LMS Buying Process - Do I need an LMS

If you’re reading this, you’ve been asking yourself “do I need an LMS?” or “do I need a new LMS” and your answer has been “yes.” Now that your organization has determined that it’s time to acquire a learning management system (LMS) or other learning technology, you need to figure out which one to buy.  That’s not an easy question.

With over 1,000 learning systems in the marketplace, how do you know which vendors to review? What challenges will you face? Some of them include:

  • Finding and selecting the right LMS is confusing and time-consuming.
  • Cutting through the marketing fog of overhyped systems and crowded marketplace
  • Devoting a huge amount of time to the research and sales process
  • Selecting the wrong system leads to negative consequences for years to come – including frustration and complaints from administrators, users and stakeholders, under performance and potential job loss.

The Learning System Buying Process in 9 Steps

During more than 25 years of work on the front lines of LMS and learning systems buying and selling, our Founder and Lead Analyst, John Leh, has analyzed how learning systems are best procured, and developed the Talented Learning 9-Step Learning System Buying Process.

After your organization has asked, and answered, “do I need an LMS?” you’ll want to go through these steps to identify and acquire the best LMS or learning system at the best price.

What Stage Are You in?

  1. Research the Market – Take a good look around the LMS and learning systems market, investigate your competitors’ solutions as well as similar use cases. Get oriented to the cutting-edge technologies and learn best practices in selecting, deploying, measuring and improving  a learning system.
  2. Develop a Business Case – Define why an LMS or learning system is needed and how it will benefit your organization and learners. The Business Case will be presented to senior management for approval before moving forward with the buying process.
  3. Define Requirements – Define your training and learning platform requirements accurately to ensure you don’t overpay for a system, and ensure the system selected meets your organization’s functional, technical, service and budgetary needs, both now and in the future.
  4. Shortlist Vendors – Easily and quickly research and find qualified vendors solutions that meet your defined requirements.
  5. Request Proposals – Clearly describe your requirements so vendors understand what you really want and need from your LMS or learning system, from the business, functional, technical, service, support and budget standpoints. Invite vendors to submit a proposal to address these requirements.
  6. Conduct Demonstrations–  See the features you want working in seamless coordination to support your exact use case through full vendor demonstrations.
  7. Test in Sandbox – Obtain access to your finalist LMS or learning systems in the form of a sandbox – a software environment that allows full or nearly-full use of the platform to test and verify functionality, processes and workflows.
  8. Call References – Check the references of your vendors by talking with some of their current customers to get their perspective about deploying, using and working with the vendor.
  9. Negotiate the Best Deal – Plan your strategy and negotiate with your final vendor to obtain the best possible price and solution.

The Talented Learning Center – Your Go-To Resource

Talented Learning was designed to help organizations learn about the elearning industry, learning management systems and other learning platforms. We’re here to help you, because yes, you do need an LMS.

The Talented Learning Center has all the resources you need to find the perfect fit in half the time and eliminate the costly mistake of selecting the wrong system:

  • Easily document your system requirements with the Adaptive Requirements Survey and immediately identify the right vendors with an “instant” vendor shortlist
  • Filter through the marketing hype with fiercely independent vendor analysis to find out which systems can really deliver the solutions you need the most
  • Access case studies to learn best practices and identify the vendors with experience in your industry and use case
  • Reduce time, money and risk with training on how to buy the best LMS for your organization
  • Utilize our selection of consulting services that accelerate the process and ensure the right pick
  • Access thorough product demos, summaries (hot takes) and case studies to create your short list without having to talk to a salesperson
  • Master the LMS selection process with how-to videos and best practice resources that cover all the challenging stumbling blocks like defining requirements, shortlisting, RFP creation, use-case demos, and contract negotiation

Answering the question “Do I need an LMS?” is just the first step. Finding the right LMS can be an overwhelming experience with so much hype and clutter in the marketplace. Most vendors say they can do everything, but you need to know which ones truly excel at your use-case and deliver solutions for your unique organization.

The Talented Learning Center gives you immediate access to unbiased research, education and the tools you need to find and select the perfect LMS.

Benefits of Membership

If you are shopping for an LMS or other learning system, join the Talented Learning Center to access deep, fiercely-independent research and education needed to succeed.  We have free and premium membership levels outlined below:

Become a Basic Member

Many resources in the Talented Learning Center are available when you sign up for FREE as a Basic Member. You’ll have access to content such as:

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Become a Premium Member (7-day free trial)

As you’re proceeding through the Learning System Buying Process, you’re likely to face some obstacles and uncertainty about how to proceed. Once again, we’re here to help! Premium Membership in the Talented Learning Center includes many more resources to help you at every stage of the LMS or learning systems buying process. Try it FREE for 7 days when you sign up for Premium Membership, where you’ll receive all the benefits of Basic Membership, plus:

  • Ask John Leh Videos – Learn about learning systems technology one question at a time with our library of short informational videos.
  • Microlessons, Courses and Certifications – Get up to speed with our library of over 20 (and growing), 15-minute, microlessons on learning systems use cases, stages of the buying process and key functional capabilities.
  • On-Demand Webinars – Get in-depth expert advice with our deep catalog of webinars and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics from buying, implementing and improving your learning system initiatives

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