The National Bed Federation (NBF) is preparing to introduce a further module to its online Sleep Council Sales Academy (SCSA) programme with a new, back-to-basics ‘Introduction to Beds’ section. As well as offering an important new element to the SCSA course, the module is designed to provide an invaluable standalone introduction to the bed industry for anyone and everyone joining its ranks.
First launched at the 2014 Bed Show, nearly 1,400 people have now signed up for The Sleep Council Sales Academy training course. Aimed at shop floor staff working for multiple and independent bed retailers, the NBF’s first ever sleep selling programme has become established as the industry standard.
Said NBF marketing manager Simon Williams: “The course was developed as a way of promoting excellence and raising standards within our industry and provides a benefit to retailers in terms of improving selling skills, conversion rates and average sale prices.
“It focuses on sleep knowledge rather than product knowledge and shows sales staff how to use that knowledge effectively with customers to build trust. It also focuses on improving performance and shows participants how to identify and measure their own Key Performance Indicators.
“We’ve had many positive testimonials as a result of sales staff taking the original course. Following on from this success we are now introducing a module designed to give ‘new joins’ a grasp of the bed industry with a 30 - 40 minute module. It provides an overview of the UK bed market and who’s who and covers basic product knowledge, a glossary of terms, the NBF Code of Practice, flammability and other regulations and some frequently asked questions (FAQs). It will be free to NBF members and, importantly, for an introductory period only, free to retailers. So we will be encouraging bed retailers to take advantage of this special offer while it lasts.
As with the SCSA programme, the new Introduction to Beds module will be supported by a mobile app making the course readily accessible and dynamic. And it too, is available for NBF members’ sales teams and sales offices as well as retail sales staff.
Said Simon: “The Introduction to Beds provides a fantastic insight into the industry and, as well as being hugely important to anyone dealing with customers on the shop floor, provides valuable background information to anyone working in it – at whatever level.”
The SCSA course normally costs £49 per person to enrol but will be available for the special promotional price of £25 at the Bed Show – and through to the end of the year. As well as professionally produced videos showing ‘How To’ as well as ‘How Not To’ engage with consumers, the course is built around the most effective questions to use as part of the selling process.
It also demonstrates how to affect the behaviour of customers, overcome common objections and ensures a staged learning process through the use of task led exercises which monitor a participant’s progress and must be completed before the next stage can be started.
On successful completion of the course, sales staff are issued with a certificate, which includes the name of his or her place of work as well as their own – and a pin badge. Retailers can choose to buy ‘team credits’ to put all their staff through the course – or individuals can enrol themselves on to it if they so choose.
Along with the new module, the NBF is looking to add further credibility and authority to the course through approval/accreditation from a nationally recognised training body.
Said Simon: “Content will be highly engaging with video clips and graphics. I believe companies should make the new module compulsory for all their new starters, regardless of their role in the business, as it offers a fantastic grounding in the bed industry for anyone who is new to the sector. We believe knowledge is key to success.”
The new ‘Introduction to Beds’ module will be launched at this year’s Bed Show (Telford International Centre, September 20-21) and will be free until the end of December 2016.