Retail Training: Top Tips for New Hire Sales Onboarding

Retail has gone from super to hyper competitive. And it’s not getting any easier! Developing a robust sales strategy and recruiting a strong team of staff is key to success. Ensuring staff have the right skills and experience to produce ongoing results is also essential. The approach you take to new hire sales training is very important. Whatever skills and attitude you instill in sales training affects how employees will approach their job continuously. That’s why successful retail sales training focuses not on the investment but on long-term ROI and your staff’s abilities to sell. Interactive Services has extensive experience in developing custom training solutions for the retail industry. Below is a list of our top tips for developing sales training that engages, inspires and motivates new hires as they begin their journey with your organization:

5 Effective Tips to New Hire Retail Sales Training Success

Respect your audience!

It’s never good to over complicate things. But be careful not treat new hires as though they know nothing! It is often a good idea to begin with an initial Q&A session to assess their knowledge. Then, focus on fundamentals: instilling the right attitudes, educating on the process of selling and then practicing those skills so they can truly be your brand ambassadors.

Avoid information Overload

You want to give your new hires any information they may need to do their job effectively right? This is fine, but avoids stuffing too much information into your training. There are essentially 3 things sales training should aim to do. Focus on these: • Convey your company brand and culture through building rapport • Demonstrate how to lead customers to products they might also want • Demonstrate how to lead customers through to purchase

Choose the Right Method of Training

The content is important. But how you deliver it to new hires can be equally as important. Classroom training and traditional e-learning has and still is a popular and effective form of training. But you shouldn’t restrict yourself to this. With technology advancing as quickly as it is, many organizations are turning to new, more diverse forms of training: mobile learning could be a good choice for sales employees as they often work in the field. Game-based training and types of informal learning are also gaining credibility with retailers in recent years. In our experience, a blended solution often works best. For example, delivering the core training content through classroom instruction and delivering post-training assessment that can be taken on mobile.

Selling Scenarios

Regardless of who you are training or what you are training for, incorporating scenarios and role play is a great way to engage your learners. And sales training is most suited to this. Scenario-based training and role playing will help to engage your new hires on a deeper level and often makes the whole experience more enjoyable. Nothing will help your new hire employees to learn more about selling than actually participating in and acting out real world sales situations.

The Golden Rule of Following Up

New hire training is every organizations opportunity to really have a lasting impact on new employees. It is the point at which employees first develop a real opinion about an organization. If their training and induction are good, it will make it easier for them to transition into their new roles. …but what happens after training finishes? One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make is not following up with their new hires. Tracking their performance is one thing, but obtaining proper feedback and testing their knowledge over the initial 6-12 month period is crucial in determining how effective the training actually was? Will you take steps to ensure they have the support they need in their jobs? This is not separate to their new hire training. It should be an important part of it. It is important to develop your sales training carefully and ensure that all of the right boxes are ticked in terms of the content, the delivery and overall quality of the training. Getting new hire training is especially important for retail sales employees and management who are on the front line dealing with customers.

Would you like to learn more about the principles of new hire sales training?

On April 2nd at 12pm EST, Interactive Services will run a free 45 minute webinar on “Performance Selling: Using New Hire Training for Lasting Sales Success”. If you would like to attend this webinar, please email If you would like to know more about the work of Interactive Services, click here to contact us.