Product training involves a complete understanding of information, its application, features, benefits, and support requirements related to a particular product or service of the company. Product training is not just about exchange of product information. It is about providing high-quality product training to marketing and sales personnel to equip them to sell better against competition.
Product training-Its essential elements: It is understood that products generate revenue to the organization. Effective product training goes a long way in increasing the sales. Product training is all about taking into account the learning needs of the learners related to the product. Highly effective product training should be provided so that it helps organizations meet the challenges of the dynamic competitive environment.
E-learning for Product training: E-learning is the ideal way to impart product knowledge to learners effectively, as it may be accessed anytime, anywhere and on any device used by the learner. Also, e-learning courses are developed in quick time and may be accessed easily. A 60-minute e-learning module may be developed in about 3 weeks. The fast-paced online courses enable companies to reduce the time gap between the product launch and training vastly. It is also very beneficial to sales personnel and service technicians who find very less time to attend training.
For example, a sales executive typically is expected to attain considerable amount of product knowledge in line with the products and services that they are responsible to sell to the consumers. Product knowledge increases sales. Without product knowledge, it is quite difficult to sell and show the products’ worth that may address the shoppers’ needs. Having thorough product knowledge is always an added advantage to sell better. E-learning helps to learn and understand the information faster, as it is rolled out in smaller learning nuggets that may be viewed anytime, anywhere on multiple devices.
E-learning strategies for product training:
Videos: Videos help to demonstrate the product. It gives a virtual hands-on experience to the learners. However, for certain products, videos may not be demonstrated. Videos may not be possible for Pharmacokinetics of a particular drug. In this case, animations can demonstrate the product.
Animations: This makes an interesting imprint in the learners’ minds. Displaying the product with rich visual animations takes a step ahead in grabbing the learners’ attention and understands faster.
Simulations: Simulations are interactive demonstrations of software products where the learner may need to know the steps and the processes involved in online tools. Simulations help learners to have a watch-try-do method. In this approach, the learner first watches the steps, follows and tries the same in the course before using the software. This helps to minimize errors and complete the course faster.
Case study-based approach: This helps learners to analyze the practical situations and to know how to handle them. The approach reinforces the product value and ensures customer satisfaction.
Hotspot: This enables the learners to participate in interactivities. Clicking on the hot spot displays information for the user. Drag and drop questions and placing them with the right answers make the course more interesting.
Creating effective online product training course:
Let us now take a look into the factors that contribute to creating an effective online product training course:
Target audience: Understanding who the target audiences are is very essential while creating the course. This is because the product training course is not just for the sales and service staff but also for the end user who uses the product. Thus, the course should be developed accordingly.
Learning objectives: This defines the knowledge gained by the target audience at the end of the course. The learning objectives should be framed keeping in mind the diverse audiences.
Right strategy: There is no face-to-face interaction in an online course. So, a right instructional strategy is very essential. This keeps the learner enthusiastic and engaged throughout the course.
Right authoring tool: A right authoring tool is important, as the learners may be accustomed to using a touch screen interface and may not be interested to click and read through the content. Therefore, interactivities such as puzzles, hotspot, quiz and other such elements help learners attain comprehensive understanding of the product. Thus, choosing a right authoring tool is very essential to support such interactivities.
E-learning is an ideal medium to impart product training, as it supports learning at the need of the hour with practical knowledge transfer. It helps to have consistency across all levels of the organization.