Products (or services for that matter) are instrumental for the existence of any company. It means that organizations exist to market their products and generate revenue for their business. In this context, everybody in the company should know about what products their company deals with. That said, not everybody needs to have the same level of understanding about the products. For most employees, a simple introduction about the products would be adequate during their induction program. However, some employees require specialized product training sessions as they are closely involved either with the development or sales of the product. Broadly speaking product knowledge training is essential for:
- Personnel in the product development department
- Personnel in the service department
- Personnel in the marketing and sales department
- Channel partners or distributors
- Buyers or end-users who use the product
Each of the groups mentioned above are connected with the product in some way or the other.
New employees/Customer service representatives/ Tele-sales executives
Employees who join one of these departments would need to get an understanding about the product and hence they require training. Customer service representatives or tele-sales executives might just need enough information to direct customer queries to the right sales team member.
Product development team & Service team
While the product development team needs to know about current features and the features desired by customers, the service department needs to understand the product in greater detail to be able to troubleshoot customer complaints.
Sales & Marketing team/Channel partners/distributors
Channel partners and distributors need to be constantly updated about the changes in the product, incentives, schemes, and features. The sales and marketing department needs to have enough information about the products so that they are able to educate prospective customers about the value it provides them.
Similarly customers also need to be educated about using the product. They need to be told about product installation, features and correct usage of the product along with some basic troubleshooting techniques.
Therefore, can there be standard product knowledge training for all of them? Would it be an effective option? Sales and marketing people would be bored if they had to sit in a product training session along with service engineers and technicians. Similarly, the training needs of customers would be completely different and only relevant and appropriate information needs to be shared with them. In this context, what would be an ideal training option?
The most appropriate training option would be to have eLearning modules that are suitable for different segments of people. While service engineers could have blended learning with some modules done in the class and others online, others can have the convenience of online learning. Content can be designed in a manner that is easily divided into small modules. Based on the user profiles, only relevant modules would appear that are most suitable for their requirement. Using an online format can provide you a cost-effective, viable and practical product knowledge training option for your organization.