Sales can be a stressful job, full of highs and lows from sales made and lost, and pressures related to consistent performance requirements and client service. The performance of a sales group can be adversely affected by a poor working environment. Poor communication, a lack of standards and targets, and the absence of positive role models can all degrade the working environment of a sales office. Being part of a team that challenges and motivates its members, shares work experiences and responsibilities, and takes pride in team achievements is important for morale and performance. Taking part in team building exercises can bring people in your organization together and move them toward the common goal of increased sales.
Arrange four sales associates in a straight line and nominate a fifth person to stand facing the first person in the line. Have the fifth salesman run through the first few steps of his basic sales pitch (ice breaker, short story and qualifying question, for example) with each of the four people in the line, and then rotate the person pitching. This drill will help sales associates develop a sales routine and smooth out any kinks in the flow of their pitch. It will also expose team members to the styles and ideas of their peers. Constructive criticism and positive feedback can help all team members improve.
Arrange all the sales associates in a circle facing one another. Nominate one person to be the client, and have him stand in the middle of the circle. Start the drill with one of the sales associates from the circle saying the first three words of a pitch to the client. Have the salesman to his left say the next three, the person to his left say the next three, and so on until there is an appropriate time for the client in the middle of the circle to interject or respond to a question. This drill gets salesmen to think quickly on their feet. Salesmen never know what a client is going to say next, and they have to expect the unexpected. This drill is also effective for team building as the sales associates must work together to take the client where they want to go.
The Price is Right
This drill helps with pricing memorization and it can encourage healthy competition among team members. Nominate one person to be the moderator and divide the rest of the sales associates into two groups. Have one person from each team approach a writing board that is divided into two sides so that both teams have space to write.
When the two participants are ready, have the moderator announce a product or service that your office sells, and have the two team members at the board write down the price of the product or service as fast as they can, circling their answer when completed. The fastest player to write and circle the correct price wins a point for her team. Switch up the team members at the board and start again.
The Sales Game
Collect a basket of odds and ends from around the office such as pencils, erasers, staplers, paper clips and shoelaces. Pick one sales associate to approach the basket and pick out an object with her eyes closed. Allow the associate 15 seconds to think, and then have her present a sales pitch to the group, using the object to simulate any creative product she can think of.
Have the rest of group act like clients, asking questions and considering the merits of the device for their imagined businesses. The drill should be timed and last approximately two minutes. When the drill is completed, nominate one of the “clients” to highlight two positive points of the presentation, and another to suggest two points of improvement. This drill will encourage creative thinking and enhance public speaking skills. Group interaction and thoughtful feedback will also support team building.
Team Performance Meetings
It is important to facilitate open discussions with team members regarding team performance. Sales teams should meet regularly to ensure they are on track to hit sales targets and to discuss any challenges that have arisen. If your team is not hitting its sales targets, ask each sales associate why they think that is, and have them suggest a course of action to improve performance.
- sales office sign image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com