Selling products relies on more than just the sales team and requires organisations to supply their different teams with role specific material so they can successfully play their role in creating a profitable business. With societal pressure to constantly offer the newest and most feature-packed product, it’s important that organisations' product training approaches take an agile and scalable approach. By ensuring that training is as up-to-date as the latest iPhone, teams are able to successfully communicate the value and benefits of their products to their target audiences.
This is much easier said than done especially with the pressures of finite resources, time constraints, costs, and difficulty to scale. That’s why we want to share some effective product training approaches that focus on quality and scalability so your team can stay on top of your customer’s demands.
Understand your training needs
Before any development of a training program begins, you will need to take the time to evaluate who your learners are, the specific products to be trained on, and what you want your employees and customers to know about your product.
• Who are your learners
Creating learning that is specific for different learner groups (eg. product lines, departments) and their required skills ensures that your teams are receiving learning that is right for them and their needs. This means that your customer support team may have different training than the sales team for the same product. Following this idea through your entire training process will require you to increase the volume of training material that must be made. This is why you want to plan for training that is easily modified for not just the product but the learner too.
• Understanding your product
You’ll likely need separate learning for each of your products or categories. You don’t want to cram everything into one module as it may confuse your employees when they take their training into the real world. The same applies to specific features. Let’s take, for example, a tech shop training their customer success team on their new laptop that is coming out next week. The distinction between the old and new model is essential to avoid any confusion when team members are educating customers on its new features. Allowing time to plan for each of your products and breaking down their features into simple terms will ensure high knowledge retention among your team and thus better experiences for your customer base.
• What you want your employees and customer to know
This is a pretty straightforward question to answer in the planning phase. Begin by thinking about what you want your customers to know about the product, such as key features and benefits. The answer to this question will also tell you what you want to train your employees on, as the customers will only ever know as much as your employees are able to convey to them.
Selecting the training content
Ensuring that your training modules aren’t too specific to one product will allow room for scalability. Here, the right choice of content is important. You want to avoid large walls of text and instead opt for multimedia. By incorporating different types of content throughout the module such as recorded videos, e-books, and quizzes your learners are likely to be much more engaged than if given long lectures and readings. And when it comes time to scale, this type of content is easily adjustable for your different product and department needs. Think how much easier it is to update a short video or interactive question than it is to re-record a long lecture. It’s also a good idea to avoid any live sessions unless they apply to all or majority of the learners. While they can be periodically spread throughout the training, they almost always call for extra costs, time, and resources for all parties involved that can be easily avoided. Content is a leading factor in scalability, spending the extra time to get it right will save you much more time in the future.
Break it down
Microlearning is not only a much more simple and timely approach to eLearning but also makes the process of updating and tweaking content a lot easier. By breaking up the training into bite-sized chunks of information you can jump in and edit the content without needing to shuffle an entire course and its contents around. This approach is also important as your employees need the flexibility to be able to schedule in short periods in their already busy schedule rather than one long session. On top of this, the cognitive load and boredom that comes from complex and overly long training is almost relinquished when taking a microlearning approach.
Don’t overlook learner confidence and feedback
While you may think that you have your hands on a flawless and effective training program, you can’t be sure until it is in action. An easy way to clarify (or disprove) your hopes is by including a confidence or ‘likely to sell’ scale at the end of each module. Here your learners can directly inform you if what was learnt in the training was helpful. Including a free text section here for comments will give you a more specific look at what it is that may need tweaking or what learners are struggling to grasp.
Taking this feedback and working it back into the training is essential if you want to ensure that you meet your original thoughts about your program – that it is in fact as flawless and as effective as you know it is. This way your learners have the best possible material to effectively sell your product, which is the whole point of product training, right?
Guroo Pro as your next product training solution: a case study
We teamed up with Blackmores Institute to help produce product and sales training that got real results. They were able to develop an eLearning suite that provided advisors with the necessary tools and knowledge to discuss their consumers’ dietary and lifestyle needs and make recommendations around their product base. While every health recommendation differs, they have developed a base format that allows them to easily update and integrate information for each of their many products. By simplifying their development process, Blackmores has been able to scale their training with ease and at an unmatched pace.
This digital training platform not only successfully helped Blackmores in their retail space but offered the convenience and flexibility of a digital training platform. Check out more about this collaboration here.