In the dynamic world of sales, regular training is essential. Whether you’re adapting to emerging trends, changing circumstances or new technology, continuous learning is an important part of staying ahead of the curve and optimizing sales performance.
Sales games make training fun and interactive. They’re an effective way to help your sales teams develop and retain new skills.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how sales games can improve performance, introduce different types of sales training games to use with your teams and show you how to implement them for the best results.
The role of games in sales training
Traditional training methods can be effective, but participants sometimes find it difficult to focus. The good news is sales training doesn’t have to involve hours of PowerPoint presentations.
Managers use sales games to simulate real-world scenarios and improve performance in an engaging and fun way. By immersing salespeople in these scenarios, games offer hands-on practice to refine sales skills in a safe, low-pressure environment.
Sales games provide an opportunity for salespeople who prefer the kinesthetic approach, learning through experience and practice. This method allows individuals to apply concepts in real time, helping improve retention and understanding.
Most sales games also offer instant feedback, allowing salespeople to understand their mistakes and learn from them immediately, accelerating the learning process.
With the right sales games, you can help your team collaborate more effectively, improve specific skills and adapt to new trends.
4 team-building sales games to bring your salespeople together
People often think of sales as a solo endeavor, with each salesperson chasing targets and commissions. However, sales organizations need to recognize the power of teamwork and collaboration. When salespeople feel connected to their peers, they’re more likely to share insights, collaborate on deals and celebrate successes like promotions.
Team-building sales games not only foster unity and camaraderie among salespeople but also enhance their collective performance. Working as a team on these activities will give them the drive they need to succeed on sales calls. Here are four sales team games to bring your salespeople closer together.
You can customize Sales Jeopardy, modeled after the popular TV game show, to include categories related to your company’s products, industry trivia or sales techniques. All the questions should be worded as answers, while all your team’s answers need to be worded as questions.
Here are some example sales jeopardy questions:
A: This CRM is rated best by users.
Q: What is Pipedrive?
A: Eight out of 10 prospects prefer communicating through this method.
Q: What is email?
A: These are the best times of day to cold call.
Q: What are late morning and early afternoon?
Teams compete against each other, answering questions and accumulating points. Sales Jeopardy tests your reps’ product knowledge and promotes team collaboration as participants come up with answers together.
Product pitch relay
In this game, assign teams a product or service related to your business (or something completely random for an added challenge) and give them a set amount of time to come up with a sales pitch.
Once the time is up, each team presents their pitch. The catch? When the buzzer sounds, another team member must take over. Participants need to be ready to pick up the pitch and adapt seamlessly. Since no one knows exactly what part of the pitch they’ll be handling, winning the pitch relay will mean everyone has to be on the same page and collaborate effectively.
Sales bingo is a game you can adapt to a wide range of situations. Create bingo cards with common sales terms, objections, objectives or scenarios.
For example, your squares could include goals like making a set number of follow-up calls, offering an upsell or closing a deal. Alternatively, you could help your team get used to different customer objections, using statements like “Call back tomorrow” or “That’s out of budget” for your squares.
As team members go about their day or week, they mark off squares when they complete or encounter the listed items in their role. The first to get a bingo wins. This game fosters a sense of camaraderie as team members share their experiences and cheer each other on.
Free sales bingo templates
Three free sales bingo templates to engage your sales reps.
Strategy brainstorming sessions
Strategy sessions aren’t a game in the traditional sense, but you can gamify them to help teams collaborate while improving their problem-solving skills. Divide your salespeople into teams and present them with a sales scenario, either a challenge the team is currently facing or a hypothetical situation.
Each team must work together to come up with a strategy to handle the situation and then present their ideas to the group. Encourage the teams to explain their thought process and how they would implement the solution. The best strategy (as voted by the larger group) wins. This activity promotes collaboration, creative thinking and shared learning.
4 skill-based sales games to improve sales techniques
Sales reps need to possess and master a diverse set of skills to succeed in their role. Each skill, from the art of cold calling to the finesse of delivering a compelling pitch, plays a crucial role in sealing the deal. Skill-based sales games hone these specific techniques, offering salespeople a chance to practice and refine them.
By incorporating these games into training sessions or team meetings regularly, sales teams can ensure their arsenal of skills remains sharp and effective so they’re ready to face any challenge that comes their way.
Here are four games designed to enhance specific sales skills.
Cold call karaoke
Cold-calling games help reps get comfortable making sales calls while improving their communication skills.
In cold call karaoke, salespeople take turns making a mock cold call, but with a twist. They draw a random scenario or challenge from a hat, like “speak in rhyme” or “use three movie quotes”. While lighthearted, this game helps salespeople think on their feet and adapt their approach to different situations.
Want to improve your presentation skills instead? Try Powerpoint Karaoke, an alternative where participants have to give a presentation based on slides they’ve never seen before.
Objection handling roleplay
Every sales rep has to get used to overcoming sales objections, whether a prospect has price concerns, doubts about your product or is simply stalling on making a decision. Sales professionals must be ready to handle any objection that comes their way.
Divide participants into pairs, with one playing the salesperson while the other plays the customer. The salesperson presents a product while the other person throws out common (or more unusual) objections. The goal is to handle and overcome each objection smoothly using the techniques and sales strategies they’ve learned.
This sales training game is invaluable for practicing responses and ensuring salespeople are always prepared for curveballs.
You may have played “questions” before, where you have to answer every question with another question without making any statements. This sales-based version takes it a step further; your team plays out customer interactions, but the salesperson can only communicate using open-ended questions.
The goal is to help salespeople learn to guide conversations and uncover customer needs, preferences and any other relevant information. By restricting participants to open-ended questions, they learn to listen actively, think on their feet and extract valuable information that can tailor a sales pitch.
The “sell me this” game
In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) uses the “sell me this pen” question to see if salespeople have what it takes to make it in the industry.
The question has gone on to be a favorite in job interviews for salespeople, meaning many reps have a canned response ready to go.
With this game, challenge your sales team by changing the item and using any object in the office, from a stapler to a coffee mug.
Each salesperson takes turns pitching the nominated object, highlighting unique selling propositions and persuading others of the item’s value. The group can then score the pitch on criteria like creativity, adaptability and understanding of customer needs.
4 virtual sales games to connect remote teams
With the rise of remote work, today’s sales teams may never meet face-to-face. While virtual environments offer flexibility and global reach, they also present unique challenges to team cohesion and training.
Virtual sales games, especially those that leverage online technology innovatively, can bridge this gap, fostering connection and skill enhancement in a digital world.
By taking advantage of the latest technology in creative ways, sales managers can help their remote teams stay connected and motivated while honing skills in a virtual work environment.
Here are four fun sales games tailored to remote teams.
Digital scavenger hunt
Using platforms like Google Earth or social media, create a scavenger hunt where salespeople must search online for locations, posts or even potential customers.
For example, you might ask your reps to find specific information on a competitor’s website, the location of a customer’s headquarters or a set number of LinkedIn profiles that match your ideal customer profile (ICP).
The first participant to find all the items or complete all assigned tasks wins. This game encourages team collaboration in a digital space and can be a fun, engaging way to break up the workday while refining online research skills.
Virtual reality sales simulations
Thanks to cheaper hardware and increased support, more sales teams now have access to virtual reality solutions. Even if your team is in different cities, countries or continents, they can use virtual reality (VR) to come together and interact.
One way to use VR for sales training is to create virtual storefronts or trade shows, enabling your sales team to practice their pitches or navigate complex sales scenarios. You can even have virtual customers, programmed with different personalities, needs and objections. These simulations offer a hands-on learning experience amplified by VR’s immersive environments.
CRM data dash
According to our 2022 State of Sales and Marketing report, 85% of participants use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track sales. In turn, companies that use CRM technologies are 15 percentage points more likely to grow their revenue compared to those that don’t.
Compared to last year, my company...
Companies that use a CRM software to track sales
Companies that do not use a CRM software to track sales.
Ensure your sales team is getting the most out of your CRM system with a series of challenges and competitions. For example, you could award participants who identify a set number of potential customers or increase operational efficiencies while cutting costs.
By scoring participants on criteria like speed and accuracy, you can promote CRM proficiency (along with a bit of friendly competition).
Interactive sales quiz platforms
Thanks to tools like Kahoot! and Quizizz, it’s easier than ever to create an online quiz for your sales teams. These platforms allow for real-time competition, leaderboards and instant feedback, making the learning process interactive and engaging.
You can adapt online quizzes to your objectives, whether helping your sales team learn and retain important information, assessing their skills or bringing everyone together for trivia night.
Using gamification to increase sales performance
Along with using sales games for training, you can also use gamification to enhance the sales process as a whole. At its core, gamification involves taking the mechanics that make your favorite games so engaging, like scoring, leaderboards, challenges and rewards, and applying them to the sales environment.
Key benefits of gamification in sales include:
Enhanced motivation. By introducing elements like points, badges or levels, salespeople are often more driven to achieve. These game mechanics tap into the intrinsic motivation of sales reps, pushing them to not only outdo their peers but also beat their personal bests in pursuit of a new high score.
Positive reinforcement. Achieving milestones in a gamified system can lead to tangible rewards, whether bonuses, gifts or formal recognition of their achievements. These rewards can boost morale and drive the desire to excel.
To get the most out of any gamification, it’s crucial to define what you want to achieve. Whether it’s boosting cold calls, improving sales pitch quality or enhancing product knowledge, having clear objectives will guide the gamification process. Not all game elements will be suitable for every sales team, so choose the ones that resonate with your team’s culture and objectives.
Any gamification must be fair to all participants. If people find the system biased in any way, it’ll become a source of contention that drives your teams apart. Ensure all salespeople, regardless of their experience or territory, have an equal chance to succeed in the gamified system.
By tapping into the human love for games, challenges and rewards, organizations can invigorate their sales teams, leading to enhanced performance, motivation and overall sales success.
How to get the most out of your sales games
Sales meeting games can be a powerful tool to boost team morale and performance, but only if they’re implemented properly. Use the following steps to ensure you’re getting the best results out of your sales games.
Provide clear instructions
Make your instructions clear and concise so participants can enjoy the game. If people have to keep interrupting to ask questions or clarify the rules, results will suffer. For the same reason, you’ll want to avoid any overly complex games that require pages of rules.
Offer tangible rewards
While the thrill of competition can be a strong motivator by itself, tangible rewards add extra incentive to win. That doesn’t always mean monetary incentives; it could be recognition in a team meeting, a certificate, or a day off.
Rotate and refresh your games
Playing the same game repeatedly can lead to diminishing returns or lessen engagement and learning. Rotate games regularly and introduce new ones to keep the experience fresh and exciting.
Use real-world scenarios
The more a game mirrors real-world sales scenarios, the more valuable it will be in terms of skill development. Ensure you root your sales games, especially skill-based ones, in the challenges and situations salespeople face daily.
Monitor and measure outcomes
Track how sales games are impacting performance. Are participants applying what they’ve learned? Is there a noticeable improvement in sales metrics?
Similarly, collect feedback from participants after the game. What did they like? What could you improve? Use this information to adjust and optimize future games.
While friendly competition is beneficial, it can create unhealthy rivalry and stress if taken too far. Ensure all participants know the game’s primary goal is progress and growth, not just winning.
Leverage technology platforms and tools to enhance the gaming experience, especially for virtual teams. For example, video calling apps like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams come with useful features like screen sharing, interactive whiteboards and breakout rooms.
You can use these to host sales games, bring teams together and improve the overall experience. You can also utilize CRMs like Pipedrive to track sales performance, while integrations with apps like Gamifier and Pointagram help with gamification.
When approached strategically, sales games can enhance learning and motivation. By aligning sales games with business objectives, managers can help their teams develop new skills, build their knowledge and close more deals, all while having some fun.
For the best results, use games alongside other sales training programs. By using a variety of methods to develop and train your sales team, you’ll cater to different learning styles and ensure every sales rep has the opportunity to thrive, maximizing their potential and contributing to your team’s success.