Improving Product Knowledge Training for Sales Success

Posted by: waadmin
Category: eLearning
Improving Product Knowledge Training for Sales Success

As well as having a good grip of your products’ attributes, improving your product knowledge training will help to instill confidence in your sales team. When talking with a potential customer, a retail adviser needs to demonstrate that confidence in being able to give him or her the information needed to make a good purchase decision.

Components of good sales product knowledge training

Features and Benefits

It’s very easy to parrot a list of impressive sounding facts and figures, but if the customer does not understand the benefits of those attributes to him or her, then it may just sound like waffle or jargon.

“It does this, so you get that” is much better than “It does x, y and z”.

Understanding Customer Challenges

Being able to link those features to benefits requires an understanding of customer personas. What is the likely demographic and what do they need / want / expect from your kind of product?

Competitor Analysis

So you understand the customer and how your product can tick all the boxes, but what if the competition’s can as well? If your customers are likely to be shopping around, it can be very powerful to train sales staff on the relative strengths of your products as well. If the competition is cheaper, what is the downside to the customer? Is your product of higher quality…?

Market Environment

How are external influences going to affect a customer’s choices? For example, if new tax legislation had recently been introduced on larger vehicles, would car retailers suddenly have greater success pushing their smaller or hybrid ranges?


A unique selling point in a product can make it untouchable by the competition. Perhaps a prospect visiting the car retailer above is in the market for a hybrid. If that customer would really like a sunroof and you offer the only hybrid with a sunroof, then maybe you have the deal-clinching USP.


Does your company offer a growing or frequently updated range of products? If so, you need a way to quickly and easily keep this up to date. That means that large, glossy training manuals are inappropriate, because the content would be to slow and expensive to update and roll out.

This can make an elearning solution particularly effective for retailers, as online product knowledge training can be updated within the learning platform, without the need for print runs or train the trainer programs to be planned and completed.


Do you run multiple stores, perhaps across multiple towns, states or countries? If so, you may want to ensure that product knowledge training does not become a huge cost to your business – especially as retail is traditionally a sector with high staff turnover. Making training materials accessible to new recruits without the need to book trainers and facilities can enable them to start selling and helping you to generate profit much faster. Again, a retail elearning platform can be a huge time and cost-saver in this respect.


Different people learn best in a range of different ways – through text, audio, video or interaction – and in any mix of these. A long list of product specifications may suit some of your staff, but for many, this could be too dry and boring to take the information in effectively. Having text alongside relevant images or video explanations could help many staff to learn much faster.


Interaction between staff during the training process helps you to leverage the relative strengths between different staff, and the knowledge of your more experienced sales staff. Social learning is a huge growth area within the field of training, and many companies are working well to make use of the rise in social media to enhance the performance of their sales teams. Social media involves technology that many of your staff are already using and comfortable with, so it makes sense to make training accessible via these platforms when appropriate.

Sales Success

In retail environments, especially those with high staff turnover, it is common to place a great deal of emphasis on ensuring that sufficient headcount is in place and what you are recruiting people with a good sales pedigree.

However, the effectiveness of training is sometimes overlooked. Good product knowledge training will enable your staff to develop greater confidence in their customer interactions. This should bring greater customer confidence in the competence of your staff and your company in meeting their needs, and in turn, bring greater sales success.

Our Work

Webanywhere has implemented major retailers in the US and Europe in improving sales product knowledge with the best in open source elearning platforms. Our clients include the likes of Texas Instruments, Safeway and Domino’s Pizza. Read our case study on how we created a social learning platform for Zara – one of the world’s largest fashion retail companies.