Use just-in-time training.
Make sales training content and job aids available online and on multiple types of devices. If sales professionals can access product information quickly and easily, they are more likely to use it when and where they need it, even when they’re on the road. Publishing training content online also makes it easier to refresh when products are updated.
Provide opportunities to practice.
Use role-plays, simulations, game mechanics and other techniques to provide opportunities for sales professionals to apply their product knowledge in real-life situations. Pair learners together so that one can practice being the customer and one can be the salesperson, practicing common objections and questions before they are in the field.
Chunk training content into bite-sized pieces: one module per product or service. Microlearning helps employees process and retain information, and limiting modules to a single topic can prevent cognitive overload. Short, bite-sized videos can demonstrate products or services quickly and effectively, providing a concrete, visual memory for salespeople to draw on later.
Provide product refresher training.
Make sure product knowledge training is ongoing. If sales professionals aren’t selling one particular product every day, they will need reminders on what the products are and what customer problems they solve. Integrate training into your organizational culture so that employees seek training when they need it.
Partner with marketing.
Your marketing department likely has a great deal of collateral on the products and services your company offers. Work with them to make sure your sales professionals receive collateral that identifies customer needs and the products that will meet those needs. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you have experts already in your company!
To be successful, sales professionals need the selling skills to communicate value and close deals. But they also need the confidence that comes from a deep understanding of customer needs and their company’s offerings. Product knowledge training can transform employees from sellers to client partners.