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April 3, 2018

Who’s Using their LMS?

What are your choices if you refuse to accept a “tolerable” learning management system? In the past you basically just lived with it, with your back office employees grumbling and the sales team outright ignoring it. The modern learning ecosystem is born out of the understanding that learning happens everywhere, all the time, and that sales organizations in particular have unique needs.

Effective learning isn’t possible without either building upon or simply replacing your learning management system. LMS is a world full of compromises that sales organizations no longer accept. The desire to expand upon and customize learning technology for sales teams created an “LMS ecosystem” of sorts.

Historically, LMS vendors defined what buyers should expect from a learning management system. If the LMS didn’t include a feature you wanted, you had few options: you either accepted it, paid extra for customization or hoped that a future version would include it. Integration, for the most part, was not an option. Due to cultural, financial and internal political reasons, most companies found it nearly impossible to switch from an existing LMS so sales organizations continued to rely mostly on expensive, in-person training.

Several trends gave rise to new solutions for sales organizations

However, with the advent of cloud technology, app developers were able to transition from generalists to specialists. The cloud allowed vendors to zoom in on specific business problems instead of trying (in vain) to create all-purpose solutions to fit everybody’s needs. This spurred a host of learning solutions that could be easily integrated with existing LMS. But it was the advent of modern mobile video sharing technology which finally delivered the goods for sales teams. These solutions brought critical face-to-face coaching, collaboration and just-in-time learning into salespeople’s pockets via their mobile devices.

For traditional LMS and “LMS 2.0” vendors (think LMS skeleton with some rudimentary 1-to-1 video sharing functionality tacked on) mobile video sharing is a lost opportunity. Traditional platforms like these fail to promote collaboration and continue to struggle with driving meaningful adoption in the field. And because these vendors originally designed their solutions for everyone besides the sales organization, sales teams sought specialized solutions to either replace or work in parallel with them.

Enter sales learning and coaching technologies

Sales learning and coaching technologies turn traditional thinking on its head when it comes to the learning organization. Instead of being relegated to the sidelines as a cost-center, sales training and learning professionals now drive measurable business results that accelerate growth. Sales learning and coaching technologies give the learning organization an easy-to-use tool for optimizing operations, expanding managers’ reach and refining competitive differentiation strategies and talk tracks.

The primary function of LMS and LMS 2.0 is to deliver and manage learning while keeping track of who completed what. Sales learning and coaching technology is more about engaging salespeople and pushing them to become better. These solutions take into account the unique and complex needs of the selling environment. The emphasis is on location-independent coaching, collaboration and video communication in order to accelerate the sales cycle, drive higher average contract values and boost profitability in the sales organization.

How sales learning and coaching solutions work

Just-in-time learning

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the explosion of “how-to” content on YouTube, people want access to videos featuring trusted peers showing them how to do things when the need arises. Salespeople are no different. Sales learning and coaching solutions give them just-in-time access to critical examples of key talk tracks, peer insights and the wisdom of internal experts delivered in their own words.

Peer-to-peer learning and collaboration

Sales learning and coaching solutions enable peer-to-peer learning and this takes the pressure off sales managers. These solutions get sales reps to create and share videos highlighting closing techniques, common objections, key commercial insights and best practices to capture organizational knowledge in an easy-to-consume format.

Remote coaching and feedback

Quizzing and testing alone doesn’t work for sales teams. Learning technology designed for the sales organization needs to empower managers to coach reps remotely. Video allows reps to practice messaging anywhere and receive feedback on the go to refine their talk tracks and cut through the noise during customer conversations.

Location Independence

Mobile video sales learning promotes broader collaboration and best practice sharing because reps, execs and subject matter experts can use it anywhere. LMS 2.0 and even traditional LMS often tout mobile capability. But broadcasting corporate videos to mobile devices or even sharing mobile videos back and forth between rep and manager doesn’t cut it in the field. Sales learning and coaching technologies give organizations multi-directional video sharing so reps, subject matter experts, executives and managers can share the best ideas and information all around an organization instantaneously.

Field reinforcement

Managers and trainers use sales learning and coaching technologies to push daily microlearning exercises out to the field on reps’ mobile devices. Nobody feels like taking quizzes, and memorizing product facts is a drag. Solutions like these let reps practices for a couple minutes a day to reinforce concepts from training when it’s convenient.

Relevant eLearning courses

Sales learning and coaching technologies give trainers a way to consistently source high-impact content from the field featuring real practitioners demonstrating how they sell. Reps want to hear from successful peers so they tend not to fall asleep when going through product training or onboarding courses featuring actual reps showing them what works.

Sales learning: the ultimate competitive advantage

Sales learning and coaching technology addresses the unique learning needs of the sales organization. Whether it’s a system to exist side-by-side with LMS or one to outright replace it, sales organizations need something that brings organizational knowledge, learning, coaching and collaboration out to the field. Standalone LMS might have worked okay for certain functional areas of a business, but not for sales. But even still, organizations don’t want something that just “works okay.” As the great CEO Jack Welch put it, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.“ Why leave that up to chance?

Learn More

For more information on how to transform workforce training and build a culture of learning, download our eBook: 6 Priorities of a Modern CLO.

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