SalesRX Online Retail Sales Training Program Certification Proves Learners Know It
By Bob Phibbs
Online retail sales training can be the best way for a retailer increase their customer experience by turning their retail sales associates into sales professionals. Training programs presented online help salespeople learn and/or improve their selling techniques, skills, and processes.
The ultimate goal is improving bottom-line results for brick and mortar stores struggling to compete with online retailers.
According to a recent survey, salespeople who complete highly rated sales training programs have 10% higher close rates. Think about what 10% more closed sales would mean to your p & l!
When I was working with a retailer a few years ago, I observed a new hire as he was brought into the back office. He was escorted to an old Dell computer and handed the store associate a stack of DVDs. "Watch these and when you're finished come find me on the sales floor; you're learning on the basics will be done."
The employee dutifully put the DVD marked First into the slot, clicked, and as the DVD began to load, he pulled out his smartphone from his pocket. While the earnest employee training video with pixelated heads continued for nearly twenty minutes, the employee didn't look up once.
That retailer's sales training programs were clearly something to get through but not something to be taken seriously.
That's when I knew I had to come up with a system that could truly change the behavior of employees.
For too long retailers have given lip-service to sales training. As a result, their customer experience has become more transactional and less about building long-term relationships. They have dusty manuals on shelves filled with training courses, or they might have purchased a DVD of some guy's feel good training to value every customer as a guest . They might even have a dedicated trainer on staff.
But until there is proof the learner has actually learned the step-by-step processes in your training courses and agreed to use it, what good is any of that?
There is a huge gulf between technical training and behavior training.
Product training would be if you wanted to carve a radish into a rose for a special dinner. You do a search on the web, find the video, and watch it. Once you understand how to do it, you're done. After the dinner, you probably forget.
This is what most retailers have staked their life on - teaching product knowledge. But frankly until your sales people learn the soft skills of how to engage a stranger, they'll never be able to fully use that product training in your store because customers won't let them in enough to get to that point in a sale.
Behavioral training is like learning how to play the piano, ride a bike, or throw a ball. You can understand the notes in a D major scale, but just learning where the sharps are doesn't do much good until that learning is practiced over and over and becomes second-nature.
You can describe to your son all it takes to ride a bike, but until he gets the practice of finding his balance, he won't be ready for the Tour de France or much else besides suffering a lot of scrapes on his knees.
So it is too with a sales training program.
There's very little someone can't understand immediately. There's nothing shocking in any part of a retail sales training program. It's not like you are telling them, "The moon is really made of Velveeta cheese and you're going to learn to fly to it today.".
Instead, the basic principles in retail sales training makes perfect sense. But just understanding it won't move the needle toward higher sales...
Unless and until you practice the training until you can't do it wrong.
That's where certifications come in. Certification is proof that the person who took the training understands it and will be bound by it.
No employee can get a certification just from watching a video; the learner has to be engaged. That's why all of my streaming video retail sales training is interactive.
Each of my ninety 3-5 minute lessons covers a specific part of the sales process like the right words to greet a customer or the way to build rapport.
Along the way, I ask various question to keep the learner engaged. And they have to answer each of the questions covered in the online learning interactive videos or the program stops and waits for them. In this way, every learner takes a slightly different path to get to the same result.
At the end of each lesson, like in a sales academy is a quick test they have to pass at 100% or repeat the lesson.
It isn't designed as anything punitive - it is strictly to make sure the mind is engaged to learn. Video is by nature passive and the mind gets lazy.
By asking questions, the mind has to access and consider new information. That builds neural pathways to new learning.
A final sales certification screen comes up after every main course in SalesRX . It says, "I have taken all the tests successfully, all my questions have been answered, and I will use the information I have learned on the salesfloor." It asks, Yes or No .
If the learner chooses yes , they can print out a certificate which goes in their employee file. If they choose no , I come back on again to let them know they can only finish by clicking that yes button.
When they do, the manager or owner now has a record the learner knows what is expected of them. Do you know how much easier that is to manage should they not do it?
Employee training can be challenging in a retail environment. You can't take everyone off the floor and you can't expect a sales trainer to work one-on-one with your store associate.
Once you get all your employees on the same page, the move from being clerks to become retail salespeople. At that point, it is much easier for your store managers to coach and reward them for doing a good job.
Certified employees have helped thousands of retailers across the globe sell more even with lower foot traffic because they understood exactly how to create an exceptional experience.
To learn more about my streaming online training for your retail crew, click below.
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