We keep reading blogs, articles or eBooks about product sales training that tell us, ‘well trained sales reps perform better than their fellow reps’. Guess how much more! According to a research, sales reps with strong brand expertise sell 87% more than their peers. That’s almost double! Isn’t it? Imagine how much more your company would benefit if all your sales staff were able to perform so efficiently. For that, as mentioned in the first line, you need to provide effective training to your sales team. But the question is, what exactly is Better training? What goes into a Better Training program? What is that secret ingredient that makes a Training Program a Better Training program?
Believe me, just like there was no secret ingredient in Mr. Ping’s plain old noodle soup (Kung Fu Panda), there is no secret ingredient for a Better Training program either. It’s only right information and the right amount of information. So, let’s see the five key ingredients of a product sales training program that make a Training Program a Better Training program.
1. Industry information
Industry information might be common knowledge, but it is important, so providing industry information should be the first thing on the list. As buyers today are more informed about products and services, they do not want a sales rep, instead they need an advisor. A sales rep with good industry information can deal with such educated customers efficiently. They can be ahead in the curve and attract potential customers.
2. Company information
After industry information, provide information about your company. A study conducted by Forrester reveals that 37% of sales reps are not knowledgeable about their company and product. That’s not good news at all for any organization. So, it is important that you include detailed company information in your product sales training.
3. Product information
For a sales rep, to seal the deal, product knowledge is very important. In spite of being digitally connected, smart customers may sometimes come up with tricky questions. This is where product knowledge helps your sales reps. Sufficient product knowledge also helps them make a personal connection with the prospective clients.
4. Competitors’ and their products
When there are too many companies manufacturing the same product, it becomes necessary that your sales reps have complete information about such competitors and their products in the market. Such information puts your sales reps in a position where they can demonstrate how your product is different from your competitors’ products; what advantages your products offer over the others. Such information has the probability to attract potential customers.
5. Clients’ industry & specific business
Forrester’s study reveals that 57% of the sales reps are not knowledgeable about their clients’ industry and 75% of them are not knowledgeable about their executive-level buyers’ specific business. Providing information about clients’ industry and specific business helps your sales reps use their sales skills effectively in demonstrating how the product can perfectly fit into their processes or be useful for their activities. Prospective clients feel personally connected with such information.
Finally, prepare your dish utilizing all the ingredients and garnishing them with real-life scenarios
Providing theoretical knowledge is not enough when the performing arena is a very challenging environment. Selling products or services is one such environment. Sales reps need to understand how real-life experiences can put them in a state where they would have no clue how to tackle the issue or proceed further. Forrester’s study also reveals that 77% of sales reps could not understand clients’ issues and where they could help; 78% of them had no relevant examples or case studies to share; and 70% of them were not prepared for the questions that the clients were to ask. These statistics speak volumes about how tough the real-life scenarios could be. So, after all the necessary information is delivered in the training, create activities which involve the learners in such close to real-life scenarios. This ensures that your sales reps are in a better position to handle critical situations and seal the deal.
This is how a Better Training program is developed! When your training is developed following this recipe, your sales reps will have a better learning experience. This allows them to perform to the fullest of their capabilities and provide prospective clients a trustworthy experience.