required product training for sales reps

Sales reps need to seem like product experts as soon as possible so they can hit the ground running. But becoming a true master of their industry will take time.

As a sales leader, it’s your challenge to find the compromise between getting your reps up-to-speed efficiently and effectively, and overwhelming them with WAY too many details.

To give your sales reps the right amount of product training, where do you start?

Especially for businesses with complex products or services, there is no lack of information to get trained on. The bigger challenge will be determining the most important topics, and delivering your content in an ideal way.

We suggest breaking training into bite-sized modules for a more approachable training curriculum. Partnering with a video coaching and sales training partner, like LearnCore, makes customizing your own structure simple. Next, tackle on the most important aspects of your business first.

Every business will have a slightly different take on what matters most to their sales process, but this list is a good place to start.

Product & Industry History

Your sales rep doesn’t need to transform into a walking encyclopedia, but having a quick overview of how your product and/or industry has evolved is essential to their selling journey. Understanding the history behind how or why your products and services became a necessity for your clients will help your reps build client trust, and sell smarter. A cliff note version should get them well on their way. They can always pick up additional details as they get more comfortable in their role.

Product Specifications

Every sales rep should be knowledgeable on the basics of your offerings. If a potential client can’t ask if your product comes in a different style or version without confusing their sales rep, they’re likely to lose confidence in your business and find another vendor. Getting educated on the basics helps solidify a positive relationship between your reps and prospects. If your product or service requires another stakeholder to close the deal, like a sales engineer or client strategist, coach your reps on when they should bring in back up.

Pricing + Upselling

When is the last time you saw a deal close without discussing pricing first? Your reps need to memorize and understand pricing so they can present a clear, accurate picture to prospects the first time it comes up. If your reps waver in pricing information it will give the impression that they aren’t confident in their products, or that they are offering different and possibly better pricing to someone else. Would you buy from someone who couldn’t answer a simple pricing question?

Bonus Tip!

In addition, teach them to spot easy opportunities on increasing deal size. Learning to upsell from the beginning will mean every deal they make is maxed out on revenue potential.

Client Challenges

Perhaps one of the best ways to increase sales is to help your reps understand why their clients need your product. Explaining what challenges your potential customers face, and how your product can alleviate them, will help your reps connect the dots between lead and client. This knowledge should also help them pinpoint the best potential prospects, and ultimately sell more business. In the beginning, just cover the most common scenarios to help get your reps selling. There will always be more time down the road to cover one offs and more unique situations.

Elevator Pitch

Your sales reps may have extensive product training knowledge, but can they boil it all down to a couple powerful sentences? Training your reps to have an all star elevator pitch means they can turn any chance meeting into a valuable opportunity without taking an hour to explain what your business does. This skill will help your sales reps close more deals, and help your company get more brand recognition. Use a video recording tool, like Pitch IQ, to help them get their pitch down faster.

Servicing, Warranty, Repair

Does your product or service require servicing, a warranty, or repairs? This type of information is important to clients when understanding large purchase decisions. If your business has exceptional service or warranty policies, it could be a huge opportunity for your reps to build a competitive edge. Make sure they understand your policies so they can set accurate expectations, and also use the information to their advantage. If your policies are super complex, have them lean on an account executive or customer service rep in the beginning to get them up-to-speed more efficiently.

Training and development is a never ending cycle for sales reps, but they need to start with the basics. Use the list above to get your sales team up to speed on the absolute most important product training information to help them succeed.

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