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Why Product Education Is Important When Training Sales People

By Special Guest
Gary Wilkinson
March 11, 2019

Sales can be equally challenging and rewarding for your team, but without the proper education on the company’s products and services, your team will likely experience a drop in sales numbers. Your sales team are the “experts” of the company’s products and should seem so to the customers. Here are some reasons why product education is so essential to your sales team.

1. You Can’t Sell Something You Know Nothing About

It’s simple, really. You cannot expect an employee to sell something they know nothing about. Product education will teach them the features, price, and any relevant information to the product they’ll be selling, thus making them an expert of sorts and able to pitch the product better.

Imagine entering a tech company and having no idea what the features or pricing of their latest tablet was. You would end up fumbling over these questions when pitching it to the customer, likely frustrating the both of you.

Customers expect the staff to be able to answer their questions about a particular product. There’s a level of trust between the customer and your business: that your staff will be knowledgable (among other things) and able to assist them with anything product related. Nurturing this trust is invaluable to your business and the potential for creating customer loyalty.

2. Your Staff Can Address Issues and Troubleshoot Better

Knowing a product inside and out means that your employees can also help address issues with the product itself, and troubleshoot common issues with your customers in real time. This can even eliminate the need for a dedicated troubleshooting line.

Customers will appreciate the attentiveness of a staff that can troubleshoot, and this will set you apart from other companies that offer only over-the-phone troubleshooting services. Additionally, your employees will feel more confident in themselves and their role, and likely perform better because of it.

Sometimes troubleshooting can reveal issues no one on the team has been made aware of yet. In this case, it’s important to offer further education on the product to employees to meet the new issues.

Host a meeting or conference call by using a conference calling service and address the issue as soon as possible and what is being done to solve it. Be sure everyone is made aware of new practices or troubleshooting options.

3. Products Change Over Time

Your company’s products and services will likely change over time. Your training program will have to evolve as well, to successfully train new and old employees alike on the new features or products.

It’s important to remember that even a slight difference in a product can have a big impact on the customer service base and how the product is used. Any changes should be addressed in updated training meetings, as well as new troubleshooting practices.

4. Your Reputation Could Depend On It

If you’re looking for good reviews and a great customer service reputation, product knowledge is one of the stepping stones you’ll need to get there. A company that knows its products and the niche they fill will stand out from a company that is less knowledgeable.

Your employees should understand the importance of your product in its niche and the market, along with its features. Once they understand what it’s used for, and why, they’ll gain better insight into why the customers have the questions they do.

5. Competition Has Changed The Way Customers View Products

In a competitive environment, you want to stand out from your competitors in every way possible. Customers have a tendency to lump similar products and services into the same category, and even confusing companies and their products.

Customers tend to spend time researching your products and your competitor’s to get a better deal. But a better deal isn’t always based on monetary value. It can include the way the customer is treated and the level of knowledge your staff possesses.

If you can make your customers feel good about what they’re buying, their confidence in your brand will grow and they’ll likely come back to purchase with you again. Returning customers can become life-long patrons and advocates for your brand.

6. Product Education Can Create Loyal Employees

When your employees are fully educated on your products and the purpose they serve, they may become personally loyal to the product itself. This can foster a love for the company and the products.

An employee that already owns and loves your product will always perform better on the sales floor than one that doesn’t believe in what they’re selling. Employees and customers alike will remain loyal to a product that improves their lives.

Customers can tell the difference between an employee who’s selling a product they are truly behind, and one who is not. You’ll notice a difference as well when reviewing employee performance.

The Take-Away

Without product education, your employee doesn’t know exactly what they’re selling. This makes it difficult to pitch your product, and can even lead to frustration among employees and customers.

Fostering loyalty in both employees and customers can be as simple as educating them on your products and services.

Remember that you want to stand apart from your competition and that your reputation truly depends on your product knowledge. No customer service system can be great without first knowing all there is to know about what your business has to offer.

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