Sales, Marketing, Product, Alliances, HR, Engineering, Customer Support/Success, etc. Revenue Generators or Revenue Roadblocks?
Consider the following circumstances.
- Sales kick-off comes; the SVP uses his slide deck to prattle on about updates to know about, new Partner strategy, Marketing strategy and of course…the numbers.
- Marketing updates Sales weekly with buyer persona information, product placement information, buyer journey messaging, product information, strategic language, etc.
- Product Management rolls out data sheets that will be leveraged by Sales to avoid unnecessary confusion during the buying process.
- Alliances and Partner Management work tirelessly aligning Company Vision and Sales so they can appropriately train Channel Partners on how to properly position products for cross-sell opportunity.
- Customer Success and Professional Services work with customers to teach and train on the products that that Sales pushed over the finish line.
- Engineering and Product Management coordinate tasks based on roadmap expectations and use resources that assist in managing said tasks.
Any of these scenarios sound familiar? What do all of these scenarios have in common?
Without a proper communication infrastructure these interactions can represent revenue roadblocks.
Ensuring the understanding of accurate, revenue driving information is the business of training and training management. Learning and training management in the enterprise space requires…
“…a particular set of skills” – Bryan Mills, Taken
Addressing Revenue Roadblocks with Training
A world class training professional will posses skills and talents that span the informative, compelling and entertaining. They will also be savvy in their understanding of efficiency in the workplace. Furthermore, world class learning and training professionals will understand what technologies are being used in the workplace and will have a grasp on the benefits and weakness of said technology. Learning management resources become the tool of the training and learning/communication trade.
You see, the LMS is designed to contain and manage the assets associated with your education initiative internally. Furthermore, your LMS is going to track and audit your FTE’s in a way that holds them accountable. It ensures that everyone is growing, adapting and understanding the challenges associated with bringing your products to market. Without it, messaging becomes frayed, disorganized. Department responsibilities overlap and process inefficiency begins to frustrate top performers.
Meetings are scheduled – time is wasted – progress is slowed.
How Agile Does Your Technology Need To Be?
When evaluating a software application to address these very roadblocks consider how agile your technology needs to be.
For the purpose of this post I want to define agility as having a high time-to-value ROI. Getting the system implemented and deployed in a short amount of time is ideal. Barring sophisticated configuration requirements and integration processes analysis, self-sustaining and subscription based systems with open API’s will be the way of the future.
An agile LMS will augment business communication by allowing one to upload content quickly and with little to no training required. It will allow the Education owner to push content out to personnel within moments of logging in and will also allow for ease of use on reporting on the back end. When considering what Learning and training resources to move forward with you will inevitably need to conduct your ‘need to have’ vs. ‘nice to have’ requirements gathering phase. As a tenured member of the Instructional Design Community I remember getting excited about the many tools that my Academic LCMS offered years ago. Unfortunately, after weeks of training, we found that roughly 10% of the features were actually being used. We realized, as trainers, that our expectations for this huge software application may have been a bit overzealous.
Why Simple Makes Cents…and Dollars
As we say in Instructional Design, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” Said another way, when building your key requirements matrix, reduce it to the ridiculous. Hone in on the top 3-5 features that you require and use this list as your due diligence dowsing rod.
Don’t let the vendors upsell you on the niceties.
Remember, we are looking for a high time-to-value ratio in our purchase. Every time you add a warm and fuzzy feature you are potentially compromising your ability to realize a higher and more rapid user adoption rate.
Busy people do not want to be burdened by soft requirements that yield intangible results. Feature rich systems that require heavy configuration may never be properly configured or rolled out in a timely manner. This, of course, represents an added source of frustration to an already time starved and busy team.
With integration, SSO and an intuitive UI you can dramatically reduce the shock of introducing a new system to your business.
In Summary, avoid LMS implementation roadblocks by:
1. Compiling a list of revenue roadblocks.
2. Reduce your requirements matrix down to the ridiculous then scale up from here.
3. Don’t let vendors sell you on features that will ultimately be your undoing as a Training Professional.
4. Do your best to identify workflow steps via swimlane analysis before you put it in the hands of a vendor.
5. Assess risk first and allow an appropriate timeline during your due diligence process.
What are your thoughts? How do you avoid LMS implementation roadblocks with your company? Any other suggestions? Leave a comment below.
*image courtesy of healthylifestyleliving