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Role Play Exercise Offsite Training

8 GovCon Role Play Exercises for Your Next Offsite Meeting

Your Ultimate Guide to Planning a High-Impact Offsite Agenda

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Imagine immersing your team in real-world scenarios without the risk of real-world consequences. That’s the magic of role-playing, a powerful training technique proven to transform customer engagement performance.

But why is role-playing so effective?

  • Real-World Familiarity:
    Roleplays simulate actual customer interactions, preparing your team not just theoretically but experientially. This familiarity increases the likelihood of handling similar real customer encounters skillfully.
  • Safe Experimentation:
    Roleplays provide a safe space for practicing new methods and honing essential emotional intelligence and communication skills like active listening and strategic questioning. Practicing improves confidence and reduces engagement anxiety.
  • Accelerated Learning:
    Unlike static learning, role-playing thrusts participants into active, hands-on learning. This approach quickly enhances their ability to understand and manage diverse customer personalities and complex situations.
statistic offsite team planning interactive breakout
  • Self-Awareness and Growth:
    These exercises often highlight the difference between self-perception and actual performance, leading to critical “aha” moments. This self-awareness is a catalyst for focused improvement.
  • Personalized Coaching:
    Roleplays enable tailored feedback, repetitions, and adjustments specific to an individual’s needs, significantly enhancing personal growth and skill mastery.
  • Enhanced Empathy through Role Reversal:
    Role-playing the Customer provides a deeper appreciation of their needs, concerns, and motivations from their “other side” of the table. This understanding allows for more empathy, improved customer affinity, and clarity on where opportunities may lie.

By following these 5 key points, you can maximize the effectiveness of your role-plays and create a valuable learning experience for all participants:


  • Craft a scenario that mirrors actual sales situations.
  • Prepare pre-written customer dialogue to ensure consistency and realism.
  • Recruit and rehearse with a customer roleplayer beforehand.
Offsite Agenda Template


  • Give participants ample time to review the scenario and prepare for their roles.
  • Allocate sufficient time for individual preparation and practice.


  • Use concise and easy-to-understand language in the written scenario.
  • Clearly outline roles, objectives, and expectations for each participant.
  • Specify the time limit for each role-play segment.


  • Provide templates, scripts, or props to facilitate preparation and participation.
  • Offer reference materials on relevant sales techniques and strategies.


  • Make sure the group is familiar with each other prior to the role play. If needed, offer an icebreaker beforehand to warm up the group.
  • Foster a supportive and open environment where participants feel comfortable experimenting. Help them realize this is a learning experience, not a test.
  • Offer constructive and actionable feedback focused on learning and improvement.
  • Ensure feedback is individualized and confidential.

This role-play scenario focuses on developing and honing essential skills for creating strong relationships with potential customers. By actively engaging with the customer, developing connection, and demonstrating genuine interest in their needs, participants will learn how to quickly develop trust.


  • BD Professional*
  • Potential Customer

*This scenario can be adapted to different roles and situations, such as a Project Manager meeting a new customer stakeholder for the first time.

The BD* professional initiates a conversation with a potential customer they have not met before.

Their objectives are:

  • Establish a positive first impression and initial connection.
  • Ask questions and actively listen to gather intelligence into the customer’s needs and challenges.
  • Dig deeper into those needs and challenges to understand them at root cause.
  • Demonstrate genuine interest and understanding of their mission and priorities.
  • Don’t make assumption that your solution fits until you fully understand customer needs.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Effective communication: The BD Professional displays strong communication skills, including active listening, asking relevant open-ended questions, and probing with follow-up questions to fully understand the customers responses.
  • Empathy: The Potential Customer feels heard, understood, and valued, actively participating in the conversation.
  • Connection and trust: The BD Professional establishes connection and a foundation of trust through emotional intelligence skills – listening, empathy, and customer focus.

Coaching Tips:

  • Call opening: Did the roleplayer prepare for the call by understanding the Potential Customer’s background, role, and organization beforehand to tailor their questions and approach?
  • Short questions: Encourage participants to use short questions without long lead-ins to elicit valuable insights from the customer.
  • Active listening: Encourage participants to pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues to gauge the customer’s receptiveness and respond accordingly.
  • Authenticity and connection: Be personable and focus on building a positive relationship. Connections and empathy build trust.
  • Credibility: This is established by what is asked, not what is said. They must  ask questions rather than jump to whare relevant experiences and success stories to establish credibility.
  • Customer or self-focused: Is the role player focused on understanding and helping customers meet their needs or driving their agenda?
  • Pushing or pulling: Does the BD person jump into talking out your company or delivering capability overviews, or do they pounce on the first problem they hear and shift into “selling” a solution?

Why This Works:
people skills are a competitive advantage and winning relationships are often a leading indicator of success. When engaging customers, it’s essential to start the call in a manner that doesn’t reinforce their perceptions that all salespeople are sleazy. Demonstrating genuine interest, empathy, and customer-focused questioning can differentiate them, create trust, and establish long-lasting partnerships that drive business growth.

Download Offsite Planning Guide
Download Offsite Planning Guide

Overview: This interactive role-play scenario challenges participants to gather critical customer intelligence. By actively listening, probing deeper, and analyzing the information gathered, participants will develop valuable skills for understanding the customer’s mission, priorities, key stakeholders, and decision-making process.


  • BD Professional*
  • Potential Customer

*This scenario can be adapted to different situations and customer types.

The BD Professional meets with a Potential Customer aiming to:

  • Uncover their mission and strategic priorities.
  • Identify key stakeholders and influencers.
  • Understand their perspectives on the organization’s challenges and needs.
  • Gather insights into the decision-making process, timeline and influencing factors.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The BD Professional effectively gathers information from the customer.
  • They identify key decision-makers and influencers within the customer organization.
  • They understand the customer’s mission, strategic priorities, and needs.

Tips for Success:

  • Prepare a structured interview guide: Develop targeted questions to address specific objectives and encourage detailed responses.
  • Active listening and probing: Actively listen to stakeholders, pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, and ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into key topics.
  • Seek diverse perspectives: Who else should we engage at various levels, roles, and departments to understand the organization’s dynamics?
  • Pattern identification: Analyze the gathered information to identify recurring themes, concerns, and potential opportunities.

Why This Works: This scenario provides a valuable opportunity for participants to develop critical customer intelligence gathering skills and practice applying them in a realistic setting. By thoroughly understanding the customer’s mission, priorities, and stakeholders, BD Professional can build stronger relationships, tailor their solutions to address specific needs, and ultimately increase their chances of success.

80% of sales professionals who participated in role play sessions reported significant improvements in communication skills like active listening and building rapport

Overview: This role-play scenario hones participants’ skills in conducting effective discovery calls. By actively listening, asking insightful questions, and analyzing responses and digging deeper, participants will learn how to identify and qualify customer challenges.


  • BD Professional*
  • Potential Customer

*This scenario can be adapted to different priorities, customer types, solution sets and specific customer challenges as needed.

The BD Professional initiates a discovery call with the Potential Customer.

Their objectives are:

  • Understand the customer organizations goals and their personal aspirations.
  • Identify key challenges impacting the organization and the customer personally.
  • Assess the severity and impact of the challenges.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Effective questioning: The BD Professional demonstrates strong questioning skills, utilizing open-ended, probing, and clarifying questions to gain in-depth understanding.
  • Active listening: They actively listen to the customer’s responses, pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, and ask follow-up questions for further clarification.
  • Challenge identification: They successfully identify key challenges and pain points impacting the customer’s organization.
  • Impact assessment: They evaluate the severity and impact of the challenges, understand the impact gap between the status quo and successful implementation.
  • Decision: They understand how a decision will be made, who will be responsible for making decisions across the acquisition, and the estimated timeline for the decision.

Coaching Tips:

  • Prepare targeted questions: Develop a list of questions beyond requirements to uncover underlying needs and motivations.
  • Actively listen and probe deeper: Pay close attention to the customer’s responses, ask follow-up questions to clarify points and understand the context, and encourage them to share detailed examples.
  • Focus on impact: Help the customer quantify the impact of the status quo vs the desired future state.
  • Challenge your assumptions: Probe deeper to uncover underlying needs beyond initial symptoms.

Tips for Success:

  • Provide participants with call planning templates and qualification checksheets to help them know the required information.
  • Encourage open discussion and sharing of best practices during the debriefing session.

Why This Works: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce id ipsum consequat, tempus quam vitae, accumsan odio. Pellentesque risus augue, hendrerit vitae maximus eu, vulputate vel libero. Aliquam ac tortor posuere, accumsan quam sed, pulvinar diam. Phasellus faucibus libero nec aliquam aliquet.


This role-play scenario focuses on the crucial engagement skill of transitioning from a successful discovery call to ending the call with the customer defining the next steps. By understanding the customers thinking and ideal next steps provides an incredible amount of intelligence to the BD professional.


  • BD Professional
  • Potential Customer

The BD Professional has completed a productive discovery call with the Potential Customer. Their objective now is to secure concrete next steps to continue the engagement.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Clear and concise summary: The BD Professional summarizes key points and takeaways from the conversation, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  • Defined action plan: They asked questions and clarified the next steps, establishing a roadmap for moving forward.
  • Commitment secured: They secure concrete commitments, such as when to reengage, who should engage, what information is needed, etc.
  • Positive closure: They express appreciation for the Potential Customer’s time and interest, leaving a positive and lasting impression.

Coaching Tips:

  • Summarize key points: Briefly reiterate the main takeaways from the conversation, including the customer’s challenges and your proposed solutions.
  • Get the customer to define the next steps clearly: Define specific actions to be taken by both parties and set a timeline for each step.
  • Express appreciation: Thank the Potential Customer for their time and interest, demonstrating professionalism and gratitude.

Tips for Success:

  • Encourage participants to share their experiences and best practices for securing the next steps in their post-role-play discussions.

Why This Works:
By confidently and professionally ending the call with the customer defining clear next steps, the BD Professional clearly understands where things stand, what is required, and when. Most never do this and find themselves wondering what they should do. No clear plan to reengage leads to ghosting and massive time wasting chasing an unresponsive customer.

22% higher win rates for sales teams that incorporated role-playing into their training programs

This role-play scenario assesses participants’ ability to gather critical competitive intelligence about the competitive landscape for a specific GovCon opportunity. By asking insightful questions and actively listening, participants will learn how to uncover valuable insights into the customer’s perspective on competitors, potential partners, and their preferred solutions.


  • BD Professional
  • Potential Customer

The BD Professional is pursuing a new GovCon opportunity and needs to understand the customer’s perception of the competitive landscape.

They schedule a meeting with the customer to gain insights into:

  • Current incumbent performance: How satisfied is the customer with the incumbent’s performance? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Other competitors: Who else is considering bidding? What are their perceived strengths and weaknesses?
  • Solution preference: What type of solution is the customer looking for? What are their key priorities and considerations?
  • Potential partner opportunities: Are there any potential partners that could be beneficial to include in the proposal?

Note: This scenario can be adapted to different customers, project types and specific customer needs.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Effective questioning: The BD Professional demonstrates strong questioning skills, utilizing open-ended, probing, and clarifying questions to elicit detailed and insightful responses from the customer.
  • Deep understanding: They gain a comprehensive knowledge of the customer’s perspective on the competitive landscape, including key competitors, potential partners, solution preferences, and decision-making criteria.
  • Valuable insights: They extract valuable insights into the customer’s needs, challenges, and expectations, allowing them to tailor their proposal accordingly.
  • Competitive advantage: They identify opportunities to differentiate their company from the competition and position themselves for a competitive advantage.
  • Professional communication: They maintain a professional and respectful demeanor throughout the interview, actively listening and engaging the customer in a meaningful conversation.

Coaching Tips:

  • Research the customer and opportunity: Gather information beforehand to understand the customer’s background, current situation, and specific needs.
  • Develop targeted interview questions: Prepare a list of open-ended and probing questions that address your key areas of interest and encourage detailed responses.
  • Actively listen and engage: Pay close attention to the customer’s verbal and non-verbal cues, ask clarifying questions when needed, and demonstrate genuine interest in their perspective.
  • Take detailed notes: Capture key information, insights, and potential objections for future reference and analysis.

Why This Works:
This scenario provides a practical platform for participants to develop essential skills for gathering competitor intelligence from the customer’s perspective. This allows them to adapt to changing market dynamics and position themselves to win.

By engaging directly with the customer and gaining their unique perspective on the competitive landscape, BD Professionals can acquire valuable insights that inform strategic decision-making, enhance their proposal’s effectiveness, and ultimately increase their chances of securing the GovCon contract.

Download Offsite Planning Guide
Download Offsite Planning Guide

This role-play scenario challenges participants to navigate the often-complex world of financing GovCon opportunities. By engaging in open and constructive discussions with the customer, participants will learn how to gather vital information about funding sources, preferred contract vehicles, and budget constraints, ultimately positioning themselves to secure the necessary resources for project success.


  • BD Professional
  • Potential Customer

The BD Professional is pursuing a promising *GovCon opportunity. However, crucial financial information remains unclear, potentially impacting the “bid/no bid” decision.

To address this critical gap, they schedule a meeting with the Customer to gain a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Funding sources: How will the project be funded? Are there specific budget allocations or external grants involved?
  • Contract vehicle preference: What type of contract is the customer most comfortable with? (e.g., IDIQ, cost-plus, fixed-price)
  • Contract type: What type of agreement best aligns with the project scope and deliverables? (e.g., prime, subcontractor, joint venture)
  • Budgetary constraints: What are the customer’s budget limitations for this project? Are there any flexibility considerations?
  • Additional financial information: Are there any other financial aspects relevant to the project that need to be discussed?

Note: This scenario can be adapted to different project types, budget constraints and customer profiles.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Effective communication: The BD Professional demonstrates clear and concise communication, ensuring both parties understand the financial landscape and expectations.
  • Information gathering: They effectively gather critical information about funding sources, preferred contract types, and budgetary constraints.
  • Resource allocation: They work collaboratively with the customer to develop a realistic and mutually beneficial resource allocation plan.
  • Negotiation and compromise: They demonstrate flexibility and negotiation skills to find solutions that address the customer’s needs and the company’s financial constraints

Coaching Tips:

  • Thorough preparation: Conduct thorough research to understand the opportunity’s financial implications, including potential funding sources and typical contract structures.
  • Alignment with organizational goals: Clearly communicate how the project’s financial potential and return on investment align with the company’s overall strategic objectives.
  • Collaboration and compromise: Foster a collaborative environment where both parties can openly discuss concerns and work towards mutually beneficial solutions.
  • Professionalism and confidence: Maintain a professional demeanor throughout the discussion, demonstrating confidence, assertiveness, and respect for the customer’s perspective.

Why This Works:
This scenario provides a valuable platform for participants to develop essential skills to navigate financial discussions and advocating for resource allocation. With this understanding BD Professionals can secure the funding required and support needed to pursue promising GovCon opportunities.


This role-play scenario focuses on the crucial skill of knowledge sharing and collaborative intelligence gathering. By actively sharing their findings and insights from various sources, participants will learn how to synthesize information, identify opportunities, and develop actionable strategies to enhance their team’s effectiveness in pursuing GovCon opportunities.

It also improves the ability to navigate gate, opportunity, and stakeholder reviews confidently.

The team is preparing for an upcoming bid on a significant GovCon project. The Team Leader facilitates an Opportunity Review session to ensure everyone is informed and aligned.

During this session, each team member will:

  • Present their key findings: Share the actionable intelligence they have gathered from their assigned area of research, including competitor analysis, customer insights, and market trends.
  • Identify knowledge gaps: Identify areas where further information is needed or where existing data seems unclear or incomplete.
  • Collaboratively analyze: Discuss the presented information collectively, identifying patterns, trends, and potential opportunities for the team to leverage.
  • Develop strategies: Brainstorm and propose actionable strategies and recommendations based on the combined intelligence gathered.
  • Identify synergies: Discover potential areas for collaboration and knowledge sharing between different team functions, maximizing their collective expertise.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Active participation: All team members actively participate in the knowledge-sharing session, contributing their unique insights and perspectives.
  • Effective information synthesis: The team demonstrates its ability to synthesize information from diverse sources, identify key trends, and develop a comprehensive understanding of the opportunity.
  • Actionable strategies: The team collaboratively develops concrete and actionable strategies and recommendations that leverage their combined knowledge and expertise.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Opportunities for synergy and collaboration between different team functions are identified and implemented to improve overall performance.
  • Shared understanding: A clear and shared understanding of the opportunity, its challenges, and potential solutions is established among all team members.

Coaching Tips:

  • Clear communication: The Team Leader communicates the purpose and objectives of the Opportunity Review session, setting expectations and encouraging active participation.
  • Preparation and assignment: Team members are assigned specific areas to research and prepare to debrief on, ensuring a comprehensive knowledge base.
  • Open and honest environment: A culture of open and honest communication is fostered, encouraging diverse perspectives and constructive feedback.
  • Visual aids and tools: Utilize visual aids such as whiteboards and collaborative tools to facilitate information sharing, understanding, and engagement.
  • Defined roles: Assign specific roles and responsibilities for each team member to ensure focused discussion and contribution during the session.
  • Actionable outcomes: Clearly define action items and next steps, ensuring the knowledge gained translates into concrete actions and progress towards achieving the team’s goals.

Why This Works:
By effectively sharing and collaborating on actionable intelligence, teams leverage their collective knowledge and expertise to better understand the competitive landscape and develop more informed and effective strategies.

This collaborative approach fosters innovation, improves decision-making, and ultimately increases the team’s chances of success in pursuing GovCon opportunities.

25% increase in confidence for sales reps who engaged in roleplay

This interactive role-play scenario focuses on the crucial skill of active listening and extracting valuable intelligence from a shared source of information.

By actively analyzing and collaboratively dissecting a call report, participants will learn how to identify key intel, differentiate between fact and opinion, and uncover potential discriminators that can inform effective sales strategies.

The team is preparing for an upcoming bid. The Team Leader reads aloud a detailed call report to gather critical intel and gain a shared understanding of the opportunity.

As a team, participants will:

  • Actively listen: Pay close attention to the details presented in the report, focusing on customer information, competitor insights, solution requirements, and expressed needs.
  • Separate intel: Collaboratively categorize the information into customer insights, competitor analysis, solution requirements, and potential needs.
  • Identify knowledge gaps: Recognize areas where information is missing or unclear, prompting further research and investigation.
  • Discern facts from opinions: Differentiate between factual statements and subjective opinions expressed in the report, ensuring clarity and objectivity in their analysis.
  • Uncover discriminators: Identify key differentiators that set their company and solution apart, highlighting unique value propositions.
  • Generate follow-up questions: Formulate targeted questions to validate assumptions, clarify uncertainties, and gather additional intel from the customer.

This scenario can be adapted to different information sources, such as customer interviews, market research reports, or competitor analysis data.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Effective collaboration: All team members actively engage in the analysis, sharing their perspectives and working together to extract valuable insights.
  • Comprehensive understanding: Participants demonstrate a clear understanding of the key information presented in the call report, including customer needs, competitor landscape, and solution requirements.
  • Discrimination identification: The team successfully identifies key discriminators that distinguish their company and solution, highlighting their competitive advantage.
  • Actionable intel: Participants extract actionable intelligence that informs the development of targeted sales strategies and proposals.
  • Uncertainties: Participants formulate relevant follow-up questions to address any remaining uncertainties and gather further information from the customer.

Coaching Tips:

  • Actively listen and engage: Pay close attention to the details, ask clarifying questions, and participate actively in the discussion.
  • Utilize collaborative tools: Leverage whiteboards, note-taking applications, or other tools to visualize the information and facilitate analysis.
  • Question and challenge assumptions: Encourage healthy debate and critical thinking to assess the validity of information and consider alternative perspectives.
  • Focus on key discriminators: Identify the elements that set your company and solution apart, highlighting your unique value proposition.
  • Develop targeted follow-up questions: Formulate specific questions that address knowledge gaps, clarify uncertainties, and seek additional information for effective decision-making.

Why This Works:
By actively listening and collaboratively dissecting information, teams can extract valuable intel, identify key discriminators, and develop informed sales strategies.

This collaborative approach ensures everyone is on the same page, maximizes the team’s collective intelligence, and ultimately increases their chances of winning the GovCon contract.

Download Offsite Planning Guide
Download Offsite Planning Guide


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Team Offsite Training Topics

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People skills are a competitive advantage, and role-playing is the best way to evaluate and train your team on these skills. Everyone has customers- therefore, everyone needs the EI skills required to build relationships and the skills to gather the necessary intelligence to:

  • Identify, qualify, and shape opportunities.
  • Improve the intel quality to protect and win recompetes.
  • Identify the customer’s real needs and challenges. Dig deeper.
  • Stop making assumptions.
  • Navigate gate, opportunity, and stakeholder reviews confidently.

When done right, there is no better way to prepare and develop your team. Preparation is required to avoid the role play devolving into the most challenging call possible, as the customer is created by every negative experience they have had.

Having a clear goal, providing the needed tools and templates, creating a safe environment, and working with the “customer” ahead of time so they know the expectations and parameters will lead to success.

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  • Themes & Training Topics
  • Month by Month Checklist
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