Mastering knowledge of the products that you sell and perhaps more importantly, their applications, is the key to factor sales success, that’s according to Tony Zeal, Training Manager at CTEK, a leading global brand in the care and maintenance of vehicle batteries.
You cannot underestimate the importance of product knowledge when closing a sale. It instils faith, trust, and respect in the customer, which creates a positive customer experience. It’s not enough to know the ‘product spec’. Your sales team need to be able to tell the customer what the product does or doesn’t do, its USPs, its competency compared to the competition and the advantages for your customer’s business when using the product.
I completely appreciate that for factors with a large portfolio of products to offer, it’s hugely demanding of manufacturers to expect you to do this for each and every product that we supply. To make training as useful as possible, our Skillbase training sessions focus heavily on product application. If your sales team understand the type of vehicles entering workshops, the needs/challenges in the workshop, and how our products solve problems, they can match a product to a need and provide a solution.
We invest a lot of time capturing case studies for inclusion in our training material. Showing real-life examples of how our product satisfied a customer’s needs and solved their problems, builds confidence within the sales team and provides them with a strong fact-based sales argument. Skillbase attendees can really start to build an ‘applications’ picture of what the product can do.
We believe the best way to experience the quality, features and versatility of products is through practical, hands-on demonstration in a real-world environment. We always ensure that a large proportion of the training sessions at the CTEK PoWeR Centre are practical, hands-on sessions, and we try to do the same when we attend customer locations too.
By offering people attending our Skillbase sessions the opportunity to improve their own performance through training and education, we also get a window into their customers’ thoughts, wants and needs. This information is invaluable to us in terms of future product development. For my Skillbase colleagues, training is never a one-way conversation, we use it to gather as well as deliver information.
We appreciate that factor staff have huge time pressures, and that face-to-face training does not always fit in with schedules. We therefore have a training system that combines the best of online e- learning and classroom training. Our e- learning modules enable staff to participate at a speed or level that works around their busy schedule.
Skillbase from CTEK
At CTEK, training and education forms a key part of the support that we provide to our customers. Launched in 2015, our Skillbase partner-training programme enables our customers to increase their understanding of CTEK products and their applications whilst also developing a range of essential battery care and maintenance skills.
This led to the opening of the CTEK PoWeR Center. Located at our HQ in Sweden, this state-of-the-art training and product development facility welcomes customers, journalists and other VIPs from all over the world for training, events and meetings and is home to the Skillbase colleagues.