There’s a common misconception that extended enterprise LMSs are strictly for Fortune 500 companies. Or, at the very least, for organizations with franchisees, dealers, and expansive sales channels. The truth is that even small to mid-sized businesses can benefit from an extended enterprise Learning Management System. It enhances customer knowledge and ensures that partners know what your brand represents. Below are 7 surprising extended enterprise Learning Management System benefits that might just convince you to invest in an extended enterprise platform.
The fact that many SMBs believe that extended enterprise LMSs are “out of their league” can work to your advantage. If you do invest in such a platform, you gain a competitive edge for all the reasons you’ll soon discover in this article. From offering customer education online training resources to ensuring that your external partners reflect your brand accurately. You can also attract top talent that your competitors may be missing out due to their lackluster online training program. Another way that an extended enterprise LMS can benefit your bottom line is by improving your company’s credibility. You’re willing to go that extra mile to train your in-house team, sales channels, and loyal consumers. Instead of letting customers seek out online training resources on their own, you’re opting for full transparency and customized tools to broaden their knowledge.
One of the most overlooked extended enterprise LMS benefits is consumer education. It’s not just for remote sales staff, vendors, and other external partners. Your customers also have the ability to access online training materials, for example, product knowledge demos or care instructions to properly upkeep their purchase, whenever, wherever. This keeps them well informed and loyal to your brand. So, this increases the chance of word-of-mouth advertising and repeat business, and both of these are crucial to the success of your SMB.
Another common misconception regarding extended enterprise LMS benefits is that they’re only for external partners. However, they also allow your in-house staff to get all the training they need to succeed. They have remote access to product knowledge, compliance, skill-building, and performance management resources. This means that you have a more attractive hiring package that draws in top talent. They know that your SMB values employee development. Along with benefits, salary, and vacation time, you can offer your staff personalized online training materials that address their needs.
Most SMBs have sales reps, vendors, or other external partners, although maybe not to the extent of global organizations with hundreds of remote franchisees and sales consultants. However, an extended enterprise LMS can help keep even limited external teams on-brand. For example, the 10 sales consultants you currently have on staff are able to access company policy infographics or online training tutorials that help them highlight the product perks without veering away from the company message. They may not be on your payroll, per se, but they are still representatives of your brand. As a result, they need to be able to adhere to company policy and understand its origins. This way, they can put your best foot forward and provide a united front to your consumers rather than giving them the sense that your company is disjointed or fragmented.
Another myth associated with extended enterprise LMSs is that they’re too expensive for small businesses. You barely have enough wiggle room in your budget for marketing, how can you possibly afford a new Learning Management System? The truth is that among the extended enterprise LMS benefits is that they can help you improve online training ROI. Especially if you’re currently sticking to a traditional training approach. Just think of all the travel, printed material, and site rental fees you can save by making the switch. If you’re already using an LMS, investing in a new extended enterprise solution can help you centralize your online training initiatives. Everyone has access to vital online training tools they need to improve performance and increase profits, including your remote sales staff, customer service reps, and vendors.
Extended enterprise Learning Management Systems often have robust reporting and analytics. As such, your SMB has the ability to gain more detailed insights into employee performance, external partner satisfaction, and customer preferences. For example, most platforms feature data visualizations that allow you to transform raw data into graphs and charts, thereby, spotting patterns and trends that pertain to customer behaviors and “fan favorite” resources. This gives you the chance to continually improve your consumer education strategy to give them more of what they want. Furthermore, you can enhance personalization for your external partner online training to retain your top sales reps.
I mentioned earlier that extended enterprise LMSs aren’t much for global organizations with thousands of employees and partners. However, you can expand your reach by investing in an extended enterprise platform for SMBs. Especially if you look for a Learning Management System that offers multilingual features, responsive design support, and advanced reporting. The platform scales with you as your SMB grows and ventures into international markets, instead of having to look for a replacement tool to train your ever-expanding sales channels or keep franchisees up-to-date.
Can your SMB benefit from an extended enterprise Learning Management System? Keep in mind that these platforms aren’t just for sales channels and franchises. You can also use them to keep your customers in the know and gather better online training insights. Extended enterprise LMSs can also benefit your in-house staff and attract top talent to your SMB, as well as reduce spending so that you can allocate online training resources more efficiently.
Christopher Pappas is the Founder of eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning field. Christopher holds an MBA and an M.Ed. (Learning Design) from BGSU.