The Importance of Product Training
Your salespeople need to have a thorough understanding of the products and services that you offer to customers. They might be able to pick up some of this knowledge on-the-job, but the more effective approach is to create product training.
When thinking about product training, it’s helpful to clarify what is meant by product knowledge. It is not just about remembering a list of features, specifications, or functions. After all, depending on the products you sell, your customers might be able to get that information from the internet.
The level of product knowledge you should be striving for is an understanding of the product from the customer’s perspective. For example, not just what a feature of the product does, but why that feature is beneficial and what is the experience of using it.
Here’s why this is important.
Improves the Customer Experience
Today’s customers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are highly familiar with using the internet to research information about the products they are considering buying. Therefore, salespeople need to offer something more than the features, reviews, and ratings that can be found online.
For products and services that don’t have as much of an online presence, the salesperson’s knowledge is even more important.
Product training will equip your salespeople with the ability to answer customer questions, including difficult questions. It also helps them properly explain the product and sell the benefits, creating a better overall customer experience.
Enhances Salesperson Confidence
Confidence is a crucial attribute for sales professionals. However, not fully understanding the products you are selling can dent that confidence. As a result, a lack of product knowledge can hit the sales process on two fronts:
- The salesperson can’t answer questions or properly present the product
- The customer will lose confidence because of the lack of confidence displayed by the salesperson
Product training can give your salespeople a confidence boost, particularly in their presentation of the product and ability to answer questions and provide demonstrations.
Builds Trust with Customers
Trust is very important in sales. If the customer doesn’t trust the salesperson, they are unlikely to make a purchase. A lack of product knowledge is one of the ways your salespeople can lose credibility, resulting in a lack of trust.
The flip side is true as well – if your salespeople have a good level of product knowledge, they can use this to build trust in themselves, your company, and your products.
Helps With Overcoming Objections
There are many techniques that salespeople use to overcome objections. Whatever the technique, however, product knowledge is essential in many situations. If the salesperson doesn’t know what they are talking about in relation to the product, they won’t be able to change the customer’s mind or move them closer to a buying decision.
Helps You Beat the Competition
Product training that gives your sales team a good level of product knowledge will help your company stand out from your competition. You will be looked at as the thought leaders and experts in your field, making your brand the first that comes to mind when customers think about your products.
This doesn’t guarantee you will get the sale, of course, as there are many other factors that influence buying decisions. However, it will give your company and salespeople an edge over your competition.
Promotes Internal Brand Advocacy
Internal brand advocacy is where your employees are passionate about the products and services you sell to customers. They may even be customers themselves.
When your employees like and use the products you sell, they are more likely to promote those products outside the traditional sales process. In fact, the employees who are advocates for your brand might not even be on the sales team.
For your salespeople, genuinely liking your products to the point where they are also customers will add authenticity when they are selling.
How does product training impact brand advocacy? Your employees might not use your products because they don’t properly understand them. Product training will bridge this knowledge gap, creating the conditions where those employees can become brand advocates.
Helps Generate Sales
The bottom line is that product training will increase sales. Your salespeople will have more confidence, and they will know what they are talking about, making it easier to answer difficult questions and overcome objections. This will lead to your customers having more trust in the salesperson and your brand, all of which will help move the customer closer to a buying decision.
Not Just for Your Sales Team
Product knowledge isn’t just beneficial for your sales team, so you should consider offering product training to staff in other departments as well. An example includes your customer service team to help them deal with issues, queries, and complaints. Another example is your HR team as having a better understanding of your products might help with recruitment.
Using E-Learning to Create Product Training
E-learning is a highly effective tool for product training because it is cost-effective, flexible, and easy to distribute. In the next blog in this series, we’ll look at the advantages of using e-learning for product training and, in a future blog, we’ll look at how to make e-learning product training successful.