Technology-enabled Learning for Effective New Product Messaging
Organizations now-a-days are releasing products at a faster pace than before. For the sales staff to be efficient, they should be provided fast-paced trained on the new products using technology. The sales force should not just know what they need to sell, but also sell what they know. What does this actually mean? It is not enough for the sales department of an organization to just have product knowledge. In other words, prior to the launch of new products, the sales force training should include many other factors apart from product training. Let us look at some of the major success factors needed to be considered while providing new products sales skills training.
The sales force of an organization needs to be trained on the “specific” buyer personas – the target audience. Among the vast category of prospects, only a few meet the profile criteria of the specific buyer personas for a certain product. These people can differ based on their needs, the features of the new products, and other criteria. These customers should targeted by the sales force, as there is a higher chance of them buying your products. If a sales person can scrutinize the domain of customers and identify high potential prospects for the new product, then there is a higher chance for sales conversion. Employing sales friendly CRM would help the sales people easily access the information about the leads, conversions, and other data.
Though sales friendly CRM can help the sales force immensely, its training usually involves costly on-site instruction and printed learning materials that need to be updated regularly. Taking the CRM training online has many benefits such as the reduction of training time, less allocation of resources, and constant access to information. For instance, taking the CRM training online can reduce the cost of instruction as the training materials can be accessed by the sales force anytime, anywhere. Updating the content is also a piece of cake when online training courses are used.
According to Dan Seidman, the number one problem sales people face is they chase poor prospects. OneSource, a business Information Services Company based in Concord, for this reason, uses specific sales prospecting tools to help reps sift through leads to find the right match.
Collaboration with the marketing department will help the sales department qualify the leads and leaves less room for error. Generally, the marketing department qualifies a lead to be sales ready. The collaboration between the marketing and sales departments results in quick sharing of this information. Existing customers might not fit the bill when it comes to a new product. The more the new product features vary from the existing ones, the more the need for collaboration. The sales and marketing department should work hand in hand to increase the chances of sales conversion.
Technology-based training can improve the collaboration process. It facilitates constant communication between the sales, training, and marketing departments. Provision of easily accessible information about the prospects and products would come in handy for the sales personnel. Technology-based training also helps the sales force refer to the online content easily. For instance, if a sales person needs to access some information regarding a product or a buyer persona, he can do it with a click instead of waiting for the other departments to respond.
Assessing the Competition
Having good knowledge about competitors’ products is generally recommended and implemented by any organization, but the essential part is to show the organization’s product in a better light compared to those of the competitors’. Before the launch of a new product, the sales force needs to be trained clearly on the pros of the product over competitors’ products. The sales force needs to be equipped with the strengths of their organization and should know how to use the information to support a product while interacting with the customer.
Technology-based training makes the process of updating content about new products as well as other necessary criteria easy and accessible to the employees. Microlearning can immensely help in this area. For instance, if a customer wants to know how the organization’s product is better than a competitor’s product, the sales rep can quickly access a micro module related to the required content.
Tailoring the Training Content
The product knowledge training program employed before the launch of a new product should be customized based on the challenges, opportunities, and selling points of the new product. The higher the new product differs from the existing products, the higher should be the customization. This helps the sales department clearly identify the criteria involved in and around the new product.
Technology-based training helps in providing effective, fast paced training that is needed for the sales people whenever a new product is released. Considering all the above factors and enlisting the aid of technology will help in providing effective new product sales skills training to the sales force of an organization.
The sales force needs to be provided with a list of frequently asked questions before a new product launch. This will help them get a better idea about the needs, demographics, and psychographics of the target audience. But providing printed set of questions every time a new product is launched would be impractical. Using technology-enabled resources the FAQs can be presented as eBooks or other digital resources, along with other sales tips to the sales force.
Today’s products as well as the customers’ views differ largely from what it used to be. Products are more sophisticated and customers more skeptical. Therefore, the inclusion of the technical team during the training process of the sales department can help them learn the product details better. Having a grip on the technical know-how will improve interaction between the sales reps and the customers.
For instance, a customer who wants to buy a computer does ample research about the hardware and software features before approaching the sales person. The customer now looks for new information the sales person can offer. The better equipped a sales person is about the technicalities of the computer, the better the chances of converting that sale.
Rooting for technology can help organizations better equip their sales force with the knowledge and the tools they need before product launches. Utilizing technology properly would not just help the sales force train better, but also organizations to train cost and time effectively.