Do you want to spread good sales practices throughout your team?
The sales simulation is the best way to do it. It allows you to test the skills of your salespeople in real situations.
Through role-playing, you can coach them closely and make your training sessions fun and interactive.
In this guide, we give you our best tips for succeeding in your sales simulations.
What are the objectives of a sales simulation?
Whether it's for recruiting, onboarding, or coaching teams, the sales simulation is an essential tool for sales managers.
With it, you can work on different aspects of customer interaction and coach on specific soft skills. You can use it to help your teams:
- Improve the assimilation of the pitch.
- Verify their product knowledge.
- Cultivate good practices in negotiation and objection handling.
- Work on voice, tone, and self-expression.
It's up to you to choose the issues that come up most often in your reports and team meetings.
Different types of sales simulation
With the rise of e-learning, you now have various formats of sales simulation at your disposal:
- Interactive simulation: a questionnaire or multiple-choice questions to be completed based on a written script. Inexpensive and easy to set up.
- Video simulation: an interactive video animation that adapts to the user's choices. This is one of the latest innovations in commercial e-learning. Effective for training large sales teams.
- Real-time simulation: real-time role-playing between two interlocutors. More preparation time, but also better results.
The last form, although the most time-consuming, is the one that guarantees the best results in terms of retention and memorization. Your salespeople learn much more from a training where they are directly involved and the conditions resemble reality.
It can be done in several ways:
- Manager-managed: you play the role of a buyer, and your salesperson tries to convince you. The advantage is that you are often the best person to test your salesperson on scenarios that pose difficulties.
- Salesperson-salesperson: your salespeople play the roles of buyer and seller and switch roles. They both have the opportunity to train their sales skills and put themselves in the shoes of their client (which is an exercise that can teach them a lot).
- Collective or team: you involve your team in group games. Useful for sharing good practices among colleagues and using collective intelligence.
Are you interested in these exercises? Here's how to organize them.
Commercial role-playing scenarios: 8 ideas
Whether in a team or in pairs, you can offer different sales scenarios to your teams. Each of these scenarios should be as close as possible to situations that your salespeople encounter during their customer meetings.
Here are some examples (you can write these scenarios on a piece of paper and have your fictional buyers read them):
1. The hesitant client
During a discovery call, your client answers all your questions in detail. You consider their interest to be a given and indicate the next steps to come. But at that moment, your prospect seems reluctant to continue the conversation. They still seem unconvinced of your solution and have objections that you haven't had the opportunity to raise yet.
Exercise goal: practice finding the pain point that really matters to the prospect. The buyer imagines important needs for themselves, while the salesperson must know how to ask the right question to reveal them.
2. The scrupulous client
You have a productive meeting with your client, and they are very open to your product and your argument. You decide to get to the price question, and your buyer expresses their need to get value for their money. Drawing on market data they have found, they vigorously negotiate each proposal you put on the table.
Exercise goal: practice negotiating prices. Your salesperson must be able to defend their value proposition while showing positive signs of compromise. The buyer is difficult, but mainly wants to be reassured in their purchase.
3. The savvy client
You start the conversation with your client, and they quickly move on to comparing your product to those of your competitors that they have consulted. You find yourself having to defend your value proposition in detail.
Exercise goal: know how to argue against competitors' value propositions. The buyer must be able to mention real specifics of your competitors, while your salesperson must be able to find elements of differentiation.
4. The suspicious client
During a discovery call, your client shows little interest in the conversation and answers your questions briefly. To break through this block, you emphasize the lack of participation from your interlocutor. They then explain to you that one of their acquaintances had a bad experience with your product. You find yourself having to explain yourself and establish trust with your interlocutor.
Exercise goal: find the right words to reverse a critical situation. Your salesperson must be able to reassure about a negative past experience, and the buyer must let them guess the key moment that led to their emotions.
5. The knowledgeable client
As soon as your meeting begins, your client bombards you with questions about your product. They deviate from your questions and want to get directly to the heart of the matter. They solicit your technical knowledge and want to understand if your product can apply to their specific problem.
Exercise goal: test product and technical knowledge. Your salesperson must be able to demonstrate their company's expertise on specific subjects that the buyer raises.
6. The busy client
After successful meetings, you follow up with your client because they have not responded to your last emails. On the phone, they tell you that they don't have much time right now to deal with the project. You want to know when it will be most appropriate to contact them again in the near future.
Exercise goal: stay in touch with busy clients. Your salesperson must be able to agree with a particularly busy prospect on a time to talk. They must also be able to identify if the lack of time is a real reason and not an excuse.
7. The budget-conscious client
Your client shows real signs of interest, but when it comes time to negotiate, they indicate that they lack the budget. You want to know the amount of their budget, how and when it is set.
Exercise goal: know how to manage budget questions with prospects
8. The affable client
Throughout the conversation, your client shows positive signs of interest and takes initiatives. They almost come to steer the discussion to their side. You are reassured by these actions and let them speak more and more. However, when you mention the next steps in your exchange, your interlocutor shows some reluctance.
Exercise goal: maintain control of the interaction even when the client is won over. Your salesperson must be able to ensure that there are no potential obstacles or objections, even when the client seems perfectly interested.
Succeeding in your sales simulation: 5 best practices
To ensure that the conduct of these scenarios is as fruitful as possible, you need to encourage the right group dynamic. Your salespeople must understand that these exercises are not evaluations, but opportunities to hone their sales skills.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sales simulations:
#1 Train on recurring topics or problems
For each scenario, you want to be able to work on problems that your salespeople are likely to encounter every week.
What are the topics that often come up during team meetings or performance analysis? The answers to these questions will already give you ideas for scenarios.
It is even more interesting to personalize the exercises for each salesperson, based on feedback and discussions held during one-to-one meetings.
#2 Encourage creativity and spontaneity
Since each sales situation is unique, it is in your best interest to let your salespeople express their creativity. Let them imagine singular cases of companies, buyers, and situations.
You can give them some time before starting so that each person - the salesperson and the buyer - can prepare their arguments. It is then improvisation that allows each person to address the situation in their own way. Don't hesitate to remind them that there is never just one right answer to a situation, and that it's always important to be authentic and honest in their approach.
#3 Provide encouraging feedback
As explained, a sales simulation is not a competency evaluation. It should be experienced as a fun training session to support the development of your salespeople. You want to provide them with positive and constructive recommendations, not criticisms that undermine their confidence.
At the end of each scenario, for example, you can ask your salesperson what they could have done better. You can then highlight their successes and explain what they could have done better.
#4 Involve the group
Like any game, a sales simulation is even better when played with your entire team.
You can conduct these sales simulations in a group, with your salespeople as spectators. At the end of each exercise, you can ask for their opinion on each person's performance and how they would have done things differently.
Collective intelligence can greatly help cultivate the most effective attitudes. In addition, this will strengthen the existing links and collective dynamics within your team.
#5 Take advantage of voice data
Do you want to be able to analyze your salespeople's sales simulations in depth? Exploiting the voice data from all these interactions can help amplify learning. By sharing the strengths and weaknesses of each interaction and their quantified analyses, you can engrave the lessons of each exercise in your salespeople's minds.
This is why conversational intelligence tools are the perfect complement to sales simulations.
Noota: unlocking the full potential of your sales simulations.
At Noota, we have developed a tool that allows you to guide your simulation exercises. Noota helps you analyze and track each interaction in real-time with built-in features:
- Recommendations for questions to ask and responses to give.
- Real-time detection of each objection.
- Visual performance indicators to identify strengths and weaknesses in the interaction.
- Screen recorder and automated note-taking to share the lessons of each exercise.
Want to make a meaningful impact with your sales simulations? Try Noota for free.