According to 91 percent of Baby Boomers and 79 percent of Gen Z, knowledgeable store employees make in-store purchases more appealing. Wisdom and knowledge are essential in any business, from retail to real estate to SaaS. Product knowledge is the foundation for both. Reps and a marketing executive can only go as far as their expertise and insight will allow them to go.
However, with consumers knowing more than ever before, salespeople including marketing executives must know their products inside and out – and product knowledge alone isn’t always sufficient. So, how do you teach your salespeople about the product they’re selling and ensure that they remember it when it’s time to close a sale?
Expertise In Products
Salespeople and marketing executives are said to have product knowledge if they have a deep understanding of the things they’re selling. Why is product knowledge so vital for salespeople? Sales agents should understand a product’s qualities and benefits from the customer’s perspective in order to conduct more exciting conversations that lead to sales.
Consider the case below. Consider a scenario in which a client has a question about a feature during a product demonstration. In the ideal scenario, the salesperson will be able to provide a quick yet complete response about the product’s capabilities.
When salespeople and marketing executives know everything there is to know about a product, they can confidently explain it in depth and resolve customer issues in real time. With deeper sales abilities, your sales people can quickly answer questions and are fully prepared to provide answers for the buyer.
Related: What is sales training?
Types Of Technical Skills
All aspects of the product should be known and well-trained by salespeople, including:
Price/Return on Investment (ROI): Salespeople must be aware of a product’s pricing as well as the potential return on investment (ROI) for their customers. “Our average premium account customer sees a 100 percent ROI within the first six months of using our service,” for example, can be provided by reps.
Customizations: Salespeople anda marketing executive should be trained how to customize a product to meet the demands of a certain consumer. Regardless of the conditions, it’s vital to understand how a product fits into a customer’s surroundings. Your salespeople should be able to illustrate how an email marketing automation system, for example, may assist business customers, startups, and agencies.
How to use it: Salespeople and a marketing executive should have access to research papers and demos so they can explain how a product works in practice. If you sell gym equipment, your salesmen may be able to supply you with a list of gyms that use it, as well as information on how your gear has increased affiliate sales.
“Can I get into the backend and edit the code?” or “Would I ever need to access the source code?” are examples of basic technical questions that salespeople should be prepared to answer.
Finding solutions to these inquiries and providing assistance to themselves and their customers: Because of their prospects, sales agents must be able to find answers to difficulties and provide help to themselves. “How can I contact support?”
” or “How can I get the quickest answers to my questions?” is an example of a query.
Product roadmapping: Salespeople need to know what technical groups are working on in the months, years, and years ahead. When a prospect asks about customer service when your company is releasing a new product (such as live chat), your representative can highlight current client service alternatives like email and phone while also adding that live chat will be available in the next six months.
Technical Skill Training Ideas
1.Comments from customers may be seen here.
2.With the aid of salespeople, create product training videos.
3.Think about employing a web-based training simulator.
4.Create sales training plans that are tailored to your specific needs.
5.Utilize a knowledge base or academies.
6.There should be refresher courses accessible.
7.Document and disseminate product knowledge personally.
8.Make advantage of cosplay.
9.Product training quizzes are a fantastic idea.
10. Have fun with video games.
11.Incorporate visual aids such as videos and infographics into your presentation.
12.Participate in focus group talks with sales representatives.
13.There should be case studies available.
14.Go through movie reviews with a fine-toothed comb.
15.Incorporate mobile learning into your lesson plans.
1. Here You Will Find Client Feedback.
Salespeople and a marketing executive should be skilled at two things: explaining products and resolving client issues. Allow reps to practice both of these skills by having them read positive reviews. This will allow them to learn from clients who use these products on a regular basis.
As a consequence of this, your sales team will be able to empathize with their prospects, understand their pain points, and find a solution that your product can solve.
For a more detailed look at how customer testimonials may help salespeople acquire and convert leads, see 8 Tips for Using Customer Testimonials to Generate More Prospects.
2. Develop The Support Of Salespeople, Assist Manufacturers With Training Films.
To have a complete understanding of how consumers use a product or tool, salespeople should test it out or use it in their work. The more they use something, the more competent they are to recommend it.
All of our salespeople and a marketing executive (actually, all of our new hires) must do this assignment as part of their HubSpot training. New hires must assume the role of the customer and build an online business with HubSpot. As a result, our sales representatives have used every feature HubSpot has to offer and can speak to potential customers about them.
You could take this concept a step further by asking sales reps to create tutorial videos that show how to use your product. It’s a fantastic way for them to put what they’ve learned into practice, as well as learn how to speak with clients in depth about a certain product.
Consider this Google video, in which Rand Bite teaches how to utilize Keywords Explorer in bite-sized chunks. A salesman with this degree of product knowledge would be in a good position to acquire a prospect’s trust and convert them into a customer.
Related: What is a sales funnel?
3. Consider Using A Training Simulator That Is Available Online.
Another way to give hands-on training is to incorporate virtual learning simulations into your internal and external training projects’ lectures and videos.
Online learning simulation models will emulate what sales professionals should do in consumer contracts and respond to their demands, despite being created to simulate discussion and quizzes. For example, the salesperson may be given a hypothetical customer and asked a series of questions before deciding which product is suitable for that customer.
4. Make Sales Training Plans That Are Tailored To Your Specific Needs.
Reps and their supervisors including a marketing executive should be entirely aligned from the outset when it comes to goals, tools, and objectives. These should ideally be outlined in a sales training plan tailored to each rep, which should include a meeting with a brand marketer or a production schedule so sales reps can understand what the product does now and how it will evolve in the future.
While the majority of the content in each salesperson’s workout program will be similar, each program should be tailored to the individual salesperson. If you haven’t already, you can create a plan using our free sales and marketing template.
6. There Should Be Training Courses Available.
It’s also important for salespeople and a marketing executive to learn on a regular basis. It’s vital to give continual training when your product is upgraded with new tools and features. Your salespeople should be aware of impending product changes so that they may mention them during sales calls.
Google, for example, provides ongoing training to its employees via whispering courses, which are short, bite-sized lectures delivered via email. Google has a number of programs aimed at increasing customer happiness. Meanwhile, there have been courses on a variety of topics, ranging from coaching to inclusivity.
7. Preserve And Disseminate Product Information To The Outside World.
Finally, salespeople should have a fundamental grasp of the product, but since they’re so focused on the selling process, some of the finer details may be neglected.
Using tools like commodity emails with sales teams and a product-specific selling strategy, sales reps can be kept informed about what to say and how to sell better (both of which are included in our Ultimate Go-to-Market Kit for Product).
8. It Is Recommended That Simulation Be Used.
Roleplaying is a tried-and-true method of improving your salespeople’s product knowledge. Allow sales experts to play both the customer and the salesman roles. By putting oneself in the shoes of a potential customer, your sales team can empathize and put themselves in the buyer’s shoes, making it easier for them to sell. They must, of course, practice their sales scripts.
Michael Pici, a HubSpot director of sales, wrote extensively on roleplaying on this blog. He continues, “Working through a hypothetical scenario with a team member or coach helps you to recognize your talents, faults, and stumbling blocks in a low-stakes setting allows you to realize your strengths, flaws, and stumbling blocks in a low-stakes context.”
It’s a good idea to practice dealing with adversity.
When it comes to breaking up with potential partners, put your mind at peace.
Proposals should be questioned about why they haven’t moved forward.
Identify and overcome common stumbling hurdles
9. Product Training Quizzes Are An Excellent Idea.
Quizzes on domain expertise may be a fun way to teach that can be used to supplement larger product training efforts. This medium may keep people on their toes and attentive when learning the ins and outs of particular topics.
By offering reps product quizzes, you can help them recall what they learned throughout their product training. If they know they’ll be evaluated on what they’re learning, they’ll be more inclined to actively engage with the subject.
10. Take Part In Video Games.
Using dry, uninteresting lectures to suffocate your representatives has a low return on investment. Reps must be questioned and even taken into consideration — at least in some circumstances. Salespeople may benefit from games that help them grasp and connect with product knowledge information in a fun way.
For example, during my HubSpot new employee training, we played a HubSpot-themed Quiz to help us study for a final exam. The game was dynamic, entertaining, and competitive in an unexpected way. Overall, it was a fun and effective approach to impart and evaluate the product knowledge we’d gained over the course of the training.
11. Make Use Of Visual Aids Such As Films And Infographics.
Product knowledge information that makes active learning as simple and easy as feasible is frequently beneficial to salesmen and a marketing executive. That’s why using visually appealing media may help you grab and hold your salespeople’s attention while also making your educational information more consumable.
This form of product knowledge training is also readily available. Even after their technical skill training is over, reps can resort to video and visuals.
12. Attend Sales Reps’ Focus Groups.
Allowing salespeople to witness how real customers use the products they sell might help them make more efficient sales pitches. Reps can gain a better understanding of the appeal and practical applications of their products if they can observe how real customers use and think about them.
Now that they know more about your product, your salespeople will be able to present it more effectively. Knowing why customers like your product and how it works allows salespeople to focus on the specific points, features, and value propositions that will appeal to prospects.
13. Case Studies Should Be Provided.
This type of clarification is usually welcomed by reps because it puts things in context. Case studies help salespeople remember features and tools because they learn how the technology is used in practice (not just theory).
Case studies will also be available for your sales agents to use in the sales process. “Case studies allow you to showcase certain features of a product or service that will favorably benefit the prospect’s organization,” explains Leslie Ye, a senior digital head of marketing at HubSpot. This contributes to the building of credibility and trust.”
14. Examine Movie Reviews.
Film reviews are when salespeople listen to and provide feedback on a tape of a salesperson on the phone. Sales professionals can use specific ideas to help their sales process with actionable feedback from their peers.
The same question might be asked every time a new rep and client with their own unique wants and challenges are featured in a film review: Why did this prospect pick up the phone?
If a salesperson can’t answer this question, they haven’t figured out what their customer’s most pressing need is; without this information, the salesman will be unable to communicate the value of their product effectively, and may lose the sale as a result.
15. Incorporate Mobile Learning Into Your Lessons.
Some salesmen and a marketing executive like to study on the move, whether it’s while traveling to work, preparing meals, or going for a stroll. It’s critical to provide at least some product knowledge training in a mobile-friendly format to suit these types of learners. Incorporate podcasts, mobile applications, or Text messages into your sales training course, for example.
Developing Product Experts From Salespeople
Technical skill training empowers your sales professionals to answer questions and arguments during the sales process, which is a significant indicator of a top-performing sales person.
Related: Lead Generation: Can It Be Useful For Your Products?