Product knowledge training is an integral part of sales training. Until recently, businesses banked on classroom training to train their sales skills and product knowledge. But with the increase in product profile and growth of business, many of them have turned to online learning to train their salespeople.
While online learning offers the convenience of enabling to train salespeople in diverse locations and allowing them to take it at their convenience, it comes with challenges of catering to diverse audience profiles and meeting the needs of learners who have limited exposure to technology-aided learning.
Come to think of it, the learners for such a course are the salespeople who are on the field and need to know about the products to convince prospects. Learners are service technicians who need to know about the product design, its functions and troubleshooting process. And if you are a global organization, you need to consider the diversity of your sales teams and the product line for different regions.
To meet these challenges, you should consider the right strategies to make online product knowledge training successful. This blog explores a few strategies to help you.
Consider the learner profile: The learner profile especially if it is a global organization will consist of people with diverse socio-economic and educational backgrounds, so the course content should be designed keeping this in mind.
Some of your learners may not be very comfortable using technology-aided learning. So the courses have to be designed in such a way that they do not overwhelm the learner. For instance using more text in your courses may put off the learner, you need to provide information in the form of graphics and pictures. Voice-overs can be used in the course to replace the text. Instructional strategies in your online training such as simulations and interactivities will have the desired effect.
Use microlearning: The target audience of your training are mostly people on the move-sales and service technicians who are short on time to go through long e-learning courses. Delivering product knowledge in the form of microlearning nuggets that are available on mobile devices will enable them to refer to them anytime and anywhere.
Microlearning modules can be used to provide updates on products or new product launches to your learners. Salespeople can be given this information even before the product is launched so that they can communicate this information better to prospects. Microlearning nuggets can provide just-in-time support to service technicians. They can pull up a microlearning module for reference when they need information while on the job.
Use varied formats: You have the option to use varied formats in both e-learning and microlearning to train your salespeople. Videos can explain the functioning of products effectively. They can be used for product demos to prospects and can be valuable in situations when live demos are not possible.
Webinars can be your choice when you want to hold the attention of people for a longer period of time. Live webinars can be recorded and provided on demand and translated into multiple languages to reach a global audience.
Mobile apps can be used to provide just-in-time support to your sales personnel. Picture this, a medical sales rep is talking to a medical practitioner about a particular drug, the prospect wants to know the side effects of the drug on children, and the salesperson can immediately reach out for the information on his mobile app and answer the prospect’s questions.
E-books especially interactive ones can be used to deliver product manuals and brochures as online resources.
Design the training to suit low Internet speeds: Sales persons and service personnel are mostly on the move and may not always enjoy optimum internet access. To overcome this hurdle, your course must be designed to function in low bandwidths as well. The courses must have features that will make them functional in low Internet speeds.
Include easy- to -download content: Apart from comprehensive information on the product, including a range of easy to download material such as job aids, FAQs posed by customers and prospects and their answers or detailed descriptions of the product will help your salespeople access them offline or take printouts if required. These can act as performance support for your salespeople which they can access whenever they need information.
Usage of the right content, design strategies and varied formats can make your online product training effective. The above strategies will help you create trainings that will provide sustained support and improve the selling skills of your sales personnel. It will certainly help them to learn and perform better.