4 myths about product training and how to overcome them
Your sales department is directly responsible for your revenue, so you want to give them all the support you can. Product sales training increases earnings by making your reps experts in your product and helping them build strong relationships with customers.
So why not build it into your regular training and development program?
Organizations don’t always prioritize product training because they don’t see its full value or know how to implement it.
In this article, we will debunk some of the myths that may be preventing you from using product training in your organization. Then we’ll show you how it can benefit your sales team and share tips on how to make your training engaging and successful.
What is Sales Product Training?
Product training is an educational program focused on the advantages and disadvantages of your products or services. It includes features, policies and best practices to help customers get the most out of your offerings.
Product training will ensure your reps have the product knowledge to confidently sell and support your target customers.
It’s a pretty big deal, so implementing product training for your sales team can seem intimidating at first. But with a good understanding of what it is (and what it isn’t) and a little planning, you can move forward with confidence.
Myths about product training
Before we talk about how sales product training can help your company, let’s talk about why you might be hesitating.
Many organizations overlook the training of sales teams because they think that implementing an extensive training program is beyond their capabilities. If they have training, they misunderstand what it should look like. They end up with an incomplete course and miss out on key benefits.
Here are some of the myths that keep companies from offering product training—and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: Product training is purely technical
People assume that training is only about the technical features and functions of the product they are offering.
Truth: Training should include all the information sales reps need to communicate the usefulness of your product. This can include market analysis (including competitor comparisons), customer issues and best practices for using your product.
The right information turns your sales reps into experts and brand advocates.
Myth #2: Product training is only for tech-savvy people
Product training often includes videos, simulations, and technical tutorials. So many people think it won’t be accessible to marketers whose work doesn’t always involve a lot of use of the latest technology.
Truth: Technology often plays a big role in effective product training. However, well-designed courses are accessible to all employees. The right sales training platform can help you easily organize and implement your course. And a simple smartphone-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate, engage and complete training.
Myth #3: Product training is only for new hires
Many see product training as a tool to bring new hires up to speed. They do not see the need for more experienced team members to participate.
Truth: Yes, training should be a key part of your onboarding process. But products, sales processes and markets are constantly evolving, and even your best people benefit from regular learning and development.
Myth #4: Product training is a one-time event
While they are open to training sales teams, leaders assume they only need to cover the content once.
Truth: Continuous development is the basis of successful sales. Even the most experienced employees need a refresher on the basics. You should regularly update employees on new product features, the latest resources, and best practices for connecting with customers.
How product training benefits your sales team
You benefit when your sales team understands your products and services. It’s easier to sell something when you know every detail about it. But the benefits go beyond that. Here are 5 ways product training can be key to increasing sales.
1. Facilitates cross-selling and up-selling
A team member who understands your products can more clearly see the connections between client needs and your solutions. They will better recognize opportunities to introduce different products to customers. Or propose a deeper integration of existing solutions within the client company.
2. Turns the salesperson into a strong advocate
When a sales representative believes in your product, they will naturally be excited to sell it. Employees who understand how your product can improve the lives of your customers have more energy to sell it. They will go above and beyond to close more deals.
3. Increases the confidence of sales representatives
Armed with market and product knowledge, team members will not hesitate to push for sales. When they can create informative presentations and answer challenging questions, they are more likely to engage in conversation. And that means faster conversion and more revenue.
4. Helps reps align solutions with customer pain points
Understanding specific product use cases will help your sales team position your product. They show customers how your solution can solve their unique problems. And the ability to offer targeted solutions will accelerate the sales cycle.
5. Builds trust with clients
When your team knows your product inside out, they can answer difficult sales questions. Customers looking for solutions to complex problems will feel comfortable turning to your team for answers. They will trust your representatives for the best information and most relevant solutions.
Tips for getting salespeople involved in your training
As useful as product training can be, salespeople may not be immediately willing to make time for it in their busy schedules. To get the full impact, you need to help your team take advantage of this learning opportunity.
Here are some tips for designing engaging sales training that will capture the attention and commitment of your team.
Communicate value up front
Share what your employees will gain from the training (including the above benefits) in the invitation and course description. If relevant, include referrals from those who have already completed the training. Add quotes from other employees about how it helped them. Or share customer success stories that have become a result of the course.
Make your content compelling and interactive
Make the most of your LMS and include engaging media such as videos and infographics. Prevent training from becoming a passive experience with interactive quizzes or exercises. Different students respond to different stimuli. These features will keep their attention and make them think more deeply about the content.
Make it accessible with microlearning
Break lessons into short chunks that make it easier for students to focus on one concept. And choose a platform that can be formatted for mobile devices. Today’s students are used to navigating and accessing information on their smartphones. Make it easy for them to engage by putting your content on a familiar platform.
Product training should be part of the employee experience
Product training shouldn’t be “just another course” that sales teams have to take. Instead, it should be a natural part of an ongoing development strategy.
Your sales team’s product knowledge is at the heart of their job. When you invest in training, you increase their ability and motivation to talk to customers about your product. And that means stronger sales and happier customers for you.