Sales Coaching for Role-Play

  • 25 October 2022
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The Sales Coaching Formula for Role Play

“Everyone needs a coach” ~ Bill Gates, Founder and CEO Microsoft

Coaching in the call is the key to success for the sales rep The sales trainer must be able to effectively listen to the sales call, identify problems precisely, use a variety of coaching styles and methods to communicate and provide the solution in a well-planned and demonstrated format.

(Coaching in the call - Listening to recorded calls)

"Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." ~ Vince Lombardi, Head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1960s).

The coaching formula gives the sales trainer a structure on how to deliver information. It is a basic seven rule system:

The Coaching formula:

1.  Listen/Observe - Don’t try and observe every aspect of the call. At junior sales rep level you will need to listen to one phase of the call. At senior sales rep level you will need to concentrate on the 'message' part of the call.

2.  Diagnose - Understand the detail of the call. You’ve got to take a step back and, prior to the observation, define what success and failure looks like. Here are a few examples of where the message could go wrong at account manager/SDR level:

    • Are they asking two sided questions?
    • Did they discover an explicit need?
    • Are they adapting quickly and effectively in conversation?
    • Are they responding to the prospects needs?
    • Are they aligning our solution to the prospects problem?
    • Are they defining the solutions technically to the customer in a way that differentiates us from our competitors?
    • Do they follow the correct pathways to the solution?

What is the agreed best practice?

"Coaches have to listen to what they don't want to hear." ~  John Madden, Head coach of the Oakland Raiders

3.  Intervene - Consider what you say and how you say it. Stop the call, if one on one, ask the senior sales rep for their feedback. If it is a group call listening session, get them in pairs and threes to discuss what they have just heard. Can we identify the fault?

"Best coaches never tell their sales reps that they are wrong. They rather focus on creating awareness." ~ Abhishek Ratna, Author.


4.  Instruct - Use an appropriate coaching approach.

  • Guided Discovery - Here, the sales trainer asks a series of questions that direct the sales reps towards discovering a pre-determined answer to the problem or learning target.
  • Question & Answer - The sales trainer leads with a question to gain a response from the sales reps.

"A good coach paints pictures, the simpler the better." ~ Ron Greenwood, West Ham and England Manager

5.   Demonstrate - Clearly demonstrate the call technique or skill. Role Play slowly explaining the key points logically.

6.   Rehearse - One to one and in small groups. Give the sales reps plenty of chances to practice and analyse their own performance.

"Excellence is determined by opportunities, encouragement, training, motivation, self-confidence and most of all practice." ~ M. Howe, Professor of Psychology, University of Exeter

7.   Listen live - Ensure that the next time they make the call you can listen in and evaluate their performance live. Give lots of praise if they replicate the training in the call.

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you." ~ William Arthur Ward, Writer & Poet.


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