The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 6 years ago

Effective Role Plays


John Kaplan discusses best practices for conducting effective role plays

Hello, I'm Rachel CLEP Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement and force management a growth play company. Managing Partner John Kaplan, is joining me today to talk about role plays. Hey, great chill. It's great to be here again. I think this is a fantastic topic. It's it's a great area where sales managers can add great value and reps can act value to each other on this topic, so I'm excited to be here to talk about it. In a recent podcast we talked about the importance of giving effective feedback this topic. Conducting great role plays is along the same lines. You can tell your rep what they should do in a meeting or call, but role plays really provide that critical opportunity to show them. Yeah, I think that's a good point, to show them, but part of it's a little awkward. You know, role plays are kind of pretend, if you will, in quotations, but you know, and none of us went well. Maybe some of us on the podcast went to acting school, but I sure didn't, and it sometimes they can be a little bit awkward. But I want you to think about role plays as giving you the opportunity to practice and the best...

...athletes in the world spend hours and hours practicing a role play is no different. So when when your success is on the line, why would you wing it right? Why would why would you wing it? So it's one thing to say role please, will help your reps, but the purpose of this conversation today is to dig a little deeper. One are the situations where a role play or practicing that conversation particularly helps. Yeah, so I'm thinking about this like if I was a manager. You know, it's always about helping my rep succeed and a lot of times one of the biggest areas are one of the biggest hurtles for reps is, you know, helping them get higher or to the next level in the conversation or to somebody else, you know in the account and so I like to help them connect to positive business outcome. So I'm always looking for that as a manager because I think that's an area that will really help you focus on taking the conversation to a higher level. But I also like to think about helping them isolate and dominate the competition,...

...and one way to do that is really really focusing on simulating a great conversation around those require capabilities in a way that will isolate and dominate the competition. Okay, so when you're when you're watching a role play, and I know it depends in situation. It's a case by case basis, but what are you watching for in general? What should if I'm a sales manager, what are those things that I need to be looking for? That's a great question. You know me, Rachel. I'm always looking for the fundamentals. I like to see good hygiene around proving to the customer that we have heard them and that we understand their business. So I'm always expecting to understand that ultimate summation. I'm always expecting to hear positive business outcomes, require capabilities and metrics. We've talked about that point several times before. For in really any of your sales conversations, you should be level setting everyone in the room on those key components, required capabilities, positive business outcomes and metrics. Why is...

...that so important to do every time? Well, it's a good question, you know. One of the reasons is you want to be the first person to know if anything is changed and it gets everyone behind the same goal. It reminds them of the endgame where they're trying to get to and the business problem that you're trying to solve. So listening for required capabilities, positive business outcomes and metrics. Great points there. What else are you looking for or listening for in a role play? Yeah, that's a good jumpoff point right there. So for sure good listening. I'm looking for good listening. I'm also looking for the ability to take advantage of openings in the conversation to advance the opportunity. And I think one of the podcasts that we just did, which was, I think it was dealing with multiple decision makers. was that the last one we did? Yeah, so, so that one really made me think about, you know, connecting the conversation to others in the organization or to other people in the buying decision. I'm looking for that as well.

So the other key component is often the end of the sales conversation. That could be the most important part. What are you listening for there in the end, you know, again I'm looking for that ultimate summation. I think that's a great way to sum up the conversation. And I'm looking for very, very specific, next steps, agreed upon next steps. And then I like this little nuance that I saw somewhere and I actually use it now and every conversation that I have with my with my customers, I asked them if there's anything that we that we didn't talk about that they would have expected us to talk about? Is there any question that I didn't ask you that you would have expected me to ask you? In the end, I think that just shows to the customer that we are absolutely focused on making sure that we're ultimately connected to think that the things that are most important to them and maybe the most critical area for you to add value in a role play is to give good feedback after the role play. Yeah, I think it's let's keep this one simple. So it's a simple model in the way to give... is two things that you liked and two things that you do differently. I I'm the manager. Let the REP go first. Hey, what are two things that you liked and what are two things that you would do differently? Keep it simple, but also keep it specific and when you give your feedback, give specific examples. Yes, I really liked that question that you asked here. So you want to connect that to positive reinforcement and connected to future behavior. But when you talk about things that you would do differently, don't just say things like hey, you know, I would have asked different discovery questions or I would have asked some questions about positiveness outcomes. Give them very specific examples. Work through an example of a great discovery question or a great positive business outcome. Make sure that you connect the dots. Really Great Tips here, John, and I think there's a lot of value there for everyone listening. What do you think about role plays in general? Are they under utilized in sales ord organizations? Yeah, when you gave me this topic...

I really thought about that and I thought, you know, this is really a lost I thought is going to be a great podcast because I think it's a lost exercise and I think one of the reasons why it's a lost exercise is because that many companies have moved to kind of a virtual or remote work environment and and I think that just because you're not sitting for eyes with each other, in a lot of instances we miss opportunities to do role place. But we have all the technology we need. We've got all the capabilities out there. Was skype with phacetime. I don't want to alienate any of our partners out there, but we've got all the technology out there to make it a great experience. So the excuse department's kind of closed. This is still a really great exercise. Great and I will also point our listeners to a podcast I refer to earlier on giving effective feedback. There's some great tips in there on coaching your reps to success, much of which you can apply to giving feedback on roles plays. So thank you, John. Thank you to all of you for listening. Don't forget to follow force management on twitter and...

...on Linkedin, as well as our parent company, Growth Plate.

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