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.