March 29, 2002, 12:00 AM

How the web makes sales cross-training a realistic goal for Circuit City

Circuit City will use its e-learning system to cross-train store sales personnel to become experts in products in all areas of sales. The goal is for a fifth of all stores to have personnel cross-trained by September.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Circuit City Stores Inc. will use its e-learning system to cross-train store sales personnel to become experts in products in all areas of sales, Jeffrey S. Wells, senior vice president of human resources, says. The goal is for a fifth of all stores to have personnel cross-trained by September.

“We will encourage cross-training and cross-functional knowledge so everyone can sell everything in the store,” Wells says. “Then we won’t have to worry that Bob is away and he’s the only one who knows about big-screen TVs.”

Cross-training salespeople not only serves the customer better, but alleviates scheduling problems as well, he notes.

Circuit City provides three browser-equipped PCs with broadband Internet connections in each of its 604 stores for training purposes. Circuit City provides the content for the e-learning systems and DigitalThink Inc. puts it into appropriate format for web presentation. Because of the ease of use of a web-based system, Circuit City is able to train employees faster and employees are more likely to take advantage of the training, Wells says, meaning that more employees can be trained in more areas without significant additional costs.

 

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