Especially if your sales team works remotely, the opportunities to get to really know your team members are limited. Team building activities are not only a way for your team to destress and decompress from the work week, but they also help foster trust among team members and allow you to get to know each other better.
When companies choose not to address employee engagement and retention, employees are four times more likely to leave. So, how do you boost employee engagement?
A great way to keep your employees happy and engaged is through sales team building activities. While such activities may be perceived as a waste of work time or not applicable to sales, they can actually be an effective way to improve your sales team’s productivity and retain your best talent. Here are 9 examples of sales team building activities to improve both employee engagement and the quality of the sales reps’ work.
Playing games as a team is a great way to get to know each other better and destress during the workday. Here are a few ideas for office games and virtual games your sales team can play from anywhere:
Want to test your sales and improv skills? There’s always the element of improvisation in the life of a salesperson, and sometimes it’s fun to improvise with no stakes involved.
Sell It To Me is a fun sales game where each player has a minute or less to come up with a pitch on the spot for a random object a teammate assigns to them. Each player votes on the best pitch and the player with the most votes wins. One classic example is “sell me this pen,” seen in the famous scene from The Wolf of Wall Street, but feel free to be as creative as you want.
Pro resource: Check out this podcast with Gina Trimarco to get past the sales script and nail your improvisational skills.
Put a twist on the classic Jeopardy game where team members can enjoy friendly competition while learning about their company. The goal of the game is to give correct answers to clues about the company and its products.
To prepare the game, decide what knowledge you want your reps to learn and retain. Think of five different categories, such as “products we sell” or “company values.” Each category will hold five questions relating to the assigned topic. For example, the “products we sell” category may have the question: “What is the price of this product?”
Once you have created your board, split the sales team into a few smaller teams. Each group takes turns selecting a category and a point value. The team has a limited time to converse and answer the question. If they get it right, they get those points. If they get it wrong, the other teams have the opportunity to steal the question and answer correctly. Keep calculations of what each team scores, and once all of the questions have been picked, the group with the most points wins.
Company Jeopardy is a fun sales game for the onboarding process. When reps know about their company’s products, they feel more confident in sales meetings. A study published in the Research in Organizational Behavior Journal found that sales reps who are confident in their ability to complete tasks of selling are more persistent and more likely to overcome barriers.
Escape rooms are a fun, out-of-the-box team building activity rooted in teamwork and good communication skills where you have a limited amount of time to solve clues and puzzles to escape the room.
You can find escape rooms in your area through a simple Google search. Look for those that hold company events – their games will be more oriented towards team building. If your sales team operates remotely, there are also plenty of virtual escape rooms your team can check out so you don’t miss out on the fun.
Just like escape room teams, sales teams need to be able to communicate and work together to solve problems and achieve goals. In an escape room, team members are forced to collaborate, learn each other’s strengths, and then use them to their advantage. In a Stanford study, researchers found that “People led to feel they were working together freely persisted 48–64% longer on a challenging task” and “reported greater interest in the task.” Escape rooms can improve creativity, teamwork, and decision-making skills, which are all integral steps in the problem-solving process.
A scavenger hunt is a great opportunity for your team to get out in the city and enjoy a sunny day. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the themes and clues that you create – and the more personalized it is to your specific team’s interests and personalities, the better. For example, you can create a holiday-themed or history-themed scavenger hunt that is centered around your team’s favorite locations.
When doing a scavenger hunt as a team outing in the city, the routes can get complicated pretty quickly. If your sales team already uses Badger Maps as their route planner and sales enablement tool, you can easily use the route planner feature to plan out your entire hunt and make sure you focus on the fun.
One way to get to know your sales team members (and yourself) better is by each taking a personality test. Well-known tests like the Myers-Briggs test and the Enneagram test give you a look into how your mind operates and what your personality is like, which is super helpful for bonding in the workplace.
Besides just getting to know each other better, this sales team meeting idea can be useful for your sales team to determine how each person functions and how that translates in the work environment. It can allow you to assign tasks more appropriately and embrace differences among team members – and this activity is a great team building activity for remote teams, too.
Raising money for a charity can encourage employees to make a difference for a respectable cause. This activity lets your sales team work together or engage in a friendly competition to raise funds.
Have employees discuss their values and interests together to find commonalities. Then, research charities that align with those shared values, so everyone feels like their efforts are going toward a cause they care about. Use Idealist to find opportunities in your area that also match your team’s values.
Specific examples include:
Supporting one’s community can provide salespeople with an understanding of the issues others may have to endure. Support from coworkers can also make a big difference. Whether it’s offering a new perspective on an ongoing issue or listening to another reps’ frustrations, developing a sense of empathy is always helpful. Learning from struggling community members can help employees understand the needs of their own community and therefore become more empathetic. Sales reps should be able to put themselves in their clients’ shoes and find ways to support them to increase sales. Helping those in need can be a great way to foster interpersonal skills.
Take a break from sitting in the office and stretch those legs with a hike nearby. Have the sales team bring their workout clothes to work and take a half-day to get some exercise out in nature. Although exercise is great for overall health and fitness, it can also positively impact the workplace. If you would like to do an outdoor activity, but you're doubtful about making your team exercise, it's always a fun idea to go on a motorized bicycle ride.
Exercise has numerous benefits for well-being and success, including increasing energy levels and reducing stress. When your team is happy and healthy, the work environment will stay positive in stressful situations. Stimulating team building activities like hiking can help you achieve that environment, leading to better retention rates and sales success.
There’s no better way to bring people together than food. Have each employee cook and bring a dish to eat with their colleagues after work. You can encourage everyone to bring something typical from their hometown.
Create a sign-up sheet so team members can organize who brings appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Then, share an event, so everyone remembers to bring their dish to work that day. This activity fosters communication between team members because it gives them time to relax and talk about their interests and cultural differences among their hometowns.
Employee recognition is an important part of having a healthy and positive work culture. Your team can hold an awards ceremony that reflects what your employees value, where each member of a team gives an award to a colleague for their hard work.
Awards can be used for a big sale someone closed or a great customer review. Plan a short ceremony so members can come together and share each other’s achievements. Remember to make make the awards specific to each person and avoid superlatives to be as inclusive and authentic as possible.
This can easily be done in a remote setting, too, by creating online invitations for a virtual awards show. And the more creative you are with it, the more fun it is for everyone – let your team create their own awards categories, or set your virtual background to match the awards ceremony theme.
On a smaller scale, implementing peer-to-peer employee recognition on a regular basis is a simple, yet effective way to cultivate appreciation and connection. For example, the end of your weekly meetings can serve as a designated time for team members to give out props to each other. Creating a time and space where you can fit in peer-to-peer shoutouts for a job well done can make a big difference in your team morale, as it increases trust while reducing doubts about performance and job satisfaction. Practicing employee recognition is beneficial because by holding each team member accountable for observing the work of their colleagues, they can learn to listen for important information and recognize their colleagues’ efforts. This translates to client meetings, too, since sales reps should be attentive to their clients’ reservations and thoughts. Doing so makes clients feel heard and respected, and can help reps win more sales.
If you want your reps to feel satisfied with their jobs, they need to have a friendly and collaborative work environment. Team building activities can improve both the quality of team interactions and the quality of sales reps’ work. These activities also bring sales teams closer together and help find common ground between team members while even improving some key sales skills.
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