Effective product training is essential for any sales team looking to improve their performance and close more deals. By providing sales with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively sell your company’s products and services, you can increase their ability to increase the sales pipeline, grow the revenues from existing customers and build new customer accounts. Here are 10 tips for delivering effective product training to your sales team.
Product-related knowledge that sales needs
It’s essential that companies equip their business developers, account managers and sales executives with comprehensive knowledge and training on the products they are selling. The different types of product knowledge can be broken down into the following categories.
Features and Benefits: This involves understanding the functionality and convincing the prospect that the company’s product or service will allow them to do something that was previously not possible or hard-to-do, faster and/or more efficiently. Not only should these include the strengths of the products but also weaknesses so sales teams can develop messaging/pitches to overcome any objections.
Competitive Comparison: This includes understanding the features, benefits and unique value proposition of the competitors’ products and use this information to uniquely position your company’s products and answer any questions your prospects or customers may have.
Pricing/Return on Investment (ROI): This information is valuable to showcase the value of the product and includes understanding the price of the product, as well as savings or increased revenues the product, service or solution can bring to customers.
Customization Options: This means understanding how the product can be adapted to work in different situations and industries. By understanding the unique needs of each customer and how the product can be tailored to these needs, sales reps can better position the product as a valuable solution.
Compatibility Options: One important question asked by clients is the compatibility of a product with other products and services. Prospects will also be interested to know how the product is going to fit within their existing tech stack, so be sure to include information on third-party integrations. For example, if your company sells software, sales reps should be aware of which operating systems and devices the company’s products are compatible with and any integrations – their ability to address these factors with prospective customers will enable them to show even more value of your solution to the prospect.
Industry-specific Applications: Often a company’s products can be used in multiple industries. While the features and benefits may be similar, the use case scenarios and terminology used by customers may be different. Sales reps should be trained on industry-specific scenarios and unique value propositions for their industry.
Customer Examples/Case Studies: Effective product training includes providing case studies and examples that demonstrate how the product works in action. Include a list of reference customers along with statistics that show how your company’s products made a difference to your clients. This is a highly effective way for reps to effectively communicate the benefits of your company’s product to potential customers and close more sales.
Frequently Asked Technical Questions: This includes being able to answer common questions about how the product works, is deployed, integrations, secure against cyber and other vulnerabilities and much more.
Frequently Asked Business Questions: Equip your sales teams with answers to questions about the company, legal agreements that they will have sign, who will be supporting them, who are their finance and legal contacts and more.
Available Support: As part of your product training, include information on support resources including online resources, customer success managers or how to contact support teams.
Roadmap: Many companies include information about upcoming features as part of their product training. This allows sales teams to confidently discuss current and future features with prospects, highlighting the benefits of the product and addressing any concerns they may have.
Tips for delivering effective product training to sales teams
1. Understand your audience
Before you start delivering product training to your sales team, it’s important to understand who they are and what their needs are. Consider their level of experience, their learning style, and their goals. This will help you tailor your training to their specific needs and ensure that they get the most out of it. You may also want to consider conducting a survey or focus group to gather feedback and insights about training areas of particular interest to your sales team.
2. Keep it simple and focused
When delivering product training to your sales team, don’t overwhelm them with too much information at once. Break the training down into manageable chunks and focus on the most important information. Use real-life examples and scenarios to help them understand how to apply the information in their sales conversations.
3. Use real-life examples
Real-life examples, such as case studies, customer success stories and product scenarios, is one of the most effective ways to deliver product training. This helps sales teams to understand how to apply the information in their sales conversations and gives them a better understanding of how the product works in real-world scenarios.
4. Make it interactive
To keep your sales team engaged and ensure they retain the information, make your product training sessions interactive. When presenting information through instructor-led training, encourage the participants to ask questions, participate in discussions, and even role-play different sales scenarios.
If you are using online learning or eLearning, opt for courses that use quizzes, gamification, and other interactive tools to make the training more fun and engaging. These tools will help sales teams to apply the information in a practical way and build their confidence in selling the product.
5. Use multimedia tools
Incorporating multimedia tools into your product training can help keep your sales team engaged and interested. Consider using videos, animations, and interactive presentations to demonstrate product features and benefits. This can help your team better understand the product and how it can solve customer problems. Additionally, using multimedia tools can make the training more memorable and increase retention of the information.
6. Incorporate mobile learning
Salespeople are often on the road at tradeshows or visiting customers and often have limited time to sit down and attend traditional training sessions. To cater to these busy learners, provide product training that can be accessed on-the-go. Ensure that your product training includes mobile-friendly options such as eLearning, podcasts, mobile apps. Mobile learning allows salespeople to learn at their own convenience or when they are traveling.
7. Observe customers in action
One way to deliver product training is by having sales reps observe and interact with customers using the products. By seeing firsthand how clients use and perceive the products, sales reps can gain valuable insights into the product’s appeal and practical applications, which can be helpful for them to fine tune their product pitches.
8. Add role-playing
Role-playing exercises can be an effective way to deliver product training. This allows sales reps to experiment with different sales techniques and improve their ability to persuade potential buyers. They also have the benefit of adding interactivity and fun into the training process.
9. Incorporate microlearning
In microlearning, a large courses are divided into smaller, easier to consume modules. These modules can focus on single definable ideas or concepts that can be learnt in a short time, or summarize more complex concepts in a streamlined way. Microlearning content can take many forms, including text, short eLearning modules, illustrations, videos, short audio snippets, quizzes, and interactive games, but they are always short in duration. Not only does microlearning increase information retention, but it also allows sales teams to focus on mastering topics that are most relevant to them.
10. Provide a “cheat sheet”
Even experienced sales reps need to refresh their knowledge before important meetings or calls. To make it easy for them, provide a digital “cheat sheet” summarizing key product highlights and frequently asked questions. This quick reference guide will help them stay on top of their game and close more deals.
Effective sales require a deep and current understanding of the product being sold. That’s why product training is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. Once you’ve created your training it is critical to keep it up-to-date and continue to equip the sales team with the learning they need to land customers.
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How LEAi helps with product training
Keeping up with product training is hard but a worthwhile investment.
To make the job easier and make learning part of the corporate culture, consider using our course authoring tool so you can accelerate the roll out of more product training courses that fit the needs of your sales team. LEAi is so easy to use – simply upload your presentations, documents, blogs and wikis, and LEAi will automatically build your learning objectives, learning content and test questions.
Let us show you how LEAi can be used within your organization for product training, sales enablement training, employee training and much more!