Training: The Missing Step in the Sales Process

Training, Sales, Product Training

Closing out a sale signals the commencement of a client onboarding process. For many companies, this means an installation, set-up, and customizations. One of the most important elements in client onboarding that is often left out is training. Training will have a major impact on the client satisfaction with your product and the client’s impression of your company.

Pre-sales demos should not be considered training. During the pre-sales time, your client was exploring the functionality of your product and still prospecting other options. After a client has selected your product, they now have an open mind on moving forward with their chosen solution. You don’t have to sell them on the features anymore; you need to teach them how they are now going to use these features to carry out their end goal with your product.

Training and guidance on “the basics” is crucial. Without some sort of instruction manual, your client is going to quickly become frustrated with the functionality of your product. Many companies provide manuals, but in my experience opening up an 89 page PDF file when I am having an issue can be a little daunting. This is why any company performing product training needs to have a variety of media formats available: resource library of videos, help index, FAQ resources, and access to a support team.

Make sure your client is getting the full value of the product through training. If left to their own to explore, a client might not find out all the features available in their newly purchased products. Companies don’t realize that many of the features, tricks, and shortcuts are not always as intuitive as you would like for them to be. This is also where a great human interaction can come into place. Having a dedicated product trainer or subject matter expert talk with the client about their plans and expectations for the product will allow the training session to cover the important segments that apply to the client’s specific goals.

Training is a way to cross-sell. Perhaps you have a product line that ranges in price and scale of functionality. Getting a client started with the smaller scale product gives you the opportunity to impress them with your product, and intrigues them into what might be possible with your premium models or services. Their satisfaction with your product is going to leave them coming back for more, and seeing your company as the expert in this product line.

If you are left wondering HOW to performing product training, know that there is not one perfect solution. This is where the term “blended” learning comes into play. Having a dedicated trainer or support team coupled with a resource library is really the best option so that some clients can self-serve while others can speak to someone directly when a question comes up.