Carphone Warehouse has promised every one of its 7,000 customer-facing staff a free Acer laptop, worth £360, for completing laptop sales training and for passing a subsequent test.
If they fail the test, they will not be allowed to sell laptops, said Carphone UK chief executive Andrew Harrison.
"We won’t let them sell to customers," he said.
"In training we give them real good basic knowledge about the things that make the laptops different form each other, why people might want a particular model, what needs it might solve, which ones have parental control, which don’t, and so on."
Carphone is aiming to sell one million subsidised laptops a year. It is investing £3 million in staff training for the laptop push over the next six weeks.
All sales and service staff will be enrolled on a one-day training course, followed by one month of in-store coaching. They will then sit a 30-minute online multiple-choice exam to test their knowledge.
Harrison said laptop sales are poised to go through the same growth curve as mobile sales did during the pre-pay boom of 2000/1.
Analysts at GfK estimate 7.6 million laptops will be sold this year, compared with 26 million mobile phones sold in the UK last year.