Is It Time For A Retail LMS? 6 Reasons Why Sales Employees Cannot Achieve An Emotional Connection

6 Reasons Why Sales Trainees Cannot Achieve An Emotional Connection
Branislav Nenin/
Summary: Online training may not tug at employees’ heartstrings, but it should still feel personal. So, why is your sales staff unable to achieve an emotional connection in online training?

Overcoming 6 Sales Trainee Engagement Obstacles With A Retail LMS

Emotional connectivity is a bit more nuanced in sales online training. Employees don’t fall in love with the main character in your compliance story or start sobbing uncontrollably during a serious game. It’s more about tying the concepts to their everyday lives and seeing how it relates to their work-related struggles. However, there are some psychological (and online training design) roadblocks that stand in the way. Here are the top 6 reasons why sales employees can’t form an emotional connection and tips to break down the barriers.

1. There’s Nothing In It For Them

People are more likely to engage in the experience if it benefits their lives, either professionally or personally. They need to know “what’s in it for them” to connect on an emotional level. Thus, you must stress the real-world applications and perks of training as it pertains to their job duties or goals. Don’t just list the sales online training objectives. Tie it to their work responsibilities and how it translates into better sales and customer satisfaction scores. You can even emphasize the practical benefits through simulations or examples to get them emotionally involved.

2. Sales Stress Takes The Fun Out Of Online Training

They’re so busy trying to hit their monthly targets that the retail LMS becomes a hurdle instead of a support tool. They don’t want to waste a second building skills or exploring compliance topics when they could be pitching products. So, lighten the mood with serious games that minimize stress and put them in the right state of mind. Show them how training resources can reduce their anxiety levels in a practical sense. For example, it allows them to hone communication skills in order to identify customers’ needs and expectations. Thereby, improving their sales stats and alleviating some of the work-related pressure.

3. Lack Of Social Interactivity

Sales employees are more likely to achieve an emotional connection in online training when peers play a role. They can commiserate with colleagues or share tips to help each other bridge gaps discreetly. The sense of community makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, and that they can interact with remote co-workers and enjoy a shared experience. Sales employees are also able to discuss issues that plague workplace performance and get peer-based feedback. Online forums, live events, and social media groups are just some of the ways to fuel collaboration and foster emotional connectivity. Or host group collaboration projects to build the team dynamic and help them explore unique perspectives.

4. No Built-In Support System

Employees are unable to emotionally engage with the content if they’re isolated or alone. If there’s no support structure in place to serve as a safety net. This all boils down to fear of failure. They won’t give it their all if the risk is too high. For instance, they know they need to complete the compliance certification course, but they also know it deals with complex subject matter and there aren’t any tutorials or support groups to rely on. As a result, they hold back their emotions and don’t fully invest themselves because the stakes are too high. Not to mention, the organization "doesn’t even care enough" to give them a helping hand. Launch peer-based coaching groups, mentorships, and an online knowledge base via the retail LMS. Give them the JIT training tools they need to overcome common obstacles and achieve their true potential. That way, they always have something to fall back on.

5. Unclear Objectives Or Goals

You can’t expect sales staff to dedicate themselves to training if there’s no end goal. Or, worse yet, unclear objectives that only confuse or make the experience feel fragmented. Emotions in online training center on two things: personalization and purpose. I’ve already covered the first component in point number one, but purpose involves clear objectives and outcomes. What do they need to learn? How do they need to learn it? And what must they do to prove that they’ve accomplished the goal? Clarify these crucial elements before they begin sales online training and reiterate them before every activity/module. Objectives give them a focal point that guides their every move in the LMS and provides added motivation.

6. Accessibility Issues

Your sales employees want to emotionally invest in online training. They really do. There’s just one thing that stands in the way: accessibility roadblocks. Maybe it’s a complicated LMS with unintuitive navigation or cluttered content that overloads their mental schema. Whatever the case, they can’t connect because they can’t get the necessary information or assign meaning. The best way to improve accessibility is to evaluate your current approach and look for sticking points. Analyze LMS data, conduct surveys, and asses your sales team. Find out why they’re unable to connect (both emotionally and literally). Another root cause might be mobile accessibility. Employees should be able to use any device to get relevant resources when it’s most convenient for them.


Emotions may take a different form in online training, but it’s still a crucial piece of the puzzle. These tips can help you walk that fine line between maintaining professionalism and making it personal. Clarify goals, make it readily accessible, and give them moment of need support. You must also highlight the practical benefits of active participation and mitigate stressors to unblock the emotional barriers. Lastly, offer ample opportunity to collaborate with co-workers and share experiences to cultivate a supportive online training culture.