Free LMS Trial Or Demo: 6 Things That Organizations Often Overlook

Free LMS Trial Or Demo: 6 Things That Organizations Often Overlook
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Summary: We love free things – it’s human nature – so we naturally get excited about free software trials. What steps can you take the maximize the free trial before you have to start paying?

What Organizations Overlook On Free LMS Trial Or Demo

The free trial or demo is a marketing technique that’s become a standard part of the software sales strategy. Vendors offer it because clients expect it – but also because they know the value of their product. They’re sure once you’ve engaged with it for a bit, you’ll buy. But from a prospect’s perspective, how can you utilize your free LMS trial to help you make the right decision? Are there any common features and selling points (or sticking points) that are often being overlooked?

First Things First…Start With A List

Sometimes, you’ll make a purchase after a free sample out of guilt. It’s not that you’re convinced of the product/service value. It’s that you feel pressured into paying after so much free service. And this misplaced but reflexive guilt could have you paying for something you don’t want or need. The phenomenon could do even more damage. Like most people, you may procrastinate your free trial until it is about to expire. As a result, you rush through the learning management system trial and don’t notice how many key functionalities are missing. So, before you embark on your demo, make a list of must-haves. Then, even if you speed through the trial in 3 days, you know what to look for.

1. User-Friendliness Of The UI

The decision to buy is often made by the c-suite, even though they won’t use the software very often. You know that everyone will use the system, but some departments will spend more time logged in. They’re the ones that should do the bulk of the testing because it will have the biggest impact on them. Have them assess its usability. Can they find what they need when they need it? What’s the navigation process? Could they figure out the app on their own or did they need a virtual tour? Is there a ‘helper bot’ to assist when they get stuck? And are there any feedback tools? Last, but not least, how does the LMS fit into their daily workflow? Does it help or hinder their daily tasks?

2. Reporting Options

Aside from escalating problems with the LMS (or raising other office matters), the LMS has additional uses. You might need to analyze corporate data and write up relevant reports. Explore the tools and features available. You want common templates, like attendance reports, lead generation tallies, and sales targets. But you also want customizable options, where you can select the fields and columns you’d like to be included. It’s also helpful if the LMS has automation tools for these documents. Ensure it has the main listings commonly used at your workplace. In addition, verify that the tool allows you to automate delivery to key players during the free LMS demo. For example, every week your HR manager receives reports delivered straight to their inbox.

3. Training Library (Or Course Catalog) Integration

Every good book, article, or instructional module has glossaries and appendices. Your LMS should too. These resources can be supplementary material for trainees. But even staffers who aren’t currently undertaking a course can benefit from resource libraries. Test your LMS to see how the library works. Is the template structure built in, so you can simply populate it? Is it straightforward enough that any employee can add onto it? Does it have import tools for popular formats like video, audio, PDF, or PowerPoint? Explore all these facets while you can.

4. Course Creation Tools

For many organizations, the primary function of the LMS is course design. As you shop, you should have a fair idea of the type of courses you’d like to create. Start with the features on your checklist, to see what’s available and what isn’t. You might intend to use a lot of video content. Assess the quality (or presence) of audio and video recording, uploading, and editing tools. Review playback, too. Can you easily pause or replay? Can you add (closed) captions? Once you’ve verified that all the tools you need are there, assess how easy those tools are to use.

5. Mobile Optimization Features

These days, it’s crucial for any online product to be mobile-friendly. But there are different optimization standards. It could be responsive, adaptive, or native – the latter being an app. If you have a preference, double-check. If you want an app – for instance – check if the LMS has a built-in app template, or whether it has app-building tools in a programing language that’s ‘spoken’ in-house. It’s pointless to buy a tool your team can’t use, and it’s frustrating to find this out after you’ve started paying for your software. So, check while you still can.

6. Support Services

You might not foresee any issues. But you never know when you’ll need a helping hand from the vendor. Evaluate their support services during the free LMS trial to see how they stack up. Do they respond quickly to your emails? Do they have an active online user community? Is there a phone number you can call? Does the vendor provide a resource library?

Conclusion

Buying the wrong LMS can be frustrating, especially after you had a whole month to validate it. So what tips and tricks can you employ to be sure it’s the right fit for your organization? Before you begin your free trial, make a list of must-haves and check that they’re all there. Explore the user-experience and automated reporting tools. Evaluate course creation implements, testing how easy they are to use. Test ‘mobile ability’ too. If all these work according to your expectations, you can consider buying the LMS, but only if their support services are going to help you maximize functionality.

Need help choosing a Learning Management System for your company? Read The Best 20 Learning Management Systems Offering LMS Free Trials and find out what to look for in order to get the most out of your Learning Management System free trial.

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