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Dave Evans


Managing Director

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How to buy an LMS that you can’t stand [Buyer Insight]


Recent research conducted with LMS software buyers drew out some key conclusions and themes for purchasing the right business system.

The research explored the initial triggers for change along with some of the key influences on the decision and people involved in the process. This research provided valuable insight into some of the steps that are taken when businesses are looking for a new system.

When looking for a software system, it can be tempting to buy the first software system you demo. This can be due to a number of factors including time constraints or internal pressures. But, this way of purchasing can have disastrous consequences. 

We asked experienced software buyers for their top tips on the right way to purchase an LMS. Here’s what not to do:

1. Don't plot your journey before you begin

The most important part of the buying process is putting together a plan of action to determine timelines and requirements.

You have to be realistic with timescales as software can sometimes take a while to implement and get used to. Additionally, you should make this very clear to the suppliers you speak to ensure that they have the availability you require. 

This plan will act as a guideline throughout the process and can be revisited to ensure that you do not miss any crucial milestones. 

A buying plan helped all of the people we interviewed in ensuring that their needs were met throughout and that they did not lose sight of the reason they needed a system in the first place.

In order to face the problem, you have to clearly identify why you need a system. This includes details of any obstacles that you currently have to overcome and challenges that you are facing.

Many buyers spoke of the importance of identifying functionality requirements before beginning their search

This information is crucial to inform your chosen software supplier as this will help them in meeting your needs appropriately.

2. Have a disjointed decision team

After identifying requirements, the next step that was frequently noted as an important stage throughout the process was forming a team. This team should be compiled of key stakeholders across different departments who can act as project champions (read more about gaining internal buy-in here) and in all cases included decision makers.

It is crucial that each member of the team knows what they are responsible for within the buying process. For example, our research showed that IT Managers were usually responsible for finding a suitable system and recommending this to the learning and development departments or training teams.

It is extremely important that every member of the team fully understands the reasons for the new system and how it will be implemented within the business. This means ensuring that everyone is kept fully informed and up-to-date.

3. Don't review different suppliers

Searching for a system and selecting the most appropriate supplier can be difficult. Many of the companies who took part in our research expressed that they spoke to an average of 4-5 suppliers before making a decision. Use this comparison chart to compare suppliers easily. 

Only 27% of buyers took 6 months or less to make their business decision

Some companies organised demonstrations with numerous companies before selecting the most appropriate supplier. This gave them the opportunity to take a personal tour of the system and ask the experts any questions that they had. 

This article will equip you with the right questions to ask during a demo to ensure that you get the most out of the opportunity.

4. Choose a system with no after sale support

The journey doesn’t end once you have adopted a business system. Suppliers need to assist you in implementing the product throughout your team and ensuring that you are using it in line with best practice.  

Many companies highlighted the importance of receiving on-going support even after they have implemented the software

Ask the right questions. It is important to find a supplier who is willing to help you continuously to get the most out of your software and achieve maximum return on investment.

91% of research candidates stated that after sales support was important to their decision-making process

We assist all of our customers with on-going technical support and best practice and provide expert advice through a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM).

A CSM provides initial training and lifetime support for the duration of the customers' relationship with us. This includes catch-up calls to review on-going objectives and provides consultancy sessions. The aim of this is to help you optimise the use of your software and maximise your ROI.

To find out more about the buying process, download our Software Buyer's Guide.

Author Profile Picture
Dave Evans

Managing Director

Read more from Dave Evans

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