How Online Retail Sales Training Works With Multiple Stores

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When you have just one brick-and-mortar store, delivering a training program in person can be easy. You train the sales associates on the sales floor - either one-on-one or in groups.

But what about when a business owner has multiple locations both near and far?

It can be expensive to try to bring together your entire staff due to airfare, hotels, meeting rooms, food, and the loss of your best people on the floor that day.

Yet, in the current retail environment, most retailers understand that any talk of sales increases has to happen with the training of your retail employees.

Promotions and discounts just don't work - there's always someone cheaper online.

Training remote employees

For remote workers or larger retail chains, online retail sales training can be delivered anywhere in the world, no matter the time zone.

Online training doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Anyone should be able to start training immediately.

Train-the-trainer courses teach your sales manager exactly what is in the system and how to coach the online retail courses and make the learning stick.

The best online training programs have comprehensive tracking and reporting tools, so managers see how their employees are faring in real-time.

Employees can be held accountable through certifications that show they understood what was taught and how to use it on your brick-and-mortar sales floor to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Every store associate gets the same information, and an individual can never ignore or modify it. They can’t say, “Oh no, no one ever showed me that.”

When associates use the training, you'll find they move from selling in a transactional way to selling with a process that builds long-term relationships and loyal customers.

Benefits of online retail sales training

A good place to start is Googling online retail sales training. There are thousands of programs, even some on similar platforms.

What differentiates a great online learning program from one that won’t do the job?

Look at the number of courses and depth of knowledge.

My online training program, SalesRX, has over 90 lessons covering everything from engaging a stranger, discovering the shopper, closing the sale, and much more.

Features of the best sales training courses

Step-by-step process

The best online retail courses will give you a step-by-step process to take anyone from the new employee to the seasoned veteran through a branded customer interaction.

Online training courses that are a collection of sales videos or topics rarely move the needle as there is no foundation for learning.

What do you want the learner to do?

No matter where they are lacking, they need a step-by-step process to grow sales.

If they don’t know the right sales techniques and retail fundamentals at the end of a lesson, they’ll never deliver great customer satisfaction to shoppers willing to drive by your competitors to give you a shot at their business.

You'll know it was successful if the number of people walking out of your front door without purchasing anything from your retail salespeople shrinks within 3-6 months.

Brief and repeatable

Effective online training is short so that it can be watched repeatedly. The days of a 30-45 minute filmed speech or workshop where the instructor repeats the same point three times just won’t fly with today’s multi-tasking learners.

In addition, online retail sales training is just the tip of the iceberg.

Retail Training Doesn't Work Without Practice

You need to practice and role-play the step-by-step process to building rapport with strangers in your stores. Otherwise, the training will remain in your associates’ brains – nice to know but not a part of them.

This is one of the hardest things for many retailers to understand. 

Just because you expose an associate to training concepts and best practices doesn’t mean they are trained. It only means the learner has been exposed to the training program.

Until the associate has had to extinguish their bad customer service habits of asking, “Can I help you?” or “How you doin’?” no new training can occur.

That’s why the best retail sales training has exercises for store managers to do with staff on the floor during a 10-minute huddle before a shift starts to one-on-ones during downtime.

When this is done in combination with online training, you can hold employees accountable. That only happens when you’ve worked hard to get them to master the subject, not just be exposed to it.

This takes repetition of lessons, further role-playing, and having mystery shoppers check if they are really doing what you taught.

Accountability and Commitment

Unless you hold the associates in your brick-and-mortar store accountable for actually using your training, you’ll complain that the training didn’t work.

But it’s not the training's fault.

The training did the work - it presented why and what to do - but you didn't do the practical work to make the new behaviors stick.

Unless you're committed to training remote employees, from clerks who ring up merchandise to retail professionals who can add on to every sale, you’ll fold when you get pushback from a few associates or store managers.

And your customer experience will continue to suffer because shoppers want to feel a genuine connection when they enter a retail store. If they didn't, they would just order everything online.

The ability to do the training whenever you need it, however you need it, is immensely valuable. You can log in on a tablet, desktop, or laptop and see who is taking the training and their passing percentage in real-time.

This allows you to hold your associates accountable.

Employee retail training also helps reduce turnover because when staff members are trained to do the job and meet with success, they stay longer.

Training Remote Employees Via Online Sales Training

Online retail sales training is the perfect answer for retailers struggling to increase profit margins because every shopper the associate touches will benefit from the training.

Ultimately, you’ll be about as successful as you want with online retail sales training.

When you use the best practices of in-store role-play, practice, and reward employees, you'll see the number of items per sale and average ticket price increase. 

At that point, you'll realize how cost-effective and easy it really is to manage online sales training. 

The retail industry is waking up to the need for training; make sure you join in before it is too late.

See also: SalesRX Online Retail Sales Training

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