Editor’s Note: This blog post has been updated in December 2021.
The more you know, the better you sell
Clear and accurate product knowledge is an important skill of sales. It is integral for sales personnel to understand the product and the features they are selling. Customers will respond better to a sales pitch when they are able to trust that the person they are speaking with has accurate information. A conversation with a customer can also flow better when sales representatives have this prerequisite knowledge about the product.
This survey indicates that 89% of customers become frustrated when questions about a product need to be repeated to multiple representatives. In this way, product training can alleviate frustration for both sales personnel as well as customers.
There are several facets to effective Product knowledge:
- Training for product and service knowledge
- Training to discern the challenges faced by clients and prospects
- Developing an ability to map solutions to challenges during a conversation
In this blog post, we explore six significant gains of superior product knowledge in sales, and how organizations can empower the sales force. We conclude with a case study involving a globally recognized brand and its quest to boost the skill of sales teams. An effort that also resulted in exponential growth for their range of products and services.
Do take a minute to review this interesting infographic about product knowledge in sales, and the impact on customers.
Table of Contents
1. Product Knowledge Builds Confidence
Sales personnel should possess fluent knowledge of the product and service that they are selling. Product knowledge training imparts the skills and knowledge necessary to help your sales associates communicate concepts and ideas clearly during customer interactions. Product knowledge can also help sales personnel deal with any tough questions that customers may have about the product. Product Training empowers your sales personnel to exceed customer expectations and handle a sales conversation with ease. Capable product knowledge exhibited by the sales team also helps customers to become more confident with the product, leading to product adoption and brand loyalty. Train sales teams to be knowledge experts in their domain.
2. Product Knowledge to Counter Customer Objections
Objections that are raised by customers are often unanswered questions. Often, objections that are managed correctly can pave the way for a successful sale. Competent and accurate product knowledge allows salespeople to easily counter objections.
Refresher training helps ensure that your sales team has the latest information about a product or service. Troubleshooting platforms available for the sales can prepare them to counter objections with viable solutions, a necessary skill of sales teams.
3. Product Knowledge Helps Understand Competition Better
The internet’s vast repository of knowledge has created a more educated consumer base. Product knowledge is an asset that allows your sales team to stay ahead of the competition. Customers are highly interested in how a salesperson explains the products and how they can ably compare with equivalent products available in the market. Thorough research to analyze positioning, features, and benefits will go a long way in making a successful sale. Product knowledge is significant to overcome other market challenges too.
4. Product Knowledge Builds Trust with Customers
Building customer trust is critical in any industry. Customers must trust the product and the company before they make a purchase. The first point of contact for a customer is the sales personnel. Product knowledge training for sales teams ensures they provide customers with the most accurate information about the products and services. Competent and knowledgeable personnel make a more polished sales pitch, leading to establishing a trusted partnership between customers and the sales team. Would you agree that relationship building is a crucial skill of sales professionals?
5. Product Knowledge to Stay Current and Relevant
In a survey, the Sales Management Association found that 8 out of 10 companies have introduced a new product or service in the past year. The survey also finds that 70% of businesses pursued new markets or verticals and 61% made significant changes to their key value proposition. Today’s businesses evolve rapidly to keep up with the changing market. Product Training helps give sales representatives the tools, resources, and knowledge to stay abreast of the latest developments. All this will collectively add in making a compelling pitch to the customer.
6. Product Knowledge to Create the Ideal Customer Experience
The ideal customer journey begins with the first interaction between a customer and a company’s representative. Product Knowledge training can ensure a smooth and seamless transition from a prospective customer to a loyal customer. This is why improving customer experiences has become a major component of corporate strategy. There is no doubt that companies that create exceptional customer experiences can set themselves apart from their competitors. This is exemplified by real-world examples such as Amazon, Inc. that prides itself on putting the customer first. Did you know that customer onboarding experiences can be improved through product training?
Now that we have established a thorough perspective of how superior product knowledge in sales can assist in many ways, let us proceed with how organizations can empower teams.
- Creating product training programs for sales is a critical necessity and not a luxury. Complete and transparent product information needs to flow from the engineers’ desk to the sales team. A complete lowdown of the product, features, capabilities, advantages, challenges and so much more. And this is not a one-time activity, as the product will go through numerous updates, upgrades and even become a range of products. In short, product training is a continuous process and training content will be regularly churned.
Owing to the extent of investment in time and money, most product organizations partner with custom content creators. Such partners are training specialists with extensive and exhaustive awareness and understanding of training strategies, tools to deploy, the technical assistance required, and so on. It is wise and worthy to invest in custom content partners to oversee the entire requirement.
- The custom content created in an array of formats and media needs to be deployed properly for effective utilization. Members of sales are always on the move. How do you constantly feed them with relevant product information to bring them to speed? Would you create content to stack them somewhere, or would you rather ensure it reaches fingertips? The merits of deploying content on learning technology platforms have been widely registered and it is undoubtedly advantageous to adopt the approach.
This video on how Fractal LXP can help sales in the flow of work is insightful.
- There is a fundamental approach in the creation of effective product training programs for staff. From understanding customer needs and benefits to competitor analysis and soft skills, rely on L&D experts to charter a successful path that works for your organization. This is explored in detail in this article “Developing and Deploying Effective Product Knowledge Training”.
Explore Origin Learning’s end-to-end training solutions for your sales.
By creating an effective and scalable product knowledge training program, you can ensure that your sales teams have the right tools to consistently hit sales targets. It is a direct investment to enhance the skill of sales teams.
Use case of training the sales, as deployed by a leading cloud infrastructure enterprise
The enterprise is a global leader in its field with over 20,000 employees. The L&D team at the enterprise set out on a mission to provide effective training for the sales that would empower the force to sell products, solutions and bring quantifiable business results. Parallelly the focus was also to ensure course completion and enable certification of their partners.
Using a hands-on training approach, training content was created for the entire sales team. A significant offering was the creation and deployment of interactive video simulations that would allow learners to evaluate real-world scenarios, apart from garnering increased engagement with the training module.
The impact registered has been staggering. Exponential sales growth, exceptional product knowledge in sales, positive feedback from learners, and an upsurge of 20% in course completion rate are some of the wins. The detailed case study here sheds light on the requirements, challenges, solution model, and impact. Are you a product organization looking for effective product training programs for your sales? Rely on Origin Learning to create high-impact learning experiences that can enhance the skill of sales teams to help them sell better. To find out more about how product knowledge in sales can drive business goals, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org