oes your company sell a product? If so, you’re part of the majority of businesses.
It’s a deeply satisfying process to watch an idea come to life, then change the lives of others. Nothing brings more joy to our team at HowToo than hearing feedback from our customers about how our training platform has transformed and improved the way they work.
It’s not just enough to create a product though. To get to the life-changing stage, you need to be able to sell the product to others, then support them to use it to its fullest potential.
These crucial steps are made possible with product training.
What is product training?
Product training is training for employees that teaches the learner how to use a product, or how to sell a product.
Product training may include live demonstrations, online courses, simulations, or a combination of these types of training.
Why is product training important?
Product training is critical for teaching your team the ins and outs of your new product so that they can use, market, sell or support the product.
Customer-facing teams that are well-versed in a product are far more likely to speak confidently and with excitement about your product. They will be able to quickly and easily answer questions, match product features to customer needs and even upsell more effectively..
Marketing teams that are proficient with your product can recognise and describe key features in attractive ways to your market. They can create highly targeted messages, and use your product as a resource in their work.
Without product training, your team may struggle to sell your product, deliver poor service, and even damage your company’s reputation as a competent provider.
Who needs product training?
Any team member who is responsible for marketing, selling, using or supporting customers to use your new product should receive detailed product training.
Teams that typically require product training include marketing, sales and customer support. You may also need to include training for your executive team, and in your onboarding process for new employees.
People who have been closely involved with the development of a new product or feature can accidentally assume that other people in the business have the same level of understanding and proficiency as they do. However, people involved with the development of the product are rarely customer-facing, and it is customer-facing teams who most need product training.
How to design product training for employees
The first step to creating product training for employees is to establish a working partnership with the product development team. Why? Because they know the product best! After scoping, designing and developing the product, they will well and truly know it inside and out.
You will likely need the product development team to demonstrate the product to you and answer key questions about the functionality of the
When choosing how you will deliver your product training, it is important to choose a method that is quick to assemble, can combine text, diagrams, videos and simulations, is flexible for teams to complete, and easy for people to refer back to.
Online courses built with platforms like HowToo tick all these boxes. With HowToo, you can easily collaborate with other teams in your business to create interactive courses that combine text-based instructions with illustrations, photos, interactive diagrams, videos, simulations and more.
With your training method locked in, you can begin to gather your content, such as writing instructions, designing diagrams and recording videos.
As well as the product development team, you may need to collaborate with marketing, sales and customer service team members in order to create specialised training for each of these departments (see the tips below)
With a training platform like HowToo, you can select from a library of course templates that use learning science to create optimal sequences for different kinds of training. By selecting a product training template, you can simply slot your training content into the course template, allowing you to deliver finished courses extremely fast.
A good way to design product training for different teams is to create a network of short, microlearning courses that can be mixed and matched to different teams based on their training needs.
With your courses all finished, it’s time to share your product training! Check out our complete guide to choosing the right method of sharing training.
Product training tips for sales teams
Sales are typically the first team to receive product training, as they often need to demo the tool to their prospect, and require extensive knowledge of the product in order to sell it effectively.
Product training for sales teams should cover the following key points:
1. How the product works
What are the product’s features? How are they used? What can be achieved using the product? Include a demonstration, simulation, or physical example of the product to make the knowledge tangible, not just abstract.
2. Who the product is for
Describe the profile of the ideal customer. What are the customer’s needs, and how does the product meet them? Will they see improved ROI? Also share who the isn’t the product for, so your team knows how to avoid wasting their time on customers with different needs.
3. How the product will be sold
How much will the product be sold for? Will it be packaged with other offerings? What kind of customer support is included?
4. Market positioning
What are the product’s Unique Selling Propositions (UPS)? Does the product fill a gap in the market? How does the price compare to similar products by competitors?
5. Supporting resources
What resources exist, or must be created to help your sales team sell the product? E.g. brochures, proposals, ROI calculators, help guides or educational blogs.
Product training tips for marketing teams
Marketing teams also require product training in order to craft effective marketing messages to draw in new leads for your sales team. By clearly understanding what the product can and cannot do, they can also avoid making false or misleading claims about the product.
Product training for marketing teams should cover the following key points:
1. Who the product is for
Even more important than what the product does, marketing teams need to know who it is for. Marketing teams need 1 - 3 clear buyer personas that they can use to target the right leads, and create relevant marketing content. These personas should include the customers wants, needs, problems and current solutions they may be using.
2. How the product works
While the marketing team may not need to know the ins and outs of your product to the same extent as your sales and customer service teams, it is still important for them to have an understanding of the key features of the product and the product’s appearance.
3. Market positioning
Like the sales team, marketing teams need to know: what are the product’s Unique Selling Propositions (UPS)? Does the product fill a gap in the market? How does the price compare to similar products by competitors?
Product training tips for customer service teams
Customer service teams require product training so they can deliver exceptional support to customers in a time-efficient manner. With product training, customer service teams can quickly and confidently solve customer problems, recommend workarounds, and differentiate between user errors and product faults.
1. How the product works
Customer service teams need the greatest level of knowledge about the product’s functionality of all customer-facing teams. This training should include all aspects of product’s use, with detailed demonstrations and/or simulations, and team members should be able to refer back to training material at any time.
2. Supporting Resources
Is there a product manual or help guide that can be referred to and/or shared with the customer? Are there pre-written responses or scripts that team members can use to quickly respond to frequently asked questions.
Deliver product training for employees with confidence
Product training is a vital process for any business that develops, sells or supports a product.
While it can seem challenging to develop, HowToo makes the process quick and easy with product training course templates that allow you to create fun and interactive training courses for your team incredibly fast.
Get started with our free-forever Starter Plan right now.