6 Tips To Make The Most Of Your LMS Demo Or Free Trial
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How To Make The Most Of Your LMS Demo

One important part of shopping around for new software for your business is taking free trials or receiving demos of the product, so you can decide if it’s the perfect fit for your business.

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Participating in free trials and demos may seem like it uses up a lot of your time, but it’s important to do the legwork so you don’t waste money on a system that won’t work for your business or will potentially make things worse!

When it comes to shopping around for a Learning Management System (LMS) you need to ensure you pick a system that’s going to work for your students, your instructors, and your Training Administration team, as all of them will be interacting with it on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at how you can make the most out of your free trial or demo to make sure you pick the correct software for you at the end of the process.

1. Involve All The Right People

The first thing to do is to make sure you involve all the right people in the decision-making process. If you’re going to attend a demonstration of an LMS, you want to involve everyone who will be primarily using the system. This could mean having representatives from lots of different departments in your business to make sure you’re meeting the needs of all the different groups who will be using it.

It may be hard to organize having a large group of people attending a demo at the same time, but it will be worth it, in the long run, knowing that you’re picking the perfect system, so take the time to make the most of your demo.

If you’re worried about spending a lot of time on demos and pulling a lot of staff away from their usual work, then make sure you narrow down your list of potential Learning Management Systems to the ones you are really interested in before you get to the demo booking stage. That way you will be limiting the number of demos you need to attend and will only be focussing on the Learning Management Systems which seem well-suited to your needs.

2. Do Your Research

It’s important to do quite a bit of research before you get to the demo/free trial stage. As we said above, when you decide you want to book a demo of an LMS, you need to be sure it’s one of the main contenders, otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of people’s time.

Spend some time looking at the websites of various LMS providers to see what services they offer, what they do differently from each other, how much they cost, how easy they are to implement, how easily they integrate with software systems you already use, etc. Having a look for all this information first will allow you to rule a lot of systems out of the running before you get anywhere near booking a demo.

It is also a good idea to look at reviews and feedback for particular Learning Management Systems to see what actual users are saying about how good each LMS is. This will allow you to see some real-world recommendations instead of trying to guess which ones perform the best.

3. Write Your Questions Beforehand

If you’ve got to the stage of actually booking a demo, you want to make sure you are as prepared as possible. The person giving you the demo will likely have limited time themselves as well, so you want to make sure you get the most out of your time.

The best way to go in prepared is to decide on a list of questions you want to ask before you attend the demo. This may mean sitting down with everyone who will be attending the demo, so you can work on the list together and make sure you are covering all your bases.

You may also want to ask teams who will not be on the demo if they have any points they want to be answered, just to make sure you are covering the needs of everyone in your business that will be using the LMS when the time comes.

4. Be Clear On Your Company’s Needs

While you’re doing your preparation, it’s also important to make sure you are completely clear on what your company needs from an LMS. Not all Learning Management Systems are built the same, and not every training business needs the same functionality. That’s why it’s vital that you be all clear on exactly what you need, and what features are important to you before you attend a demo!

5. Trial As Much Functionality As Possible

If you do get access to a free trial of the LMS, it’s important you use your time wisely and have a play around with the software as often as you can. Try out all the different pieces of functionality that the trial gives you access to, though be aware that you may not have access to everything that a paying customer would have!

Having a bit of a play around with the free trial before you get to the demo process will give you the chance to get a little more familiar with the system, see what works for you, and see what is perhaps missing from the functionality that you would like to see. This means you’re not going into a demo completely blind, as this can lead to your wasting time, just getting to grips with the basic functionality of the system. If you’re a little more clued up on the basic feel of the system, it will allow you to use the demo as a more personalized experience.

6. Highlight The Parts You Want To Be Covered In The Demo

The last way we think you can get the most out of your demo is to tell the demonstrator what parts of the system you actually want to see in more detail! Chances are that they will have certain parts that are key for them to show you, but it will be very helpful for them to know what parts you want to focus on and what things will suit your company’s needs, so don’t hold back from being specific!

If you’ve sat down and done the groundwork we’ve laid out in the first couple of steps, you should know by now exactly what parts of the system are going to be the most beneficial to your company, so use your demo time wisely and focus on your needs!

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