8 Sales Role Play Exercises to Prepare Your Team for the Win

There are a lot of ways you can prepare your sales team to win the next deal. Here are 8 simple exercises that can be done in your next team meeting and don’t take much time.

Sales is all about the people. So, it’s important to get your team comfortable playing the role of an ideal customer, so they can deliver with confidence. In preparation, you’ll need to ask your team to be on their best behavior at first. For example, you might ask them not to approach customers too quickly, and to use “sales” rather than “hi”, to start conversations.

Sales is a hard job that requires a lot of hard work, especially if you are tasked with closing deals. But, just because it is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. In fact, role playing games can be a great way to get your sales team in the mindset to close a deal and help them learn how to cope with the inevitable rejection that comes with the territory.

Most sales role-playing exercises proceed like this:

The manager gathers the crew and announces (a little too enthusiastically) the intention to conduct some role-playing.

The first exercise addresses the most common objections, which everyone is familiar with.

The second exercise is much too fictitious to be useful. The third is the most serious.

The rest of the workshop is a badly planned, very uncomfortable, and ineffective goof-off session.

Role-playing activities are essential for honing conversational strategies and message delivery. It’s amazing how little thought is given to executing things correctly.

Medals are awarded during the competition, although they must be earned through practice. It’s past time to start taking role-playing seriously.

I’ve participated in and led hundreds of sales role-playing sessions. Here are the eight exercises that I’ve found to be the most beneficial, along with some pointers on how to do them correctly.

8 Sales Role-Playing Exercises That Work

  1. Listening is a kind of learning.
  2. Island of Objection
  3. Mixed Bag of Persona
  4. Unusual Situations (Hot Seat)
  5. Reversal of roles
  6. Brawl in the Boardroom
  7. ‘The Ringer’ is a fictional character created by
  8. Pros Get Paid

Listening is the first exercise.

We must become great listeners before we can assist anybody on the other end of our sales efforts. This is why this exercise must be done on a regular basis!

It may be done with a big group or with just two individuals. If you’re in a group, split up into smaller groups or play “telephone” style with the whole group.

  1. The first individual will make a remark. It may be directly connected to your company or completely unrelated.
  2. The next person in line will start their speech with the last three words of the one before them.
  3. Continue until you’ve circled the whole group, or until the timer goes off.

Reps will learn to pay attention to what others are saying instead of dwelling in their own agendas and prepared answers using this improv comedy method.

Objection Island (Exercise #2)

This is a fantastic role-playing activity to do with your team whenever they come together. It not only offers a wonderful field for training rapid fire objection response, but it also enables team members to hear ideas, participate in peer coaching, and shake off some jitters by sharing an experience.

The following is how it works:

  1. Begin by identifying a representative and then launching into a typical complaint encountered during your team’s conversations.
  2. The rep gets 5 seconds to reply, and they must do it in a manner that allows the discussion to continue in a good direction, or they will be voted off Objection Island.
  3. If the salesperson is successful, he or she will call out a different individual and continue the procedure.

The objection and answer must be different each time. In most cases, the sales leader makes the ultimate decision on timeliness, answer quality, and uniqueness compared to other replies.

If you want to spice things up a little, the sales leader may present the identical objection to each team member in turn, with the same responses.

RELATED: How to Overcome Four Types of Sales Objections

Persona Mixed Bag (Exercise #3)

This role-playing exercise helps a rep improve a variety of skills at once, including the ability to effectively connect with the many personalities they’ll encounter inside your target companies.

Begin by making a list of personalities that are often targeted and encountered. CXO, Director of X, or gatekeeper are examples of these. You may also be creative by adding personality characteristics like “very direct,” “in a hurry,” “analytical,” or “distracted.”

  1. Each one should be written on a tiny piece of paper, folded, and placed in a bowl or hat.
  2. The person playing the prospect will pick a piece of paper from the hat and adopt the characteristics stated on it at the start of the role-play (after the session’s objective has been established).
  3. Now do the role-play, give comments, and begin from the beginning.
  4. Grab a new persona and/or characteristic after at least two passes with the previous one.

Keep in mind that the rep’s objective and methods should essentially stay the same, with the exception of any changes based on feedback.

Extreme Conditions (Exercise #4) (Hot Seat)

This is not an activity for the faint of heart, and it should only be attempted by strong teams who can take a little heat. It will add a layer of complexity that won’t be there in real-world calls (hopefully).

Before walking up to the plate, a hitter will swing a weighted bat, much as he would before an inning at bat. When they drop the weighted bat and take up the regular one, it feels extremely light and allows them to move quickly across the swing plane.

  1. To begin, the sales manager will lay down the groundwork.
  2. Pitches need to be flawless. A “buzzer” or “gong” will sound if the rep deviates from the ideal, and the rep will be moved to the back of the line.
  3. If the rep gets it right, the role-play continues, with objections and additional chances for the rep to get it right or get out of the hot seat.
  4. If the sales leader really wants to crank the heat up, this may go on for a long time.

Another option is to have the following rep in line start up precisely where the previous rep left off.

Role Reversal (Exercise #5)

This should be self-evident: Allow the rep to take on the character of the prospect in this role-playing exercise.

  1. The perfect role-play, objection answers, conversational strategies, and closing methods are all conducted by the sales leader.
  2. Allow the representative to provide feedback or make comments on what they felt went well or poorly.
  3. Compile the things that performed well after a round or two and swap seats again.
  4. Help the salesperson build their own comfort level with the successful techniques by referring to the list. Work on the rep’s wordsmithing and delivery until he or she has a firm understanding of the material.

This also works effectively with top salespeople who demonstrate as if they were the sales leader.

Boardroom Brawl (Exercise #6)

This is another activity best left to organizations with a strong culture and a focus on results.

  1. In your boardroom, gather the staff. Bring any recordings of calls that might have gone better. Make sure you have at least one for each of the representatives present so that the playing field is equal and everyone has a chance to participate.
  2. If you have a big group, divide them into manageable sections and let everyone know when their turn will arrive.
  3. Now, play the call loudly for everyone to hear.
  4. When it’s over, assume the persona from the prospect on the exposed call right away (make sure you have studied the call, and prepared a transcript to work from).
  5. Allow the rep to initiate a role-play based on the situation that was just presented to the team. The aim is to assist the rep in correcting their own errors. It offers them a kind of do-over while also putting some pressure on them since the whole squad is watching.


  • Encourage peer coaching during these brawls, and make it competitive by awarding points and rewards to reps who correctly correct the call.
  • After the call is played, have a new rep take over and handle it their way.

NOTE: One of the most significant negative effects of “Boardroom Brawl” and “Extreme Conditions (Hot Seat)” is the softening of ego, which may jeopardize a salesperson’s capacity to develop their abilities and inherent gifts.

RELATED: 5 Questions You Must Ask Your Prospect on Your Sales Call Script for SDRs

The Ringer (Exercise #7)

It’s one thing to play a character in a role-playing game. It’s a whole other matter to find the right character inside your company and encourage them to join.

If your sales staff frequently targets C-Level prospects, grab your C-Suite (they’re presumably not too busy…) and invite them to your sales training!

  • Allow them to be themselves, and treat your sales staff as if they were one of the many salespeople trying to connect with them every day.
  • Solicit feedback on the techniques, and ask them to explain what’s essential to them in terms of their stance, demands, objectives, and motivators.

You can guarantee that if you can tap into this wealth of expertise and knowledge inside your own company, it will pay off when you go after these people at other organizations.

Yes, each individual is unique. But don’t overlook the Normal Curve. The majority of C-level executives confront comparable problems and expectations, think in similar ways, and are motivated in similar ways. There will always be outliers, but if you concentrate your development efforts on the bulk, you will be much better equipped.

Pay the Pros (Exercise #8)

When a leader needs to decide whether to adopt a new concept, they face the “build vs. buy” dilemma. If you’re at a fork in the road and like to take the “purchase” route, reach out to the folks at Roleplay.co.

Your team may engage in real-world-based sales role-play training taught by industry experts and get feedback from the best in the business today at Roleplay’s “sales gym.” They may also assist you in developing your own programs to help you get the most out of the time and effort you put into educating your employees.

RELATED: Advice from a Long-Time Test Prep Instructor on Winning Sales Training

Tips for a More Effective Sales Role Play

Establish a Practice Routine

Proper sales practice isn’t something you do once a week or once a month. It’s a focused effort to enhance extremely precise elements of your sales approach at least twice a week.

It not only figures out “what” you say, but also “how” and “why.”

Prepare your squad for optimum success by scheduling practice time ahead of time. You should prioritize your practice time and spread it out as you progress toward your goals.

If your business is launching a new product line, for example, role-play every day for two weeks. Reduce role-plays to three times per week as repetitions increase, then two, then one if they’re truly tuned in.

Gather information for your Scouting Report

Create a role-playing routine that is based on real-life encounters. Your best bet here is to use technology.

Gong.io and Chorus.ai are two tools that may help you find problem areas in your representatives’ talk tracks, strategies, and delivery. It can also come up with some great counter-arguments to practice with.

  • While listening to call records, start gathering common complaints.
  • Then utilize them to put your reps’ rapid-response talents to the test and teach them how to overcome them.

Increase the scope of your training

Role-playing is made up of several different elements, including positioning statements and objection answers. Increase the efficiency of practice sessions by focusing on other crucial aspects of successful sales interactions.

Intonation, enthusiasm, and articulation, as well as speed and language, are essential for effective talk tracks. A lack of passion, speaking too fast/slow, and utilizing phrases that are insider-speak or intended to enhance the rep’s perceived intellect may all derail even the greatest messaging and objection answers.

Making a scorecard for each session is a great approach to ensure you’re listening carefully for these qualities.

  • For each category, use a 1-10 scale.
  • Look for a trend of positive development as you go through your role-playing program (or negative). It will show up, believe me.
  • To categorize skills, you may also combine these ratings and produce an overall performance matrix. This also opens up the possibility of contests and rewards linked to deliberate development.

There will be no surprises.

Provide the framework and desired objectives for each practice session to your representatives (or have them provide it to you). The representatives are able to think more creatively as a result of this, which aids in the development of excellent delivery in their unique voice.

Reps will begin to recognize their own areas for development as your practice routine develops, and they will establish objectives for you to assist them with.

Because it’s critical to make your sales role-play exercises as realistic as possible, having a rep prepare for the role-play as if it were a genuine sales call is in accordance with this guideline.

Take the role of buyer.

It’s time to pretend! Role-playing is usually done amongst reps or between reps and managers. In either case, the player in the buyer’s seat must remove his or her team-member hat and replace it with the buyer’s hat.

At some time, even the most experienced salesman or sales executive has been a customer. Make use of this experience to become your training partner’s client.

  • Consider your persona and the situation you’re operating in.
  • Consider the persona/everyday role’s problems, what’s essential to their company, and how they may respond to this call.
  • Although it may be challenging, particularly in rep-to-rep role-play exercises, try to limit the wild and crazy reactions to a minimum to optimize the training session’s efficacy.

They will come if you give feedback.

This is when the rep finally goes into the cage for batting practice, and it’s gold.

Role-plays use feedback to help representatives alter their behavior, and there is a “right way” to do it.

Always be positive and encouraging in your comments. It’s tough to sell something. That is something we are all aware of. The point of practice is to improve, so let the prospects take the hits.

Real-time coaching is available. Allowing a rep to continue beyond a genuine glitch is not a good idea. Stop the role-play, provide comments, and then resume the role-play. This will guarantee that the rep grows in the right direction and at the right time.

Allow positive reinforcement by enabling the session to develop towards a victory for the rep if the role-playing is going well. Don’t be afraid to throw in a few obstacles as needed, but reinforce positive reinforcement by allowing the rep to advance if he or she skillfully overcomes them.

Finally, discuss the meeting with the representative. Provide the rep with their scores, talk about their progress toward their goals, and check in on the efficacy of their sales goals.

Wrap up

Without practice and training, no championship team, gold medal Olympian, or Greatest Of All Time has ever attained winning status.

In fact, it might be argued that they spent much more time practicing and preparing than they did competing.

There is no better method to equip your sales staff with the greatest capacity to convert calls and complete transactions than via frequent, realistic, and highly organized practice.

Make the time, improve your practice facilities, and turn your team into a well-oiled closing machine!

This one is for the Sales Professional who’s looking to hone their skills and prepare their team for the win. Have you ever dreaded a sales call, wondered what was wrong with your client or wondered why you didn’t close the deal? If so, we’ve got an exercise for you that will help you get better prepared for the win and give you the confidence to close the deal.. Read more about examples of role play scenarios and let us know what you think.

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I prepare for sales by using the following steps.

1) I check my inventory to see if any items are on sale.
2) If there is an item that is on sale, I decide whether or not I want to purchase it and how much of it I want.
3) If I do not want the item, then I put it back in my inventory and continue shopping.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do you make sales role play fun?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prepare for sales Roleplay?

I prepare for sales by using the following steps. 1) I check my inventory to see if any items are on sale. 2) If there is an item that is on sale, I decide whether or not I want to purchase it and how much of it I want. 3) If I do not want the item, then I put it back in my inventory and continue shopping.

How do you make sales role play fun?

By giving your players a variety of options to choose from.

How do you prepare for role playing?

I would recommend reading up on the different classes and races that are available in your game. This will help you decide which class or race best suits your personality and playstyle.

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