Ideas for Team Building Exercises for Sales People
Why Team Building Exercises are Important
Incorporating good team building exercises into your business can help you stay ahead of the competition, something that is more important than ever in today's harsh economic climate.
In general employees produce their best work when they are happy with their working environment, and the working environment extends to both the physical environment i.e. are there always enough coffee cups in the canteen, and the emotional environment which covers company culture and work teams.
The most effective and efficient teams are those who know what they are supposed to be doing when, how much leeway they have to push the boundaries ~ and importantly the consequences which will happen if they overstep the mark.
Team building activities for the workplace can help to identify areas which can be improved, and, in a safe environment, reinforce the consequences of getting it wrong.
Why Team Building for Sales Staff is Especially Important
A good sales team needs to be able to convince their customer that they need what is being sold to them. A really good sales team is able to do that without the customer realising that a sales job has been done on them, and an excellent sales team will not only be able to do the above but will also ensure that the customer not only returns to them when they next need the product or service, but also recommends them to friends / colleagues in business.
Sales Team Building
Unfortunately not only do many sales teams fail to meet the standard required to be good, they excel at being bad with in-your-face, pushy, or just ill thought out arguments.
A case in point is the poor unfortunate sales bod who phoned me not long ago to ask why I hadn't taken out the repair cover guarantee for some product I'd bought. I replied (quite reasonably I thought) that I hadn't taken out the cover as I didn't expect the product to break down - unless he knew something I didn't. There was a few moment of silence at the end of phone (don't think they'd covered potential faith in a product in the telephone script) then he said goodbye and hung up.
The problem with that scenario was that he asked me a question that just begged for a negative answer, whereas a quick flip of the conversation to starting with 'Was I enjoying the product and would I like to protect against the unlikely event off' ...etc etc etc could have got a different response.
Sales is all about communication, communication with customers, communication with the rest of the sales team, communication with support staff - communication, communication, communication ~ and just in case you haven't picked up on it yet ~ it's about communication.
If things aren't being done right - it's communication, if customers are not buying (assuming your product or service is not at fault) it's communication, if goods are not delivered as stated ~ you guessed right - communication.
So how do you fix it? You integrate sales team building activities and sales team building exercises into your company calendar on a regular basis.
Sales Team Building Ideas - Fun Team Building Activities Work Best
People learn more when they're enjoying themselves, so try to make your sales team building exercises as fun team building exercises.
Communication team building exercises need to be built around listening, collecting or passing on information and being observant, and the best team building exercises can often be the ones you design yourself or adapt to your own circumstances.
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
The Question and Question Game: - a twist on the yes / no game.
This is a 2 people game, one person asking questions and one person answering. Pick an object - ideally something non work related so it feels more fun - can be anything for example an orange. The questioner needs to keep a conversation going with the other person for at least one minute about the orange (or whatever object you've chosen), but the questioner cannot ask a question to which a yes / no answer would be appropriate or they lose the game. Aggressive questions (as judged by an observer) also lead to losing.
For example an opening question of 'Do you like oranges' would be no good, whereas 'What's the best orange you've ever had' would be okay as it demands a proper answer.
This is remarkably difficult to do and that's its point, it makes a sales team think hard about what questions to ask and how to ask them.
Picture Perfect - needs 4 people and highlights the need for clarity in communication.
One person is given a simply drawn picture - it needs to be something that can be fairly easily recreated i.e. a box with a bow on top. Another person is given a blank piece of paper and a pen - the idea being that that person will recreate the picture. These 2 need to be at opposite ends of a room or even in separate rooms - far enough away that they cannot communicate at all.
Each has an assistant who will pass information between them.
The person with the picture has to give instructions to their assistant on what needs to be drawn using only descriptions of shapes i.e. they can't say 'draw a box with a bow on it', they'd have to start with 'draw a square', etc.
They give the first instruction to their assistant who then goes to the middle of the room and passes the information to the drawers assistant who then tells the drawer what to draw. Questions from the drawer i.e. 'what size is the square' are carried back by the same method. It carries on one shape at a time until the drawing is completed and can be compared with the original. The end result is that the two images often bear no resemblance to each other, as key questions such as 'what size square to draw' are not asked.
What this exercise does do however is highlight how easy it is for the simplest instruction i.e. draw a square, to be interpreted differently by people, and therefore highlight just how important clarity in communication is.
Further Ideas and Information on Team Building
Hopefully this has given you a starting point for your team building plan. Plenty of others ideas can be found in the depths of the Internet or by perusing some of the many team building books available.
It's always good to get a wide range of ideas and suggestions before you start your team building so you can put together the appropriate programnme for you.
So now you've got started, go forth and build.