LMS Purchasing: 7 Suggestions To Compile A Shortlist
Stress-free LMS shopping: Best practice for putting together a shortlist of LMS candidates
LMS shopping is often filled with time-consuming research that requires analysis and a fair share of RFPs. There are several segments to consider when looking for the best LMS. Price, mobile capacity, bandwidth usage, compatibility with existing systems, tools, features, functionality and awards. These are the obvious ones. But even in a grid that contains all of these elements, you have to flatten it. From hundreds to ten and finally to one. How do you skillfully reduce the size of the shopping cart and get the right fit for your company? Here are some hassle-free tips to quickly put together a shortlist of LMS candidates.
How to create a time-saving LMS shopping list
1. Identify current goals and gaps
There are many different reasons why you would buy a new LMS. Perhaps you are following an industry trend or just upgrading your existing software. Assess the tools you are currently using internally. What do you like about them and what are you missing? Are there certain features that you would like to include? What about those you can’t do without? It can also be helpful to think about the training and non-training requirements your system will meet. Before you go shopping, make a comprehensive list and mark each one as required, optional, or “can definitely do without”.
2. Use an online directory
Search an online directory to see which platforms meet your criteria (and cross others off your existing list). A credible directory should allow you to filter results and compare your top picks. As well as a full list of features to weigh against your own must-haves. You can also do a quick google search like “Top LMS for 2019” and improve your results by mentioning certain features. Or, better yet, scan the top 20 lists in the directory to find systems that offer the best UX and CX.
3. Read online reviews
The directory gives you a starting point of maybe 20 LMS. Check out each of them and check out testimonials and reviews online. Pay close attention to users with a similar use case, experience level, or sector. Assess whether their pros and cons are relevant to your business needs. For example, you’re looking for a multifunctional tool that offers advanced support options. And a check shows that the platform was missing in the CX department. The process can also include visiting each software website to learn more about their offerings.
4. Talk to industry colleagues
If you have been working in your field for a long time, you have made contacts. These can be colleagues who have moved to competing companies, but who still stay in contact with you. Or people you went to school with when you were training for your niche. These can be people with whom you have networked at seminars and industry mixers or confronted them at trade fairs. Find out which LMS they are using, what they like about it, and what they think could be improved. They can even connect you with their vendor or account manager to help you get a better deal. In addition, you can join a social media group to ask for recommendations. Or read what others have to say about their past experiences.
5. Spend time with your tech geeks
This should probably be your first step, but many business leaders have a problem submitting themselves to someone. However, your IT is best placed to advise you on software purchases. Other departments can list the features they need – like time sheets, name calls, asset management, tracking tools, and more. However, if the LMS needs to be configured, then it’s up to your tech geeks. And you may not know if their programming skills (or lack thereof) are compatible with internal technical capabilities. They tell you how much expertise each software requires and whether they have proven expertise. If not, they may recommend advisors or new hires to do so. Alternatively, they can suggest low-tech learning management system options.
6. Contact providers
Don’t hesitate to contact LMS vendors with a list of specific questions to see how they perform. This also gives you a chance to see how they address your concerns and articulate their responses. For example, can they give you a detailed answer about the setup process or the scope of delivery? They may look customer friendly on paper, but if you get in touch you will get a first glimpse of their service (or lack thereof).
7. Get a free LMS quote
Request a free LMS quote for a list of the top vendors that will meet your needs. All you need to do is provide some basic information. For example, how many users you need to train and your estimated budget. In return, you will receive a shortlist that has been put together for you. No stress about it. This is a great place to start for businesses that aren’t sure how to begin their LMS shopping spree.
When you first start looking for LMS, you may have dozens or even hundreds to choose from. Everyone has their own selling point. And while a free trial can be helpful, you can’t take a hundred virtual tours. It’s impractical and too time consuming. How can you reduce your list to a more workable test set? List what is missing from your current LMS and write down any new features that you look out for. You can also write down the functions that you would like to take over from your existing system. Check business directories and do advanced online searches. Read reviews and, if possible, speak to past and current users of your target LMS. Consult helpful industry colleagues and use online networks. Finally, speak to your IT team (or ideally first). You know best.
Get your free LMS shortlist by requesting a free quote. No personal data required. All you have to do is tell us a little bit about what to look for in a new LMS and in what price range. One of our experienced LMS consultants will provide you with the top platforms on today’s market based on your criteria.
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