Sales people are the mediators between an organization and its customers. Customers have a need and the products of the organization are meant to satisfy that need. It is the sales people who will have to understand the need and convey the value proposition of the product to prospective customers. Therefore, product knowledge training for sales people assumes significance.
How can product knowledge training be made more relevant and purposeful to sales people? To ensure that product knowledge training is successful for sales people it needs to fulfill two objectives:
- Sales personnel should have a thorough understanding of the product
- Develop product selling skills of the sales team
Here are some of the ideas that help design effective product knowledge training for sales people.
What benefits do the products provide customers?
It is really not required for sales people to have in-depth product knowledge. It is difficult for sales team to keep pace with detailed products’ knowledge, especially when products in the product line are increasing. However, what is extremely important for them is to identify customers’ needs and know which of their products best meet those needs. Using the context that is familiar to the sales person, scenario-based content can be developed that is bound to have better retention for sales people.
Product features in comparison to those of competitors
It is important for sales people to understand how their products fare with respect to those of the competition. Customers today are very demanding. They have access to information that was not easily available earlier. They tend to do preliminary research about competing products even before their first meeting with a sales representative. Therefore, sales personnel need to be prepared with an array of answers to questions that might be posed by customers. Good product knowledge training will address this issue and show the sales force how they can win over competition.
Market and industry knowledge as a part of product training
Selling cannot be done in isolation. You need to be sensitive to varied market forces and the buyer behavior that tend to influence sales. In this context, product knowledge training will need to provide a brief overview about the industry trends with respect to the company’s products. If your products are bound by any industry regulations, sales personnel need to be educated about the same. This way they will be better prepared to answer customer queries.
The bottom line is that you need to equip your sales team with information that will help them sell. Product knowledge training for sales people is not about providing product knowledge but it is about enabling sales people to use the product knowledge to sell, win over customers and increase their sales. It is about providing just-in-time knowledge that is made available to the sales team right from the time they plan their sales-call.