Introducing Role-Plays In Your Extended Enterprise Training Can be Game Changing—Try It!

Introducing Role-Plays In Your Extended Enterprise Training Can be Game Changing—Try It!
Summary: There are three key ways to implement role-plays effectively in extended enterprise training. Explore how product training, sales training and customer support training benefit from role-plays.

Invest In Extended Enterprise Training

Talent is the biggest asset for businesses today, and obviously, they invest a lot of money in training. But businesses are also recognizing the innovation and extensive capabilities that people in the "extended enterprise" bring to the table and are carving out a big chunk of their budgets for training them. Such external stakeholders include affiliates, franchisees, vendors, consultants, business partners, and even customers.

Businesses realize it’s critical to invest in extended enterprise training to deliver enhanced customer experiences. And rightly so, as the extended enterprises are equal partners in the success of a business. For instance, there is a quite famous story about how Japanese auto manufacturers helped their suppliers become more effective in 1993. The manufacturers generously shared their best practices and successful approaches and collaborated with their suppliers to make better cars. This practice of helping extended enterprises isn’t just limited to the manufacturing or supply chain; the tech industry is a big example today. Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle—all run their own "partner programs." Extended enterprise training is a must-have for the huge benefits they bring:

  • Better revenue
  • Strengthened brand
  • Reduced risk
  • Improved business processes

To realize all these benefits, role-plays have emerged as one of the most effective modes. Let’s see how you can leverage it.

3 Key Ways To Implement Role-Plays In Extended Enterprise Training

Role-plays are an effective method of training for better retention and performance [1]. For instance, Cornell University employs virtual role-playing assignments where students are sorted into small groups and assigned topics to explore. Students found these to be extremely effective, with many commenting that the role-plays were quite immersive and offered insight into real issues faced by them, and allowed them to work toward resolving these issues in a meaningful way. Businesses can employ the following three key techniques to implement role-plays to train their extended enterprise partners:

1. Product Training

The same old interactive manuals, videos, and linear eLearning courses are not going to cut it with the extended enterprise teams. What you need are a couple of complex scenarios to train them on product features and benefits. You can create a branching scenario with information on each path. You can also think of an interactive mascot, or a guide to demonstrate the functionalities. Employing role-plays like this will help build gradual curiosity in your enterprise partners and prompt them to ask more questions and promote in-depth learning.

2. Sales Training

This is a niche space and it’s critical to identify the areas where sales teams get stumped. Role-plays are the best bet to equip them to handle such scenarios. The teams can practice elevator pitches, demonstrate products and solutions, field typical customer objections, and learn the art of negotiation in a safe environment. Sales managers or leaders can shadow these sessions, but it’d be more effective if they also participate by posing as customers.

3. Customer Support Training

Role-play-based training benefits people in customer support roles the most. Customer reps are expected to understand customer profiles, their expected behaviors, and possible concerns, and then act based on these interactions. Role-play exercises here, like with sales teams, must have branching scenarios for each customer profile. Your scenarios must include situations where you can train your extended enterprise teams in soft skills, like patience while interacting with customers, and also equip them with specific product knowledge to navigate complex customer challenges.


Conventional training materials aren’t as effective as they used to be, and this is no different with training for extended enterprise partners. You must change your approach by making the training more inclusive. Listen to your partners’ concerns and ideas and then devise exercises that will work best for them. This way they will feel emotionally invested in your products and solutions.

Creating a better brand experience for your extended enterprise partners will make them feel more valued. They can then further extend the same experience to their customers, benefitting your business. Role-plays have a huge role to play in making this happen. Don’t continue with the same boring digital catalogs or customary page-turner eLearning courses. Go for interactive role-plays to pique your learners’ interests. Talk to us to overhaul your extended enterprise training.


[1] “Role” of Role Plays in eLearning for Better Retention and Performance

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