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.
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In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.
IPad – a device that has revolutionized the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or using this device from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. No longer were learners required to carry “heavy” laptops or remain confined to their desks. People could conveniently go through online courses on these devices. Indeed, these devices have truly made learning anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to training, most organizations have a need for product training. Be it manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electronics or finance, product training needs to be imparted by companies in all industries. So, how does one cater to a single form of training for such different segments? In this post, we will look at a few effective e-learning design strategies that are best suited for product training across various industries.
Curriculum-based courses are very much in demand today. Organizations prefer curriculum-based courses to stand-alone courses. Curriculum courses cater to a long running training program that usually runs for a period of two to three months. It is a course that has several modules which instruct on a particular subject in-depth. From the learner’s perspective, these modules would be easy to grasp and understand. They can be bite-sized modules that are easily accessible by the learners, anywhere, anytime, as per their convenience. Since all the modules of a curriculum are inter-related to each other, it is a tough task to develop such modules effectively.
Ask Compliance managers what they expect from a good online compliance course, and all of them will say, “It should make our employees adhere to rules and policies.”
Most of the companies provide compliance training through e-learning, and often, these courses have high dropout rates. Poor instructional strategies are one of the main reasons for this problem.
Before we begin, let us look at the big question — What does “Just-in-Time (JIT) Learning” mean?
Just-in-time (JIT) learning systems deliver training to employees when and where they need it.
Mobile devices are excellent tools to provide just-in-time information or learning. Learners can access relevant information whenever they need it and can use this information as a reference when in doubt and for making the right decisions.
Being an instructional designer, I can understand how it feels when your project does not meet the client expectations at the final stage. This leads to complete rework of your project, which in turn causes substantial wastage of your time and effort. All this rework and failure to meet stipulated project schedules are the results of the lack of proper communication with your client.