The 6 Must-Have LMS Features For Effective Sales Training
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Essential LMS Features For Sales Training

Learning Management Systems have become ubiquitous in corporate environments for good reason. We’ve never had a greater need to learn—faster and more frequently—just to keep up with what’s going on: what the company is selling, what our jobs demand, and what customers expect.

eBook Release: Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy
eBook Release
Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy
Discover the importance of training your sales teams with the help of an LMS.

It would be completely overwhelming to attempt to learn everything we need to know if we were expected to find that information ourselves. We’d have no time left to do our actual jobs.

Providing Access To Training

The LMS is the essential core that solves this problem. It centralizes critical information and provides access to training when and where we need it. Regardless of whether one is in accounting or marketing, customer service or operations, business is moving too fast for anyone to stay up-to-speed without a strategic learning solution at the center. We’re all in the process of continuous learning or we simply won’t succeed.

This is especially true for salespeople. They have nowhere to hide when asked about the latest features of a product or asked why the company no longer offers a particular service. They need to know the latest information at all times—information, which by the way, is being produced faster than ever in human history.

The journal Science reported that there are "…now 295 exabytes of data floating around the world—that's 29,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces of information [1]."

So, salespeople have their work cut out for them to stay ahead of the product, company, and competitive information they need to perform well. They need to be hooked into the LMS on a near-daily basis to continually learn.

But before we get into the key features of an LMS that will drive effective sales training, let’s step back a few steps and cover some basics.

What Is A Learning Management System?

A Learning Management System is a software tool that improves the delivery and administration of knowledge throughout an organization. It’s essentially a hub for an organization’s learning content and courses, which provides centralized access for administrators and learners alike. LMS access is often extended beyond internal users to provide training for partners, contractors, and customers—basically to anyone who would benefit from learning more about that organization’s products and services.

Historically, going back as far as the late 1990s, universities were the primary users of LMS software, but businesses quickly caught onto the benefits of the solution and are now the main users of these tools.

LMS adoption is projected to increase significantly in future years, considering that the global eLearning market is expected to grow from its current market value of more than $190 billion to more than $300 billion by 2025 [2].

LMS software provides a platform designed for delivering courses and materials as well as providing testing/quizzing and reporting on outcomes such as course completion, test scores, and learner engagement. Many companies use LMS tools to create their own courses and content, but it’s increasingly popular—and often more efficient—to buy off-the-shelf content, especially in areas such as sales techniques, communications, negotiating, contracting, etc., since these skills aren’t necessarily specific to the organization, but tend to be more universal across businesses.

How Do LMSs Assist With Learning?

Many LMSs leverage data to provide management with high-level insights into the most valuable information discovered within an organization and insights into how effectively employees are learning. For example, some systems provide internal forums and feedback collection that serve to monitor and improve the effectiveness of corporate training programs.

Learning Management Systems can help your organization share new information with the people who have the greatest need for it. Most importantly, your management team can use an LMS to oversee learning throughout your organization to ensure that information is being leveraged as effectively as possible. With the help of an LMS, your organization can improve its performance in every functional area and innovate for the future.

It should be noted that variations on the traditional LMS, referred to as Learning Experience Platforms (LXP), continue to emerge. Typically, these serve as portals that make learning content easy to find, make usage and/or AI-driven recommendations, facilitate the sharing of knowledge between employees, and encourage User-Generated Content.

But let’s get back to the subject of salespeople.

What Features Do They Need In An LMS?

Although LMS features vary across competing platforms, there are core features that every training professional should expect. You may choose to add other bells and whistles, but the following features are foundational. You cannot run an effective online sales training program without these 6 capabilities.

1. Mobile Support

As with many applications today, more than half of people prefer to use mobile devices [3]. Add to that the fact that increasing numbers of salespeople work remotely not some, but all of the time. FlexJobs’ list of the most popular work-at-home jobs includes sales representatives [4], business development managers, account managers and executives, and territory sales managers. To get the most out of your investment in LMS technology, make sure that any solution you consider fully supports mobile devices.

2. Integration With CRM

Most salespeople are logged into the CRM from the moment they begin working to the moment they shut down. It’s their virtual connection to customers and enables them to consistently manage prospecting, pipeline, in-process deals, and more. The learning platform simply must be integrated into the CRM solution for salespeople to effectively learn. This way, training can be relevant, tied to products, and prescribed at the moment of need. Learning paths can run in sync with the process of closing deals and make it easier for salespeople to move through the steps, learning all along the way.

3. Gamification

Humans naturally do what they enjoy, so why not give competitive salespeople a little extra competition? By definition, gamification is the introduction of game mechanics into non-game situations, like work or training, and leading LMSs now include this functionality. It’s proven to improve engagement in the Learning Management System simply by turning the education process into a game. It may seem elementary, but leaderboards and badges for completed courses do in fact get salespeople to take training and have fun while they’re at it.

4. Video Assessments

Some LMSs now offer the capability of letting users record a video and upload it to the system for feedback—both machine and human. The machine part of the feedback would be calculations on the pace of speech, use of keywords and filler words, and other programmable factors. The human feedback is simple; the manager gets to provide suggestions on how to improve, whether it was the company elevator pitch, a product overview, the intro to a demo, or any other recordable presentation. This feature is exceedingly effective in improving sales performance.

5. Off-The-Shelf Content

There’s no reason to recreate the wheel. For busy sales departments, who has time to create every single course? And why? Leading LMSs now offer built-in content libraries with tons of effective sales-focused courses. You can improve sales performance dramatically by assigning learning paths that include everything from cold calling and prospecting to negotiating to more effective listening, problem-solving, and communication. The content must be short, video-based, and engaging if you expect multitasking salespeople to retain it.

6. Reporting And Analytics

Attaining competitively superior results in today’s world necessitates the use of available data—and training is no exception. You need to be able to measure where reps were when they started and where they are after training. The best LMSs come with outstanding real-time reporting and analytics tools to help understand how your employees are learning and identify opportunities for improvement.

Your sales team is one of your biggest assets. By training them, you’re investing in them and in your company. Download the eBook Why You Need An LMS To Power Corporate Sales Training In The Experience Economy and keep your sales team up-to-speed on product and process changes as they happen. Also, join the webinar to find out more about how to have them selling at their best.

References:

[1] Welcome to the information age – 174 newspapers a day

[2] E-LEARNING MARKET TO REACH $300 BILLION BY 2025

[3] Welcome to the information age – 174 newspapers a day

[4] The 20 Most Popular Work-from-Home Job Titles

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