In our ultimate guide, we'll start by demystifying the term 'SaaS product' and then delve into the world of SaaS product training. Discover what not to do and unlock the secrets to propelling your business to new heights with just a few straightforward steps. Plus, gain valuable insights into the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing SaaS products.
What is a SaaS product?
SaaS stands for 'Software as a Service.' It's no surprise the SaaS industry has been the fastest-growing market segment since 2019, and you'll more than likely be using many SaaS products without even realizing!
A SaaS product is an on-demand piece of software that provides users with ready-to-use software via a browser or mobile app, with no need to install it. So, a SaaS model is not like a social media app that you have to download to use it, for example.
Most popular Saas providers in the world
If you're still wondering what a Saas product is, then you'll undoubtedly be aware of these popular Saas providers in the world, including:
- Google Docs
- Microsoft Office 365
Why you should use SaaS software
There are plenty of reasons to use a SaaS company as a software provider because they are literally changing how businesses work. Think about Slack, for example. Millions of users worldwide use it to communicate with their teams while working remotely and even in the office. It's made the prospect of communicating with colleagues better than ever.
Using on-demand software tends to work for many companies looking to save at least 15% on IT and costs. Suited for small businesses or start-ups, a SaaS product comes in handy when you need to grow your business quickly.
There are also continuous integrations with plenty of cloud services you can choose from, meaning you can scale quickly.
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Disadvantages of using SaaS products
There aren't a lot of disadvantages to using a SaaS cloud service provider. Security can be both a positive and a negative for using hosted software. This means, unfortunately some technical solutions can't guarantee user data leaking.
The lack of SaaS product training
Now we've covered the SaaS basics, let's get into SaaS product training and how it can benefit your business.
At Coassemble, we're lucky to see insights from thousands of businesses and SaaS companies who might be at a T junction while trying to grow their company. Many SaaS companies have amazingly well-thought-out SaaS software to launch. What might let them down is the connection between taking the time to deliver exceptional SaaS product training to the relevant teams, including Customer Success, Marketing, and the Sales team.
For many SaaS companies (especially start-ups), getting every detail across to the team can feel daunting while meeting deadlines. To be successful, SaaS companies must foster knowledgeable staff to build their brand and sell their offering.
If you deliver product knowledge training to your team, you can increase business growth. Providing contextually relevant SaaS product knowledge training using a product roadmap also reduces friction and churn with your customers.
Why product knowledge training is important
Let's look at some practices that any SaaS company can benefit by leveraging product knowledge training.
The above scenario sounds preposterous—maybe even impossible to many SaaS companies. But as experts in eLearning online training, we assure you one part of it is happening now with your team.
If there are no procedures for SaaS product training, employees may not even be aware of the knowledge they're lacking. This means at best, an error like one from above would be the first instance they realize something is missing.
Instructional design best practices include considering these scenarios to prevent mishaps post-training. So if you're already delivering team enablement content, consider including regular product training alongside it.
We've also found that well-trained staff can become a competitive advantage for a SaaS company. By offering your team SaaS product knowledge training regularly, you're guaranteeing improved performance.
How does that play out from a business growth perspective?
Have a look at the stats below:
- SaaS Companies with highly engaged teams achieve a 21% increase in profitability.
- Without effective onboarding and enablement training, turnover can be as high as 50%. That means you're losing money by not training your team and having to replace them regularly!
- 84% of employees in best-performing organizations are receiving the training needed to accomplish their goals. So if you want to improve your employees' goals, deliver the training they need to meet those outcomes.
- 15% improvement with low-performing sales team members, helping them to excel.
Product knowledge training is part of a holistic approach to helping your team and business growth. So now we'll get to some practices on implementing product knowledge training for your team on your SaaS product.
Deliver product knowledge training before the launch!
It's crucial your team know the product inside out before it goes to market. Thus, make sure you deliver the product knowledge training before you launch the product. Check out our New Product Training template to help you get started.
Before a product touches customers' hands, it has to go through your team. The process below may look slightly different for some companies, but here's a rundown of the teams you must train before any product launch.
- Product training for the marketing team: Online training for marketing is a given! Product knowledge training is key for marketers to understand how best to share this product with their customer base. Accurate information is important here because if your marketers don't know what to say, misinformation can spread.
- Train up your sales team: Sales need training, so they're able to leverage this information in the process of closing deals. Knowing a SaaS product fully can ensure your sales team maximizes the value to leads in your sales funnel.
- Don't forget the Customer Success Team! Customer Success leverages this training to help onboard and guide customers. You can reduce friction at all customer journey stages by delivering the most contextually relevant information to your CS team.
Divide the relevant business processes and training up for the teams, but make sure each team is across all the information being distributed.
Consider having meetings for some and delivering product briefing documents to others. Disseminating the information to each team in the most effective way possible ensures higher knowledge retention.
If your sales and CS teams live in HubSpot, send out an update with a document attached on the platform. You could leverage project management tools like Asana and attach a video with a screen-recording of the update for marketers.
How to implement SaaS product knowledge training
Since your business sector will need a different approach to deliver product knowledge training, we'll group it into four categories: onboarding, marketing, sales, and customer success.
- Onboarding—almost all team members will have a similar onboarding experience in regards to product knowledge training. So we'll start here to get the basics.
- Marketing—we'll talk about product knowledge training that helps market to your target audience.
- Sales—this will cover the best ways to train around selling the benefits of a product to your prospects.
- CS—this will help your team guide customers to find the ROI of your product and also how to avoid issues.
We'll now share some of the best Saas company product training to help you on the path to success!
Online SaaS product onboarding training
For new team members, they'll need two forms of product knowledge training:
- A complete crash course on what you have to date
- Feature changes and updates you've recently made
The first is obvious—if they haven't used your SaaS software before, they won't know how to maximize it for their role. The second is to help new hires get in the habit of continuous learning. Contextually relevant training only makes sense if your team is driven to learn in the flow of work.
For onboarding, consider delivering product knowledge training via hands-on experience with a seasoned member of your team. By letting new employees fully experience your SaaS product from an expert, they'll learn best practices for the future. This can also help employees get ideas on the best way for your customers to succeed with your product.
Follow this experience up with online training that covers the ROI of features, benefits for customers, and any industry standards. Provide real metrics tied to customer use cases so they understand how people are using your SaaS product. And finish with a quiz to reinforce your training experience.
Since the first section of onboarding product knowledge training will be somewhat evergreen, consider a revision process. Every month, tie a secondary training session that covers new updates to the product. Every six months, deliver a review process that brings your team back to refresh product knowledge. And every year, revise the initial training process to add new content from updates of the previous year.
Online marketing training for SaaS software
Marketing will be one of the first steps to getting product knowledge training. Since they create assets to explain your offering to customers, they'll require more time training. So start by drafting a product release or update schedule to help plan for training creation and delivery to match the launch.
Once you have a calendar, consider product knowledge and how customers might find value in your product. Will a specific aspect save customers time or bring them benefits to their business? Knowing that as a marketer can help raise brand recognition and brand recognition is a clear path to customer loyalty.
For training delivery, considering giving your marketing team access to a test account of your SaaS product. Marketers can come up with great ideas by getting self-directed training to explore for USPs. This is also a great way to leverage blended learning because you can refer back to their experience in training. Delivering an assessment of product knowledge via quiz or form also helps build knowledge retention.
The product team should also meet with your marketers regularly to ensure everyone is across best practices for product knowledge. This also ensures your marketing team will always be up-to-date on the latest product knowledge.
Sales product training
Sales employees need product knowledge training that covers both best practices but also how customers can benefit from your product. For sales staff to receive this knowledge best, it needs to be delivered via microlearning. That way they have small chunks of information they can pull from whenever they need it. Microlearning also makes it easy to break down aspects of your product knowledge training such as by:
- Benefits customers would find valuable.
- Best practices for leveraging your SaaS product
- Use cases that previous customers have found
- Any USPs to stand out amongst competitors
By breaking your product knowledge training down into microlearning like this, you're able to deliver relevant information much easier. Microlearning is also perfect for mobile learning practices that build knowledge retention. This has been proven to be incredibly effective as mobile training for millennial and Gen Z employees.
The other side of product knowledge training your sales team requires is from a technical aspect. What security standards does your product meet? What are the specifications regarding system requirements? Having this product knowledge available in either a knowledge base or glossary-style document on a training platform like Coassemble is invaluable.
Customers have niche use case requirements, so ensuring your sales team has all the answers is critical for success. Your product team can also update and manage this information as updates or standards are rolled out.
Customer support and success Saas product training (CS)
A SaaS company like Typeform understands the importance of the time-to-value customers requires from a product during onboarding. They also found that practical product training can reduce that time by as much as 70%! That means if you can deliver product knowledge training to your CS team, you can save valuable time and prevent customer churn. You'll also see your customer onboarding costs decrease because they'll need less time to get value from your SaaS product.
As CS is the gateway to customer success and the barrier to churn, they'll require the most product knowledge training. Similar to sales product knowledge training, you'll want to gather a set of resources to enable CS process success.
Consider delivering a robust product knowledge library that can be accessed anywhere. Accessible learning content can aid in providing knowledge when a CS agent needs it most. You'll also want to give CS a training experience that helps with troubleshooting potential SaaS product issues. This ensures they can handle basic fixes and know when to flag your development team when it's something major.
Lastly, send out videos and screen recordings of any product details that CS could find valuable. Sometimes, this will be for training, but they can also be repurposed for helping customers get a visual example.
Product knowledge training for SaaS companies doesn't have to be difficult. And if you apply the practices above, you can get real value out of your online training process. For even more ideas on leveraging online training with your team, check out our product training templates in our free library today.
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