Creating effective product training for sales is one of the key elements in the entire product development process. You got that right – even the best design, interface, and user experience won’t help unless the product finds its way to the right clientele. Sales training programs for sales representatives don’t have to be overwhelming though. With a solid sales strategy and a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you will boost the knowledge, confidence, and negotiation skills of your team.
The right training of sales representatives should contain a few core elements. According to various specialists, those could be summarized into:
- Fluency in product and industry knowledge, product analysis, and value statements
- Constant revision of the customer’s needs and improved communication skills
- Competitor analysis
In this article, we will have a closer look at the essential elements of sales training and efficient teaching methods geared towards providing the best learning experience. Good sales training directly translates to customer satisfaction and the company’s visibility, and should never be pushed to the back burner.
Leveraging industry knowledge in product training for sales
One of the major errors entangled in product training for sales is often its tediousness, infrequency, and repetitiveness. In short – your sales reps don’t know what they’re selling and why. Don’t get me wrong, few types of business meetings pass the excitement check (and it’s not their point), but your sales reps should be at least a bit excited about the product they are going to sell. If they’re not, why should their clients be? Training in product knowledge full of dull PowerPoint slides, poor copies of product descriptions, and tired managers are not exactly the environment to stir up enthusiasm. Here, technology can come to the rescue. Online learning platforms are a great option for upgrading your sales rep training to a new level. EdApp, one of the leading online learning platforms, offers a wide variety of already existing learning materials as well as state-of-the-art authoring tools. With EdApp, creating courses couldn’t be easier – SCORM compatible, customizable template library has developed been in partnership with Canva. EdApp is available for all mobile devices, so your team can reach for learning materials any time, any place. EdApp also boasts a feature, namely Rapid Refresh, which allows you to automatically create quizzes based on your learning materials. Checking on your team’s progress has never been easier. With enticing visuals, interactive design, and community functions such as Leaderboards, Rapid Refresh is a cool way to keep your team in the know of the newest developments.
Specialists claim that sales and product teams should ideally work in collaboration – while in sales the client’s needs are top priority, product teams rave about all the great features of the product. While both standpoints are necessary, a happy marriage of the two is what makes the sale. The product should fulfill the client’s needs, but the client needs to know how and why. Thus, sales representatives must balance the knowledge from the two branches. While they need experts on the product they sell, see its unique features, they should also skillfully read the client’s needs, make value statements, and close deals. Understanding what you’re selling and why is core to any successful campaign.
Customer-focused product training for sales
Much like the constant revision of the product knowledge, it is also necessary to keep track of the changing customer’s needs. Whether they are market or society-driven, or simply stem from a shift in the dedicated niche, the product training should involve a conversation, what current needs the products respond to. Specialized UX departments or independent companies can assess with the use of qualitative tools how the product is used by clients. They monitor what types of problems are being solved by the products, the friendliness of the interface, the design strengths, and weaknesses. With this information at hand, the sales reps can paint an accurate picture of existing and potential clients with their needs, problems, and pitfalls, and gear their strategies towards them. Learning the connections between different branches of the industry is also helpful because it can show the versatility of the product, the communication between workers, departments, and teams, and in reverse, boost the development and expansion of the product further.
Learning communication skills in product training for sales
Communication skills are probably the most important sales skills of a good sales rep. While product training doesn’t focus on them per se, it is vital that they are being used in the training. A good method of communication skills training is a mockup sales meeting, in which participants play the roles of representatives and clients. This way, they can already use their new knowledge about the products, practice their communication, negotiation skills, and spontaneous troubleshooting in client meetings. Role swapping and feedback rounds are also fruitful for the development of professional skills, flexibility, and critical thinking among the sales representatives.
Conducting competitor analysis
The last core element of product training for sales is competitor analysis. With the high saturation of the market, awareness of the competitors and their marketing strategies help to avoid repetitiveness and stagnation in the company’s marketing campaigns. The sales campaign is as good as it is innovative and as much as it answers the clients’ needs. Therefore, understanding what the competition is doing and how to do it better is crucial to stay on top of your sales. The market and competitor research is a backbone of the product training and the design of the training should very much lie on it. Comparison of the competitive products and companies should be communicated to the reps so that they are aware, where the product is located.
To design an effective product training for the sales representatives is not easy. However, modern technologies make it a bit more approachable – and a lot more enticing. With the use of learning management systems such as EdApp, your team will be kept up to date with the newest development in the product and sales campaigns. With the help of microlearning and gamification in the workplace, they will be able to refresh their knowledge and expertise, help their peers and achieve their career goals with less fuss and more fun.
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