How to Make Your Sales Training Engaging

training Apr 09, 2021

[Guest Blog]

Conducting sales training is challenging no matter how experienced you are or how long you’ve been doing it. Why? Because according to studies, the attention span of an average person only lasts for about 20 minutes. After that, you will notice that some people in your audience will begin to check their mobile phones, look at their watches, look outside the window, or become restless in their seats. You need more than just professionally-prepared slide decks and engaging icebreakers to prevent any of any of that from happening.

 

Customizing your sales training essentials is the key to attention-grabbing training. Generic materials will bore your participants. The best way is to incorporate plenty of opportunities for your audience to share their thoughts, experiences, and best practices. Spice up your presentation with engaging activities that will help you hold the attention and interest of the participants.

 

Before Sales Training Begins...

Before the actual training, pass out index cards and let participants answer quiz-like questions or write down their expectations. Use the responses during your training and ask them to elaborate or share thoughts about what they have written.

Sales Training Icebreakers and Games

Use sales training games as icebreakers to teach new techniques or sharpen their skills. Here are some fun games you can easily inject into your presentation:

 

1. S’up

This game aims to boost confidence when approaching potential clients and help the participants get out of their comfort zone. The participants are challenged to approach strangers and request tokens.

Examples are selfie photos, a favorite quote, or tangible objects like pens. Each token has corresponding points. The more significant the token is, the higher the points they earn.

2. Dice exercise

The objective of this training exercise is to instill in the participants that sales is a numbers game. Dice exercise demonstrates that to make a sale, they need to approach the right clients with consistent effort until they close the deal.

The more they roll the dice within a specified time, the higher their chance is to get sixes (which represents closing the deals.)

3. Gamified cold calls

This involves training the participants to make effective sales calls and eliminate the fear of rejection. Each of participant makes a call on speakerphone while you and the other participants are quietly listening. You score them using different criteria such as getting an appointment for a follow-up call, securing the email address of the lead, or closing the deal. The one who gets the most points wins the game.

4. Features and benefits

In this game, the participants will sell an item to the other participants. For example, you are looking for a gaming laptop at a reasonable price. Each participant will pitch a short sales presentation by talking about the best features and benefits of the product. The person who can give you the most benefits wins the game. This challenging game trains them to highlight features that offer solutions to their target customers.

5. Negotiate

This game trains participants to use their persuasive skills to negotiate without pressuring the prospects. It involves splitting them into two sales teams, then go out in public to trade their items for something better. For instance, candy for a pen or a pen for five-dollars. The winning team has the most valuable items.

6. Sales Stamina

The purpose of this game is to challenge the sales trainees to describe an item in different ways. It is an argumentative stamina game to trigger their creative thinking.

Begin by showing a simple object like a cell phone. Each participant will describe it in the most persuasive way and take turns. The person who remains up to the last round wins.

7. Selling Generic Items

The objective is to create a need for generic products like a toothpick, a dish scrubber, or a paintbrush. Since they do not possess unique features, the participants need to come up with a persuasive sales pitch that will make the item appealing to the potential buyer and lead to a purchase.

This sales game involves playing in pairs. One person is the seller and the other one is the customer. The seller should make his most convincing sales talk to encourage the customer to buy it. Then swap places.

 

Addressing Sales Challenges

Prepare four charts. In each of the charts, write the topic you will be discussing. Ask the participants to stand near the chart that they find most difficult and write any question that they want to be answered. Let them sit and begin your presentation by tackling the given difficulties and teaching techniques to handle them with confidence.

 

Answering Anonymous Questions

Sometimes participants may be too shy or embarrassed to ask questions out right. Make it easy by giving them an opportunity to ask questions anonymously. Hand blank pieces of paper to the participants and let them write questions related to the topics you already discussed. When everyone is finished, instruct them to crumple one paper into a ball and toss it to another participant. The person who handed a question should write an answer and pass it on up to the last one. Repeat until all questions are answered. Get all the papers and crumple them, tossing one to each of the participants. Let them read the answers and share their own thoughts. You can ask additional questions or share more relevant information.

 

Reward Engagement in Sales Training

Rewards are good motivators that will keep your audience engaged. They will reinforce enthusiasm for participation in the learning process. The rewards can be in the form of simple items like candy or bigger ideas such as free coaching programs to help them master sales techniques.

 

Polling Your Audience

Polls are excellent, simple ways to gauge if your participants truly understand your talking points. It can be a quiz or a contest that measures their knowledge and engagement level. The real-time feedback and results of polls demonstrate the effectiveness of your sales training. Provide rewards to attendees who share the valuable feedback or get the most points in the quiz.

 

Small Group Sales Exercise

Add variety to your presentation by inviting participants to create mini-lectures about non-technical topics. Group the participants into 3 or 5-member teams and give them a set of questions. Let them discuss and create a presentation for 30 minutes. Then give each group the floor to present. This activity aims to boost confidence, build team collaboration, and demonstrate individual selling skills.

 

Takeaway

Sales training can be both educational and fun. It takes a little time to tweak your sales training plan by adding some activities. You'll find that these updates lead to higher engagement and deeper understanding by your participants.

 

 

Guest Author Angeline Licerio

Angeline is a content writer for Elevate Corporate Training, a team of corporate trainers committed to improving performance of individuals and teams within organizations.

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