Product knowledge is very important for employees working in an organization, especially for sales and service representatives. When they have accurate product information, they are in a position to provide valuable advice to customers based on their requirements. Therefore, managing this knowledge and sharing it in the most effective way is of paramount importance to an organization. However, delivering product knowledge fast and in a cost-effective manner is not easy. Let’s look at some of the challenges that organizations face when they wish to organize a product knowledge training program for their employees.
Too much information about too many products and changing product specifications:
One of the fundamental problems that companies face is that there is an information overload with respect to products because there is too much information that needs to be shared. Additionally, new products are regularly introduced along with changing market scenarios and employees need to keep track of these developments. This is particularly true in the context of sales and marketing team. Sharing a large product manual with a sales person is rather uninspiring as he does not see its relevance to making a sale. A product manager may assume that he needs to share all the information about the product while a sales person might just want filtered information that will help him persuade his prospects into making a purchase.
Balancing expectations with budgetary and time constraints:
Organizations would like their representatives to have adequate knowledge about products. However, most often, they can’t afford to have their employees to be away from the field or workplace for an extended duration to attend product training workshops. On the other hand, organizing a comprehensive product training workshop for one or two days may not be effective in terms of knowledge retention and recollection at times of need despite the costs involved. The challenge for organizations is to come up with a cost-effective and efficient system that delivers product knowledge training to their employees on a continuous basis.
Product-centric training versus customer-centric training: It is one thing to know about products, but selling them is a different ball game all together. Sales people can no longer afford to push their products by showcasing product features. They face educated and knowledgeable customers who seek value. They need to align customer needs with the benefits that the product provides. Therefore, the challenge for organizations is to develop a training program that sells solutions to customers’ problems – and product knowledge needs to be shared in that light.
Employees, especially sales people are not intuitively interested in obtaining product knowledge. However, if they are shown how the knowledge benefits them in their day-to-day scenarios, it is more likely to be well-received. What are the challenges that your organizations faces in terms of product knowledge training? Do share your experiences.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
It is an accepted truth that employees are the valued resources of any organization. Organizational success depends entirely on the performance of the employees. In order to face their competitors, organizations have to ensure efficient employees who are capable of updating themselves in the continuously changing business environment. Now, companies spend lots of money to train and educate their employees. The importance of training and developing the employees’ skills is rapidly growing.
According to a report published by Docebo, eLearning revenues from Europe are likely to touch $ 8.1 billion by 2016.
Small and mid-sized businesses are finding it easy to provide technology-enabled learning to their employees at affordable prices. Moreover, online courses can be taken anywhere, anytime, and this useful feature helps overcome barriers such as availability of time and space.
Instructional design is the most significant aspect of a good eLearning course. Being an instructional designer or a learning technology professional, you need to design the course in such a way that it should assist the learner in applying what he has learnt to his work.
As we know, every organization follows a set of rules and regulations. Employees need to be trained on those rules and regulations to have a basic knowledge of their standards toward the organization and customers. And, they have a clear understanding of what they can do and what they cannot. So, organizations may not be at risk when their employees know about their legal duties.
E-learning is a cost-effective and an easy way to train employees, when compared to the traditional methods of teaching. So, most of the organizationsare using eLearning to fulfill their training needs. The healthcare industry makes extensive use of the online training medium.
Training managers put a lot of effort while rolling out an eLearning project, as it involves many complex tasks.
As an eLearning professional, I often work with many training managers and admire their managerial skills. It involves a lot of work like training needs analysis, collecting content, dealing with Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and developing the course for the stakeholders and learners.
Every organization needs to use their resources well to meet business goals and enhance productivity. As we know, the pharmaceutical sector is highly regulated and non-compliance to applicable laws and regulatory norms could be costly. So, you have to train your employees about rules, regulations, standards and recommended guidelines to avoid mistakes.
In my last blog, we have seen how E-learning, webinars and Mobile apps can be used to impart product training. In this blog, we will look at some more methods.
E-learning is the continuous process of learning through electronic media. Instructional design is a systematic process of learning, and this learning facilitates achievement of the intended goals. Many think that instructional design is all about using technology, but this is not the case.
“A major challenge we face today, therefore, is to create a desire in people to learn; and to foster and facilitate this desire throughout their lives.”
- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)