7 Steps to Improve the Profitability of Your Frontline Staff – Part 2

We looked at four ways that you can improve your staff productivity last time. Today, I have three more I want to share with you. Let’s break them down as we go.

Step 5 – Train Well and Often

Product Knowledge:


If a salesperson knows the benefits and features of a product, they are in a better position to give useful advice to the customer for his or her job to be done. Teach them gains and pains relating to outcomes. Now you are selling on value and not on price. Between your suppliers and the internet there is plenty of opportunity to put together a product information catalogue. Make it available for staff smart phones and your tablets.


Selling Effectively:


Selling effectively has two elements: the PROCESS and the MEANS of adding value.


The selling process includes:

> effective engagement/connection

> the best qualifying questions to determine the job

> probing for customer required outcomes

> overcoming customer objections

> the best ways to ask for the sale

> using scarcity and urgency to close the sale

> cross-selling to compliment the original purchase; “we don’t sell plants, we sell holes in the ground.”


Adding Value is a subtle, psychological approach to the process:

> create anticipation in the process

> properly present the product as though it is worth a million dollars, not just five

> have them experience the product

> engage their senses – touch, sight, taste, sound, smell

> converse as a colleague, not a stranger


Customer Service: Knowing how to handle customer enquiries, complaints, sales, returns – all with a sense of ease – can help create an enjoyable customer experience. Let staff know what their upper levels of service delegation are. There must be procedures for escalating issues, recording and reporting problems & solutions, and conducting surveys.


Operating Procedures: Get key procedures tested and written down and make them available to your staff. Be very clear that you want your procedures followed. These are non-negotiable standards for staff to work the way YOU want them to. Your objective is improved productivity and increased profit.


  • Rosters: Make it easy for staff to access and change work rosters.
  • Replenishment: Provide in-store support to ensure product is available for sale.
  • Cash Management: Make money handling easy and secure. This reduces risk to staff because of dangerous or lose procedures.
  • Security: Teach your staff how to raise alarms during an emergency.
  • Opening and Closing procedures: What are they?
  • Workplace Safety and Hygiene: Another important aspect of staff training.

Step 6 – Set Personal Goals for Staff

Set daily targets for each salesperson. Visit them as a group daily; and individually at least once a week to ensure targets are clear and any blockages are being fixed. Make sure you give feedback on results achieved the previous day. Let them know your targets for the day as well; those that impact on their results.


  • Visitor Conversions: In order to measure conversions, you need an effective method to count visitors. Conversions are a useful measure of your overall staff effectiveness and improvement.
  • Sales per Employee: Work to gain increases through means of better training. Let your sales staff compare results.
  • Upselling and Cross Selling: Ensure your systems can record and measure the changes in sales in order to report on them and reward top performance. Does a salesperson have at least 30% multiline sales receipts?
  • Conversation practice: Have cards or tablet prompters for staff to practice with. It’s great if your staff can test their knowledge and record improvements.
  • Mailing lists: Set targets for the amount of shares you receive from customers and visitors on your mailing list.

Step 7 – Reward Well and Often

Go out of your way to praise your people for a great job well done. Make it public and give their performance special status. Do it immediately too. You need to reinforce great results to help turn great results into standardised behaviour. Use imagination in the rewards you offer, as this reflects your own level of gratitude.


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