One of the most important factors for the organization to survive in this competitive environment is to launch a series of new and upgraded products and most often they need to do it in a short span of time. As a result, many companies require speedy implementation of product training for their employees. For this purpose organizations find eLearning or technology enabled learning to be a viable option, for product trainings as they can be implemented quickly and economically.
But here the problem arises particularly when you have to choose an instructional strategy that caters to a diverse and geographically spread target audiences. They may be sales people, customer service representatives etc. They may belong to different regions of the world. To solve these problems the instructional designer for the product training must have a clear idea of his/her audiences.
In case the product training is for the sales force, let us see what are the instructional strategies used for global roll-out of product training:
- Explain Products Using Comparisons
Products cannot be taught in isolation. The features and benefits of each product must be explained by comparing it with other products in the same product line and with competitors. These comparisons can be done by charts, tables, pictures in interactive ways. While using pictures try to avoid text on the images as it may increase the work load during translations.
- Through Videos
Videos are the best way to teach about a product. Product demo videos are suitable for explaining the operation of a product. Videos of a product give employees virtual hands on training experience and are next best to viewing it in person.
Assessments should not only test the knowledge of the sales people but also about the practical applicability of that knowledge. For example when customer requirements are specified to sales people, they must be able to sell the product by promoting the correct features of the product keeping the customer’s needs in mind.
- Localization and Translations
Product training course for global sales force should be localized to suit the local market scenario. The course content has to be modified and made relevant to the target audience. Translating the course into different languages is huge task. Many elements such as narrations, text on images, pronunciations of audio script, storyboard formats etc. should be carefully considered to suit local sensibilities.
These are some strategies one follows when designing product training for sales people. The strategy may differ for other set of audience. However, the main objective in designing the course remains the same – how well the learning objectives of individuals are addressed through the course.
If you have any strategies that you adopt for product training for other segments of people such as service engineers, technicians, channel partners, do share the same.