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May 2018
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TD Magazine

Weighing In (May 2018)

What advice would you give to sales training developers to create product training that's not boring?

"One word: storytelling. First, product training will usually benefit from having a narrative about how and why different products were created in the first place and how they've evolved. Second, it should include a narrative about how the organization has had success selling the products over time and how those selling strategies have changed."
—Jeremy Shere, Bloomington, Indiana

"Forget about what the product is and think [about the] customer. What problems does the product solve? What value does it bring?"
—Steve Thurlow, Holt, Norfolk, United Kingdom

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"Instead of a spec sheet for a new product, marketing should make a 'problems-solved' sheet. Then the sales rep would learn to speak in a language that the customer understands."
—Gay Mccormack, Tampa, Florida

"Far too many product trainings are nothing more than dumbed-down technical training. When I first got started with designing product training, it was all about features and benefits, feeds and speeds—not about how to articulate the quantifiable business value delivered to the customer. Boring! We set about changing that, emphasizing how the product contributed to a solution that delivered real value. This was something salespeople could relate to, and their interest increased significantly."
—Jim Thurman, Greater Raleigh-Durham Area, North Carolina

"Keep everything in the context of value to the customer."
—Kenny Finger, Leesburg, Virginia

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About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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