Product training for sales is one of the more daunting tasks for product managers and marketers and one of the biggest product rollout challenges in high-tech companies.

You’ve created textbook sales and marketing materials.  You’ve spoon fed the information to the sales team on several occasions and in varying formats.  You’ve accompanied them on sales calls.  And yet, they’re still challenged to articulate key value points that hook a prospect and position your products in a manner that’s compelling. Try these 3 tactics and the proficiency of your salesforce will make a huge leap forward.

  1. Make the training about buyers instead of products – product training should amount to 3-6 business situations or scenarios that are common to all prospects.  These scenarios are ones where your typical prospects are challenged to the point of a true business pain for which your solution offers relief.  Each scenario should highlight no more than one or two aspects of your product. It’s much easier for salespeople to internalize what prospects do versus what the products do.  This concept also holds true for salespeople who do product demos, with the understanding that a further level of product training is required.
  2. Create open-ended question scripts – give your sales team a list of open-ended questions that make for engaging business conversation where prospects will freely share their biggest challenges.  For example, “What are you ultimately trying to accomplish by changing _____________ process and why is that goal critical?”  Chances are your salespeople will hear several of the scenarios you’ve covered during the training and can position your solutions appropriately.
  3. Keep it simple – selling complex products is a tough business.  Don’t make it any harder by overwhelming salespeople with too many product details.  Common scenarios, smart questions and responses to typical objections can be documented on a two-sided sheet of paper.  Laminate and distribute during training for a quick positioning reference card.

A big part of the buying decision is the credibility of your sales team.  Help them become experts on the business issues of the customer and the product details will fall into place.

Want to give your salespeople everything they need to know on a 2-sided sheet of paper? Contact us about our Positioning & Sales Enablement Courses that make it easy for your salespeople to sell differentiating value.