Product training is essential for sales people so that they are better equipped to clinch deals when interacting with customers. During classroom trainings, the product training curriculum can be all comprehensive and is typically bundled with sales training. However, when designing product training for online delivery, it is not the same.
In order that the product training is as effective during online delivery as much as during face to face interactions, you need to have:
1. Right Content that is optimized for virtual delivery,
2. A robust Instructional Strategy that leverages the online medium and maximizes learning and
3. A set of developmental tools that can quickly convert your learning strategy-treated content into an e-learning course that can be translated quickly and launched in a matter of hours.
Right Content: Product training content for sales people need to be made practical and useful to the sales people. They need to be provided with information that is applicable during their day to day job scenarios. Any product training content for sales people should cover the following:
- Position of Product in the product portfolio
- Customer profiles
- Features, advantages and benefits of products
- Accessories, bundling and cross selling ideas
- AMC information
- Comparison with competing products
- Tips for selling
Robust Instructional Strategy: Online instructional strategy needs to be different from classroom strategy for the simple reason that the medium is different. Instructional Goals for product training are typically to,
- Build Confidence of the sales person while selling a product
- Provide clear differentiation of different products in a product family
- Explain complex terminology in simple terms that potential customer can understand
- Address multiple learner profile – sales personnel, channel partners, distributors and customers
- Easy update/Maintainability of content so that future updates and changes in content can be done quickly
Appropriate Development Tools: Developing online product training requires the help of technology in terms of rapid authoring tools for developing the courses and learning management system to host the courses. Criteria for choosing the right tools should be as follows:
- Should be easy for development
- Should be easy to translate courses into multiple languages
- Courses developed should be compatible with multi-devices like smart phones, IPads and so on.
- Course should be SCORM-compliant for tracking on an LMS
- Should be adequately interactive to engage sales people
- Should have at least minimal animations to capture learner attention
- The need for skilled personnel to update courses should be minimum.
Thus, once you have the right content, robust instructional strategy and development tools to bring it to life you can develop quick product training courses for your global sales force, channel partners, distributors and even customers.