You’re using an older browser version. Update to the latest version of Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge for the best site experience.

Product Knowledge Training 101: The Whys, Whats, and How-tos

21 minutes
Product Knowledge Training

Table of Contents

Product training that converts
Explore our package deal

Product knowledge training is essential for ensuring that everyone in your organization has enough knowledge and competency to make communication comfortable and wholesome for your clients. And when the customers are happy, there’s a greater chance for building meaningful customer relations.

But what exactly can you do to make them happy? In our world of overwhelming competition, with multiple businesses running neck and neck with almost identical products, it is the perception of your company and its services that becomes crucial.

That’s why it’s important that each team member has a deep understanding of what the company offers and how to communicate it effectively to the customers.

That becomes possible only when your employees are well-trained and are truly experts on your product. And that’s where product knowledge training comes in.

What is Product Knowledge Training?

Product knowledge training is a learning program that explains characteristics and advantages of a product or a service that learners need to know in order to use, sell or promote it effectively.

For example:

  • Sales representatives with extensive product knowledge will do a better job of explaining product value, handling objections, and providing more personalized offers.
  • Marketers will be able to tell more persuasive stories that will attract more interested prospects.
  • The support team will respond more quickly to customers’ requests and provide more personalized and comprehensive help.
  • All employees will be more motivated and will become product ambassadors.

Depending on the learners’ roles and responsibilities, a product training program can focus on different aspects, have different learning objectives, and bring different benefits to your business. 

Let’s look closer at product knowledge and ways it can contribute to your company’s success.

Why is Product Knowledge Important?

When it comes to product and service training, we usually conjure up an image of training geared toward sales reps. There’s no doubt that knowing the products well is important for the sales department, but aside from the sales staff, there are a lot of people inside and outside your company you need to train on your products to make your business thrive.

Let’s list some benefits of training on product knowledge. 

Building a team of productive enthusiasts 

An employee who knows the products inside and out, and believes they can bring great value to lots of customers and the world, is not just a “desk jockey” from a sales, support, or marketing department, but a dedicated and inspired enthusiast. This type of staff member can form dedicated teams with great motivation and amazing results.

Gaining credibility and building long-lasting relations with customers 

By the time prospects enter your territory (an office or online marketplace), they have probably looked through your website, read a number of reviews on your products, and consider themselves to be experts in your field. And they are not going to forgive your sales rep for being insecure about your product’s characteristics, options, and benefits.

Sales product training will help your sales team propose your products convincingly, combat prospects’ objections, and gain their trust more readily.

Making your customers experts on your product

Giving your customers detailed information about your products will help you create a comfortable customer journey from the point where prospects choose your solution and get the most out of it.

Here’s a sample of a course created with iSpring Suite:

Vacuum cleaner demo course

For instance, you can provide your prospects with product overviews, specifications, and customer reviews to help them make their choice easier. And your clients will appreciate online videos or screencasts, e.g., how to install your washing machine or adjust a new CRM for the customer’s needs.

To get a better understanding of how it works, read the iPerformance ApS case study. This Danish software company used to spend a great deal of money and employees’ time visiting new customers’ offices to train them how to use their applications. Now that iPerformance ApS moved the training to a digital format, they’re able to work with many more customers simultaneously and overcome any geographical restrictions.

This will have two beneficial effects: the number of requests to your support department will decrease, and some of your customers will turn into your products’ experts and promoters. That’s how word-of-mouth works.

Growing business with partner networks

If you want to increase channel sales, you have to provide your partners with product knowledge training as well. This will evidence that you are the right person to start doing business with, as you’re ready to invest in their expertise, development, and success. And you’ll help them get better results and generate more revenue. 

Product Knowledge Training Objectives

Product knowledge training demonstrates your products’ features and benefits, so the trainees achieve greater results when they promote, sell, and use them.

To help each group get the most out of the product training, your product training strategy should include different learning programs adapted to each job the products are used for. 

Product training for sales reps

Objective: to train the sales reps to present your products, overcome common objections, maintain knowledge retention, and close deals faster.

Build your product sales training highlighting the benefits and advantages of your products, and your salespeople will effectively communicate all the strong points of your products and/or services.

Provide your sales team with the following information:

  • The products. functionalities, advantages, and values for customers – in other words, how and why a prospect’s life or work will become easier, more effective, or joyful if they purchase them.
  • How to use the products. Give a salesperson an opportunity to learn new products’ ins and outs from initial installation to final results (e.g., getting clothes washed or launching an air conditioning system). It will help them understand their clients better and answer their objections more easily.
  • Price and ROI: how to calculate the final price, compare it with the competitors’ offers, and convince the client that their benefits will go far beyond the price they pay. For the B2B market, your sales reps need to be able to calculate the ROI (return on investment) period of your products.
  • Customization. Your sales team has to know how the products can be adjusted according to specific customer needs. For software solutions, for example, they need to understand the nuances of implementation in small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporations.
  • Updates. If your sales teams know about impending new features, they can use this in negotiations to handle a prospect’s objections and close deals with those who are not completely satisfied with your current solutions but are ready to wait a while to get updated versions.
  • The list of your existing clients and their success stories. The greater the variety of relevant case studies you have on that list, the easier it is for your prospect to trust you.

Also read: Retail Sales Training – How to Move It Online

Product knowledge training for customer service

Objective: teach the customer support team to provide customers with high-level assistance.

Imagine that you bought a new washing machine, and it now needs a warranty repair. If customer service staff present themselves as supportive professionals trying their best to make this process less of a headache for the client, they will probably return to this company when they need another household appliance. 

This scenario applies to any business and product: your reputation is a solid base for long-lasting relations with your customers and repeat sales.

Here’s what your customer service team should know:

  • Technical aspects of the products: how they work, what parts they consist of, and how to fix them. 
  • Compatibility with other products and services. What glue is better for your wallpaper? What devices is your software compatible with? What fuel is better to use in your space shuttles? 
  • Answers to frequently asked questions: provide your customer support service with a list of requests that are asked often, along with their answers, so the supporters can easily use them to solve common problems.

Product training for a marketing department

Objective: provide updated information regularly and help create an effective brand positioning and promotion strategy. 

Most often, marketers don’t need to dive deep into technical aspects; it’s much more important for them to understand what customer pains can be solved with your product.

Let’s look at the information to cover for the marketing division: 

  • Products: options, distinctive features, and benefits.
  • Who already uses the products? An analysis of your customer base will show what audience is most likely to buy your products and why.
  • The list of impending updates. The marketing team needs to know about planned changes and new product launches beforehand so they have time to develop their promotional plan.

Product knowledge training for customers

Objective: to teach customers how the products work and achieve great results with them.

Product training for customers can take the form of a digital knowledge base with instructions, how-to videos, and webinars.

If your products are complex, require special skills to use, or have lots of features and options, your customers will need thorough knowledge as soon as they start using them.

What information to include in product training for customers:

  • Product features overview. When considering making a purchase, the customer is focusing on a product’s details that are needed to solve their current tasks; later, they might want to explore the entire range of features your products have to offer.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish one specific task, e.g., how to generate a revenue report in your CRM, clean a filter in your air conditioner, or set up your alarm system. 
  • Answers to frequently asked questions. These can help customers take a closer look at the products and start using them quickly and hassle-free.

Product knowledge for partners

Objective: increase sales, minimize reputational risks, and grow the number of partners.

With partners, the same rule as the one pertaining to your internal sales reps applies: a well-informed partner will bring you lots of new customers, but if the partner lacks product knowledge, they will most probably become a source of reputation damage and an endless stream of angry customers. That’s why you need to provide your partners’ sales teams with the same information as your own sales department.

Product related training benefits for channel partners

Still, those two teams have one crucial difference: you are able to track and improve your company’s sales department performance anytime, even in real time (by listening to their phone conversations with customers, for example), while your partners’ sales activities are not accessible. Thus, you might want to make their results more predictable by assessing their sales readiness before they start presenting your products to prospective customers.

For this, you can add a product knowledge assessment at the end of the training and set a minimal passing score for it. You can make an agreement with your partners that only sales reps who passed your “product exam” and received a certificate will be allowed to present your company and products to prospective clients. 

Product knowledge for all new hires

Objective: provide a basic understanding of the product, its value, and why it’s appreciated by users. 

It’s a good idea to include basic product knowledge training in your onboarding program for new hires of all departments, as this will help them understand the company they have joined and establish their loyalty, starting from their first days at work.

Also read: Remote Employee Onboarding

Types of Product Knowledge Training

We’ve found out why product knowledge training is a must-have for companies that are striving for growth and success. Let’s now explore how it can be conducted in different companies, and the pros and cons of each approach. 

Offline and online product knowledge training

For many years, classroom instructor-led training (ILT) was the most popular way to inform employees about the product and its updates. Direct contact between the instructor and the audience helps learners digest information more easily and allows the trainer to monitor learners’ reactions, adjust the session program to their needs, and keep them engaged. 

On the other hand, offline product training has its disadvantages: 

  • Conducting regular offline meetings requires considerable costs: trainers’ salaries, travel expenses, training room rental, printed materials, and much more. 
  • You need to gather learners together in one place, taking them away from their work tasks (and the current post-pandemic reality makes this almost impossible).
  • The staff in distant offices always receive delayed information (unless your trainers have advanced teleportation skills). 

Thanks to modern technologies, we have a solution that helps us overcome all those restrictions – and that’s online training. Online product training makes information accessible anytime and anywhere. Besides, as soon as you upload training content to the Web, it becomes available for everyone simultaneously in all time zones without any time gaps for remote offices.

To provide your employees with regular online training, you can use a learning management system (LMS), which is an online platform for storing and distributing learning materials via the Internet. In an LMS, employees have personal accounts where they can see courses assigned to them, a schedule of upcoming training activities, and can track the results they’ve achieved. The right LMS can save learning and development managers hours spent on a daily basis, organizing and supporting the training process. For example, the iSpring Learn LMS puts most of the training routine processes on autopilot: it can automatically assign courses, send notifications and reminders about deadlines, and track trainees’ results in a number of insightful reports.

Also read: 12 LMS Benefits for Recruiters, HR, Sales, and Commercial Directors—Expert Opinion

Synchronous and asynchronous product training

Synchronous training assumes that all learners take the program at the same time. For this purpose, you can gather them in a brick-and-mortar classroom or connect online via a video conferencing platform. 

Or, you can give your employees learning materials (printed or published digitally) and set the deadline for their studies, so they’ll be able to choose the time for studying and progress at their own pace. That’s how asynchronous learning works. 

Blended learning

Blended learning for product knowledge training is usually a mix of ILT sessions and self-paced learning activities. Nowadays, many companies prefer using a combination of both modalities, as they see that it works much better compared to only using traditional face-to-face sessions or eLearning.

There are endless ways you can blend them. For example, you can organize your product training plan to start in your showrooms to demonstrate the product (an offline synchronous part of the training), and can then ask participants to take online courses to deepen their knowledge and complete the final tests to check their knowledge (an online asynchronous product training).

If you use this approach in your company, when choosing an LMS, you’ll need to make sure that the solution you pick allows combining different types of activities in one training program, e.g., online courses and assessments for self-study and online product knowledge seminars, as is the case with the iSpring Learn LMS.

How to Develop Online Product Knowledge Training

Now, it’s time to take a close look at different formats you can wrap your online product training in and show how you can develop them fast, with minimal effort.

Online courses

An online, or eLearning, course is a basic format of online learning materials. Courses can be enhanced with interactive elements, videos, and quizzes that keep learners engaged and help them retain information better. 

Nowadays, there is an overwhelming number of eLearning authoring tools available and it seems to be a real challenge to find the one that meets your needs (check out our free guide on how to choose the authoring tool that’s right for you).

If you haven’t used authoring tools before (or if your experience wasn’t as easy and delightful as you expected it to be), you might be concerned that mastering some new software is a challenge that will consume a significant amount of your time. But that’s not necessarily true. 

With the iSpring Suite authoring tool, with a few clicks, you can turn existing PPT slides into a digital course with all PowerPoint effects, transitions, and animations kept intact. Or you can create professional-looking interactive courses from scratch. iSpring Suite has everything you need for that: a content library with 89,000+ course templates, characters, and images, easy-to-use quiz and role-play makers, and a handy video and audio studio (yes, all that functionality becomes available right inside PowerPoint when using iSpring Suite). 

Online games

As children, we all learned new things through games and play. It was highly effective, as it involved our imagination and engaged us. For the same reasons, a game-based learning approach remains effective when learners grow up; it still helps retain information better when it comes to learning quite “unchildlike” topics (see this report from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University).

8 core drives of teams motivation

For example, Coca-Cola HBC created an online business simulation game called Revenuepoly. It’s full of challenges that can help sales staff understand how to reach the company’s strategic objectives and grow its revenue. While evaluating customers’ performance and analyzing the market, players gain comprehensive knowledge about Coca-Cola products.

Obviously, such a game is quite expensive and time-consuming to develop, and if your budget is not as impressive as Coca-Cola HBC’s, you can opt for another game-based learning format: quizzes.

Online quizzes

Online quizzes help you estimate the effectiveness of your product knowledge training in a way that’s both engaging and fun. 

With iSpring Suite, you can create graded or ungraded quizzes and surveys. You can make them more captivating by adding video, audio, customized feedback for each question, and even branching where the scenario changes, depending on the user’s answers. 

You can engage your learners and help them boost their knowledge with drag-and-drop activities. For example, ask them to align the objects in the right order or place them in a certain area. To get a sense of iSpring Suite’s capabilities, you can check out this course for merchandisers.

With iSpring Suite, you can also create more formal assessments when you need to evaluate employee enablement or conduct the certification of your partners.

In this case, you’ll appreciate the options that iSpring Suite provides to prevent cheating, like shuffling slides, customized scoring rules, and time limits.


If you want your sales team to achieve runaway success, you need to not only provide them with the needed information but also give them an opportunity to polish their communication skills in a safe-to-fail environment. This can be done in role-plays with virtual customers, in which your sales reps have an opportunity to try different sales techniques and sharpen their persuasion skills. 

Try the iSpring Suite authoring tool to create dialogue simulations with branching scenarios, wherein characters change their mood and behavior depending on the sales rep’s actions and choices.

Take a look at this car sale dialogue to see how it works.

Training videos

Videos are an effective way to deliver new information, as they are engaging and can easily hold viewers’ attention. 

Training videos are usually produced by experts equipped with professional tools and armed with a considerable budget. But even if you don’t have such resources, don’t write videos off, as you can readily record them on your own with your computer, PowerPoint, and the iSpring Suite authoring tool.

Product knowledge training for employees in a video format

iSpring Suite allows you to record training videos with your webcam, shoot screencasts, and even combine them on the same slide. You can create and edit engaging videos right in familiar PowerPoint without additional equipment, special technical skills, or the need to master any new, sophisticated software.

Online meetings

You might prefer to not leave your audience to face the new information on their own and prefer to involve an instructor to help them master it (the attentive reader will readily perceive that, in this case, you will be switching to a synchronous training format).

To host a virtual classroom or webinar, you’ll need a special web conferencing or webinar platform that allows remote participants to connect with each other, chat, and share files. Read our article if you want to dive deeper into the mechanics of how to create a virtual classroom.

Online meeting

One of the most widely used tools for both types of online meetings is Zoom, the leading solution for remote communications, used by 86% of Fortune 100 and 71% of Fortune 500 companies. The platform has lots of handy features, like recording your online meeting as a full-length video, support for up to 1,000 participants, sharing screens and files, and online chats, as well as reactions, polls, and a hand raising option. 

It’s much easier to include virtual training sessions in your product knowledge training program with a solution that helps combine them with other learning activities, like online courses or assessments. That’s why the iSpring Learn LMS is integrated with Zoom, allowing you to create a unified training schedule and track how many employees attended the online event and how long they attended it.

5 Tips to Make Product Knowledge Training Effective

It might seem quite easy to tell employees about the products or services if you’re familiar with that process. However, if you want the training sessions to bring truly positive results, we suggest that you not ignore these tips.

  • Identify your audience and make sure that every chunk of information in your training will be helpful to them. Answer these questions before you start working on the training program: What are my trainees’ roles? What knowledge about the product will help them perform better? Which materials are mandatory for them, and which ones can be offered as optional?
  • Promote the training to your audience. This program is, in fact, your own product, and you have to “sell” it to your learners. So, you need to emphasize its value. For example, instead of saying, “You have to take this 3-hour training, learn the information, and pass the final quiz,” use messages like, “Invest 3 hours in this training and increase your performance by 40%.” 
  • Break content down into bite-sized chunks. For a great product training experience, divide information into small pieces, covering one topic at a time. This way, you make the information easier to digest and put into practice. 
  • Organize information so it’s easy to find. Your employees’ performance will significantly improve if they have an online database with information on the product that’s carefully organized in a single place. This knowledge base allows them to locate it easily when talking with customers.
  • Continually improve your product knowledge program. If the Queen and Alice had had a chance to discuss product training in Wonderland, the Queen would definitely have said, “It takes all the effort you can muster to improve your product training to ensure you get the same result next time. And if you want it to be improved even more, you must try at least twice as hard as that.” Even if you’ve achieved great results, don’t stop looking for new ways to improve the program: collect learners’ feedback, record new objections that sales reps receive from prospects, and ask the product development team about their plans on a regular basis.

To Sum Up

Implement your product knowledge training plan, and bring your business to a new level. Make your employees more confident and effective in their tasks, and your customers will be happier and more satisfied. Take a first step to bring your product knowledge training ideas to life now.