Multitudes of products are launched by organizations every day, particularly in high tech and electronics industry. As a result, products have a shorter life. Consider the predicament of a sales guy. Just as he gets comfortable with product features and benefits of one product, another is launched and he now needs to get familiar with the newly released version. He can’t afford to display his ignorance as not being able to answer questions about his company’s products would be construed as incompetence and will affect his chances of impressing a prospective customer in decision-making.
Secondly, products have become complex in nature with various versions making it necessary for the sales person to recall a lot of information. Is it practical to remember the features and USPs of all the products including those of different versions? Too add to this, in addition to his own company’s products, a sales person needs to know about his competitors’ products as well; if he intends to provide better customer value. It is not easy to remember all the features of the product, its comparative features with competing products, value benefits to customers and so on.
Just take the example of Lenovo’s recent press release in which they have announced new products for the year 2012. There are about 16 products under 8 different categories. Each category has a name and under each category there are different model numbers. This could be very beneficial to customers as they are offered a wide choice, but it means that much more information needs to be processed by a sales person. Imagine how much his life gets complicated. It looks like every month one additional model is getting launched along with the existing models. He will have the pressure to approach new market segments and compete with new competition. As the range of products increase, so does his sales targets. We never hear of reduced sales targets for sales persons. Targets always keep increasing quarter by quarter, year by year.
Therefore, one of the biggest challenges faced by sales training managers is to provide product training where too much information needs to be assimilated in very short time. How do you think this can be done? What the different ways that we can address this situation? It would be interesting to hear your experiences and view on this subject.