June 2016

5 Years of Collaboration with Clarins: CrossKnowledge Solutions Deliver a Real Impact on Business

CrossKnowledge has helped luxury skincare brand Clarins to implement its global sales staff training strategy by developing and rolling out, on the brand’s behalf, the Clarins e-pro platform. Designed for the brand’s exclusive and multi-brand sales agents all over the world, this training portal has been very successful in the areas where it has been deployed, with a measurable impact on revenues.

Clarins opted for CrossKnowledge solutions in 2011 as part of a new global sales staff training strategy. The market is demanding and highly competitive, and the International Training Division is eager to maintain the brand’s position globally. CrossKnowledge was chosen in particular for its human values which are close to those of Clarins, its ability to provide global and local support, and its responsiveness and flexibility, all of which have led to the worldwide success of this project.

Increasing sales through training

The aim of the Clarins e-pro training platform is to upskill a sales force whose members are not, for the most part, on the brand’s payroll, in a context where high staff turnover (with frequent new recruits to be trained) and the difficulty of mobilizing in-house staff for face-to-face training make it complicated to implement a classroom-based program.

The learning portal developed by CrossKnowledge was rolled out locally (country by country), in collaboration with the local teams to ensure high take-up rates, learner motivation, and ultimate success. The system is agile and responsive, and can be adapted to changing business environments and objectives in different parts of the world. The solution naturally features sales-oriented training modules, and it also includes content relating to the Clarins catalogue (300 products) and to the brand itself, all on a highly attractive platform.

The aim for Clarins is to train sales agents so that they recommend the brand’s products to customers, maintaining sales by offering exceptional customer service and providing a positive experience for the consumer.

With Clarins e-Pro we’re able to train people, and train them more effectively, by offering country-specific customizable interfaces and by taking account of local realities. This means that our sales agents are more at ease with our sales narratives and methods. It really works, and we can measure the impact of our training strategy on our sales,” says Audrey Dijoux, e-learning project manager for the Clarins international training division.

High take-up rates and strong global results

Some 10,000 sales agents in Canada, the US, Russia, Spain, Italy and TR Europe are now using the Clarins e-pro training portal. In Canada, this training program has made it possible to reach out to 66% more salespeople since it was rolled out. In the specific strategic market of Travel Retail Europe (tax-free sales in European transit zones), which concerns 300 salespeople, platform login rates have reached 50%, compared to 30% when the program was launched three years ago.

“We’re particularly proud of these results because we can’t make training mandatory for these people as they’re not all salaried staff. What’s more, our sales agents mostly train in their own time on their own computer or tablet, which means the program has been particularly successful. A trained salesperson is a salesperson who gives customers the right information about our products and helps us to achieve our targets,” adds Audrey Dijoux.”

Clarins e-pro was designed for beauty care sales agents as a sales facilitator, and early results have shown that the program has been worth the investment. In Russia, where the training program has been completely revamped to include this distance-learning component, Clarins has now been Number One skin care brand for two consecutive years. In 2013 and 2014, on the same market, the number of products per sale increased by 10% and average amount spent per sale increased by 11%.

As for Travel Retail Europe, we saw that when we encouraged a target group to use the platform, the average number of products per sale increased by almost 6% in a single month!

“In the five years we’ve worked together we’ve created a true partnership with the Clarins teams. We want to get as close to them as we can, to understand the challenges they face, and to support their strategy effectively. Results on business have demonstrated the value of our approach, and we’re delighted about that,” says Florent de la Chapelle, Business Development Manager at CrossKnowledge.