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3 ways to efficiently train sales associates

How brands like Acne Studios equip their staff for success

Equipping sales associates with the right skills is crucial for delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving sales.

Acne Studios, the Stockholm-based fashion house, trains their associates to provide a highly-personal and immersive experience for their customers, fostering a unique shopping environment that reflects the brand’s innovative spirit.

Here are three effective methods to efficiently train your sales associates, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the demands of modern retail, and how Acne Studios employs these methods.

1. On-the-floor training

Nothing beats hands-on experience, and on-the-floor training offers just that. This method immerses sales associates in real-world scenarios, allowing them to learn by doing, instead of just watching.

Several tactics to maximize the effectiveness of on-the-floor training include:

  • Shadowing experienced staff: Pair new hires with seasoned associates to observe best practices in action. This mentorship approach helps new employees quickly adapt to the store environment and customer interactions.
  • Role-playing exercises: Simulate customer scenarios to train associates on handling various situations, from product inquiries to resolving complaints. Role-playing builds confidence and hones problem-solving skills.
  • Utilizing mobile tech: Leveraging mobile technology, empowers associates with on-the-floor training by providing instant access to product information, inventory levels, and customer profiles.

Case Study

Acne Studios uses a mobile clienteling solution with a user-friendly interface for on-the-floor training of their sales associates. Because this solution is both mobile and intuitive, new sales associates can carry it with them on the store floor to be able to easily update customer profiles, make personalized recommendations, and answer inventory questions in real-time. This layer of personalization through clienteling has enabled Acne Studios to double their influenced sales.

2. Outreach templates

Effective communication is pivotal in retail, especially for clienteling and personalized outreach. Providing sales associates with outreach templates can streamline the process of training them on how and when to outreach as well as ensure consistency in messaging.

There are several factors to consider for outreach templates:

  • Branded messaging: Develop templates that reflect your brand’s tone and style. Consistent messaging reinforces brand identity and establishes trust with customers.
  • Omnichannel integration: Equip associates with templates for various communication channels, such as email, SMS, WhatsApp, and WeChat. This allows for consistent customer engagement across platforms.
  • Personalization options: Allow room for customization within templates. Personal touches, such as addressing customers by name or referencing past purchases, enhance the effectiveness of outreach efforts.

Case Study

Acne Studios’ use of integrated communication tools and branded messaging templates has been a game-changer. Branded messaging templates have also helped them expedite customer outreach while keeping it both branded and relevant to their customer base. The ability to conduct outreach via WhatsApp, WeChat, SMS, and other channels has enabled them to meet customers where they are in a timely and uniform manner.

3. Continuous feedback for improvement

Training shouldn’t stop after the initial onboarding. Continuous feedback fosters a culture of ongoing improvement and professional growth, even for seasoned employees.

A few strategies for continuous feedback include:

  • Customer feedback loop: Collect and analyze customer feedback to gauge the effectiveness of your training programs. Use this data to identify training gaps and refine your approach.
  • Interactive dashboards and reports: Associates can use interactive dashboards and reports for continuous improvement by monitoring their performance in real-time to see if they are on track to hit their numbers.
  • Automated reminders: Using automated reminders for tasks like follow ups, customer events, or new product releases can help associates to stay on top of their outreach and communication with customers, especially during busy in-store seasons.

Case Study

With advanced tracking capabilities offered by their clienteling solution with integrated omnichannel communication, Acne Studios gained the insights necessary to pinpoint the most effective way to conduct outreach and follow-ups. By continuously analyzing these metrics and providing targeted feedback, the brand has experienced a surge in conversion rates including 3x higher-than-benchmark conversions on WhatsApp and 2x higher-than-benchmark conversions on WeChat.

Bringing it all together

By implementing these three methods—on-the-floor training, outreach templates, and continuous feedback—you can efficiently train your sales associates to excel in the fast-paced retail environment.

Empowered sales teams lead to enhanced customer experiences, increased sales, and ultimately, a stronger brand presence.

For those looking to refine their retail operations, embracing these training techniques can position you as a leader in the industry.

Learn more

Ready to take your team to the next level? 

Start by exploring Tulip’s mobile-first omnichannel solutions that are loved by the world’s most iconic retailers like David Yurman, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ferragamo, COACH, and Michael Kors.

Contact us today for a demo!

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