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LMS or CRM: Which Management System Will Benefit My Company?
There are hundreds of business systems and technologies that might assist your training company. So how do you identify the best system which will benefit your organisation? This blog aims to outline the differences between an LMS and a CRM and help you find a system that suits your company.
A learning management system (LMS) can track every step of the training journey, giving management an insight into the real success levels of corporate training. Alternatively, a CRM helps you manage your relationships with existing and potential customers, which provides a fully integrated solution from the sales cycle right through to customer management. So what are the functionalities and benefits of both systems?
Expanding a training business without the help of technology or software can be almost impossible. Competition is fierce and the internet provides fast access for prospective clients to conduct initial research for a suitable supplier, make enquiries, and in many cases make the booking. Contact data is your lifeblood to new and repeat business. Every existing customer, contact or enquiry is potential business and as such should be recorded accurately and referenced in such a way that details can be recovered and accessed easily to promote services to suit their individual needs. This is where a customer relationship management system is extremely useful.
Here’s how it works in practice…
Your CRM will help you record client information, track leads and prospects and store information against individuals and companies. All contacts, whether initiating from an enquiry or from a meeting at an exhibition or conference, can be logged together with full details of their business and future potential recorded. Reminders to make future contact can then be scheduled and automated. This simplifies your administration process and allows you to increase your overall business efficiencies. Other benefits of a CRM include:
- No data duplication of contact information, communications, documents or order history
- All emails notification, reminders and confirmations are recorded in one place
- Segment existing customers or import mailing lists to target with relevant courses, loyalty discounts and amazing offers
- Create engaging email using customised templates for campaign messaging and branding
A learning management system is a slightly different tool which automates course bookings, administration and communication required for training administration. It also provides an online platform that users can log into and get access to a range of training courses. This means that you can automate various aspects of your training business and save crucial administration time. An LMS can also:
- Allow users to share learning materials or resources such as documents, video and audio
- Support a flexible structure that allows different combinations of user groups to be created such as by location or job role
- Provide an intuitive and userfriendly interface for learners
- Automatically generate registers, sign in sheets, evaluation forms and certificates
So, which system is the ideal tool for training?
Without doubt a CRM is powerful and a necessary tool to manage relationships and expand business. It is a great tool for managing pipelines, enquiries and capturing all relevant information, but the benefits are limited. The downside is that a CRM operates very differently to a learning management system or training management software. By opting for a CRM alone, many companies can miss out on the wider functionalities available with an LMS.
The good news is that training companies can have both. Some of the most powerful LMS software has a built in Customer Relationship Management system so it's worth researching your options. This means that companies can benefit from the features of a CRM and an LMS. This is especially useful if your company is searching for a system that can achieve more than simply tracking contacts.
For a full explanation of the key differences between the two systems, and a guide on how to determine the right functionality to suit your business needs, download our Training Management System v CRM eBook.
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