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3 Tips for Effective Product Training to Grow Sales

By Susan Hall

How do you share your product's features and benefits with your client? Do you flood them with the bells and whistles? Do they understand why? In this video, Susan Hall shares 3 tips for more effective product training to grow sales.

00:01 New product training is an essential component for any salesperson. And of course, think about it, you need to understand your company's products in order to demonstrate competence, credibility, and also bring value to your client.

Yet a common complaint that I hear from sales managers is, "Our people just aren't comfortable talking about these new products," or "We went through product training years ago and they just don't seem to understand what our products are and how to apply them." So today what I'd like to do is talk with you about three tips for making your product training as effective as possible.

When we work with our clients, the very first and probably most important thing to remember is that the best product training focuses on both the product and the client. It's kind of ironic because when we do sales training, the whole focus is on what's critical to the client, what are their priorities? And we say very, very straightforwardly, don't do the features and benefits and bells and whistles. It's not about the product, it's about the customer.

01:06 Yet when we do product training, the opposite happens, and that's all about the features and the benefits and the bells and the whistles, but often the client gets neglected and isn't focused on in that type of training. We suggest when you begin planning your product training, get your product team and your sales management team together and aligned, and collaborate very closely with them to create training that's going to focus on both.

01:42 The second tip is engage your audience. A lot of product training is very tell, it's very presentation oriented. If you can quickly get through the tell part of it and then focus on, again engaging your audience in small groups, thinking about what the client situation might be like, what are some questions that we might ask this client? What are some applications of the product and how could we demonstrate the value? Many of our clients are looking at the different personas. What are our types of buying customers? What are their personal motives? What are their priorities? Think about that. You can do some really creative workshopping to get your salespeople practicing talking about the products in a way that's going to make sense for different buyers.

02:39 The third tip is help your salespeople understand that they don't need to have all of the answers at once. We did some product training recently with a client and they asked us to design and facilitate it for them. We had, gosh, I believe, three or four trainers onsite. We did a series of two hour sessions on seven different products. That's a lot of information to take in, and so as part of the training, we made sure that we shared some resources for who they could go to, who their product connections were, who their sales connections were. We had some call to actions to build in some practice and accountability, and it helped them feel much more confident.

03:20 So that's it. Three tips for very successful product training. Number one, focus on the product and the client. Number two, engage your audience with some creative activities. And three, let them know their resources that they can go to so that they don't have to know everything all at once.

Published: September 29, 2020

MEET THE AUTHOR

Susan Hall

Vice President- Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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