The assignment was straightforward: launch a monthly sales challenge across L&M Supply’s nine locations. Michelle Graber, Training Manager at L&M Supply, figured the expectation was to put the challenge out over the company LMS at the beginning of the month and issue an update at month’s end.
Michelle knew two things: the challenge would drive employees to the LMS, called The Lodge, and people would need a scorecard if they’re going to reach a goal. So she launched the sales challenge and updated each location’s sales figures every week.
Not only did the sales challenge work — monthly sales increased, for one item, by 5,700% compared to the year prior — but Michelle’s weekly updates helped boost LMS engagement. The Lodge has one of the highest engagement of any Wisetail client.
On average since the sales challenge launched involuntary engagement has consistently been above 90% and voluntary engagement always above 80%.
L&M Supply’s LMS, The Lodge, features a homepage with a clear call to action encouraging users to engage in their Item of the Month contest.
How does L&M do it?
The sales challenge itself is designed to empower employees. It’s as simple as choosing the items — and because of the success there are currently four items of the month — and Michelle post them on The Lodge. How the individual locations choose to merchandise the items is up to them.
“We want them to take ownership of it. There’s an expectation that the products are put on what we call our 50-yard line, which is the first set of shelving right when you walk in the store,’” Michelle says. “It makes people think on their feet, makes them up their sales game without us saying, ‘Up your sales game.’”
The sale items are chosen off what’s in stock. Sometimes it’s what L&M can get on a hot buy offer. Sometimes it’s a slow mover. Other times it’s something fun and seasonal. The price point ranges from an 89-cent candy bar to $80 game cameras, Michelle says.
Michelle always tries to pair items with product training on The Lodge. It’s easy to find quality product training to go along with a game camera, but with other items it can be a bit challenging. In those cases, Michelle likes to find fun informational tidbits like a tour of the candy bar factory on YouTube that includes a history of that company. Her thinking is that a quick video at least gives people something to chat about with coworkers when downtime inevitably strikes.
“They maybe don’t need to know that info to sell it, but it increases excitement around the product,” Michelle says.
The sales challenge isn’t entirely a one-way show, where management simply dictates what to do. Employees comment on the challenge modules, offer suggestions for what items might work well in the future, and upload pictures of their displays.
The Lodge’s modules detail which stores have completed their goals and how they stack up amongst one another.
Since the sales challenge launched, learners in The Lodge have completed a consistent —and consistently high — amount of training. And they’re active in the system too. User contributions jumped 26% when the sales challenge began and have remained at that new level since.
“When our category managers go to buying shows they’re actually looking for something to bring in that would be a good Item of the Month,” Michelle says. “It’s great to see the participation at all levels with this challenge, all using our LMS as a platform for success.”
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