4 Components of Retail Sales Training That Will Ensure The Success of your Employees & Your Business

Every retailer wants more foot traffic, right? But what good are more bodies in your store if your sales associates don’t know how to convert them into customers? In order to increase your sales, you’ll need a good retail sales training plan.

As The Retail Doctor points out, untrained employees will become poster children for doing nothing more than simply pointing to a product location, reading off product features from the box, and standing behind the counter waiting for the next customer request.

“Retail sales training is the only sustainable marketing program for brick and mortar retailers, because untrained employees drive down your overall sales—it takes them longer to sell something than a trained employee. Those associates are inefficient and passive when it comes to driving a sale. That leads to lower conversion rates and lower overall sales.” 


Source: The Retail Doctor

With a solid retail sales training strategy focused on creating an exceptional customer service experience, you’ll be able to map every interaction, outline every encounter, and analyze the necessary metrics to gauge your success and make improvements.

4 Components of Retail Sales Training

Want to ensure that your employees will succeed? Here’s what The Retail Doctor says you should include in your retail sales training:

  1. New Hire Training – This is your baseline training covering how to open and close a register, ring up a sale, stock shelves and/or receive and ship products, and how to use mobile POS on tablets, etc. You also might want to consider asking your new hire questions prior to their start date so you can specifically address those concerns as well.
  2. Customer Journey Map – This should include the path from your website to your front door, from the initial engagement of the consumer with an associate to the close of the sale, and from the delivery of the product to the follow-up.
  3. Product Knowledge –  This training should go beyond what’s in the box or how it works to include the type of shopper the product is a good fit for and who it is not, what situations warrant the product, what products are competing against it in the marketplace, and how to create a hands-on product trial. This knowledge will ensure that every employee understands the benefits of the features of a product so they can effectively share them with a shopper.
  4. Behavioral Sales Training – This is the most important training of all because what good is all the product knowledge in the world, along with the most innovative payment technology, if your sales associates don’t have the skills to engage a stranger in your store? This segment should cover the 5 Elements of a Sale:
  • Greet shoppers like you’re welcoming them to your home
  • Find something you both have in common
  • Use one question that prompts them to tell you their wants, not just their needs
  • Highlight features and benefits (how will the product solve the customer’s problem and simplify their life?)
  • The close (asking for the sale)


Studies indicate that when companies invest in workplace learning, they enjoy higher net sales per employee and higher gross profits per employee.

“Without a great retail sales training program, many brick and mortar retailers settle for crumbs when they could have the whole feast.” 


Source: The Retail Doctor

A solid retail sales training plan empowers you to grow your business because your employees will have the confidence and skills to improve conversion rates and create exceptional customer experiences that lead to customer loyalty and repeat sales.

Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.