Not All LMS Software is Alike
Which LMS software training solution is best for small business?
Are you new to the world of learning management system software? Do you own or work for a small or medium-sized business (SMBs) that is looking for a training solution? Then you need to ask vendors - Is your LMS small business focused?
The best eLearning software training solution for SMBs offers a rich set of tools and features. These enable employees and customers to learn new skills, track progress, and easily and effectively achieve the outcomes your organization has set for them.
More important and key to achieving success is the custom LMS services that support a business owner or training manager and support your employees and customers.
The combination of a rich LMS features checklist and custom LMS services should enable a manager to:
- easily manage your learners,
- create asynchronous learning and live online courses,
- assign training,
- track progress and outcomes, and
- adjust your e-Learning courses to meet changing requirements.
Learn more about our key findings.
Our discussions with SMB owners and managers show that most eLearning software vendors provide the same set of tools and features. They often give these different names so they seem unique. If you are deciding which eLearning software to use, it's important to think about what you want to achieve rather than the bells and whistles.
What we often hear is that the key to developing successful online training is the LMS services that support the training solution. The eLearning software combined with custom LMS services is what creates the foundation for quality e-Learning courses.
To ensure success your custom LMS software package should include the following:
- A Learning Management System SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) option where your vendor is responsible for hosting, scalability, maintenance, and system upgrades.
- Ongoing Administrator support because, as a business owner or manager, you are probably wearing a few hats already and need a back-up person.
- Technical Support Help Desk to assist your employees or customers because stuff will happen and you need it to be addressed and resolved by people who know the system.
- A library of off-the-shelf Soft Skills courses to get your staff started or to fill in gaps in your list of e-Learning courses.
- Course design support because, for example, there’s no point offering poor on-line sales training that doesn’t achieve your sales goals.
- The option to have the vendor creating an online course for you because that saves you time and money in the long run and helps ensure better outcomes.
- The ability to do asynchronous learning (anytime, anywhere) and live scheduled training sessions. Asynchronous learning can be boring for some so you may need to inject some live action into your e-Learning courses.
- Access to multimedia assets to enhance your training. Because, let’s face it, there is all kinds of engaging content “out there” competing with you for your employee’s time and attention. And again, asynchronous learning can be boring for some. So, it pays to enhance your e-Learning courses with some professional sizzle.
- Cost-effective pricing because with so many options available, choosing the right pricing model can feel like choosing a mobile phone plan. Try to get a pricing model that gives you everything you need and fits with your budget and how you run your business.
Get reviews from real users.
Everyone knows how easy it is to get into a relationship. It’s what comes next that’s the hard part. There are important things to consider when choosing the best eLearning software. Employee satisfaction. Your company’s goals. If you're doing customer training then your brand and reputation will be affected by the choice you make.
You should check out what the vendor’s customers are saying and speak to them about your own needs. A confident vendor will be happy to connect you with their customers and encourage them to tell you what worked and what didn’t work. There will be bumps in the road. So, it’s important to understand how these bumps were smoothed out and fixed.
Did we mention pricing models?
You already asked the vendor - Is your LMS small business focused?
Now, ask if the pricing model is also geared to SMBs. The cost of your LMS software training solution can be vary depending on the vendor. Designing and building quality asynchronous learning courses. Supporting the staff and customers taking your e-Learning courses. This can all seem expensive until you see a healthy return on investment.
Here are some options the vendor's pricing model should offer:
- A flat annual LMS software license covering everything including the custom LMS services. Exceptions can be made for creating an online course because if you ever renovated your home you know that can go in all sorts of directions.
- A separate Statement of Work for any custom course development so there are no surprises.
- The option to buy blocks of LMS software licenses in amounts that make sense for your business. You should not be penalized because more people took your e-Learning courses than you expected.
- Perhaps you sell your e-Learning courses and don't know how many people will buy your fabulous on-line sales training course. If so, you may want to pay a lower annual fee for the eLearning training solution and use a pay-as-you-go, fee-per-person option as you sell seats in the course. This option helps keep your ongoing costs aligned with your revenue.
- The option to switch from a pay-as-you-go, fee-per-person to a flat annual license now that your e-Learning courses have taken off. There are savings when you pay annually.
- A guarantee in your contract that your renewal price won't increase more than 5%. Although, with things the way they are that might be more like the rate of inflation.
What is the best LMS software training solution for SMBs?
The best training solution for SMBs is more than just eLearning software. Your eLearning platform must help you improve sales, productivity, and efficiency while controlling the cost, and reducing the risk and workload involved in offering quality employee and customer training. That must include an affordable package of custom LMS services to enhance and support both your asynchronous learning and live online training courses.