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Sales Team Training Ideas: The Theory of Practice

By Star Report 3 min read

The key to becoming good at anything is repetition. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of practice in order to master anything. This theory of practice can be seen in athletes of all sports, musicians, trade workers, chefs, soldiers, or any basic function that a person would want to become good at. In order to become a top-level sales associate, you need to have plenty of opportunities to undergo these same repetitions.

This theory of practice for new home sales ushers us into the arena of role-playing. An effective leader of a sales team will provide a safe and effective atmosphere for team members to make mistakes and commit to correct behavior. In a world where sales associates spend ample time alone or in front of live customers, the sales meeting has to become one of the venues where new home specialists get the repetitions they need to become career new home professionals and masters of their craft. We’ll highlight some ways to do so in your next sales meeting below.

Role-Play Activity Must Become Part of the Culture

There should not be a surprise to any team member that there will be role-playing in the sales meeting. Agents that say they “don’t like to role-play,” that they “don’t need to role-play,” or that they are “more comfortable with real customers” are essentially broadcasting that they have no interest in getting better, and there is nothing they can learn. Your sales meeting is SALES PRACTICE! No athlete shows up to practice with the intention of not participating.

Role-Play Should Happen Individually and to the Group

When facilitating a role-play activity, you should leave the majority of time for the room to break up into groups of two or three. This allows an opportunity for direct peer-to-peer feedback, and it will encourage full participation as well as tie in the element of teamwork. Be sure to save a few minutes for team members to demonstrate proficiency in front of the whole group. This allows the opportunity for someone to gain recognition and provides an example of excellent execution of the training topic to the group.

The Correct Way is the Only Way

When role-playing, you have to guide the participants to repeat the skill until they execute it correctly. By allowing a role-play to end at a mediocre “that’s good enough,” you are allowing individuals to believe that “good enough” is mastery. Tell role-play participants to repeat the process over and over until they have done it to the same level as the training instructions.

Make the Role-Play Fun

Great role-play segments within sales meetings create a fun atmosphere while adding a level of competitiveness. You can give a goofy award to the best role-play of the day, call your builder in to hear the best execution from last week, or provide the best role-play duo with lunch on you. Find different ways to keep your role-play sessions fresh and exciting.

Show Them You Still Got It

As a leader, it is important to frequently get in front of the group and role-play along with them. There is nothing more comforting to a team than knowing they are following someone who has been in their shoes and knows how to stand and deliver just as well!

You cannot expect increased results if your sales team does not elevate their skill level. In sales, achieving better performance will not come through osmosis but also through getting better with practice. Team role-play is the gateway to raising your team’s level of success, and by installing this level of practice in your sales meeting, you will be able to show your associates the way. And yes, practice makes perfect, so get to it!

Interested in learning more about our formal training process? Check out this sales training article outlining our proven approach to new home selling.

Originally published Oct 25, 2019 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 1, 2024

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