Why do even the best of products fail? Well, in many cases, product launches go haywire because of one major reason – ineffective training. This is usually the result of the following mistakes.
Mistake 1: NOT considering product sales training as important
Many organizations spend their time and money on the creation of a new product. While it is important to ensure that the product has the best of features, it is equally important to train people on the product. Firms often put training on the backburner and allocate few resources for educating their people on the product. According to a survey conducted by Corporate Visions, only 38 percent of sales reps receive formal training for new product launches. No wonder, product launches are unsuccessful.
Mistake 2: NOT focusing on the benefits of the product
Organizations need to sell the benefits of their products, not their features. People want to know how the product will help them meet their needs and are less interested in its specifications. Buyers want to find out how your product scores over those of your competitors. Therefore, your product training program for your sales staff needs to emphasize on the key differentiators and its unique advantages rather than focusing primarily on its features.
Mistake 3: NOT appreciating the importance of customer education
The quality of customer education can often make the difference between the success and failure of a new product. Joan Schneider and Julie Hall of Schneider Associates point out that buyers need to be educated considerably well before launching a new product, as it defines a new category. They suggest using social media to educate customers about new products. More about it in a moment.
Mistake 4: NOT utilizing the full potential of social media
Social-networking and micro-blogging sites go a long way in spreading word about our products. They can also be used to build “deeper relationships” with existing customers. Twitter is used widely to scout for sales opportunities and LinkedIn helps find out the details of potential customers. Other social networking sites such as Facebook and blogs have also proved to be invaluable in engaging customers. However, organizations do not have much “control” over social media.
Mistake 5: NOT providing good training to members of the sales chain
It is well-known that distributors and dealers play a key role in the success of a product. Schneider and Hall state that many companies fail to educate the members of the sales chain, and this results in the products not finding a place on the shelves. Firms often hesitate to provide access to their Learning Management Systems (LMSs) to the staff of their distributors and dealers for security reasons. This problem can be overcome by using an add-on LMS for the learners of the extended enterprise. Open-source LMSs such as MOODLE can be used to deliver training to these learners in a cost-effective manner.
Thus, we see that by avoiding these mistakes, companies can impart effective product sales training and ensure that their new products are a big hit. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.