in a safe, closed session like a training day can help sales team members feel confident in their own abilities to switch tacks.

Plus, who doesn't like a game?

People respond very positively to games and the chance to play for something, so much so that this phenomenon is referred to as gamification. When we take elements from games and put them into a non-gaming environment — such as the workplace or a negotiation table — we often see an uptick in engagement and motivation.

In fact, one study discovered that 90% of employees say gamification makes them more productive at work, and 72% of people say that using gamification motivates them to work harder and complete their tasks.

Think about how many apps you use in your everyday life that offer rewards and badges for each milestone you complete. Most people have heard of or used Duolingo at some point, but fitness apps, loyalty schemes, and many other apps designed to make our lives more convenient all use gamification to achieve their ends.

To get good levels of engagement and ensure that a sales team member is actually using a technique optimally, you might want to look into gamification. Sales games are a fantastic way to bring gamification to your average training session!

Benefits of sales training games

Choosing to use sales games as part of your next team building day can help to strengthen motivation and engagement, but it also carries other benefits. Some other key skills that can be boosted through sales games might include:

Better address customer needs

No one wants to sell a customer something that they simply aren't interested in. An effective sales team member must be able to accurately identify and define the customer's problem without suggesting a solution, and the information they have to work with could be extremely vague.

This allows negotiators to focus on developing communication and negotiation skills and strategies that address the customers' needs and interests effectively, no matter how diverse they might be.

Quickly identify audience (and their persona)

Every negotiation will carry different key stakeholders who will all have varying effects on the outcome of the negotiation as a whole. Sales teams need to identify these key figures and the other influential people who might not be seated at the table right now.

This then allows them to tailor communication to that specific audience so that they might negotiate more effectively overall.

Deeper understanding of products and services

Every product or service carries a selection of benefits and features that are designed to be attractive to their target audiences. Sales teams negotiating contracts need to have detailed knowledge of these benefits and features, but they should also be able to identify them quickly if they are encountering them for the first time.

This then allows them to speedily match a relevant product or service to the needs of the client or negotiation opponent. They will then be able to create more value in the negotiation, as they will be able to suggest products and services that fix any issues the client may put forward.

Improve critical thinking

The ability to ask clear and targeted questions is a must for sales reps. In doing so, they are able to uncover the true thoughts of those seated across the negotiation table from them. This valuable information can turn the discussion in the favour of the negotiators and allow them to lead with an overall more effective sales strategy.

Boost sales closing

Every sales team wants to close their deals! However, getting to the stage where everyone is happy to sign on the dotted line and close the deal is not as easy as it might seem. Clear communication skills, good timing, and a sound understanding of what the client wants/needs will all play their part in getting the deal across the line.

Negotiators need to learn how to confidently handle last-minute changes and other obstructions that could prevent the creation of successful sales.

7 Sales training games to add to your next learning session

Bring your next training session to life with a few games. Even if they are just an icebreaker to get everyone ready for the session, they can be a great way to get their brains warmed up and ready to work.

These are some of the best training games that we've come across; they are perfect for skill development, nurturing a deeper understanding of the sales process, and engaging with each other in a fun way!

1. Dice exercise

All you need for this exercise are some dice. Participants simply have to throw as many sixes as they can within a certain period of time — usually 30 seconds. You can split your people into two teams for some friendly competition, or you could just have people play for themselves.

If you want to up the ante, you can find dice with more than six sides. Imagine trying to roll as many 20s as you could in a minute!

Why does the dice exercise work?

Sometimes it isn't just about finding the right sales strategies. The beauty of the dice exercise is that it showcases how much effort can play in negotiation. If someone sits back and only rolls occasionally, they are never going to reach the same results as someone committed to taking part.

2. Pitch relay

A team is assigned a product or service and is then given some time to set up a pitch. When they present it, a buzzer interjects their speech at random times. The current speaker must stop and let one of their teammates seamlessly take over.

Everyone must be ready to take over the pitch at any given moment, and no one knows precisely when it is going to fall to them! All team members need to be prepared to jump in at any moment, and no one wants the pitch to get derailed by someone not knowing their stuff.

Why does the pitch relay work?

The team needs to be aligned if they are to succeed here. Whether it is through a strong team leader or just general collaboration, colleagues need to know the pitch inside and out so that they can effectively jump between sections as the mediator demands. In real-life negotiations, you never know when someone might have to jump in and deliver a sales pitch, even if there was no plan for them to originally do so!

3. Cold call challenges

Gamified cold calls can be great opportunities for sales games! Have the team member phone a manager on loudspeaker. The participant then earns points for different things mentioned in the conversation.

Points could be awarded for:

  • Not using pause fillers like "um", "ah", or "er"

  • Arranging a follow-up call

  • Making the manager laugh

  • Closing the deal!

A second layer to this could also involve the participant being challenged to bring up certain topics as naturally as possible and without derailing the conversation. Challenging them to naturally work into the conversation of famous characters like Donald Duck or events like the Met Gala can require them to think on the spot. It isn't always so easy to think up how to naturally include some more out-of-pocket suggestions, and it can make for some very interesting conversations and challenges.

Why do cold call challenges work?

Being able to deliver effective sales calls is a key skill that successful salespeople can do with ease. Practising these cold calls can help to alleviate phone anxiety and can give people the opportunity to sharpen existing skills in a non-pressurised and fun way.

4. Sales Sleuth

This is one of the many effective sales games that requires just a pair. Whether you have pitch partners working together or a full team of sales reps that can be divided up into pairs, this is a great game to test out everyone's sales skills.

One rep plays the role of a prospect, and the other is the sales detective. The detective needs to ask practical and probing questions to uncover the information that speaks to the prospect's needs and desires.

Why does sales sleuth work?

This helps to show how resourceful the team can be. Can they listen actively and find the right questions to ask? Can they get to the heart of the issue and find out as much information as possible? It can be a great way to determine who amongst your team has the best communication skills.

5. Elevator pitches

Elevator pitches are the kings of sales training games. Any employee involved with the sales process in any way needs to be able to master an elevator pitch as it brings together so many critical skills in one neat bracket.

Imagine that you are in an elevator with someone important. In thirty seconds, they will be getting off the elevator and saying goodbye to you. This is all the time that you will have to give them a sales pitch, so you have to nail the key points and make your pitch as attractive as possible.

Why do elevator pitches work?

Of all the sales games someone could try, this should be one that sales reps can knock out of the park. You can never tell when a prospect has limited time or when they simply aren't going to stick around for a full presentation. Elevator pitches can help to prepare for these rapid-fire proposals, whether they happen on a sales call or in an actual elevator.

6. Description jamborees

This is a great game for a sales team! A random object is nominated and, one by one, each person has to deliver a benefit or feature of the target. As soon as someone can't name a new benefit or feature within a certain time limit, let's say 10 seconds for quick-fire rounds, then they are out.

A new object is chosen, and everything begins again. The last person standing wins!

Why do description jamborees works?

This is another of those sales games that requires you to think quickly and respond with based on your gut instinct. It also tests knowledge recall skills since you can't repeat anything that someone else has said. An effective sales team needs to be detail-orientated and capable of capitalising on details, no matter how small they might be.

7. Sell me this pen

This is a classic of the sales interviews and can even be seen in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. The premise is simple enough; one party offers the sales rep a pen and asks them to sell it back to them.

Though it seems quite easy on paper, it can actually be quite nuanced in practice. Someone unskilled might focus more on the physical attributes of the pen, but the true winners will be the ones who can come up with something unique.

Why does "sell me this pen" work?

The game requires quick thinking skills and originality, and that is what makes it such a classic. Good sales reps need to be able to pivot rapidly depending on the nature of their discussions. Sell Me This Pen has so many right answers, but every sales rep should have their own personal technique to pull on when presented with this challenge.

Add sales games to your negotiation strategies

When considering sales performance, we can often get caught up in the numbers rather than the holistic and human side of things. Does a struggling employee have the confidence and knowledge to successfully apply sales techniques? How do they compare to a high-performing colleague?

Continued sales training is a must to help teams stay ahead and fully knowledgeable of their markets and selling process, but that doesn't mean we need to chain people to their desks and watch endless seminars in the name of learning. You might be amazed by what you can do with nothing more than enthusiasm and some effective sales games!

Want some help bringing life to your next team-building and training day? Scotwork has over 45 years of experience and provides specialist negotiation training and consultancy to individuals and businesses in the UK and worldwide. Get in touch with Scotwork today to find out more about our training process and the knowledge and expertise we can deliver to your sales team.

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