6 Ways To Secure Investment For The LMS You Need
So, you’ve done the math. You know your team can improve your business outputs by investing in a Learning Management System, or LMS. You understand the long-term benefits an LMS will bring to your L&D practice.
You’re ready to consolidate training programs, save time and money, collect data to prove Return On Investment, and build more robust L&D programs. But there’s still a mountain to climb: you need to get senior leadership buy-in for the investment. Where should you start?
The key to a successful pitch includes careful preparation, knowing your audience, and demonstrating that you’ve done your homework. You need to show you understand what your leadership cares about, and you need to deliver a clear and confident message.
To simplify this daunting task, we’ve prepared 6 great tactics to help you pitch your LMS investment to senior leadership and get them on board. With our help, you’ll be able to move the needle by driving better learning outcomes with the right platform.
Our recommended first step? Start with a clear problem definition.
1. Start By Outlining The L&D Challenges You’re Facing
A great place to start is with the challenges you and your team are facing in driving better learning outcomes. Then you can show how the LMS will positively impact your performance by addressing these challenges.
As Rory Sacks, Senior L&D Partner at Komodo Health, explains, “Before you pitch to leadership, you really need to understand the organization, leadership, and the individuals. Everybody within the organization who makes up the company. What are their goals for Learning and Development? What are the challenges they’re facing?”
For example, you might be finding it difficult to identify and address learning needs promptly, meaning many employees feel their needs aren’t being addressed. By identifying this challenge, you can show how the right LMS could help you build peer-driven content to address these learning needs, boosting employee performance and the company’s bottom line. Pitching this initial challenge (or challenges) will highlight the LMS as a significant opportunity and give senior leadership a great reason to support the solution.
By highlighting the challenges affecting your organization, you are showing senior leadership that you have not only done your homework; you also know exactly how the LMS investment will complement your learning strategy.
2. Tie The LMS Investment Directly To Your Learning Strategy
Getting executive buy-in for your proposed LMS investment is impossible if you haven’t outlined how it will match the direction of your learning strategy.
As Rory Sacks says, once you’ve identified your strategy, you can show how it addresses the specific business needs of your organization. And once you tie it into those needs, it becomes much easier for leadership to understand the purpose and function of the LMS.
Whether your learning strategy is top-down or bottom-up, you can illustrate how your LMS will meet the needs of employees and the organization. In a top-down environment, you can show senior leadership how the LMS will facilitate better training compliance, for example. In a bottom-up environment, you can highlight how an LMS focused on peer collaboration can help everyone upskill from within.
Next up? Show exactly how the LMS is tailored to your specific business needs.
3. Show How The LMS Is Tailored To Your Specific Business Needs
It’s important to give your leadership enough detail on the specific scenarios where the LMS will make a significant impact on your learning goals—and the cost of not achieving these goals. This will help senior leadership see the bigger picture for why the investment makes sense.
Show them exactly how the LMS will help with your preferred method of content delivery. Is it great for Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT), offline training, or a blended approach that combines synchronous and asynchronous online courses?
Virtual Instructor-Led Training
You can demonstrate that the LMS allows trainers to assess courses through learner responses and reactions stored on the backend, which can then be used to gather feedback. If your selected LMS integrates webinar-hosting tools, you can show how VILT sessions will be easier to organize and thus improve performance.
An LMS with offline access can still track course completion and automatically sync progress when a learner goes back online. For example, if the organization has a remote and distributed workforce with connectivity issues, this can be a big seller for senior leadership.
Demonstrate to leadership that you have chosen an LMS that offers a mix of blended learning featuring social interaction, collaboration, and a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous training.
You can show how the right LMS can help your teams upskill from within by enabling peer-driven course creation and knowledge sharing. This not only leads to more tailored learning experiences but can also boost your training ROI.
4. Turn An All-Inclusive Trial Into A Successful LMS Pilot
Your senior leadership will more likely adopt an idea that has been tried and proven on a small scale, especially if it requires a considerable upfront investment.
The best way to accomplish this is to choose an LMS which offers an all-inclusive trial. The deeper you can go in the trial, the better, especially if you can get support to help you demonstrate the entire training process. By the end, you will be able to show exactly how the LMS fits your learners.
This trial will also help you and your team understand what the LMS does best. If you have tied the LMS investment to your learning strategy, the trial will generate data that shows how you will impact that in the long run. This way, you can turn the trial into a successful pilot investment.
And speaking of investment…
5. Know The Pricing Options For Your Chosen LMS
Investing in an LMS can be a significant undertaking for a lot of companies. Naturally, your senior leadership will want to know all the details about the cost of the LMS.
You need to show your leadership that you have considered the different subscription options and payment tiers, and show how the LMS you have selected meets the needs of your team, employees, and the organization. Show them that you haven’t fallen into the trap of underestimating the cost of an LMS, which most companies do by 60%.
Start by researching the standard pricing plans that LMS providers offer and setting a realistic budget to pitch to senior leadership. A comparison tool will help you to lay out the solutions and their pricing plans with the right level of detail.
Once again, understanding your organizational goals and the needs of your learners will help you decide whether pay-per-learner, pay-per-active-user, pay-per-course, or subscription is the best fit for your organization.
And remember, you shouldn’t think of an LMS as a single solution, no matter how expensive it might be. A good LMS can integrate with existing tools and improve them, but it isn’t a solution in itself. As Rory Sacks of Komodo Health explains, “I personally like to think of an LMS as my bionic arm. It’s not going to substitute anything, but what it is going to do is help me lift a car.”
Finally, you need to show how you can take the lead with your LMS investment.
6. Show That You Can Take The Lead With Implementation
Purchasing any LMS software involves the consideration of a lot of logistical questions, such as orienting employees to the platform, making a smooth transfer, and solving any difficulties that arise along the way.
You can ensure your pitch is successful by showing senior leadership you are eager and willing to take the lead in implementing the LMS. A great way to illustrate this is by developing a detailed implementation plan to roll out the use of the LMS to your team and employees.
It also helps if you can offer an assessment of the baseline digital skills held by employees who will use the LMS, which shows senior leadership that you’re considering the ease of use for your learners. This can be as simple as a survey.
Take the lead further by showing exactly how the LMS is scalable with your organization. Ask the LMS vendor about planned upgrades or fresh features to determine if they can meet your expanding training requirements. Present that to senior leadership in your pitch, and you’ll soon be on the way to an approved investment.