Product knowledge online training helps your sales force seal the deal. But how can you update your online training program on a regular basis to reflect the latest features and specs? In this article, I'll share 6 tips to develop a successful product knowledge online training course for your employees.
How To Develop Effective Product Knowledge Online Training Courses
Adding a new product to your product catalog usually requires a significant investment. You would have to order new printed materials, pay for a trainer to offer on-site demos, and pay for your employees to sit through lengthy online training sessions. Today, however, online training gives you the power to keep your staff informed about your most recent products without spending a small fortune. This is especially true if you follow these profit and productivity-boosting tips.
- Make it easily accessible.
Your employees must be able to access the product knowledge online training whenever and wherever they need it, even if they happen to be on a sales call. For this very reason, you may want to opt for mobile training modules and resources by using a responsive design LMS. These platforms allow you to create a single master online training course that automatically adjusts based on the device that your employees are using. You should also bear in mind that some of your staff members won't be able to listen to online presentations or audio narrations. So, give them control over the audio and include subtitles or text highlights for all the key takeaways. In addition, develop mobile-friendly resources that give them a quick overview of the product information, such as product spec sheets, so that they don't have to sit through a five minute online training module in the middle of a sale.
- Pinpoint the problems it can solve for your customers.
Your online training course can go on and on about the specs, features, and functions of your product. However, what your sales team really needs to know is what it can offer the customer. They are the ones who will be passing on the information to the consumer. They are the ones who will help them make an informed buying decision and stress the benefits of the product, as well as how it can improve the customer's life in some way. Include plenty of demos, tutorials, and bullet point lists of what problems the product can solve and the reasons why a customer needs it to overcome everyday challenges.
- Focus on one product for each online training module.
Try to avoid packing several products into a single product knowledge online training module, unless all of the products are closely related and share many similarities. An example of this would be a group of products that offer the same benefits, but come in different varieties or formats. Concentrating on one product at a time can prevent cognitive overload and ensure that your employees remember all of the crucial information. If you choose to include too much product knowledge online training content into one module, your employees may start confusing one product for another, which can significantly diminish your customer service. You should also make each online training module as short as possible, so that your staff can fully absorb the information in one sitting before moving onto the next product.
- Use real world examples and stories.
Reading about the product features and benefits is one thing, but actually discovering how they translate into real world results is quite another. This is when storytelling becomes a powerful tool. You can create characters who try out the product and engage in a dialogue about the advantages it offers. Real world examples are also a great resource, as they give you the power to show your employees how the product has been tried and tested. Just make sure that you make your stories and examples relatable and relevant, especially if you are using visual representations. For example, a customer should act and appear like an average customer, just as the setting should mimic the sales floor. If you can't find suitable stock images, you may want to think about obtaining actual images from the organization, including pictures of employee volunteers.
- Offer product refresher online training courses.
As is the case with all online training courses, your product knowledge online training should be an ongoing process. Over time, your employees may simply forget about all of the features and functions. Thus, you will need to give them refresher online training courses that remind them of all the key benefits and specs. This also improves their product knowledge retention and recall, as it involves repetition. You may even wish to take it a step further by offering product line or product group certifications that they must renew on an annual basis. For example, every year they would have to take your "car audio system" refresher online training course in order to continue selling that category of products. It's also vital to create a strong online training culture that stresses the importance of ongoing education and product awareness. Make certain they understand that the product online training will help them do their jobs more effectively and improve the service they provide to your customers.
- Test employee knowledge with targeted assessments.
To ensure that your product knowledge online training is actually effective you should assess your employees from time to time. Conduct an eLearning assessment to measure online training directly after they complete the online module, then another in a few months' time to make sure they are still knowledgeable about the product's specifications. It doesn't have to be a traditional multiple choice or true/false exam. In fact, you can ask them to complete a scenario or simulation that centers on selling the product, then analyze the results to see if they may need additional online training.
Product knowledge online training provides your employees with the tools and resources they need to land a sale. Use these tips to create a successful online training strategy that aligns with your organization's goals and enhances the performance of your staff members.
Are you looking for additional reasons to move your product knowledge training online? Read the article 6 Reasons To Create Product Knowledge Online Training Courses to discover why product knowledge online training can improve your organization’s bottom line and keep employees up-to-date about new products.