Preparing A Training – Step 1 of effective product trainings

Checklist-resized-600In my previous blog, I covered the high level logistics that you need to consider and plan before you begin any training. Once you have those logistics in place, it boils down to creating your own checklist of all the things that need to get done prior to executing the actual training. It is important that the preparation phase is done well to have a successful session with your teams.

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How to conduct effective product trainings

Sales teams that are trained well on the product can not only pitch it well to clients, but also pitch the product correctly. Many times, bad trainings result in sales folks either not being able to sell the product at all, or promise clients features that the product cannot deliver. Hence, a Product Marketing Manager needs to ensure that the product knowledge is dissipated correctly across all regions and the sales teams are equipped with the information needed to make successful deals.

However, product trainings are prone to numerous challenges and problems resulting in sub standard training. A few of the training challenges that are faced by Product Marketing Managers in today’s IT companies are:

  1. You have new products or features being released very often which require very regular trainings
  2. The sales teams are global and training sessions might have to be conducted remotely
  3. The global field teams include non-english speaking markets as well
  4. With the job market improving rapidly, you get new employees regularly who have not been trained on the previous products
  5. Attendance of product training is not mandatory and hence turn-out may be lower than optimal

And the list goes on…

So, how do you ensure that with our highly agile environment, product trainings continue to be effective and useful across the globe?

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Product Handouts 101

Product Handout Image

Product handouts are useful tools to leave behind with clients or distribute at events or to be sent as a pdf to prospective customers. Typically, in most companies, the marketing team will have a designer to create the design elements and the Product Marketing Manager will be expected to provide content for the handout. Assuming this is the case, the below blog covers some of the tips to creating a handout, while I have not focused on the design elements of the handout.

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5 Most Common Pitfalls Of Product Marketing

As a Product Marketing professional, if you feel like you are doing a lot but not seeing results, it might be due to a pitfall that you are stuck in. It is important to be aware of the pitfalls so that you get out of one that you are stuck in or think ahead and avoid them entirely.

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Papers, Please – Glory to Arstotzka

Papers Please

At a time when games with pet animals and farming, bejeweled like jewel crushing, war strategies and mafia etc. are making the rounds, Papers, Please is like a breath of fresh air. Having played Papers, Please constantly, until the obscure names of the various fictitious places have been written to memory, I wanted to cover the top 3 things I liked about the game and the top 3 places of improvement.

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Bugs or Bugs By Design

CCS

Due to curiosity, the viral nature or just peer pressure, I have recently begun playing Candy Crush saga incessantly. Blame it on the engineer in me, but I immediately began looking for hacks, cheats and easier ways through the game.  Having found a couple of hacks in Candy Crush, I was initially thrilled, but then it made me wonder whether these were really bugs or were they bugs by design?

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Do’s & Don’ts Of A Product Blog

blog

Blogs on personal experiences or interests are fairly easy to write since your audience is reading the blogs to know your opinions. A product blog on the other hand is very different. Here, you want to tell your readers what they want to know and not just the feature benefits of your product. For example, this blog series is about my experiences in Product Marketing and I can state my opinions in the ways that I want to. However, if this were a product blog, I would have to first understand what the readers would want to read and then see how I can subtly market my product without it being an “in-your-face” marketing pitch.