Training for sales staff in different areas

Training for sales staff is usually in the following areas:

Communication Skills:

This is necessary to enable the staff to understand the basics of effective communication. They also need to understand the barriers to communication and how to overcome them. Body language, its importance and interpretation in various situations also needs to be understood by the staff to enable them to communicate effectively with the customer.

Product Knowledge:

Product knowledge is very important to a retail ales person. He needs to know the features, prices, qualities and benefits (if any) of the product that he is selling. Details of any after sales service offered must also be known. It is advisable to possess knowledge of the current market trends and to offerings of the competitors. Product knowledge many a times becomes the key factor affecting the consumer’s decision to make purchases.

Company Policies on Returns:

The sales person also needs to be aware of the policies on returns and exchanges. This enables the staff to know the manner in which they need to deal with the customer on these issues.

Knowledge of the Workplace:

The staff needs to be aware of the layout of the store and the merchandise available in various sections. Within the department / section that the staff has to operate in, he needs to know and understand the manner in which merchandise has been presented and stocked.

Market Awareness:

This includes awareness of the trends and fashions in the sector in which the retailer operates. Knowing of the stores in the same market and the special features of the competing stores also need to be known. This knowledge helps in understanding what customers may be interested in.

Personal Grooming:

The salesperson is the face of the organization to the world. An untidy looking salesperson is more likely to alienate customers. Personal grooming the retail staff level requires staff to understand the discipline of the retail shop, the uniform, shoes, appearance and personal hygiene.


Success in retail environment largely depends on the workforce. Given the kind of work hours and the pressures on performance, the retailer needs staff that is completely motivated. This is true for persons working within the organization as front end sales staff as well as people working at the backend in the organization.

The need to influence people within the organization to perform the tasks as needed by the organization has always existed. One of the oldest methods used to achieve this end was called the Carrot and Stick method. The name evolved from the stubbornness of donkeys that could only be moved by taunting them with carrot. Managements often use economic carrots to entice people to work harder. Over the years, this technique has become a part of our system and has created the misconception that money is always the factor that motivates.

Research on human behavior has, however, allowed psychologists to explain motivation and develop models which understand how to get the most out of people. The key factors that help in motivating people are:

1) The organization culture
2) The rewards and recognition
3) The monetary benefits
4) Prospects for growth and job enrichment.

The Organization Culture:

The culture within the organization can be a strong motivating factor. The core values and beliefs of the organization very often dictate its culture. The culture of a retail organization may focus on customer service or on cost efficiency. The culture within the organization largely influences the manner in which the people at various levels behave and interact with others.

Rewards and Recognition:

There is a strong motivating factor. A reward is anything an individual perceives as valuable. Rewards do not have to hold any monetary value. Since each person’s perceptions are different, what will be considered a reward and its relative value will differ widely among individuals. A reward is an example of positive reinforcement. Simple occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, achievement of sales targets and extraordinary examples of customer service are occasions the employees at the store can be recognized. Recognition can be in the form of a simple greeting card to a cake or an event organized for the staff.