Product Management Tools User Guide
All of the effort invested to create a great product will be for naught unless your sales team is ready to work with customers.
The Sales Training Plan documents who will receive training, when they will receive it and the desired outcomes of that training.
To add a fresh Sales Training Plan blueprint to your Space, enter your Project Name and choose 'Sales Training Plan' from the drop down menu.
'Moon Rock' is our project name in this example.
Your new page will need a name before you can begin working on it.
Begin by naming your blueprint "Sales Training Plan." You do not want to name this page after your project name because each page within Confluence must have a unique name.
Your Space within Confluence should be named after your project, and each blueprint page within that Space is named according to the function (ex: "Sales Training Plan").
Special instructions on how to complete the Sales Training Plan are shown only while in "Edit" mode and are highlighted.
These instructions will not appear on the main page or in an exported PDF or Word version of your document.
Sections of the Sales Training Plan
This section should be completed last.
Copy your metrics from the 'Training Outcomes' section below into the Executive Summary.
The level of effort and planning required depends upon the launch type. Classify your product launch type.
Determination of launch type - and priority - should be made in collaboration with your leadership team. It is tempting to classify your launch as a "Major Launch" because it is a major launch to you!
Each launch within a company can not, by definition, be a Major Launch. Some launches must be Minor Launches and or even a Soft Launch.
Sales teams need prioritization of launches so that they can invest their time wisely.
Marketing staff need prioritization of launches so that they budget time and expenses appropriately.
Customers need prioritization of launches so that they pay attention to the most important news from your company.
Determine Who Will Receive Sales Training
Training materials will be created to meet the needs of your team members. It is, therefore, important to identify early in the process who will be trained.
Think carefully of all groups who will interact with customers in a sales or support role for this product. This is your primary audience.
Anyone in the company who may interact with a customer, and should be familiar with the product (even if it is not their assigned portfolio) should also be considered to receive training.
Customers do not enjoy hearing, "Sorry, I don't know anything about that product because it's not my responsibility."
Upon completion of training, your sales force should accomplish objectives in four categories.
- KNOW information
- DO activities
- BELIEVE that the product claims are valid
- AVOID DOING anything that is illegal, dishonest or will not help a customer
The information that your team will need to know can include a great deal more than product specifications. Your team will need to know which target customers will benefit from the product, how to move through the sales process, how to offer a demo, etc. Make a list of your learning objectives to support this launch by replacing the examples provided with your goals.
Indicate the type for each objective. Your goal is to have roughly the same number of objectives in each category.
Prioritize those objectives with "#1" being the most important objective to achieve.
Your training goals should cover the entire training process. Align your training objectives to the launch phase in which the objective will be met.
Determine the metrics that will indicate success or need for additional training.
You decided which team members will receive training in the 'Determine Who Will Receive Training' section above.
Next determine when each role will receive training.
If all roles will receive training at the same time then delete this section and add a line of text to the 'Determine Who Will Receive Training' section to indicate that training will be offered to everyone at the same time. It is considered Best Practice to offer training at different times depending upon the role. Managers, for example, often receive training before their teams. Support teams might receive training before the sales team in order to help answer questions. Staggering the training eases the time pressure for you to have all training ready at the same time while also "testing" it with one group to identify gaps before offering it to a larger audience.
All team members designated to receive training should be included in this table.
Sales Training Collateral
Once your project has been funded and assigned a launch type, it is time to determine the training resources (collateral) that will be created. The goal is to create resources that will help your Sales and Support teams be successful without attempting to create every possible type of training material. It is a proven fact that humans stop paying attention as the number of options grows too large. Work with your Sales and Support teams to determine which of the following materials will be MOST helpful for them.
The suggestions in the example contained in your blueprint are specific to sales training. Some options, such as 'Case Studies,' may have the same name as a Sales Asset (a resource seen by customers). A 'Case Study' for sales training may explain how a sales representative identified a potential customer, arranged a demo and closed the sale. This is different from a Sales Asset 'Case Study' which is intended to be seen by customers and may tell a story of a customer who benefited from using the product.