Most businesses know the importance of building relationships with customers, but not all have considered ways to optimize those connections and improve customer service. A lot of businesses rely on customer relationship management (CRM) software to ensure that salespeople are prospecting leads, closing deals, and keeping customers happy throughout the entire lifecycle of the deal.
However, you’re probably missing out on one of the most effective tools your CRM system has to offer if you aren’t integrating it with your learning management system (LMS). Integrating your LMS and CRM systems can save you time, money, and headaches in your business operations by streamlining processes and improving service across the board.
In this article, we will take you through the various basic considerations, feasibility, challenges, and steps required to integrate your CRM with an LMS to streamline your business. Let’s get started.
What is an LMS?
Learning management systems (LMSs) are platforms that help,
- Track employee and customer training
- Streamline processes like certifications, e-learning courses, team meetings, mentoring programs, online seminars, or Q&A sessions with customers.
They allow you to monitor participation in training as well as log performance or behavior changes among employees or clients.
There are different types of learning management systems, including enterprise learning management systems (ELMs), virtual classroom learning management systems (VLMSs), mobile learning management systems (MLMSs), and microlearning solutions. Each has its own features for managing instruction and participation through collaboration spaces for users on different levels of your organization.
What is a CRM?
It might seem like every organization has its own flavor of customer relationship management software, but all you need to know is that it’s a computerized system designed to help you build relationships with your customers. It tracks who they are, how much they spend, what their interests are, and what kind of products or services they use.
Most CRMs also allow users to generate reports on sales performance, leads generated, and other data. Depending on your business needs, you may opt for a more complex solution that includes inventory control or business intelligence reporting capabilities.
Of course, each option will have different integration capabilities for your learning management system, as well as varying costs associated with setup and ongoing maintenance.
Is Integration Possible?
While it’s possible, is it practical? As you research your options, you may find that integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) system with your learning management system (LMS) isn’t as easy as it sounds.
It’s probably best to avoid trying to connect systems if they don’t already have APIs (application programming interfaces) or XML feeds that make integration relatively straightforward. Instead, focus on improving sales productivity in other ways—which, incidentally, often has a bigger impact on closing deals.
For example, if you’re selling expensive software licenses, offering a free trial can help shorten sales cycles and reduce costs associated with missed opportunities. Or consider providing proactive customer support via email or phone rather than waiting for customers to request help through chat tools.
Advantages of Integration
The most obvious benefit of integrating your LMS with your CRM is that you can transfer information from your educational programs into your customer database. For example, if a new customer purchases an educational course about website design, you can automatically add their name and email address to a list in your CRM.
By doing so, you’ll have access to important demographic information like age, location, marital status, children/no children/pets, profession or job title, etc. You’ll also have access to records of every previous purchase—information that will help further personalize communications and marketing campaigns for increased sales potential.
Challenges That Come With Integration
The technical integrations of an LMS are usually just as important as the material it provides in terms of long-term success. An LMS is aimed at providing learning content. Now, its potential to grow and support itself is reflected in how it serves that information.
Many companies tend to pay attention entirely to the learning experience while overlooking the most important component in the selection process of an LMS—the importance of technical integrations. The only thing we can attribute this to is the decision makers’ lack of awareness of technological integrations.
It’s impossible to offer users useful analytics about the effect of the LMS program and eLearning on your organization without technical integrations. Conversely, you may end up depending on activity or volume metrics, which do not provide the individual or organizational characteristics required for tasks such as workforce planning, succession planning, and learning pathways.
LMS integrations also promote simplicity of use and automation of manual operations. In the absence of these, both admins and customers would find the user experience onerous and bogged down by unnecessary duplication of duties between the systems.
How To Get Started?
1. Begin Small: Scale Gradually
It’s a dangerous practice to create a big training module with tens of classes. Adopt a flexible approach and get going right away. Then, if necessary, seek feedback from the initial users to tweak the training procedure. It’s similar to creating a tried-and-tested process.
2. Choosing The Best LMS
The correct LMS will assist you in providing a high-quality learning experience. Your goal is to establish a high-quality learning environment. The most optimum option is a flexible and configurable LMS like Docebo that will evolve with your needs over the coming years to meet the changing needs of your educational offerings.
3. Or You Can Create A Custom LMS With In-Built CRM Integration
You can choose between using a tried-and-tested LMS and adapting it to your needs or developing a custom LMS with all the integrations you require for the company (CRM, ERP, etc).
4. Focus On Key Data
To estimate the return on investment of your customer training, you need to know what data you’ll use. Ensure that the system collects the important data you require right away.
We have covered various basic details that you should be aware of before deciding on integrating an LMS with your CRM. We hope that now you will be better prepared to take the right decision to move in the right direction of streamlining your business processes.