How to Train a Sales Team About Product Knowledge
91% of Baby Boomers and around 79% of Generation Z believe that informed store staff makes in-store buying more appealing. In any sector, from retail to real estate to SaaS, knowledge is a strength. Representatives’ marketing efforts can only expand as far as their insight and know-how allow, and product knowledge is the foundation.
So how to train sales teams on the product they’re selling and guarantee that they know when to make a sale? When sales representatives have a thorough knowledge of the brand they are marketing, they have product knowledge. Why is product knowledge essential for sales representatives?
Sales representatives must know a product’s benefits and features from the consumer’s perspective to get more compelling interactions that result in purchases.
Ideas for Product Knowledge Training
1. Go over customer reviews.
Sales representatives must excel at two things: explaining the products and solving problems for customers. Sales staff must read through customer reviews to exercise both of these skills.
It will enable them to learn from consumers who use these products daily. As a result, the sales team can empathize with their prospects, address their problems, and offer a solution that the product can solve.
2. Require sales representatives to create product video tutorials.
Sales reps should preferably practice using the item or tool — or utilize it for their job — since they have a thorough knowledge of how consumers use it. The further they are using the product, the higher the chance of selling it.
It is advisable to take this concept further by asking sales representatives to produce tutorial videos of the product. It is an excellent method for them to apply what they’re learned by practicing it and discussing the in-depth features of the product with clients.
3. Consider an online learning simulation.
Another way to deliver hands-on coaching is to reinforce lessons and videos in the product training course with online learning simulations. Through simulated quizzes and dialogues, online learning simulations will resemble how salespeople communicate with clients and understand their needs. For instance, the staff may be given a fictional customer and asked to respond to a sequence of questions before choosing the optimum product for that client.
4. Develop customized sales learning strategies.
The staff and managers must be aligned in terms of goals, assets, and anticipations from the start. It must be outlined in a sales training program tailored to each representative. The strategy should consist of a meeting with a marketer or a product blueprint.
As a result, sales reps can comprehend what the product does and how it will develop in the long term. Although much of the data in each sales representative’s training program will be standardized, each plan must be slightly customized to communicate to the specific staff.
5. Use a knowledge base or a training academy.
A knowledge base or academy is a customer-facing interactive online library. Similarly, the sales representatives will benefit from this. Salespeople have extensive reserves to respond to unexpected queries thanks to instant access to learning content.
Furthermore, an interactive online library makes it easier to sell the product to prospects.
Get the sales reps run through anything from the online resources throughout product training. Numerous companies also have “required reading” for new employees, which provides material that they can bookmark and return to at any time.
6. Provide refresher training.
Regular product knowledge training to the sales team is beneficial. When the product is updated with new features and tools, it is critical to delivering regular training. Once more, the sellers must be conscious of upcoming product updates. Eventually, they can refer them during sales calls.
Google, for instance, utilizes whisper courses — bite-sized lectures delivered via email — to offer ongoing training to its managers. Google offers classes on developing psychological safety. Nevertheless, there is training on topics ranging from mentoring to inclusion.
A similar logic applies to product knowledge training. The sales representatives can practice and stay abreast of product training with short email refresher training.
7. Record and disseminate product knowledge internally.
Finally, salespeople must have a specific level of product knowledge. However, because they’re so immersed in the deed of selling, some finer details may get lost in the process. Product-related email messages to sales teams and a product-specific selling strategy can keep reps updated on what to say and sell more effectively.
8. Make use of roleplaying.
Roleplaying is a tested method for giving the sales reps a better comprehension of the product. Encourage sales representatives to take on the roles of both the client and the seller. By acting as the consumer, the salespeople can empathize and put themselves in their prospect’s perspective, making it simpler to sell.
For sure, it is also critical that they rehearse their sales spiel. A director of sales has written extensively about roleplaying. Working via a fictional situation with a team member or trainer provides a reduced aim to display the strengths, weaknesses, and hurdles.
Sales representatives can use roleplaying to:
- Practice dealing with stressful instances
- Challenge prospects on why they are trapped.
- Get used to cutting ties with leads.
- Conquer common objections.
9. Implement product training questionnaires.
Product knowledge quizzes can augment broader product learning efforts by providing an interactive learning format. When studying through specific products, this material can keep reps on their toes and attentive.
Motivate representatives to understand the material they’re studying during product training by giving them product questionnaires. They are likely to actively engage with the material when they are evaluated on the knowledge they are learning.
10. Have fun with games.
Inundating the representatives with dry, mundane lectures tends to yield decreasing returns. Staff must be motivated and even entertained. Games are an enjoyable way for sales representatives to best comprehend and interact with product knowledge content. A game is an active, engaging, and remarkably competitive activity. It’s also a fun, beneficial way to convey and evaluate the product knowledge they’ve gained during their training.
11. Utilize videos and infographics.
Product knowledge material that allows the learning process as simple and accessible is often beneficial to sales representatives. As a result, utilizing visually pleasing media is a great way to encapsulate and retain their focus while making the educational material more digestible.
This type of product knowledge learning program is also readily available. Infographics and videos are evergreen channels that representatives can quickly refer to after their training is completed.
12. Invite sales representatives to participate in focus groups.
Witnessing how real consumers utilize the products they sell is a great way to educate more effective selling efforts. Salespeople can understand better the approach and functional applications of their products if they can witness real consumers use and think about the items they sell.
The salespeople will be able to pitch the offering mindfully now that they have that knowledge. Understanding why customers like the product and how it works, enables salespeople to queue in on the key points, features, and value propositions that prospects will be most responsive to.
13. Provide examples.
Examples place things into perspective — and representatives are often open to that level of clarification. Since sales reps comprehend how the product is utilized, case studies help them recall tools and features (not only theory). In addition, the sales representatives can refer to case studies in their selling process.
According to a senior content sales manager, case studies highlight specific aspects of the service or product that benefit the prospect’s organization. It aids in the development of trust and credibility. The same concept prevails for product training. Providing the sales representatives case studies outlines unique aspects the product can benefit their prospects.
14 Assess film reviews.
Sales staff listening and giving feedback on the audio of a salesperson on a call are referred to as film reviews. Sales representatives can use good recommendations to enhance their sales process if they receive enforceable feedback from colleagues.
Every time a new salesperson and prospect with distinctive needs and difficulties are featured in a film review, a query may arise: Why did this prospect answer the call? If a sales representative cannot answer this question, they most likely failed to recognize their customer’s pressing need. In the absence of such information, the seller won’t effectively explain the value of their products — and may eventually lose the deal.
15. Include mobile learning.
Some sales staff would want to learn on the go, including traveling to work, meal preparation, or going for a daily walk. In catering to these types of learners, it is critical to provide a product knowledge education in a mobile-friendly format. It could imply integrating podcasts, mobile applications, or text messages into the sales training course.
Developing Salespeople into Product Experts
Understanding a product from the inside out is a primary determinant of a top-performing salesperson. With product knowledge coaching, the sales representatives can answer questions and criticisms throughout the sales process.