New Salesperson Onboarding

The Retail Sales Associate training had some serious issues. The “firehose of knowledge” followed by shadowing someone with maybe a few months experience, and then turning RSAs loose to solicit to customers unaccompanied only worked…sometimes. Much of the time it led to quick burnout/turnover, inconsistent customer experiences, poor quality lead generation, and in some cases damage to not only the core brand but also the retail partner relationship itself.

I was brought in as a Senior Instructional Designer to rapidly revise the entire onboarding training experience for RSAs at The Home Depot, Costco, and BJs Wholesale. As usual, the most challenging part of this process was getting changes approved by SMEs & Owners. Yet with rapid prototyping and recycling of existing resources, key stakeholders were able to see how much better things could be and thus trust the process. I used this project as an opportunity to rebuild communications between teams that had stopped talking to each other some time ago.

Below is an example of one course within the larger RSA RampUp onboarding curriculum for Sunrun. This Home Depot Partnership Training course was rapidly authored in Articulate Rise. (Please note that while the course is functional, most of the video content is hosted internally and won’t play here.)

Click to launch course

Other deliverables for this project included:

  • Breaking the existing training into time-bound segments (first week, first month, first quarter) for more targeted support and less overwhelm
  • Changing the modalities of content delivery, leveraging scaleable solutions whenever possible for consistency and increasing
  • Increasing activity & interaction in the ILT portions of the training program
  • Redesigning all ILT presentation decks and handout materials
  • Deconstructing and incorporating many content revisions as policy and process changed on the fly
  • Clarifying communications channels, expectations, and professional advancement paths  for the role
  • Creation of a standardized exam for the phase one curriculum