Sales techniques and in-store product training: e-Learning as a sales tool

According to INSEE (french Institute of national economic statistics), a high turnover rate is close to 15%.

In 2022, the average turnover rate was 25% for the sales force*.

The retail sector is particularly impacted by the economic situation in addition to the post covid-19 impact.

Companies are more sensitive and want to invest in retail training to address their issues and contribute to sales performance such as :

  • Ensuring the harmonisation of the sales force, who represent the brand ambassadors in a vast network.
  • Adapting to the evolution of retail, which is now moving towards a “phygital” offer.
  • Enable learners to train at any time to be productive and efficient.

Take a cross-functional approach to better consider feedback from the field.

It is recommended that companies provide training focused on retail sales techniques to ensure good sales performance in order to achieve their strategic objectives, remain competitive and ensure their employer brand.

e-Learning  is not limited to in-house training. Nor is it limited to the company’s employees. When used properly, the advantages of digital learning make it an ideal tool to boost the marketing of products or services. For sales representatives, salespeople, and distributors, and even in stores.

Here are some explanations :

examples of streaming platforms

Among the many applications of Digital Learning, training in products, services and sales techniques is one of the most promising for companies. There are two main reasons for this:

• The variety of profiles that can be involved, from sales teams to distributors, including in-store salespeople and even customers.

• The very concrete operational benefits for the company, as the results directly related to its sales.

The advantages of Digital Learning for sales training

It must be said that the natural assets of e-Learning are particularly well suited to sales training:

  • Less travel for sales representatives who train salespeople in-store.
  • Flexibility for learners who no longer have to free up an imposed time slot to train
  • Richness of Digital Learning formats, which allow for a variety of sales pitches, product descriptions in video ; and Serious Game simulations involving clients
  • Possibility of customising the sales training to the range of products actually sold in each store
  • Quick updates, for example, in the event of product range enrichment or product upgrades.

In Switzerland, Milupa uses e-Learning for product training

All these advantages convinced Milupa, a Swiss company specialized in child nutrition, to switch to Digital Learning for its commercial training courses. For several years now, this subsidiary of the Danone Group has been using e-Learning modules to provide product information and sales advice to pharmacists and pharmacy assistants. We see e-Learning as a sales support tool.

“In Switzerland, we sell our products in 2,500 pharmacies. e-Learning is a valuable tool for training pharmacists and pharmacy assistants about our products”, explains Guillaume Hopmann, Trade Marketing Manager at Milupa. “Digital technology allows us to provide them with a free training module, accessible anywhere and at any time. It is a format that offers great flexibility and ease of use.”

From training to prescription: a BtoBtoC strategy

« Our objective was twofold: to provide accurate information on our products, which are highly technical, and to offer sales techniques and advice, in order to increase pharmacists’ skills», continues Guillaume Hopmann.

« The challenge was to combine knowledge with a fun aspect to get them involved. From the history of our company, to the presentation of our range of products, and the simulation based on the questions parents frequently ask, we have developed a short programme, split into 6 chapters, that lasts a total of 30 minutes.»

A Micro Learning logic, based on very short program easy to follow and not very constraining for learners. And a win-win strategy: The “pharmacist-sellers” have a better product knowledge and gain confidence and expertise from their customers. The later, in turn, benefit from better advice. Sales training thus goes beyond the internal framework of the company and its employees, in a “BtoBtoC” type approach.

Sales techniques and advice even for non-commercial customers

In a case like Milupa’s, the pedagogical power of Digital Learning prove to be is particularly valuable when the user is not a professional sales representative: “Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants can have gaps in their knowledge of the sales process and interaction with parents”, explains Guillaume Hopmann. “Simulating real-life cases gives them the keys to establish a relationship of trust, to be more comfortable with customers and to build their loyalty.”

Today, the company says it is convinced of the effectiveness of its commercial Digital Learning training programme: « We measure the results using the quiz at the end of the training. To pass, at least 67% of answers must be correct. And the numbers are looking good!» . Guillaume Hopmann attributes this success to the key strengths of e-Learning: « Speed is real added value, so as not to impact learners in their working time. The really fun formats, the ease of learning and the user-friendly aspect are also key. Moreover ,this e-Learning, at the heart of our deployment in Switzerland, could be replicated in other countries. An updated version with our latest innovations is about to be launched. »