How vehemently opinionated can I be in my answer to the contrary? In a world where the role of the expensive mobile sales team in the B2B environment is coming under increasing pressure due to the questionable value added to the customer during sales visits………where the customers are becoming progressively more self educated and undertake much of their own service/product supplier due diligence compared to a decade ago when it was largely delivered by Sales Executives from vendor companies…………I continue to be flabbergasted when I shadow typical Sales Executives on “days in the field”, and see how poorly skilled many are in terms of the sales team effectiveness basics. Never mind the new requirements of challenging customers and teaching them things they don’t know about their own industry and business.
To use a sporting analogy, “match day” is the equivalent of the day to day real world sales visits. The sports people practice regularly for match day. Why shouldn’t Sales Executives practice regularly for their real world visits? Because the day to day real world sales visits is practice enough on its own? Rubbish. The real world does not provide the coaching feedback environment from managers, coaches, peers.
When executed well, regular role play practice does. Its “artificiality” is often used by lazy or potentially embarrassed Sales Executives as a façade to shirk and denigrate. Yet, its artificiality is the feature that should be harnessed for maximum upskilling and honing for sales team effectiveness.
Want to learn more? Check out “Improving sales team productivity: Core selling time vs admin time benchmarking”