5-Star Sales Strategies

This is a scenario-based eLearning concept project designed and developed to help sales associates engage in effective sales techniques. Throughout the course, the learner engages in a series of real-life, low-risk scenarios, ultimately learning what actions lead to sales and positive customer reviews.

Audience: Sales Representatives at Radiant Rays Tanning Salon
Instructional Design, Action Mapping (Needs Analysis),
Storyboarding, Visual Design, Mockups, eLearning Development
Tools Used:
Articulate Storyline, Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, Vyond, Mindmeister, isPDF, Google Docs
KPI: Sales will increase 20% by August 1st as sales associates use low pressure sales techniques

Experience the Project

The Problem

Soon after the implementation of a monthly sales goal, The Sales team at the Radiant Rays Tanning Salon Corporate Office noticed that business was declining due to negative reviews about pushy sales tactics. Understanding the importance of a sales goal, the team didn’t want to discontinue the practice. After deciding that 5-star reviews were equally as important to the team as increasing sales, they reached out for help. 

The Solution

After careful analysis with the client, I determined that the problem was performance-related and caused by the sales associates’ lack of knowledge of low-pressure selling techniques. To solve the performance problem, I proposed an immersive scenario-based eLearning experience to help sales associates practice using low-pressure sales techniques in a real-world setting. Keeping customer reviews in mind, the learning experience would help the learner make a connection between using low-pressure sales strategies and receiving positive customer reviews.

My Process

Guided by the ADDIE model, I iterated on each step of my process until I was confident with the look, feel, and content of the learning experience. Before reaching full development, my process included creating an action map, drafting a storyboard, designing visual mockups, and building out an interactive prototype.

Action Map

After the client accepted my proposal of a learning solution based on low-pressure sales techniques, it was time to work with the client to dissect the performance problem and contributing factors further. 

Guided by Cathy Moore’s strategic action mapping process, I acted as the subject matter expert (SME) and drew from my experience in a sales-driven tanning salon. To begin the action mapping process, I proposed a measurable performance goal for the learning experience, which is included on the left side of the action map below. 

After creating the business goal, I worked as the SME to brainstorm the observable tasks and behaviors the learners would need to engage in and avoid to help meet the performance goal. Next, I analyzed all brainstormed tasks and behaviors and categorized them into actions and sub-actions. 

The next step in my process was to carefully evaluate each action and consider which would help contribute most to the business goal. This evaluation revealed six high-priority actions that became the focus of the content in the learning experience and had a heavy influence on my design and development process. These actions can be seen branching out from the sales goal in the action map below. 

Action mapping is a crucial part of my design process because it allows me to ensure I'm meeting the client's needs while also keeping the content in the learning experience meaningful and relevant to the learner. 

By setting a measurable performance goal, I can keep all stakeholders concentrated on business performance and success rather than just the “information” they need to know. Prioritizing actions allows me to reduce cognitive load and help the learner encode and retain the most crucial information concerning the performance goal. 

Text-Based Storyboard

Once I identified all high-priority observable tasks and behaviors through action mapping, I drafted and iterated on a text-based storyboard to serve as a blueprint for my final product.

To best help the learners meet the established performance goal, I prioritized the main features I wanted to include in the experience. It was important that the final product was scenario-driven and based on selected actions in the action map to avoid information overload. 

Another priority was to include learner feedback based on selected choices. Through a mix of sound effects, wording, and visual design, the learner would receive positive reinforcement for correct decisions. The learner would watch the consequence scenario play out for incorrect choices, learn from it, and try again. 

Once I prioritized the critical assets of the course, I had a clear path for completing the storyboard in a way that would best help engage the learner in the scenario. I also included a mentor and a job aid to help the audience access helpful information when needed. 

The storyboard was an essential part of my design process because it’s where I embedded substantial instructional practice and learning theory to make the experience ideal for the learners. 

Visual Mockups

When I was confident that my storyboard laid out an engaging, learner-centered experience, I moved on to the visual decision step of the process by creating mockups for my vision and iterating on them.

My main objective was to include visuals and scenes that helped tell the story while maintaining a balance of verbal, visual, and auditory information. I explored images of tanning salons and tanning lotions for inspiration. I created a style guide to ensure I was keeping fonts, colors, and spacing consistent with the Radiant Rays branding, which I also created as part of the style guide. 

After completing a style guide, I used Adobe XD to create a slide for each changing situation and scene in my learning experience. I made a mentor slide, a slide for question one, and correct and incorrect consequence slides. I iterated on these slides until all visual and instructional information flowed together seamlessly and made sense for the learner.

Creating these mockups was one of the most exciting parts of the design process because it’s where I started watching my instructional vision come to life. With each iteration, I watched as my experience became more and more learner-friendly and visually appealing. 

Interactive Prototype

Although the visual mockups helped me see a clear vision for my design, creating the interactive prototype fully brought the experience to life. Using Articulate Storyline 360, I developed a prototype to collect feedback on functionality and development.

I included several interactive slides in my prototype up until the first scenario-based question. I added in triggers, animation, sound, and a success meter. Once satisfied with my work, I shared it with my my mentors and peers in the learning and development community and iterated based on feedback using Storyline’s 360 Review feature. 

The interactive prototype revealed many features users loved, but I also got a lot of feedback that helped make the experience more functional and immersive for the learner. For example, based on a user suggestion, I deleted a continue button and directed the user to click on an icon to proceed to the next slide. This change helped draw more attention to a resource the learner may need later in the course. 

Overall, the interactive prototype was and will continue to be an essential step of my development process as it allows me to improve the experience based on user testing and feedback from the clients and community. 

Full Development

Once I was fully confident with the look and functionality of my prototype, I developed the rest of the scenario-based slides and iterated on them until all animations, sounds, visuals, and triggers flowed perfectly together. I also made a few changes based on user testing and feedback to enhance the learning experience. 

For example, I was challenged to change my success meter to a star system. Understanding that the change would lead to a better association of reviews and sales for the learner, I worked to make that change. I added sound effects to enhance the user experience and serve as positive reinforcement for learners when they selected a correct choice

Another change I made was adding in a sound check slide before the sound gets introduced. During my feedback process, a mentor suggested a sound reminder, and I happily took on the challenge by creating a slide with some background music, reminding the learner to turn on their sound and adjust their volume. I’m proud of this change because it ensured the learner would get the most out of the learning experience. 

One challenge I gave myself was to include a personalized certificate at the end of the learning experience. I created a certification on Canva and left a designated spot for the name and date. Next, I integrated the javascript that would generate the certificate. I worked with the code, changed the dimensions to match my certificate, and added a trigger to help execute the javascript once the user typed their name and clicked the download button. 

The challenge was more time-consuming and complex than anticipated. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of the challenge and felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride once completed. 

This part of the process was something I’m most proud of because it’s where I challenged myself the most,  ultimately resulting in learning a lot more about the features in Articulate Storyline and building more confidence as a developer. 

Additional Features

Engaging Sound Effects

I included various sound effects throughout the experience to provide a more immersive and realistic experience for the learner. The sounds included in the sales celebration and correct answer videos help provide positive reinforcement for the learner when making a proper choice

Strategic Feedback

For each question in the course, learners have access to a mentor, Olivia, who assists when the learner clicks the “Ask Olivia” button. Olivia is careful not to provide the learner with the answer but instead provides them with guidance that will assist the learner while answering the question.

Immersive Scenario-Based Scenes

This learning experience helps engage the learner through engaging visual scenes that immerse them in the scenario. Instead of just being told what might happen next, they can experience it by being shown what happens due to their correct or incorrect choices. 

Incorrect Choice

This scene immerses the learner by walking them through the consequence of selecting an incorrect choice. They see the result of their action and can make a correlation between pushy sales tactics and negative reviews. 

Correct Choice

This scene immerses the learner by walking them through the positive consequence of selecting a correct choice and leading to a sale. Since the learner has earned all five stars, they move forward to view their 5-star reviews from their customers.

Downloadable Job Aid

In the experience, the learner makes decisions based on the information in the lotion selector pamphlet. This pamphlet was designed to quickly and efficiently help sales associates assist customers with selecting the perfect lotion for their skin type. Once the experience is complete, the learner can download the job aid from the experience. This feature makes the resource more accessible for the learner and helps support the continuation of their learning from the course.

Experience the  Project

Results & Takeaways

The product was well received by the learning and development community. Some testimonials from the community included:

“I LOVED the sound check at the beginning. It's great that you let learners know that there is sound just in case their sound is low, but also, it'll give folks a chance to lower the volume if it's turned up."

“I found the star and cash register sounds to be great positive reinforcement as a learner.”

“This is amazing! This visual design is excellent and the content is great!. The Vyond scenes were a great treat!”

I gained quite a few takeaways about the instructional design process throughout working on this project. I will take these lessons with me as I continue to upskill and work on more learning experiences to showcase my skills. 

Keep it Learner-Centered: I had various creative ideas throughout the process that I wanted to implement. However, before trying each concept, I asked myself questions like, “will this help keep the learner engaged in the scenario?” and, “how does this change enhance the learning experience?” By considering, I ensured that all of my decisions were made for the learner and not for myself.

Iteration is Key: Throughout this process, I truly learned how helpful feedback could be. Your community or peers can often provide a different perspective you may not have considered. Looking through feedback helped me focus on the learner’s needs and kept me focused on delivering an exceptional learning experience for them.

Embrace Problem-Solving: There were many times throughout this process when I ran into road bumps and struggled to fix the problem quickly. I learned that I learn best through the problem-solving process. I’m more likely to retain information and develop my skills if I work to solve a problem independently, rather than just having someone tell me how to do it.

There’s Always a Solution: I often questioned how to use certain Storyline features to carry out my vision. Whenever something didn’t work the way I had planned, I found there was always a solution or workaround to help create the scene or trigger I had in mind. The possibilities are endless with Storyline!

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