What Is Product Knowledge?
If you work in a company that sells products to customers, you need to have product knowledge. But what does that mean exactly? Product knowledge means an understanding of the details, features, benefits, and uses of a product or service. It is a skill for people who interact with customers, investors, or the media because it affects the profitability and reputation of the business. It also involves learning about troubleshooting and support and responding to any objections. Product knowledge may vary depending on the complexity of the product or the industry.
Salespeople need to have product knowledge to persuade customers effectively. They need to know how their product can meet the customer’s needs and how it compares to the competitors’ products. This also includes facts, figures and benefits of the product.
It can also help provide accurate information, boost enthusiasm and encourage sales, build trust with customers, and make a lasting impression. In other words, product knowledge can help you deliver better service to your existing customers and attract new ones.
Benefits of Product Knowledge
Knowledge is power for sales or Employees force, product knowledge can be the vehicle to increase sales to attract customers into it. So, it has more importance to the company.
1. Increased Confidence
Sales staff will be well-versed in the features and benefits of product lines, it can boost the confidence of employees and better rapport with customers and get a more successful approach to marketing. Promoting product education for your sales associates can pay off happier in customers and more confident staff members.
2. Effective Communication
Comprehensive product training and skills and knowledge acquired during product education help sales associates communicate concepts and ideas more clearly when interacting with customers. This additional lucidity establishes a positive connection with customers and encourages them to feel great that select the best one for their requirements.
The Uses of Product Knowledge in an Organization
Product knowledge is useful for everyone in an organization, not just for sales and marketing teams. Here are some examples of how different roles can benefit from product knowledge:
- Product managers need product knowledge to develop and improve the product based on customer feedback and market research. They also need to communicate the product vision and roadmap to internal and external stakeholders.
- Product Developers can leverage product knowledge to understand the technical aspects of the product and how it solves customer problems. Moreover, they need to collaborate with other developers and testers to ensure quality and functionality.
- Product Designers can use product knowledge to create user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing interfaces that match the product's features and benefits. They also need to test and iterate their designs based on user feedback and data.
- Product Marketers need product knowledge to create effective campaigns and content that showcase the product's value proposition and differentiation. Also, they need to analyze and optimize their marketing efforts based on performance metrics and customer behavior.
- Salespeople utilize product knowledge to present and demonstrate the product to potential customers and answer their questions and objections. They can also negotiate and close deals based on customer needs and expectations.
- Customer service representatives can use product knowledge to provide support and guidance to existing customers who have issues or questions about the product. In addition, they need to collect feedback and suggestions from customers and relay them to the product team.
- Leaders & Stakeholders need product knowledge to set strategic goals and direction for the organization based on the product's potential and performance. They also need to inspire and motivate their teams by sharing the product's vision and mission.
As you can see, product knowledge is essential for every role in an organization that is involved in creating, marketing, selling, or servicing a product. It helps align everyone on the same page and fosters collaboration and innovation.
Types of Product Knowledge
Product knowledge can be divided into two types: factual and experiential. Factual product knowledge refers to objective information about the product's features, specifications, price, availability, etc. On the other hand, experiential product knowledge refers to subjective information about the product's benefits, use cases, customer testimonials, etc.
Both types of product knowledge are important for different purposes. Factual product knowledge helps customers compare different products based on their attributes and make informed decisions. While experiential product knowledge helps customers imagine how the product can solve their problems or improve their lives based on their emotions and values.
For example, if you are selling a laptop, factual product knowledge would include information such as:
- Processor speed
- Memory size
- Battery life
- Screen resolution
Experiential product knowledge would include information like:
- How fast the laptop can run multiple applications
- How much data you can store on the laptop
- How long you can work without plugging in
- How clear and vivid the images are on the screen
- How easy it is to carry around
- How reliable and secure the laptop is
To provide effective product knowledge, you need to balance both types of information depending on your audience's needs and preferences. Some customers may want more factual information while others may want more experiential information. You need to tailor your message accordingly.
How to Grow and Improve Product Knowledge
Product knowledge is not something that you can learn once and forget about it. It is something that you need to constantly grow and improve as your product evolves and your customers change. Here are some tips on how to grow and improve your product knowledge:
- Use your own product: The best way to learn about your product is to use it yourself. This will help you discover its strengths and weaknesses, its advantages and disadvantages, its features and benefits. You will also be able to empathize with your customers better by experiencing what they experience when using your product.
- Get feedback from customers: Another way to learn about your product is to listen to what your customers have to say about it. You can get feedback from various sources such as surveys, reviews, testimonials, social media, forums, etc. You can also talk directly to your customers through phone calls, emails, chats, etc. This will help you understand their needs, pain points, expectations, satisfaction levels, etc.
- Read industry news: A third way to learn about your product is to keep up with industry trends and developments that affect your product or market. You can read industry blogs, magazines, newsletters, reports, etc. You can also attend industry events such as webinars, conferences, workshops, etc. This enables you to stay updated on what's happening in your field and what's coming next.
- Learn from competitors: A fourth way to learn about your product is to study what your competitors are doing with their products. You can compare their products with yours based on various criteria such as features, price, quality, design, etc. You can also analyze their marketing strategies, sales tactics, customer service practices, etc. As a result, you will be able to identify your unique selling points and areas for improvement.
Product Knowledge Training
Product knowledge training is the process of educating your team members on your product so they can perform their roles effectively. Product knowledge training can be done in various ways such as:
- Online courses: You can create online courses that cover different aspects of your product such as its history, vision, features, benefits, use cases, etc. You can use various formats such as videos, slides, quizzes, games, etc. You can also track your team members’ progress and test their knowledge using online tools.
- Live sessions: Another training method is conducting live sessions where you or an expert explain and demonstrate your product in real-time using various platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Teams, etc. You can also invite questions and feedback from your team members during or after the session.
- On-the-job training: You can assign mentors or coaches who can guide and support your team members as they learn by using your product. Moreover, you can provide feedback and recognition along the way.
- Peer learning: Last but not least, you can encourage peer learning where your team members share their experiences and insights with each other using various channels such as Slack, Teams, email, etc. You can also create communities of practice where your team members discuss best practices and challenges related to your product.
Product knowledge training should be ongoing and adaptive as your product changes and grows over time. You should also evaluate its effectiveness by measuring its impact on key performance indicators such as sales volume, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, etc.
Leveraging ATS to Find Talents with Product Knowledge
When it comes to identifying candidates who could possess or have the potential to learn and improve your product knowledge, leveraging a tool like Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help you accomplish your goal faster and more efficiently.
Manatal is a recruitment applicant tracking system that helps you source, manage, and hire the best candidates for your business. It offers many features related to candidate screening, such as:
- AI-powered resume parsing: Manatal can automatically extract relevant information from resumes and create rich candidate profiles that include skills, experience, education, languages, etc. You can also customize the fields and categories to suit your needs.
- Social media enrichment: With Manatal, you can enrich candidate profiles with data from social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You’ll be able to get a more complete picture of the candidates’ backgrounds, interests, and personalities.
- Advanced search and filters: You’ll be enabled to search and filter candidates based on various criteria such as keywords, skills, location, availability, salary expectations, etc. You can also create custom tags and ratings to organize and rank candidates according to your preferences.
- Candidate scoring. Manatal can automatically score candidates based on their fit for the job and your company culture. It uses AI algorithms that learn from your feedback and preferences over time. You can also adjust the scoring criteria and weights to match your hiring goals.
- Candidate comparison. Manatal allows you to compare candidates’ side by side based on their scores, profiles, resumes, notes, etc. You can also create shortlists and share them with your team members for collaboration and feedback.
Imagine going through an ocean of applicants and quickly spotlighting the right candidates. Sounds amazing, right? Try a 14-day free trial with Manatal now and see for yourself how this cloud-based recruitment solution can transform your hiring process within a few clicks.