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Gum balls, a box of sprinkles and a golf ball bounce test are some of the elements in Tempur-Pedic’s retail sales training display at the company’s headquarters here.

The display, in a high-traffic corridor, highlights Tempur-Pedic’s commitment to an aggressive new retail sales associate training program. It includes several clever displays that give visiting retailers and RSAs a quick primer on some of Tempur-Pedic’s key product characteristics.

Jay Spenchian, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Tempur Sealy International, Tempur-Pedic’s owner, recently demonstrated some of the displays.

Tempur-Pedic’s “more personalized comfort and support” is illustrated with a golf ball bounce test. Spenchian dropped the golf ball, tethered to the display, on three different foams. Two were conventional memory foams, and the golf ball bounced robustly when dropped on those samples. But the sample of Tempur-Pedic’s Tempur material resisted bouncing. The golf ball simply landed on that sample, showing how the company’s beds cradle a sleeper.

Another display illustrates how the Tempur material is “more responsive and adaptive” than conventional foams. The container of sprinkles responds quickly when an RSA presses his or her hand into it. But the other container, filled with gum balls and standing in for conventional foams, is not nearly as responsive.

The reduced motion transfer that Tempur-Pedic describes as one of the key features of its sleep sets is illustrated with wine glasses, which are filled with sprinkles. Over the years, Tempur-Pedic has featured a wine glass on its sleep sets to illustrate how its beds reduce motion transfer.

Training goals and content

The new training campaign, which has a goal of reaching as many as 20,000 sales associates by the first quarter of 2017, is off to a strong start. Already, Tempur-Pedic staffers have trained 15,000 RSAs as part of the new initiative, officials said.

Each of those RSAs is represented by a large gum ball dropped into a huge wine glass that is also part of the display at the company’s headquarters. That “Why Tempur Training Tracker” glass is continuing to fill up.

Tempur-Pedic officials use displays such as these to demonstrate that their sleep sets are more responsive and adaptive than conventional beds.

To unveil the new training content, the Tempur-Pedic training team held webinars for more than 300 Tempur-Pedic field salespeople who were then tasked with setting up meetings at retail locations in their region. Each meeting kicked off with new video content about Tempur-Pedic’s manufacturing process, including the development of proprietary Tempur material, the ISO 9001 quality certifications and the company’s commitment to zero land-fill waste.

Tempur-Pedic field sales personnel took RSAs through the new demo unit, focusing on Tempur material’s benefits, including reduced motion transfer, undisturbed sleep and personalized comfort and support.

In a new video series used for in-store multimedia as well as consumer-facing digital media, four 60-second spots show how the proprietary Tempur material works and demonstrate how it’s different from its competitors. The spots encourage users to learn more from a retailer or through the Tempur-Pedic website.

The demo unit includes three materials — Tempur material, gel memory foam and standard foam — and a wine glass to execute the golf ball drop and wine glass demonstrations.

Training tested

Since the rollout, investigative reporter for the Today Show Jeff Rossen tested the motion separation capability of a Tempur-Contour mattress. After a few swings of a sledgehammer and jumping on the mattress with his producer, he concluded that the motion separation touted by Tempur does in fact work.

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