Sage CRM Blog

Sales coaching tip – coaching your team’s product knowledge

sales tips

How well do you you know your product?

Recently a sales leader asked me if product knowledge is essential for a salesperson. He argued the skills that make someone a good salesperson do not include product knowledge.

In today’s marketplace, it may seem like salespeople don't need product knowledge because prospects make up to 70 per cent of their decision before speaking with a salesperson.

However, in today's sales environment, it’s even more important for salespeople to know their products and to connect the value of their products to a prospect.

In many ways, product knowledge today is not as limited to the benefits and features of a product as it once was. Today salespeople need to know the content and the context of their products.

Your salespeople also need to know finer nuances of their products so they can provide value to prospects who have done their homework on the net.

Your team members need to know what questions to ask to discover information their prospects are basing their decisions on. And they also need to know what kind of information is valuable to this decision making process.


Consider doing some product knowledge preparation with your salespeople in that context. A great way to do this is to create product knowledge cards and ask them to match what is on the card with a product or vice versa.

For example, your cards could include questions like:

What questions do you ask to isolate which of product ___________ vs. product __________ a prospect needs?

What problem is product ________________ a solution for?

How does product __________________ solve problem _____________________?

What the top 3 prospect problems did you come across this week?

Which product solves each of the top 3 prospect problems you encountered this week?

Which of our products help prospects who have budget restrictions?

What questions would you ask to find out if product _________________ is a good match for a prospect?

What questions do you ask a prospect who is deciding between product _______ vs. product ___________?

What details about product ____________________ do most prospects not know about but they should?

What makes product _______________ a better choice than product ________ under these circumstances?

Under which circumstances is product ____________________ the best choice for a prospect?

Under which circumstances is product __________________ not the ideal choice for a prospect?

If a prospect were time-pressed, which one question would you ask to determine which of product ______ or product _______ is best for them?

If a prospect were time-pressed, which story would you share about product _________? What valuable information can you share with prospects that is not available on the web about product ____________?

What information about product ________________ will increase the likelihood of a prospect buying now?

What information about product _________________ makes its price a “no-brainer”?

What you can achieve

As you can see, this use of product knowledge cards mimics the in-the-momentness of sales conversations.

By using cards with questions like these, you provide your salespeople with the opportunity to think on their feet in a fun way that allows them to practice the valuable skills needed to sell products in today’s marketplace.

They can use this card exercise in one-on-one sales coaching or during a sales meeting. Either way, your salespeople will enjoy the process and get to learn how to sell their products in a way that is more relevant to their prospects’ needs.

What questions would you like to include on your cards? Please let me know on Google+.

About the author

This post is written by Peri Shawn, the award-winning author of Sell More with Sales Coaching (Wiley Publishing).

You can find out more about Peri at

You can also read more sales tips by Peri here and here