Marketing Your Training increases Return on Investment

Like all companies, retailers want to feel confident that their investments will pay off in higher revenue and bigger profits and as retail training consultants we are regularly asked “What type of ROI can we achieve if we implement a new sales or retail management training program?” 

The core issue around some retailers’ fear of not achieving ROI usually stems from having had training companies over-sell them on the impact of those training companies’ short-term training classes or presentations in the past.  The fact is that a top quality retail sales seminar will give your company a boost in revenue.  Our experience – both as a retailer and as a training provider – is that a short-term increase of productivity of the most engaged team members is in the 15-25% range.

In case you missed it…the key phrases in the previous statement were “short-term” and “most engaged.”  Single sales seminars or short-term management training classes really only impact behavior for a short time (30-60 days is our experience).  Additionally, the team members that are most likely to be impacted will be the ones who are least in need of the training…because they are already motivated to win.

Think of Your Training Program like a Marketer

Having been in charge of multi-million dollar marketing programs for products that were sold through retail and direct-to-consumer channels, one of the things that I quickly learned was that if I wanted to get potential customers to purchase my product I needed to reach out and touch them multiple times.  In fact, the axiom among marketers is that it takes three “touches” or impressions to get potential consumers interested in your product and it takes a total of seven to eleven “touches” to get them to buy from you.

The same goes for retail training programs.  The retailers that execute best understand the importance of having an on-going training rhythm.  Why?  Because repetition is a critical part of learning – especially adult learning.  Studies have shown the following with regard to training retention and behavior modification with regard to sales training:

·         If one session is conducted:  Only 22% of the training is remembered after 30 days

·         If three sessions are conducted over three months: 64% of the information is retained

·         If six sessions are conducted over 6 months: 95% of the information is retained

Training Retention is Only Half of the Battle!

It makes sense that most companies spend a great deal of time on acquiring customers, but they also understand that once they have acquired a customer they need to retain them – after all, it costs less to keep an existing customer than it does to go out and find a new one.  They want those existing customers to take action and buy again!

The same goes for your training program.  Top retailers understand the need to have retention and follow-up  programs that will encourage and reinforce the activities that have been trained.  This means that you not only need to continue to drive on your training rhythm, but also need to  have a plan in place that monitors, coaches and measures the activities you have trained on.  Remember the old axiom: “Inspect What You Expect”

What is Your Training and Coaching Rhythm?

As retail training consultants we often assist retailers with getting their rhythm planned and started.  This can include program development; content licensing; presenting and training the retailer’s leadership and internal personnel on how to ensure that there is an ROI on the training investment.

If you are looking for a one-time training program firms like Retail Training Services can and will help you with fulfilling that need.  But the best trainers and training consultants will help you to understand the importance of building a training rhythm that helps you to win in the long term.

Are you interested in learning about ways to improve your retail productivity?  Our retail training consultants are ready to assist.  Contact us for a free one-hour consultation!

–          David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group.  As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers.  You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at