Organizations of all kinds are experiencing higher than normal turnover rates, and lotteries are no exception. For many, there is a need to onboard newly hired or rehired sales staff following pandemic-related attrition. At the same time, ongoing changes in the retail sector and consumer-shopping behaviors continue to put pressure on retail businesses, creating new opportunities for lotteries to work with retailers to improve lottery performance or to introduce the product category. In particular, corporate chain retailers are more open than ever before to selling lottery.
This mix of circumstances makes it an opportune moment for lottery organizations to tap into the benefits of highly customized sales training. “Lottery sales representatives are the critical link between a lottery’s strategic plan and the retail-sales activation that generates revenue for good causes,” observed Nat Worley, IGT Vice President North American Sales Development. “The more smoothly and expertly reps perform their role, the more sales potential a lottery can expect to realize at the point of purchase.”
“Customized training offers a major advantage in onboarding new employees in these critical roles,” said Laura Godinez, IGT Retail Sales and Training Manager. “It dramatically accelerates the timeline in which new staff can directly contribute to the bottom line of a lottery organization’s performance and boost revenues to good causes.”
Within IGT’s sales development team, Godinez designs and delivers fully customized, comprehensive, and collaborative training activities to address market-specific opportunities and challenges. The services available to lottery customers encompass not only in-person and virtual-live training for sales representatives, supervisors, and administrators, but also demonstrations, ongoing support, new-product trainings and “launch boxes,” which provide a full set of communication tools for roll-out.
Having logged seven years in a range of field-management and field-training positions within the sales organization of lottery operator Northstar Illinois, Godinez has experienced firsthand many of the challenges sales teams face. Her tactics and training sessions are informed by this perspective, allowing her to quickly relate to and make a connection with sales reps.
Some of the more recent trainings that Godinez has created and led focused on level-setting new lottery sales reps in Texas, employed by IGT, on the topics they will need to perform their day-to-day role. Sessions also focused on the use of IGT’s Sales Wizard tool to help them understand how the software can be used most effectively in the field to work with their retailers and increase sales.
“Sales Wizard provides a wealth of data and information that is key not only for the sales force but for the retailers themselves,” she noted. “They can look at sales trends, for example, and know immediately if there’s an opportunity to either remove an underperforming game or, if a game is performing exceptionally well, adjust the facings and point-of-sales materials at the location to position the product better.”
Ensuring that reps are fully engaged with the tool and understand all the data it provides boosts their ability to translate that data into actionable items. It also contributes to retailers’ understanding and ongoing sales execution.
The training can be equally useful in refreshing the skills of veteran sales staff. “It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone along and introduce them to the powerful ways this tool can make their job easier,” Godinez noted. Her expertise also encompasses training on the effective use of IGT’s Retailer Wizard tool and general organizational sales effectiveness for lottery sales forces, independent of IGT software solutions.
“Given the vast amount of information available through this tool, it’s critical that training is thorough and ongoing to help reps use the information to achieve their sales and business goals in the field,” said Brian Finnigan, IGT Director of Sales. “Laura has created a custom library of modules that we use for group training opportunities and that users can access for reference as needed.”
To find out what customized training could look like for your lottery, contact Laura.Godinez@IGT.com, Nathanael.Worley@IGT.com, or your IGT representative.
Laura Godinez, IGT Retail Sales and Training Manager, is responsible for training lottery sales teams on IGT tools such as Sales Wizard and Retailer Wizard, new product launches, and general lottery sales effectiveness across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.
Prior to joining IGT, Godinez held a variety of field roles with lottery operator Northstar Illinois, working as a recruiter, account manager, and trainer for the Illinois State Lottery’s new retailer on-boarding and sales development plan, then as Sales Operations Supervisor overseeing the team of new lottery trainers. Following these field positions, she became Northstar’s retail project manager, accountable for all aspects of 360-degree communication programs for new product launches, both general and multicultural-market retail marketing campaigns and print production for distribution to the Lottery retail network.