5 Reasons You Need an LMS That Integrates with SalesForce

March 31, 2016

 

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For sales teams — whose job it is to constantly be making calls and closing deals —  time spent looking for information is money wasted.

For this reason, organizations with training programs should consider using a course building software with a SalesForce integration, which ensures that all the learner data is automatically pushed from the LMS to SalesForce.

Merging the vast amounts of data from both SalesForce and your LMS will give you a clear, detailed picture of your leads, customers and partners. You’ll know what they’ve bought, what courses they’ve taken and how engaged they are with your training.

It’s important to note this, however: because SalesForce is a versatile CRM, there are many possible LMS SalesForce integrations. You may want an integration that supports customer success, you may want one that generates leads or you may want to use SalesForce to administer a partner certification program. All of these are possible, but not every LMS offers the same set of integrations.

Know which customers are engaged with training

Having course data at the fingertips of a sales team allows reps to know which of their contacts is enrolled in a customer success course and whether that person has completed it. This information helps salespeople have more nuanced discussions with contacts; they can call the customer to let them know if they need to take additional training, for example, or to simply have a more efficient interaction.

Julie Gill, a product manager at SchoolKeep, says, “If a salesperson knows that a customer took the basic 101 course, they can start their conversation at a little higher level than someone who hasn't taken that yet.”

The company that knows how engaged a customer is with training also knows how engaged a customer is with its product. Take the example of a software company that offers free online courses to train customers in the use of its software. If a customer has taken and completed several courses, that person is clearly invested in the software and is interested in using it well. If there are upgrades to this software, this customer will likely want to know about them.

“If a salesperson is going to speak to a customer’s level of engagement with a product or with a service, then it's super important for them to have it all in one place,” says Gill.

Related reading: So What’s the ROI Anyway? Pursuing the Holy Grail of Customer Success

Turn learners into leads

When it comes to customer training, a person is usually a customer before becoming a learner.

Some integrations are turning that model on its head.

According to Gill, some companies are interested in using online courses to generate sales leads. How does that work? An organization would create a free course to teach a methodology which it then opens up to potential customers, using a lead gen gate similar to how many sites use downloadable white papers.

When that information -- and then the learning and engagement data from the course -- is pushed to SalesForce, then sales can have much better lead nurturing conversations.

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Track customers and sales

Knowing which customers have completed courses and which have made purchases enables organizations to answer questions about how training helps with the lifetime value of customers.

An organization might use that information to discover whether customers buy more after training, for example.

SalesForce knows a lot about your customers; what they’ve bought and when, and when they last spoke to a rep or to customer support. That data can be used to recommend specific courses or to custom-design a training program for that customer.

A window into partner training

Are all your partners engaged with your training? How do your partners perform before and after training?

Because SalesForce is often used to monitor channel partner training, an integration between SalesForce and your learning management platform can help an organization monitor its partner training. Some LMS integrations even allow organizations to manage partner incentive programs by automatically offering partners who have completed training a higher commission than those who do not complete training.

Related reading: Learn from these Award-Winning Channel Partner Incentive Campaigns

Convenience

The most obvious reason to marry your LMS and your CRM is convenience. Making a salesperson look up the same contact in two separate systems is not an efficient use of time.

“Really the challenge is that during the sales cycle the sales reps really live and breathe SalesForce, and they don't want to have to go into a separate place, find their contacts and look up how they're doing in the courseware,” says Gill.

SalesForce is already a powerful tool, but an LMS integration makes it even more formidable, creating a database that allows organizations to track the health of its training program and its sales pipeline.

For sales teams — whose job it is to constantly be making calls and closing deals —  time spent looking for information is money wasted.

 

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