We should integrate these questions in the product training
If you follow the website, you know that I like to talk about sales training with a more general perspective – after all, this is a training website.
I’ve talked about the topic several times, approaching it from different points of view: for example I delved into some of the problems of sales training, the structure of a good training program and why companies should outsource sales coaching.
Today I’d like to add another perspective, focusing on why we should integrate other questions within companies’ product training.
Like the majority of the topics I explore, this one stems from direct experience and observation of my students.
Let’s start (as always) with a note: product training is essential and crucial for every salesperson, not just because you must know what you’re selling.
If developed well, product training helps to understand (although not always in detail) about the problems and needs which drive the purchase of your solutions.
In the last years because of the increasing competitiveness among companies, the need to bring the solutions to market as effectively as possible, and the urgency to train salespeople quickly product training improved greatly.
In fact, the vast majority of colleagues, students, and professionals I talk to have product training that integrates technical features with the commercial message needed to sell solutions, for example:
- by devoting space to the generic problems that the solution solves.
- By linking in detail the features of the solutions to the specific problems solved according to the buyer you’re working with.
- By delving into buyer profiles and their needs, suggesting guidelines on how to develop a conversation.
- By calculating what the return on investment (ROI) would be
and so much more.
Despite this, I have not yet come across companies that have integrated some specific answers within the product training in order to take the conversation to a higher and more strategic level: the main reason is that (I think) the sales person is expected to do this.
In any case, and given the needs I mentioned earlier (getting the product to market as effectively and quickly as possible), I think it’s time to start thinking about it.
If I had to recommend questions to start with in order to get answers to add to the training, I’d suggest these:
- For this specific solution, how to generate interest in the prospect who doesn’t have such solution?
- For this specific solution, how do we elicit interest in the prospect that we know already has a solution like this?
- For this specific solution, what’s the buying cycle?
- For this specific solution, what’s the buying process followed?
- How to qualitatively justify the investment in the solutions?
As you can see, these questions allow for more strategic answers that would help salespeople raise the level of the sales conversation.
They would also have a very strong impact on the younger sales force by training them on more complex topics and conversations.