Is selling an art or a science? I think it’s a combination of both, because a salesperson is supposed to have thorough technical knowledge on products he sells, and also possess persuasive selling skills. It is common knowledge that it takes years of practice to hone sales skills. But then, that’s no excuse for not meeting sales targets in the here and now.
As managers leading sales teams or being in charge of product training for sales teams, you are already familiar with the effort it takes to get a new salesman up the learning curve. How can you reduce this effort? Instead of delivering product and sales training separately, think of delivering them simultaneously for maximum impact. But wouldn’t that mean overwhelming learners with a lot of information on products as well as on sales skills? Think of a training strategy that can fit into the schedule of a busy salesperson, and the one strategy that fits the bill is ‘microlearning’.
Goals of Product Sales Training
The basic expectation from any product sales training is to help the sales team:
- Ask customers the right questions to understand their needs
- Match the customer’s needs with the right product or service
- Position the product’s value as superior to similar products in the market
Microlearning has a variety of assets that can be leveraged to deliver effective product sales training. What exactly are these assets, how can you use them, and what benefits do they bring? Read on to know more.
Using a quiz as a microlearning asset is a great strategy to test learners on the basic concepts of sales as well as on product knowledge. It offers the following benefits.
- Motivates learners
Any training program needs to be designed in a way that makes people want to learn. Even before you begin product sales training, you can use quizzes as a pre-test to gauge the learner’s current knowledge. This gives learners the opportunity to control the learning process as they are able to decide which topic in the training requires more focus.
- Assesses knowledge levels
A microlearning asset in the form of a quiz can also be used to assess the success of your product sales training. If you do not want a simple assessment, and want to make the learning process fun and interesting, you could give gamified assessments a try.
Efficient sales teams know their products. But when an organization deals with multiple products, it is a challenge to remember all the information related to a product, especially for someone who’s new on the sales team. Videos as a microlearning asset work well for product sales training. Here’s how a video helps:
- Demonstrate a product
Sales teams, in their enthusiasm to share product knowledge can end up overwhelming a potential customer by making it sound more complex than it is. A salesman might know all the selling skills but if he doesn’t know how to simplify complex terminology to make it easier for the buyer to understand, sales might get hit. Videos in product sales training can be used to train salespeople on the most effective way to explain a product by demonstrating how it works or by explaining its features is a simple way.
- Boost Sales Skills
Videos as a microlearning asset can provide quick, standalone training for your sales teams. A video can explain how to handle customer queries on products. Videos can also include sales tips from experts as part of your product sales training.
Similar to videos, animations can be used to explain a product’s working or its features, but their greatest strength is the ability to ‘show and tell’. Let’s say you are part of a pharmaceutical company with medical reps who have to sell different drugs. Before sales reps go ahead with selling these medicines in the market, they need to understand the purpose of using a specific drug and its contraindications. It may not be possible to explain a serious contraindication of a drug using a video, but it is possible through an animation.
4. Sales Simulations
Product sales training is not about having learners skim through pages of information. Your sales teams will be able to sell better if they can understand the real-world challenges they will face when dealing with customers.
A sales simulation can:
- Include what-if scenarios that help salesmen fail in a safe environment
- Shorten the learning cycle as learners get instant feedback after going through a simulation
- Train learners to apply critical sales skills
5. Interactive Resources
Resources such as interactive PDFs and interactive infographics can act as a quick reference guide for learners going through a product sales training. These high-quality interactive resources act as effective performance support tools (PSTs) that aid in boosting the performance of sales teams.
The benefits of using these microlearning assets for product sales training are displayed in the following table:
Providing just-in-time information on products makes a big difference to your sales teams. And microlearning assets, are just what you need to arm your sales teams with the product knowledge they need to boost sales. Microlearning assets are bite-sized, but they pack quite a punch in terms of providing learners with the right information, at the right time, and boost the return-on-investment (ROI) on training.