How to automate the training and adaptation of new sellers to reduce turnover and improve business performance
11.12.2018 5006

How to automate the training and adaptation of new sellers to reduce turnover and improve business performance

Retail is characterized by staff turnover, even with the correct construction of business structures, most likely, your company has a certain percentage of turnover among sellers. According to statistics, this figure can vary from 10% to 70%, sometimes even within the same company. How to work with staff so that turnover is as minimal as possible, as well as how to successfully overcome the first serious stage - adaptation and initial training of a new employee, says SR expert, business trainer Kristina Wojciechowska.

Kristina Morozova (Wojciechowska) Kristina Morozova (Wojciechowska) - Certified business coach, Fashion retail expert, general manager of KEDDO in America (New York, USA).

It is not a secret for retail workers that the issue of selecting, training and adapting newly-made employees of the sales area is another task, because the success of your business depends on sales staff for 90%. But, alas, the seller’s work is not valued among employees, it is believed that this does not need to be learned, that special skills are not needed, and they work in trade, often because they don’t take them anywhere else. An aggravating circumstance is the fact that competition among employers is quite high. Therefore, even the most average seller is confident in his "expertness" and need, backed by a real shortage of sensible personnel in the labor market ... A vicious circle of some kind.

Several hundred (or thousands?) Articles have been written about work with staff turnover. We will not talk about causes and effects. We suggest you pay attention to one very important point, which takes away a lot of time, effort, energy and money from a manager. This is the stage of adaptation and primary training of newly arrived employees.

“The process is proceeding normally” Is it normal?

Let's remember how this stage usually goes.

You conducted the interviews, selected the necessary candidate / candidates and on the appointed day he / they left / went on an internship.

What's next? You begin to teach him how to work with clients. Give him some printed materials (seller’s book, job descriptions, contract, work standards, information about brands, materials, sales stages, etc.). And say at the same time: “Read! If you are ready, you will come and retell. ” And he reads, then with a sin in half he passes you a test (or you tell everything for him) and goes to work with clients. The first week you ask him: “Well, how? Is everything normal? ”“ Normal, ”the seller answers. Well, that's all. Adaptation completed. Of course, this is an average adaptation option, someone spends a lot of time on it, including his worker, trades with the seller in the hall, constantly tells him something, tests it (which, by the way, is even more offensive if such an employee leaves to another company - your time has been spent, but there is no result).

It happens and vice versa. “Why adapt him / her? - the managers raise their eyebrows in surprise. “He’s a seller with experience, he will come up.” And they send the beginner free to swim around the trading floor. If you are lucky - the result will be, no luck - alas ... The next new employee, and again all in the same circle. There is no need to talk about the correct presentation of the material, competent presentation and product knowledge.

"Normal" is a fatal word. It averages your employee's knowledge and skills and prevents them from growing. Understanding that the employee is strong in some way and that he can share, teach, and some of his sides are weak, and here you need to tighten him up, will allow you to qualitatively raise the level of your salespeople. The phrase "Everything is fine with me, it happens even worse" - this is the first barrier on the way to development and improvement, which we so love to expose ourselves.

Automation in action

But back to the training of new employees. It is necessary to train. However, there is no sense in spending a lot of time on the head and money of the company - it is not known whether the candidate will remain with you or will not go to work the next day.

Which exit? We need a solution that is quite economical and not energy-consuming, while being productive. One option is to automate processes without losing quality.

How and which processes can be simplified with automation? We offer four areas to work on:

1. Primary training of sales staff

The first day, an employee came to your store. Where to begin? Of course, from acquaintance with the company as a whole, with brands, a store, and a team. And if you can conduct a tour of the store and introduce future colleagues you can and should do it personally, then product training, sales techniques and company history can be automated.

For example, you can record a training film for sellers in which you talk about brands, materials, sales techniques, about your company as a whole. You can even talk about the basic important work standards. You will spend one day recording a film, but you will save a huge amount of time repeating the same new staff. It is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. Of course, it is better to fork out once and invite a professional operator. But you can get by with little blood - find a camera, put it on a tripod and record your appeal to employees. And by the way, it only seems to you that you do not look very well in the cell and speak in some unnatural voice, while others will not even notice it.

If, after all, this is not at all a comfortable exercise for you, delegate it to someone who does not shy in front of the camera, you probably have one among administrators and senior sellers. You can position the opportunity to participate as an informal recognition of the merits of your employee, and this in itself is quite a strong motivation.

A simple way to automate the learning process is to delegate it to a third-party organization, in other words, buy a training film, for example, from a large company with a name and vast experience behind it. In this film, all the important information about each of the stages of sales is succinctly presented, practical examples are given and ready-made working phrases are given for sellers. Such a film should talk about:

  • how to establish contact with the client, what specific EXCEPTIONAL phrases to have in stock, which no client will say "Thank you, I will look";

  • why development is necessary and what is possible and necessary to become better, and this is more than real;

  • how does the needs identification scheme work and what questions will make the client tell everything, and even more, about his wishes when choosing shoes;

  • what are the secret techniques of presentation, generating emotions and prompting action.

Your salespeople will also understand which presentation leads to the “I'll think about” objection and how to avoid it. Objections are a stumbling block for the day of new employees, and for the "stars", therefore, working with objections is a special attention. Well, of course, the “tricks” of sales at the end of the transaction: how to take the client to the cashier with 2-3 pairs of shoes; how to sell care products in an unobtrusive dialogue; what technique increases the average bill by an average of 20%?

“Our company recorded such a training film because we realized that managers spend a huge amount of time (which is already not enough) for training new employees who may not go to work the next day, or spend no less money on training “Alas, again having no guarantees that the employee will remain in the state,” says Kristina Wojciechowska, Analpa’s leading business trainer, who participated in the filming of the company's educational film. “We decided to help colleagues in the retail workshop and made a squeeze of the most necessary for training sellers at the initial stage, or repeating what was once learned in training.”

2. Concrete statement of tasks

This method will save you a huge amount of time and nerves. The fact that the goals should be specific and the control regular, is written in almost all business books and spoken at all trainings, but in practice it’s not so simple. Suppose we set goals according to sales plans, the average check, the number of goods in the check, perhaps even by conversion. These are goals that are set in numbers, and with them everything is more or less clear. But what about quality goals that are not so easy to calculate and measure with numbers? For example, how to calculate the activity of new employees? Or their responsibility? What about team spirit? All these indicators are usually evaluated purely intuitively and individually, according to the feelings of the leader. But there is a solution! Take the main quality indicators of your employees that you want to improve (for example, responsibility, activity and team spirit) and distribute them on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the absolute minus (even 0 for the selected quality indicator, 10 is the maximum achievement as). Mark on your scale where your employees are (team or each separately) and write down what your people are doing or not doing. Let's say you rated them at “6”, but what should they start to do to get to the next stage - “7”? And how do you understand that your people have reached the seven?

A common mistake is an attempt to jump above your head, that is, from "3" to throw people immediately to "10". Try not to get off with common phrases, but to specify more. I will give an example. Let's say you want your employees to become more active. We draw a scale from 1 to 10 and note where your employees are now. Suppose this is 4, then you describe why they are at this level, what exactly they are doing / not doing. Suppose they do not approach the customers themselves, but wait until they are called, work with only one customer, do not greet other customers if they are busy selling and do not offer an alternative if the requested model is not in stock. Why did you give them 4 points? Let's say they run fast, greet each and present well if the client first made contact. This is understandable. What is the next step? Add + 1 point. What one skill can you work out? Suggestion of an alternative? Perfectly. We select the necessary tools: a product knowledge test, planning meetings where employees will make thematic presentations, exhibit top 10 models of shoes (poorly selling, of course), for which you can get an increased bonus, impute mentoring to someone who works better with the alternative, etc. d. Your task as a manager at this stage is not to do everything yourself, but first to assess the situation, determine the necessary steps and distribute among the employees, not forgetting, of course, to control in time.

3. Customizable reporting engine

Automate the reporting process once, if you have not done it yet, and you will say “Thank you” when you see how much time you have freed up and how much necessary data you can receive. Handwritten in a notebook sales figures have long sunk into oblivion. Reports should be useful not only after the fact, but also for planning actions for the future.

Here are some data you can automatically configure:

  • the ratio of revenue to retail space, reflects the profitability of the store with 1 square. meter of retail space;

  • the ratio of revenue to the general staff of the store;

  • conversion of visitors;

  • share of low-profit sections. Initially, a minimum yield plan is set out from each section of the trading floor. After that, the proportion of sections that do not reach the standard is calculated. Subsequently, these sections are subject to detailed analysis;

  • commodity circulation. Turnover is considered based on the availability of goods for each day of the analyzed period. Turnover is considered in the context of a category or product group;

  • coefficient of dynamics of the average purchase amount. To calculate this coefficient, you will need to divide the average check value (per month) by the average amount of the average check (better for a year, but also for a quarter);

  • coefficient of dynamics of the number of purchases in the check;

  • the coefficient of the dynamics of the total number of buyers (the total number of checks). The total number of receipts in the store is taken as a basis. You can, of course, not calculate the coefficient of dynamics, but be limited to only a finite number of purchases;

  • the share of running groups (ABC analysis) - the division of goods into hits, average-selling and poorly-selling goods. Understanding the picture, you can take steps in advance (start making discounts with C-groups, for example);

  • % collection implementation;

All these reports can be automatically obtained from 1c or other programs for the retail business that you prefer.

4. Discipline

The final and very important point. A successful result is not one successful attempt, it is dozens, hundreds, unsuccessful attempts, one of which will “shoot” exactly at the target. If you look closely at successful people / athletes / entrepreneurs, you can notice one feature that unites them: they all walked in a disciplined way toward their goal, through “I don’t want” and “it doesn’t work out”. Bring to automatism your habit of being disciplined in everything (achievement of goals, control, sport, regular performance of routine tasks). By the way, it is not as difficult as it seems. A new habit is born in just 21 days. Only 3 weeks. Quite a bit for a quality improvement in your life and the effectiveness of your business, right?

This article was published in the 142 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Retail is characterized by staff turnover, even with the correct construction of business structures, most likely, your company has a certain percentage of turnover among sellers. According to statistics, this figure may ...
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