Product Training for a Distributed Sales Force using Infopro Learning ’s Product Knowledge Workforce Performance Solution

The Company

Our client is one of the world’s largest media/marketing/publishing companies in the world. This company has over 31,000 employees throughout the world, many of which are remote workers working from home offices. With a background in traditional print publication, this company has been transitioning over the past decade into more of a digital company. Instead of selling advertising in their print publications, they have transitioned into offering services like SEO, Ad Space Marketing, and Digital Advertising.

The Sales Force for this publishing company was spread across the globe and divided into multiple Lines of Business which sold overlapping products and services. These separate groups joined together to address the problem that they faced with Product Knowledge Training and approached Infopro Learning for a solution.

The Challenge

After conducting sporadic assessments of sales people across these divisions, it became evident that there was a significant divide among the sales team between the top 10% of sales people and the rest of the team. After further investigation, one of the strongest correlations tied to Sales Performance seemed to be core Product Knowledge and the ability to recall and communicate features and benefits of the products.

Understanding the problem was an important first step, however, addressing this problem would be very difficult for the following reasons:

  • 1. The Sales Force was distributed geographically.
  • 2. The Sales Force was divided into separate lines of business and although they sold common products and services, there were subtle differences across the teams.
  • 3. The demographics of the sales team was very diverse:
    • a. Some sales people had been with the organization from the time that they were selling conventional print advertising. Digital Marketing concepts were very foreign to these people.
    • b. Some sales people were younger and while the digital landscape was more natural for them, their lack of brand affinity and inability to communicate brand value hurt their performance.

The Solution

As we worked with the customer to understand this problem, we determined that the need was an excellent fit for Infopro Learning’s Sales Product Knowledge Workforce Performance Solution (WPS). This workforce performance solution would not only solve the challenges that the customer was facing, but it would also maximize the impact that this exercise had on sales force performance.

The Sales Product Knowledge WPS, is a combination of Infopro Learning’s “ARISE” Workforce Performance Consulting model and Infopro Learning’s proven Instructional Strategy specific for Product Knowledge Training.


The ARISE Model

ARISE in Action

The first step we took, as per our ARISE model, was to conduct a comprehensive analysis exercise with the customer. We traveled to multiple customer locations to meet sales managers, L&D leaders, and sales people and conducted a massive survey and assessment to gauge knowledge gaps and gain an appreciation for the diversity of the sales force.

After we completed this analysis phase, we prepared a detailed recommendations document which addressed the key findings of the analysis and a plan for the Product Trainings which would not only address the diversity of the sales team but would also maximize the ROI of the program via boosting sales performance. This recommendations document summarized the blended learning approach which would be taken in the implementation phase of the ARISE model.

In the implementation phase, we utilized Infopro Learning’s proven instructional model for Product Knowledge Training and customized it with the content and unique aspects of the customer’s products and services. In the implementation phase, we created a series of eLearning courses, mobile learning videos, ILT materials and learning technology to support delivery.

We then supported the customer for a 90 day rollout of the program to the sales force, making valuable changes as the sales force expressed feedback.

“Having worked first hand in the Sales and L&D community, I truly understand the hardships of effectively training a sales force. What I have found to be most rewarding in the Challenger Sales world we live in, is investing in product knowledge before all other areas. Sales processes and closing skills are definitely valuable, but content is king. Customers want to know they are working with someone who can give them more information than what they could simply find online.” Arun Prakash
Chief Learning Strategist at Infopro Learning

The Results

After evaluating the impact of the product knowledge training, we found that the customers sales team scored much higher on Product Knowledge assessments and were much more capable communicating features, advantage, and benefits of their products.

As a result of Infopro Learning’s Sales Product Knowledge Workforce Performance Solution, our customer experienced a boost in their sales force’s performance. In addition, the sales force expressed their appreciation for the mobile learning components of the solution as they could use these small mobile trainings as “quick refreshers” on features and benefits of the products as they were out in the field. Overall, the sales team’s Product Knowledge grew drastically and their sales performance was boosted in a quantifiable way.

“We decided to work with InfoPro because they had the most comprehensive solution. Not everyone in our team learns the same way and InfoPro’s solution was a great match for that diversity. Also, we really liked having 3 months of scheduled consultations with InfoPro after we launched the course. Although we only made small changes, it seemed to make a big difference for our sales team.”Customer Testimonial
Learning Project Lead

The Bottom-Line – Infopro Learning’s Sales Product Knowledge Workforce Performance Solution improved product knowledge with the global sales force and increased digital media sales by more than 7%.

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