Here are five exercises to help you build a stronger sales team.
To have strong sales, you need a strong sales team. Strong teams don’t just happen, they must be created. Hiring the best sales people is a great place to start, but you still have to turn all of those individuals into a sales team. Team building exercises are a great way to get your individual sales people working together, and thinking like a team. You can help them build trust, learn cooperative skills, and value team goals over individual accomplishments. Whatever your goals, here are five exercises to help you build a stronger sales team.
This is a classic exercise that builds trust and communications skills. Form teams of two, with one of the members wearing a blindfold. Create a “minefield” in the office using chairs, wastebaskets, or other safe obstacles. The blindfolded team member must navigate the minefield, using only verbal directions provided by their teammate. Whichever team navigates the minefield the fastest, wins the competition.
This exercise should already be a part of your team training. Have different members of your sales team adopt different roles. Some could be the motivated buyer, while others are reluctant prospects or unhappy clients. The goal is to practice interacting with a variety of different people and attitudes. Have the team members switch roles from time to time, so they can experience both sides of the conversations. Not only will this help teach your team members how to deal with a variety of scenarios, it will also give them some sense of how it feels to be a client or prospect dealing with their sales team.
A scavenger hunt is a great way for teams to have fun while learning to work together. Give each team a list of obscure (but not impossible) items to find throughout the office. Whichever team finds all of the items on their list first, wins. To be successful, team members will have to cooperate, communicate, and observe what’s going on around them. For an added twist, use clues instead of a list. Make the clues relevant to each member of the sales team, so they have to work even more closely to solve the riddles and find the items.
This is a simple, quick exercise that teaches your sales team about working together, and the difficulty of trying to do too much at once. Have your sales team stand in a circle, passing a ball from one member to the next in any direction. Gradually add in more balls, until it becomes impossible to keep them all in the air. Obviously, as a team they’ll be able to keep more balls moving than as individuals. However, at some point, there will simply be too many balls, and things will be dropped. As in sales, they can do more as a team than as a group of individuals, but trying to do too much at once will still cause problems.
One of a sales team’s greatest strengths is its ability to gather useful information. Unfortunately, many sales people ask “yes” and “no” questions that don’t give them a lot of information to work with. The question game can help them learn to ask better questions. Pair up the team members, and appoint an observer for each round. One team member chooses an object, and starts asking the other team member questions related to that object. If they ask a question that the observer thinks can be answered with a “yes” or a “no,” their turn is over. Whoever can ask the most questions, wins. The point is to get your sales team thinking about the types of questions they’re asking, and make sure that those questions elicit as much information as possible.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.