A changing sales environment began to adversely impact Villeroy & Boch’s turnover and customer conversion rate. Although a mystery shopping programme showed that sales associates were performing well against service standards, key performance indicators suggested that the training and measurement that was taking place could be optimised further.
The Brand Ambassador Survey was created in response; which through 300 evaluations across 100 European stores showed that, while basic sales competences were excellent, the sales approach was ultimately aimed at selling product and not directed towards the logical needs of the customer.
Partially in response to research that suggests 85% of purchase motivation for premium products is emotional, a new sales training programme was created focusing on identifying emotional purchase motivation and promoting the Villeroy & Boch brand throughout the sales conversation.
The core objective here is the creation of Brand Ambassadors; customers that proactively recommend the Villeroy & Boch brand and stores.
A learning experience approach, combining online social learning (delivered via Curatr, now Stream), face-to-face workshops, webinars and monthly newsletters was conceived to deliver the Brand Ambassador programme.
To ensure the effective application of learning within this format, a variety of training methods were used including short films, role play and simulating real-life sales situations.
Data from the entire learning experience was tracked using the Experience API (xAPI). But logistical constraints meant that not every store could receive the full programme. This gave V&B an opportunity to run an A / B split campaign – giving some stores just the online course component and others the full holistic ‘learning experience’ approach.
Using the xAPI, data from both the learning activities and store performance data (held in SAP) was fed into the Learning Locker Learning Record Store (LRS) to measure Customer Conversion and Average Transaction Value (ATV). This was then benchmarked against the previous years sales data.
The ‘A’ sample represented stores that took just the online ‘social’ component. The ‘B’ sample benefited from the full learning experience programme.
Whilst both sets of stores improved, it was the B sample that took the biggest leap forward. Stores in the ‘B’ sample performed 5.41% better than ‘A’ sample stores when it came to Average Transaction Values.
Again the ‘B’ sample outperformed on customer conversion rate; up 1.17% on historical results, an improvement 0.62% on the ‘A’ sample.
Whilst these numbers may seem small at first glance, they are far from insignificant in a retail environment. Taking into account real sales numbers, the Learning Experience approach returned €2.5m on the training investment – no mean feat in today’s challenging sales environment.
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