Sales cycles have become complex and demand a lot of your sales teams. Buyers are well-informed now more than ever, and charming them isn’t a simple task. To achieve their sales targets, sales reps need to adapt to the new reality and deliver meaningful, gripping propositions consistently. But, without the aid of the right tools and technology, this can prove extremely overwhelming. In view of these challenges, sales leaders are increasingly investing in a robust, outcome-oriented, sales-readiness approach. However, many sales leaders still struggle in choosing between an LMS vs Sales Readiness platform to onboard, train, upskill, and continuously engage their sales teams and channel partners.
This blog covers the fundamental differences between Sales Readiness and a traditional Learning Management System (LMS), which will help you make an informed decision for your business. Let’s get started.
What is an LMS?
LMS is an e-learning platform used by businesses to document, report, track, administer, automate, and deliver training. Corporations have been using them to deliver e-learning to their largely desk-bound employees as part of the induction and later for sporadic, compliance-driven training courses.
However, as the need for a robust, on-the-go solution amongst frontline sales teams increases, trainers are faced with certain questions.
- Is my traditional LMS able to fulfill the always-changing learning needs of my on-field, widely dispersed sales teams?
- Does it go beyond mere course completion analytics and help me ‘see’ that the learning is put to use?
- Will it help me build best practices and share those with everyone?
- Does it help me influence the right behaviors to boost productivity and correlate all of it to get insights, measure impact and confidently show the ROI on my training spends?
Many traditional Learning Management Systems fail to meet the needs of the modern sales enablement function and are thus replaced or augmented with a more comprehensive easily accessible sales readiness solution.
What is a Sales Readiness Software?
A sales readiness software, as the name suggests, is an outcome-oriented, all-in-one platform that ensures the continuous readiness of your teams. Built with the sales teams’ needs in mind, sales readiness software enables you to successfully onboard new reps, beat the forgetting curve, and ensure your sales teams always stay prepared with knowledge and resources to have meaningful customer conversations. Furthermore, they allow companies to programmatically and systematically understand what works best for them, translate those into best practices, and scale them to individual salespeople in the network.
Sales Readiness exists for the sole purpose of
- improving sales performance (and company profits) by increasing productivity,
- improving morale and motivation,
- reducing salespeople turnover,
- improving customer relations,
- improving the management of time and territory, and
- reducing ramp-up time for new onboardings.
Nearly 87% of the executives report skill gaps in their organization. Sales readiness software helps you effectively evaluate how your sales reps are performing, where they lack, and how to improve their skills. For instance, an effective sales readiness strategy will include regular training, timely refreshers, frequent assessments, coaching, role-playing, gamification, and more. In other words, an improvement-driven sales readiness strategy will boost the effectiveness of your sales team at any stage in the funnel.
LMS vs Sales Readiness
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s get to our initial question. LMS vs Sales Readiness Solution- which one do I need to ensure my sales teams are always sales-ready?
Following are some parameters that will help you in your next buying decision.
#1 Just-In-Time Access to Content
Consider a scenario where your sales rep is speaking to a customer. They need access to customer-critical information to answer a query about a certain product or service. With a mobile sales readiness solution, they can quickly search and pull up a video for the customer.
A sales readiness software goes above and beyond training and becomes a content repository reducing the dependence on a digital asset management system. It helps centralize all your sales collaterals, making them accessible on the go.
#2 Delivering Microlearning in Short Bursts
To put it simply, LMSs are designed for corporate functions where people can dedicate long hours at stretch to learning. But anyone in sales knows how difficult it is for time-starved salespeople to dedicate long hours. They are constantly busy calling, emailing, researching, or meeting prospects. Your salespeople require a continuous learning companion that drip feeds content, analyzes their gaps, provides corrective interventions, and provides a resource repository when they need it. Specialized to serve the individual learning needs of your sales teams, sales readiness solutions help build a learning culture in the flow of work.
#3 Gamification Experience that Ensures Engagement
Your sales readiness program is solid, but your team isn’t taking the steps you’re asking of them. Sounds like a common problem? Your sales reps are more likely to make a sale if they’re invested in your training program. That is to say, their level of engagement with your learning content correlates to the ROI of your training spend. With this in mind, modern LMSs have introduced gamification elements like points, leaderboards, badges, and rewards that are awarded upon completing various learning activities. For example, learners are awarded points on course completion and taking assessments, they can climb the leaderboard and even share their victories with their peers.
Sales readiness platforms aid sales enablement managers in not just increasing engagement but also promoting positive sales behaviors. Therefore, in addition to the traditional gamification elements, you can set up:
- Photo contests wherein your sales teams can post photos with brand logos
- Video role-play activities to improve their demo, conversation, or objection-handling skills,
- Quizzes to refresh and reinforce product knowledge, industry knowledge, brand stories, and more,
- Various contests on parameters other than learning, i.e., you can import external data such as leads added to the funnel, productive calls, etc.,
- Surveys and feedback forms to gauge training effectiveness.
#4 Advanced Analytics to Track Sales Performance
While modern LMSs and LXPs provide a detailed view into your learner’s progress- what content they have completed, what they need to start, and even let you plan a training journey, that’s not enough in today’s times. Sales Readiness platforms deliver insightful data, relevant to all key stakeholders, to help you map training effectiveness to the overall organizational growth. Going beyond adoption and completion metrics, an effective sales readiness platform like Streamz provides insights into:
- Engagement Analytics to understand user trends
- Content and Assessment Analytics to be on top of what works and what needs improvement
- Organizational Competency Maps to gauge overall sales readiness
- Salesperson Readiness Scorecards to improve individual rep productivity
Not only that, but Streamz also leverages AI to identify knowledge and skill gaps, provide learning recommendations and create personalized learning journeys for every individual at scale.
Below is a quick look to differentiate between a traditional LMS vs Streamz sales readiness solution.
|Feature/ Capability||Streamz Sales Readiness platform||Traditional LMS|
Focus on frontline readiness
|Focuses primarily on improving frontline and sales teams’ capabilities.||Offers a one-size-fits-all approach.|
|Sales Optimized Content||Offers tools to create sales-optimized, microlearning content and assessments within minutes.||Most LMSs offer microlearning authoring tools but the user experience is highly geared toward creating lengthy courses.|
|Assessments||Capability to create assessments within minutes. Also offers automated knowledge checks, allowing the system to pick the best questions to improve knowledge levels.||Doesn’t offer automated assessment capability.|
|Gamification||Allows gamification of learning activities using points, leaderboards, and badges.
Facilitate and Manage Surveys, Photo contests, Video Contests, Quizzes, and feedback.
|Gamify learning using points, leaderboards, and badges.|
|Gamification for external sales-driven activities||Allows you to import external data such as leads added, productive calls, sales meetings, etc.||Doesn’t allow gamification of external sales data.|
Integrated rewards and redemption for Learning and sales activities
|Analytics||Comprehensive analytics on user progress and learning content.
Map Sales Competencies to business outcomes (Sales KPIs).
|Limited to insights on course completion.|
|Act as a marketing collateral repository that can be shared/printed for customers||Yes||No|
|Facilitate and Manage role plays/video and remediation||Yes||Yes|
|Driving Engagement||Personalized Notifications and In-app nudges to drive user engagement and course completion.||Expect you to complete the course in one sitting, eradicating the need for notifications.|
LMS vs Sales Readiness platform: Conclusion
Mentioned above are some of the reasons why a recent LMS trend poll conducted by Brandon Hall found that over 58% of the companies surveyed said they were looking to replace their LMS with a corporate learning tool that would better meet their business needs and objectives. We hope we have helped you in your decision for choosing an LMS vs Sales Readiness solution for your sales teams. For more such exciting updates and info on the current sales landscape and sales enablement and readiness industry, subscribe to our blog now.
Streamz has delivered results and helped organizations prioritize readiness and create an ecosystem where sales excellence can thrive and drive quota year after year. To know more you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also Read: Psychology of Sales Gamification