Every sales manager continually strives to motivate their sales team and improve their performance. There is no single magic bullet to accomplish those goals, but these six best practices for effective training have been proven successful time and again. Even if some of them already look familiar, it never hurts to re-evaluate how they are applied in your store.
The first step in creating a motivated sales team comes when you interview associates for your team.
Candidates’ existing attitudes toward assisting customers should be a critical factor in your hiring decisions. It is relatively easier to impart your store's sales methods and culture to a new hire when they already share your philosophy.
Not everyone learns at the same pace, nor do they respond equally to all teaching methods. Most people are experiential learners, but there are others whose brains acquire and retain knowledge better with auditory or visual learning.
Employ a blend of various approaches, including: presentations, manuals, live sales tool demonstrations, gamification, multimedia graphics, and video. The Intel® Retail Edge Program delivers training to your associates using a variety of learning styles to ensure they are well-prepared to work with customers on the salesfloor.
Putting associates in a windowless room for several hours and pummeling them with slide decks on sales theory doesn’t lead to higher information retention. Information overload can lead to “data smog” and cause the brain to become overwhelmed and confused.
Consider modularizing your training regimen with shorter sessions while incorporating some of the various microlearning approaches listed above in #2. The shorter durations keep learners' minds fresh, focused, and able to absorb information more efficiently.
Short learning segments are easier to fit in or around the workday and mix well with on-floor training too.
The Intel® Retail Edge Program utilizes engaging microlearning training, available across a range of devices. These quick trainings can be used whenever sales associates have time to learn about Intel® products and technologies and the devices that use them.
Role-playing is highly effective and breathes life into dry sales training. Role-play exercises are also an excellent method to regularly evaluate and improve your team’s skills and knowledge.
Many people have minimal experience with role-playing exercises, so furnish them in a relaxed, non-judgmental manner. They soon have a natural feel and associates come to appreciate these opportunities to practically apply sales techniques. As they continue these exercises, positive results with customers increase their motivation.
The Intel® Retail Edge Program provides trainings that include sales tips and different scenarios that your associates may encounter when working with customers. These are invaluable when helping to enrich the customer experience and increase their level of satisfaction, both during and after the sale.
Never assume associates know precisely what their goals are or how to accomplish them. If they fail to achieve an expectation they understood poorly, they may see the situation as unfair, which is a sure-fire motivation killer that could even foster toxic resentment.
Conduct conversations about expectations privately or in meetings and ask associates to reflect them back to you. That way you know they have internalized and understood them.
Constructive feedback on associates' performance goes hand-in-hand with setting expectations and improving both performance and morale.
If someone meets or exceeds expectations, tell them specifically what they did right. Be generous with positive feedback, and recognize a team member’s accomplishments publicly. However, any negative feedback should be imparted privately.
Keep in mind that there are risks with both negative and positive feedback:
There are other techniques you can employ, but those are among the most impactful. They will help your sales team build a collective sense of competence toward customers and co-workers, plus inspire them to continuously improve their performance.
To increase PC sales and motivation around your store's Intel® processor-powered PC inventory, there is no better training resource than the Intel® Retail Edge Program. It incorporates many of the ideas outlined above such as modular training, compact learning segments, and a mix of learning methods. New and seasoned employees will also have opportunities to interact with their peers and earn Credits and prizes†.
Discover more about the Intel® Retail Edge Program and how it can improve the performance of your sales team and increase your PC sales.
† Members from the Province of Quebec are not eligible to win prizes, but can still earn Credits. All other eligible members from the U.S. and Canada are responsible for any and all Federal, state, local, provincial, or other tax liabilities with acceptance of prizes. Please read the Competition Terms and Conditions for complete rules.
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