7 tips for creating engaging product training for your sales team
“Which product is right for me?” “How does it work?” “What are the features, and why do they matter?”
— Your Sales Prospects
Product knowledge is a fundamental sales skill. Sales reps need to know the ins and outs of your solution to communicate its features and benefits, answer prospects’ questions, and recommend the right solution for a prospect’s needs. Become an expert, and customers will seek your advice.
That’s why effective product training ranks top-priority for most sales teams. But not any product training will do. To maximize results, you need training that’s relevant and engaging.
So, what are some creative ways to boost engagement and create training that sales reps will remember and refer back to? Develop product training that’s practical and fun with the help of these seven tips.
1. Design for easy digestion
Break down product training into small, easy-to-digest pieces. Organizing your content into “bite-sized” sections can prevent information overload or training burnout. So, feed your sales team an informational trail of breadcrumbs—not the whole loaf of bread—by following these guidelines:
- Section your content. Chunk your training content into distinct sections with clear headings. Bonus: This also makes it easier for sales reps to scan your training and quickly find the information they’re looking for in a pinch.
- Use lists. Communicate key takeaways through short, memorable bullet points instead of long-form paragraphs. For example: Create a checklist of reasons customers purchase a product.
- Incorporate tables or charts. Create product comparison or pricing charts so that sales reps can easily compare differences between product offerings or packages.
- Keep the text simple and short. Don’t overwhelm sales reps with a wall of text. Keep sentences concise and paragraphs short by focusing exclusively on the need-to-know information.
Tip: Rise’s “block” structure allows you to chunk information easily and effectively. Stack blocks of content to create unique and palatable learning experiences. You can also create learning paths to break a large product training course into a series of smaller modules—such as one module per product or service.
2. Add product demonstration videos
Product demonstration videos show your product in action and illustrate how it works. If you sell software, for example, record a video walkthrough of the software’s primary functions. Or, if you sell medical equipment, produce a 3D video animation to showcase device assembly and operation. Videos help sales reps visualize how complex products work and solve customer problems. Just remember that people have limited attention spans, so try to keep videos under five minutes. Under two minutes is even better.
3. Provide case studies
People love stories. Providing case studies is a great way to boost engagement and connect sales reps with the product’s impact. Case studies also contextualize your product’s features and benefits as solutions to real customers’ problems, making your training more relevant.
Spotlight a few customers who represent different sales personas: Identify what problem each customer faced, and share how they used your product to overcome it.
Also, find creative ways to present your case studies. Depending on the assets available, you might incorporate customer quotes, photos, or testimonial videos, for example.
4. Incorporate role-play scenarios
Give your sales reps ample opportunities to apply their product training through real-world scenarios or role-playing.
Create a scenario where sales reps are on a call with a fictional prospect, and they have to answer questions about various offerings and their technical specifications, features and benefits, pricing, return or shipping policies, and so on. Another idea: Set up a scenario for sales reps to practice overcoming common sales objections or positioning your product against the competition.
Whatever direction you choose, scenarios should reflect the most common challenges and questions sales reps face in customer conversations. That way, you develop training that’s relevant and practical—not merely theoretical.
Tip: Rise’s scenario block is ideal for these applications. Choose from a host of realistic characters and tailor their reactions to your sales reps’ responses.
5. Get creative with assessments
Besides real-world scenarios, think out of the box when brainstorming other knowledge check ideas. Sprinkle creative assessments throughout your training—not just at the end of a course—to identify knowledge gaps early and often. And never underestimate the power of a pop-up quiz to make sales reps lean in and pay attention.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Matching activities. Introduce a handful of fictional prospects and give some background information about each person. Then ask sales reps to match each prospect with the best product recommendation for their needs.
- Fill in the blank. Up the ante by switching multiple choice questions to fill in the blank. Fill in the blank questions force sales reps to recall information on their own, which can improve learning retention. You might ask sales reps to fill in the name of a specific product, service, or feature. Or you could ask them to recall a particular detail about a product—such as a technical specification or price.
- Audio files. Prepare a few scripts and recruit your team’s help to record “sound bites” of fictional prospects describing their needs. Pair the audio files in your course with multiple choice questions in which sales reps have to choose the best product recommendation for each prospect.
6. Make it visual and interactive
Variety is the spice of online training. Avoid text-only training, and mix it up with striking images and engaging interactive formats instead. For example, incorporate flashcards that sales reps have to click on to review product terms or industry language. Or, add colorful GIFs and high-quality images to illustrate a process or product feature.
Tip: With just a click of the mouse, Rise users can add accordion interactions, process interactions, drag-and-drop activities, labeled graphics, and more to their training. Interactions turn passive learners into active explorers.
7. End with a “cheat sheet”
Product training isn’t just a one-time thing—like onboarding new hires. Experienced sales reps will also want to brush up on their product knowledge before a discovery call or sales meeting. You can make it easy for them by ending your product training with a digital “cheat sheet.” Summarize your product highlights and FAQs for quick reference.
Additional best practices
As a general best practice, develop and document your product training in a shared platform (like Rise!). Sales reps are often flooded with training, and they likely won’t remember everything you share. Give them an easy way to review and refer back to their training as needed. As an added benefit, good documentation can boost the efficiency and consistency of product training as your organization grows.
The most comprehensive product training won’t deliver results if your sales team doesn’t participate or pay attention. That’s why it’s equally important to develop training that’s as engaging as it is relevant. By employing creative tactics like storytelling, demonstration videos, and interactive scenarios, you can transform a boring product training course into a captivating and enriching learning experience.