What is the objective of delivering product training to sales people? Is it just to empower them with the relevant knowledge of features and benefits of products? How can product training help in empowering sales team and thereby increase sales? These are a few questions that a manager needs to answer while planning a product training session for his sales team.
How to empower sales forces with product training?
1) Product training is imparted either by product managers or sales managers depending on the company. However, we need to understand some basic facts. It’s true that a product manager possess an in depth knowledge of the product features and benefits. But at same time, it is also true that he does not possess the knowledge of what is happening in the market – how customers are reacting to it? So, a product manager does not understand the real challenges encountered by a sales person on a day to day basis. Therefore, it would be better if a sales person having sound product knowledge conducts the training session. This has two positive implications. Firstly, while delivering training he/ she will always think from the perspective of a sales person. Secondly, the sales person will feel comfortable in attending the session as they are able to relate theoretical aspects with practical ones.
2) Another important way of empowering a salesperson is by giving him sufficient knowledge about competitor’s product, its features and pricing. This helps them to be ready with answers when customers make a comparative analysis. They also understand the strengths and weaknesses of his own product. Thus it enables the sales people to highlight the positive points of his product.
3) The questions that customers pose while viewing a product demo are quite predictable. These could be related to the product, its usage or its features in comparison to the competitor’s product. So, a simple FAQ list can be prepared and given to sales people. It enables sales person to be mentally prepared with the plausible answers to questions.
4) Role plays are another means to impart product training. It provides practical demonstration of the real life situations that he would encounter when demonstrating a product to a customer. Possible role play scenarios could be – a difficult customer who is not convinced about product features or a customer who complains about faulty product. Role plays can be used to show a sales person how he can handle such situations. It also helps him understand the importance of product knowledge.
5) Quiz is another means by which important features of the product can be highlighted. This not only tests the product knowledge of sales people but also helps in revisiting key product features and other relevant information.
6) Online product training is another option for organizations that do not have resources or budget to invest in the instructor led training programs. This is a cost-effective option to educate sales people about new products or product features in a short notice.
It is true that sales people are one of the representatives of any organization. They are the people who directly face a customer, understand their needs and provide solutions in form of products most appropriate to fulfill their requirements. Therefore, it is important for sales people to understand their products better so that they can educate customers more convincingly. This is where product training becomes very critical.