Product knowledge is a driving force behind your sales team’s success. When your team knows your products - all of your products - they’re able to: communicate effectively with your buyers; create excitement around your products and services; boost your buyers’ confidence in your products and business, and; easily relieve objections buyers may have.
- Gaps in skills and knowledge,
- Keeping up with new products as well as the pace of innovation within the industry and your own company, plus
- Contending with the fact that sales managers are 206% less likely to receive training for their specific role; meaning they’re less likely to be prepared for the role
...are all factors that can stop your sales team from reaching their quotas.
Staff training is an obvious way to improve sales team product knowledge and sales skills. But training has its own issues to contend with:
- Time spent training is time spent not making a sale.
- Outdated, ineffective, or boring training delivery methods alienate sales reps.
- How many times do sales reps “pass” a product knowledge quiz at the end of training but can’t apply the knowledge to meet their sales quotas?
- Perhaps the sales numbers on one or two products are raised, but your other products flounder.
- Money gets left on the table when you sell one product but can’t upsell and cross-sell products effectively.
Training Industry reports that companies are spending more than $140 billion on training worldwide but almost half of employees don’t believe the training is working and businesses aren’t getting the results they want.
How Do You Do Staff Training That Changes Behavior?
Training that returns sales reps to their jobs faster, uncovers knowledge gaps, and changes behavior to positively impact the business (in other words, increase sales), is possible; it’s known as Adaptive Learning.
Adaptive Learning uses a combination of cognitive science and computer science to provide a learning program tailored to the needs of the learner.
Personalized learning means that learners never see content they don’t need to see, and they aren’t forced to sit through material they’ve already mastered. Personalization reduces training time by up to 50% - so sales reps can get back to selling - without sacrificing the efficacy or quality of what they’ve learned.
To change behavior, reps need to internalize knowledge. Instead of simply showing sales reps the specs on a new product once and expecting them to remember it, the Adaptive Learning platform creates opportunities for multiple exposures (especially if the sales rep is struggling to master certain content). Then, when reps are in the middle of making a sale and are asked to share information about a new product, their knowledge comes to them like second nature.
Sometimes we think we know everything there is to know about a product but in reality we don’t. Not knowing what you don’t know is called unconscious incompetence and in a sales environment it means the information being shared about your products or services by sales reps is inaccurate. Read this comparative case study to find out how Adaptive Learning has changed employee behavior, uncovered unconscious incompetence, and reduced training time for real world clients. Adaptive Learning brings employees
- To proficiency
- Faster, and
- At scale.