How The Best Training Solution Should Be More Than A Retail Sales Academy
By Bob Phibbs
For a small retail shop, it can be fairly easy to train employees because you see them every day.
For a multi-store organization, that just isn’t going to happen.
In-house solutions are time consuming to create and usually get so diluted by internal bureaucracy and corrupted by people who have never sold anything that most end up failing to serve their intended purpose.
If you once had an in-house training program, all you have left now are probably useless dusty manuals, old video tapes, and boring classroom sessions that have Millennials pecking away at their phones within minutes.
No wonder so many retailers have let their training departments wither away...
Nowadays sales learning can be in the cloud to give you a virtual online campus. It is the ideal solution for getting sales staff up to speed. It is easily deployed, fully scalable, and can be customized to address specific problems in your sales process.
Of course, not all such online programs are equal.
Many solutions are like mass market clothes. They may fit, but they won’t be a great fit and will leave something to be desired. When it comes to implementation, a lot of grey in the learning process makes it a poor fit no matter what size your organization is.
And poor training means lost sales.
Why? Because employees don’t know what to do with grey.
No one does. Value every guest. What does that mean, exactly?
New Learning for a New Generation
As a CEO, you work around dedicated, motivated, professional executives. These are people with the drive and motivation to rise to the upper levels of your organization.
Unfortunately, most of the people on your sales floor aren’t seen to share these character traits. In fact, just the opposite.
Millennials are a generation unlike any other. They’re easily bored, lack the social skills expected of the sales job, and don’t value money or products like Baby Boomers do. They need validation and crave instant gratification.
But like any generation, they aren’t bad or hopeless, they just don’t know what they don’t know.
Your sales program needs to simultaneously cater to and completely change bad attitudes and behaviors because they’re interacting with your customers on a daily basis.
And no marketing or event can overcome a bad shopping experience.
Reaching Your Audience
How do you teach employees who may be disconnected and disinterested?
By presenting information in a format and setting that’s specifically tailored to their generation.
To teach Millennials in particular, your online learning program must:
Present information in an engaging, interactive manner.
Be chunked into small, easily-learned lessons.
Provide flexibility for different learning paces.
Give frequent, positive reinforcement.
Instill confidence and pride in the learner.
The Millennial generation grew up on video games. Most of them can’t remember the date the Magna Carta was signed, but they remember cheat codes to video games they played a decade ago.
Why? Because that cheat code was part of an entertaining, engaging experience.
Your learning needs to mimic that experience to achieve the same retention.
Once you have a program that captures their attention and engages their focus, it’s time to start eliminating negative behaviors and instilling positive ones.
You’ve got their attention, now what are you going to teach them? The best programs start with the basics. These are the skills that Baby Boomers take for granted, but they’ve been lost on Millennials.
Interpersonal communications like greetings, introductions, and proper terms of address.
Developing rapport through genuine customer engagement.
Identifying customer problems and suggesting relevant solutions.
Enhancing customer value through suggestive selling.
Personal pride and a sense of confidence.
To get the most out of your online campus, it needs to be relevant and useful for today’s salesforce. The majority of that salesforce is comprised of Millennials. You need a program that captures their interest while delivering practical, actionable information.
Old fashioned learning won’t work on this new generation. You’ll find the best online retail training program at SalesRX.com.
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