The ROI of Retail Sales Training

by John Rouse

Too many companies see retail sales training as a cost instead of seeing continued learning as a source of competitive advantage. And with this education comes so much more than technical knowledge – it is learning how to engage, build trust, and sell to a stranger. For any potential learning program to be successful, you need to start by looking at the benefits you expect to receive and create a scorecard of what success looks like.

Key performance indicators should include the number of items per transaction, average sales, and average sales per employee per hour of work. You should also expect to see a drop in your turnover rate. But the best metric is going to be increased sales.

A great example is Walmart’s training efforts over the past year. They know that to compete with Amazon, they have to improve their service scores and help their employees grow. They’ve already started to see things turn around in their stores this year and are anticipating better numbers as time goes on.

This year, our client training events with 25 or more attendees have seen a 57 percent increase in year-over-year sales by June. As a baseline comparison, stores with at least one live event attendee saw an increase in year-over-year sales by 18 percent. Simply put, the educated employee drives sales numbers and the more attendees, the better the store does in the long run.

Whether you’re launching a new program or just refreshing skills, here’s how to get the most out of your retail sales training investment:

Out of store training. Sometimes you just need to get out of the store for a corporate event and help build relationships with your employees. A 30-minute training session leaves employees with a lasting impression of brands and products and it’s paired with a fun, morale-boosting activity.

Embrace technology. Mobile apps and augmented reality (AR) are the latest and greatest for videos and in-store training sessions. They can be used to show data sheets and can be downloaded by store associates for daily use in the store. Employees can also get rewards for continued use of the app.

Lunch and learns. These are a great way to foster community, shared understanding and ongoing growth in your organization. A more casual alternative to formal training and seminars, the best lunch & learns are interactive and offer practical tips tools and tips. They become an integral part of the culture, and a nice perk everyone looks forward to.

Hire training and brand advocacy experts. You need people who understand the challenges employees are currently faced with. The most effective training happens with experts who know what they’re talking about, can tell a compelling story and explain what’s in it for the employee.

In the end, investing in improved sales and marketing training will help retailers improve in-store advocacy, and their profits grow as a result. MarketSource’s training experts can help you with the ROI and see real results.

Topic: Retail


As Director of Client Services, John Rouse is our clients' main point of contact. He is responsible to deliver on work requirements, ROI, and service level agreements for a nationwide retail sales and training program. This includes supervision of sales, projects, operations, client relations and related financial performance.

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