Mock Sales Calls: 10 Step Guide With Tips, Scripts, and Examples for 2023
The average B2B sales rep makes 35 calls a day and spends 55 minutes a day speaking with prospects. That's a lot of wasted time if your sales reps aren't effective.
How do you make sure they're prepared? Enter: mock sales calls.
Successful sales calls require research, a deep understanding of your ideal customer, and (this is the hard part,) the ability to build trust and educate prospects without coming across as pushy.
The typical sales process focuses on understanding pain points, researching prospects on LinkedIn, and customizing pitches.
Practicing the actual calls.
To be effective, sales reps need to work through those awkward calls and missteps before they're on the phone with prospects.
Mock sales calls put sales reps right into the conversations they'll have with real prospects in a safe, supportive environment where they can make mistakes, learn new strategies, and improve their call skills.
What is a Mock Sales Call?
A mock sales call is a training exercise where a manager or trainer roleplays as a prospect through an entire sales call
The goal is to help sales reps practice their call skills, test new sales strategies, and learn to navigate difficult situations. (Like what to say if the prospect just wants to hang up!)
What Are The Benefits of a Mock Sales Call?
Mock calls allow sales professionals to practice call strategies and prepare for every possible situation, so they don't draw a blank on the actual call.
Sales managers can also use mock calls to identify strengths and weaknesses, and teach reps how to overcome common objections.
Here's why mock sales calls are crucial for your sales team:
- Prepare your team for the real world: Realistic mock calls let your salespeople experience challenging situations in a comfortable environment without risking the sale.
- Practice countering objections in a thoughtful way: Objections are the main challenge sales reps face. The best way to get good at countering them is by putting your reps on the spot.
- Learn new skills or strategies: It doesn’t matter how many years you've been in sales—there are still new strategies to learn and test.
- Learn how to self-analyze: Recording and listening to their own mock calls helps reps pinpoint areas to improve and become more self-aware.
- Track progress over time: Looking back on old mock call recordings helps reps see where they came from, which can be a huge confidence booster.
- Reduce stress and improve confidence: The more your team practices call scenarios, the more confident they'll feel—and the smoother real sales calls will go.
While they might feel a little awkward at first, mock calls are a staple in coaching and sales training and can drastically improve sales rep efficiency.
10 Strategies for Better Mock Sales Calls (For Sales Managers & Sales Reps)
Mock sales calls don't just help SDRs memorize cold calling scripts. They're designed to help everyone make more effective sales calls. They can help your team learn to navigate follow-ups, ask better qualifying questions, and close deals more efficiently.
If you're responsible for designing mock sales calls in your team’s broader sales training efforts, these tips will ensure your sales team gets the most out of their training.
1. Don't Just Use a Script; Play The Sales Call Out in Full
When you do a mock call, the details matter. Play out the call as realistically as possible. It might take a little practice to feel natural, but it will provide better insights and help sales reps feel more comfortable on real sales calls.
Start from the very beginning by dialing the number and introducing yourself.
"Hello, this is John at ABC Startup. How can I help you?"
"Hey John, this is Susan from ABC Widgets...."
Have the rep introduce themselves and the company they work for, then ask the right questions to get to know the prospect.
Remember: the beginning of the call is crucial. This is when the person on the other end decides if you're worth their time. When someone answers the phone, you’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention.
2. Remove Visual Cues During the Call
On an actual call, you can't see the other person. There are no visual cues to help you interpret how they feel or how engaged they are in the call—which means you shouldn't rely on visual cues during a mock sales call.
Those visual cues alter how you talk and could impact the direction of the conversation. If your team learns to rely on these cues, they'll be at a disadvantage in real calls.
Instead, position both parties away from each other. Ideally, they should be in separate rooms, but at minimum have them face away from each other.
If possible, hold the coaching sessions at the salesperson’s desk, and have them use the exact same tools they use when calling real prospects. If you're using a CRM with built-in calling (like Close), create dummy lead pages to simulate the reps actual working conditions.
This will help make those new sales skills feel like second nature.
3. Get into Character Before the Call—Even if it Feels Silly
When playing the prospect on a mock sales call, you need to get into character. It might feel a little silly, but it helps the call feel more authentic.
Before the call, sit down and write out a quick character sheet that covers:
- Your name
- Company name
- Your position
- What your daily routine looks like
- The challenges you face
- What you care about
Take it a step further by choosing your mood. Are you happy? Tired? Annoyed? Stressed? Don’t act like a sales coach, act like a human being. Be the person your salespeople are most likely toencounter when they pick up the phone and dial.
Staying in character will also make it easier to post realistic challenges for your sales rep.
4. Record Your Mock Calls So You Can See Progress Over Time
Want to take your training to the next level? Record all your mock sales calls and tag them by sales rep and type of call—for example, cold calling versus a follow-up.
These recordings show sales reps' progress over time and can be helpful when training new hires down the road.
Our CRM enables you to automatically record your calls, and store them savely in the cloud, so you can always come back and revisit these calls, and use them for demonstration purposes.
Recording audio is great, but if you can record video calls, that's even better.
This allows you to see how their body language changes over time. As they gain more confidence, they'll see how their body language and responses change. With Close's native Zoom integration for example, you can keep your Zoom recordings associated with your mock call sessions.
It can be hard to spot improvements day-by-day, but when you can compare the first mock call to their tenth, the improvement will be clear.
5. Have The Sales Rep Critique Themselves First
When a person is on a mock call, they will feel self-conscious. They’re aware of other salespeople around them, observing and judging, so they’ll be in a different mental state than when they make an actual sales call. But that's a good thing:
When you practice in high-pressure environments, making real sales calls will be easier. It's like running with a weighted vest.
Watching the recordings can be even more awkward. When reps listen to their calls for the first time, give them space and time to watch and analyze the call on their own before offering your feedback.
Once they watch the recording, have them answer these questions:
- How do you think this call went?
- What did you like?
- What did you not like?
- What was good?
- What was bad?
- When did you have me?
- When did you lose me?
- Why did the call go the way it went?
- What would you have done differently?
Have them list conclusions and action items on their own before offering criticism. This will raise self-awareness and help them learn to spot their own strengths and weaknesses.
6. Start with Easy Calls, Like Cold Outreach or Voicemails
Some sales managers want to dive right into the hardest calls, but that sets your team up for failure. Mock sales calls can be nerve-wracking, especially for new hires or inexperienced reps.
That’s why it’s important to help reps get comfortable with the situation before presenting them with challenging scenarios.
Start with an easy call, like a cold outreach pitch to an ideal prospect, or even just leaving a voicemail. Once they get comfortable with the process, you can move on to more challenging calls.
7. Repeat Mock Sales Call Regularly To Keep The Lessons Fresh
If you want to become good at something, you have to put in the work. That’s why repetition is important. Schedule mock call sessions frequently and consistently, for example, once a month or a few times a quarter. This keeps the lessons fresh and helps reps learn continuously.
Mock sales calls should be part of onboarding, training, and continuous development. Salespeople (especially outbound sales) will always make phone calls, so it's important to keep this skill sharp.
8. Focus on One Sales Strategy at a Time to Prevent Overwhelming Sales Reps
Think about the last time you tried to learn a new skill—maybe a hobby or a new software. It's easy to get overwhelmed when tons of new information is thrown at you all at once. Mock sales calls are no different.
Rather than trying to cram an entire sales training program into one call, focus on one area at a time. For example, you might start by focusing on a specific type of call, like a cold call or follow up call, or a specific stage like building rapport or getting contact information for a decision maker.
Don’t provide too much feedback or pick apart everything they did wrong. Too much critique will overwhelm your sales rep, and they won’t know what to focus on. Instead, they’ll be left with a feeling of failure.
Rather, focus on one main lesson, and mention things they did well in addition to areas they can improve. As they get more comfortable, you can include more strategies and feedback.
9. Take Your Mock Calls to the Next Level By Asking for Referrals or Dealing With Very Tough Calls
Once your sales reps have a bit of experience, it’s time to up the ante and make your mock calls more challenging. Maybe the prospect has been on the phone all day, or just isn't the right person to call.
Let your reps practice asking for a referral to a decision maker, or dealing with very difficult prospects. Over time, build up to creating a call so difficult a real call can't beat it.
The goal is simple: Have them deal with the worst call imaginable in training, and they'll never feel unprepared because they've already experienced the worst.
Just remember to go easy on junior reps and new hires—this should be reserved for senior sales reps who are up to the challenge.
10. Don't Forget The Follow-Up Call to Seal the Deal
If you really want your salespeople to get to the next level, don't just have them do the first call. That is the easy part! Instead, have them work through several calls in the sales cycle, including the follow-up call.
This gets them comfortable with following up. Give a specific scenario—like a week later, or after the client had a chance to talk to leadership. What would they say? What questions should they be prepared to answer?
This is an incredibly valuable exercise that can take your sales team to the next level.
8 Mock Call Templates, Samples & Scenarios to Practice with Your Sales Team
Ready to launch your mock call training? You'll need a few scripts and scenarios to run through. Which scenario will challenge experienced reps? Which will help train brand new reps? What is going too far?
These sample mock calls cover a variety of training situations to get your sales team prepped for the real world.
1. A Simple Cold Call For New Sales Reps
Best for: Teaching new reps your basic sales talk tracks or for a sales interview.
When you’re training new sales reps, a simple call without firm objections from the customer is a good place to start. It will help them get familiar with the general structure of calls, and the standards your company uses.
Points to touch on:
- Introductions and greetings
- Get to the point quickly
- Dealing with minor objections
2. Overcoming The Gatekeeper Sales Call Script
Best for: Helping new to mid-level reps get to the right person.
Though this type of person can’t directly give you a sale, they hold the key to those who can, and you need to win the gatekeeper over to gain access.
Points to touch on:
- Make them feel valuable (because they are)
- Explain what/who you’re looking for
- Make yourself sound important (so they don’t brush you off)
- Ask (nicely) for a connection
3. The Prospect Who Wants Off The Phone Call Script
Best for: Low to mid-level reps to learn how to deal with annoyed or impatient prospects that just want off the phone.
People don’t always treat salespeople nicely. If reps get on the phone with someone who just wants to hang up, make sure they know how to navigate the call. Be nice, but try to get key points across as soon as possible in case they abruptly end your call.
Points to touch on:
- Get important info out as quickly as possible
- Empathize with them
- Try to get contact info so you can follow up later
- Know when to close the call
4. The "Give Me A Discount" Prospect
Best for: Teaching reps how to navigate a prospect that insists on lower prices or a discount by focusing on value.
Some prospects ask for a discount right off the bat. These are the kind of people who require reps to be more persuasive and focus on the value your organization delivers before discussing price.
This type of mock sales calls helps reps build their sales skills and learn to distill your value proposition. Why should they pay the price for your product or service? Reps must be prepared to explain the value you deliver.
Points to touch on:
- Focus on value-based selling
- Explain why the product is worth the cost (what value it brings to the customer)
- Consider offering a sample/trial
- Have stats/case studies ready to go
5. The “Send Me That Info In An Email” Lead
Best for: Helping early to mid-level reps seal the deal with less enthusiastic leads.
We all get busy, so it’s important to be understanding when dealing with a dismissive prospect. This sales mock call ensures reps nail being respectful of a prospect's time while stressing the importance of the call.
Adhere to their wish, but then immediately ask follow-up questions to engage them. If you can create a sense of urgency (if you’re offering a limited-time-only deal, for example), you may be able to entice them to stay on the line.
Points to touch on:
- Ask open-ended questions you can bring up in later conversations
- Focus on the most important information
- Get contact information so you can follow up in email
- Agree and ask follow-up questions
- Create a sense of urgency
6. The Hesitant Prospect
Best for: Learning to overcome objections from people who think your product won’t meet their needs, or who are hesitant to switch from the industry standard.
A core skill in sales is learning how to overcome objections.
Reps might hear, “Other competitors are better,” or "I'm not sure this solves our issue." If you have a SaaS product, reps often hear, “It's too hard to implement.”
Work out a script with a few reasons why your product is the better option—a better price, more features, better customer service, a dedicated onboarding team, etc., and have reps practice it.
Points to touch on:
- Why your product/service is better for them than your competitors
- Ask why they like their current supplier to gain insight into what features/value might change their mind
- Finding their pain points and explaining how you could help
7. The C-Level Lead Mock Sales Call Script
Best for: Experienced sales reps who deal with higher-level leads, or those looking to grow their sales career.
Dealing with people at the top of a company with all the power can be intimidating. This mock call helps reps learn how to adjust their sales pitch to the C-suite and come across as confident. Reps should pay close attention to body language and tone of voice, as these types of leads don't respond well to insecurity.
Points to touch on:
- Be confident
- Empathize with the challenges they face
- Make powerful statements (don’t undermine your own authority)
- Convince them that you’re worth their time
8. The Worst Person In The World Mock Call Template
Best for: Junior sales reps who are more easily thrown off by hostile prospects.
As every seasoned rep knows, some prospects will yell and curse at salespeople on the call. Some of these calls aren't salvageable, but others might just be having a (very) bad day. This type of call is meant to test the limits of your best sales rep.
It’s difficult to truly prepare for these calls, but as long reps keep their cool, they'll do well.
Points to touch on:
- How to keep your composure
- Get key points out, if possible
- Try to obtain alternate contact information
- Know when to throw in the towel
- Establish a "bad call recovery" ritual
Final Thoughts: Mock Sales Calls Prepare Your Sales Team For Success
Just like any other sales skill, nailing the phone call takes practice. Adding mock sales calls to your sales training might feel awkward at first, but will elevate your sales reps to new heights in no time.
And, the next time a sales rep talks about a crazy call they had, take notes for your next mock call! Adding details from real-life prospects will make your training even more effective.
Looking for more ways to build, manage, and train your team? Grab our free Sales Management Toolkit for more practical and proven templates and checklists.