This post was originally published on lessonly.com
Google “learning management system” (LMS) and you’ll find about 2.5 billion search results. You’ll see e-learning software applications for K-12 schools, LMS’s purpose-built for higher education, out-of-the-box content providers, and a whole host of other solutions. It’s no surprise how difficult it is for managers to find the right training solutions for their teams.
Sales leaders get frustrated when choosing an LMS because, frankly, they aren’t experts in learning or training. But to engineer a competitive sales team, training and continuous development are both essential ingredients. It can be intimidating to shop for a training software system that truly provides your team with what they actually need.
But have no fear! This post explains what to look for and what to avoid when you shop for web-based sales training for your sales team.
To kick us off, let’s eliminate two variables that will show up in your search that provide no value to your sales team. These two features are everywhere and will be enticing, but spoiler alert—they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Avoiding these features will keep your search fast, efficient, and effective.
What to avoid
First and foremost, the best learning management system is not free. Learning management systems carry a load of features and functionality. A great LMS does the heavy lifting, leaving you with a user-friendly experience. The phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to free online training software in a big way. Free training software will leave you, and more importantly, your sales team, unwilling and unlikely to engage and train. **Disclaimer: If free is the best you can do, that’s totally okay. I’d suggest creating content in Google Docs or Slides and tracking completion in Google Sheets. That will last until you can drum up a budget.**
Second, a good training software for sales teams is exactly that—a purpose-built training software. It’s not a document-organization system or a content management system stretching itself so thin to fulfill your learning needs. A great example is Microsoft Sharepoint. This is a fantastic software for managing sales documents and resources. But, using Sharepoint to track employee training is the equivalent of using a snowboard to surf in Maui. It might work for a second, but someone will wind up hurt. The best training software systems know their identity and fit in it well. Look for solutions that are built specifically with sales teams in mind.
Enough of the negative side. The best learning software makes training management quick and engaging. Keep reading for two features that indicate you’ve found one of the best learning management systems.
What to look for
First, look for easy-to-use authoring software built into the platform. There’s a whole market of content authoring tools that are great for higher education or corporate L&D teams. But what you need as a sales leader is an authoring tool engineered for speed that’s integrated seamlessly into the LMS. This is where trialing a software becomes important. Once you get set up, I suggest running this test— think back to the last sales meeting where you updated your team on the latest process, and try building a lesson on that information. A good authoring tool will make it easy to create an engaging lesson (bonus if you add knowledge check questions) in 20 minutes.
Second, find yourself an LMS that helps you actually evaluate your team’s performance. The best training trackers give managers insight into how the training content you build develops your team. This is an often overlooked piece of an LMS. As a sales leader, assessing performance helps you plan and build the next versions of your sales training. Getting this cycle started can supercharge your sales training and take your team up a level.
There are plenty more features to avoid and seek in learning management systems, but here’s what it all boils down to—find a training solution that’s purpose-built for sales teams. Do that, and you’ll be on the road to better training, better work, and better performance on your team.