Sales Training Management Software to Consider

Continuously training salespeople in both company-specific training and the mechanics of sales is beneficial for any business. Regardless of the level of experience, honing the skills of a salesperson can make them more efficient and effective in their role within an organization. There are growing numbers of technologies that both management and sales teams could benefit from to enhance performance on all fronts. By understanding these technologies the individual and the company itself can excel.

The following is a discussion of software solutions that could be advantageous to sales and training managers.

Axiom Sales Force Development 

Axiom states that traditional sales training practices are lacking, due to the fact that new hires, current employees and managers are like to forget 80 percent of the information given in these training sessions. Axiom focuses on providing a continuous learning environment, to produce better results and enhance the performance of the sales team by keeping users engaged in their training.

Axiom’s sales training framework covers prospects, developing new opportunities, presenting solutions, handling objectives and negotiations, and managing major accounts. Axiom’s goal is behavioral change and offers integrated learning exercises that take users between 5 and 30 minutes.

Gartner analysts praise the Axiom method: “Axiom Sales Force Development appears to be on a mission to change the old sales training model.  By rethinking the old paradigm for sales training and applying new processes and technology that encapsulate CRM and SPM integration, Axiom is delivering an interesting solution that changes the way sales people engage customers and the way managers coach and lead.”

CallidusCloud

CallidusCloud is a provider of sales and marketing effectiveness software. Their software, allows users to accelerate and maximize leads by offering solutions to help identify the right leads, ensure proper territory and quota distribution, enable sales teams, automate quote and proposal generation and streamline sales compensation.

The Cloud Computing Platform allows users to get up and running quickly by providing prepackaged reports and dashboards, compensation plans and coaching templates. CallidusCloud comes with a 24/7 support system and supports over 2.5 million users a month. CallidusCloud is an industry leader in security infrastructure for ensuring physical data encryption and application security, and protects your investment with secure SAS 70 II certified on demand infrastructure.

With CalludisCloud’s acquisition of ActekSoft Gartner speculates this to be a benefit for both companies: “Overall, the consolidation of Callidus Software and ActekSoft is a positive move for both companies. Callidus Software extends its strong position in insurance by gaining ActekSoft’s client base, product line and services expertise in healthcare commission processing issues. The move benefits ActekSoft by giving its customers more opportunities to add on-boarding and other Callidus offerings adjacent to incentive compensation.”

Sales Performance International (SPI) 

Founded in 1988, SPI states their goal as helping the world’s leading organizations elevate their sales relationships, drive measurable and sustainable growth, and operational sales performance improvement. Simply put, SPI solves sales problems. To save users from wasting time on the wrong targets, SPI uses targeting and qualification content to teach individuals how to use objective techniques to identify the right targets. SPI’s advanced business development and prospecting content helps users to identify and generate new leads; sales execution and advanced negotiation content teaches individuals how to position differentiated value early in the sales cycle to minimize concessions.

Miller Heiman 

Miller Heiman touts being grounded in the latest research, allowing them to work with sales organizations to build core strengths in sales techniques and the sales management training needed for today’s customer. Miller Heiman offers a holistic view of customer management strategy and alignment with the strategic objectives of the organization. By working collaboratively with all levels of an organization, Miller Heiman helps companies achieve sales execution excellence. Sales training programs are based on an interactive approach, allowing users to work with real, live deals that reflect the challenges of the organization. Miller Heiman offers public workshops, on-site programs, e-learning and blended learning. Programs teach individuals at all levels of the organization how to set sales strategies and action plans, and offer dynamic feedback, discussions and new market perspectives related to the customer requirements.

WalkMe

WalkMe is an interactive online guidance and engagement platform. WalkMe provides customer relationship management and sales software training, to ensure tangible, measurable and long-lasting results. WalkMe’s platform creates shorter training times, eases migration from other CRM systems, provides in-work performance support, reduces errors and interruptions and lowers training costs.

Ford automotive has their own built in solution that they have recently taken to their international sales force:  “The program, known as the Consumer Experience Movement, has been running in North America since late 2010 and delivering results, Elena Ford, the automaker’s vice president of global dealer and consumer experience, said in a meeting with Automotive News. ‘The Consumer Experience Movement is about how we communicate with our dealers and how dealers communicate with customers and it starts with the relationship.’”

There is no shortage of ready made solutions for companies to explore in order to maximize training and promote information retention. The issue is more exploring all of the options and sourcing everyone from management to the sales and customer service teams to make sure that the chosen solution is best for your company.


Top 5 considerations when choosing an LMS

Choosing a learning management system (LMS) is not an easy task, particularly if you’re a first time buyer. Before you start to look for an LMS it’s important that you identify your requirements so you have a clear view of your “must-have” and “nice-to-have” features. Prioritizing your needs before starting the review process will save you a lot of time and effort and will also ensure that you choose the right LMS for you. While there’s lots to consider when choosing an LMS, we’ve put together a checklist of the 5 most important considerations.

#1 Strategy

Selecting an LMS is a long-term commitment so before you invest your time and money you need to be prepared. If you don’t already have a strategy, you should put one in place. Your strategy should set out your budget, identify the staff or stakeholders who will be involved in the selection process and also include a draft timeline with a deadline for each stage, from research to launch.

If you have a tight budget and do not have IT staff to support you during a lengthy LMS installation, a cloud-based solution may be more suitable for you. These solutions offer a hosted platform with no installation requirements. These solutions are just as effective as in-house, corporate style systems and offer a robust alternative. Cloud-based vendors usually have flexible pricing plans and often adopt a cost effective ‘pay as you go’ approach, allowing you to pay month to month and removing the need to be tied into a long-term commitment which can be hard to get out of if things don’t work out as planned. Customer support, training and regular system updates typically come at no extra cost.

If you are migrating from your existing LMS provider you need to dedicate a section of your strategy document to managing the transfer of you course content, users and training history records.

#2 Content

You should have your course content and requirements in mind, if not already created and ready to go, before you start your LMS search. E-Learning content comes in all shapes and sizes from Word to PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations to video, and SCORM to Tin Can. If you know what content you’ll be using you’ll have a better idea of which LMS will support your chosen content format. You should also decide if you require quiz or exam functionality, survey functionality and the ability to award certificates to your learners when they have successfully completed a course.

Another key factor to consider when it comes to your course content and the LMS you choose is mobile support. As tablet and smartphone usage rapidly grow it is very important that whichever LMS you choose fully supports course content delivered on these devices. As more and more people to choose to learn on the go, ensuring your LMS can deliver your courses to both mobile devices as well as PCs and laptops is a key factor to consider.

Following on from this point, another important factor related to course content is what browsers the LMS supports. Some older platforms have struggled to keep pace with the regular release of new versions of IE, Firefox and Chrome resulting in content not launching or tracking correctly for learners. So when carrying out your LMS search be sure to check with each vendor which browsers they support.

#3 eCommerce

LMSes with eCommerce functionality will provide you with an online store where you can do exactly that. You should also ensure that there are multiple payment gateways (like PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.Net) available. The ability to create discount codes is also a great feature to have so you can incentivize your learners to purchase your courses.

Look out for LMSes with white labelling functionality so you can brand your url, as well as the login and logout screens so the LMS design is consistent with the look and feel of your company’s website. If you intend to deliver your online courses to multiple clients you may want to focus on LMSes that will allow you to personalize the eLearning experience for your clients. Client portals can be branded with each client’s logo and company colors. You can also assign courses and learners by client portal so only the content relevant to them is available through their personalized client portal.

#4 Reports

You’re going to have learners taking courses on your LMS so you’ll need to be able to find exactly what they’re doing. For this you’ll need an LMS with advanced reporting features so you can filter learner data, be it by user, course, date ranges, groups, custom data fields and so forth. Ideally you want to be able to export reports and also schedule reports to run automatically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that are delivered straight to your inbox.

#5 Customer Support

Customer support is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an LMS. You will be calling on customer support for assistance and you need to be assured of their capabilities and dedication to helping you no matter how small the issue. Look for solutions that offer 24/7 support and speak with the customer support representatives before you sign up. Keep track of how swift they are to respond to your queries. Don’t be afraid to ask for a customer reference to get an independent insight.

Finally

Don’t forget to focus on your requirements! Look for solutions that offer free trials so you can get to know the system before you commit. Take advantage of demos so you are fully aware of the functional capabilities of the LMS. You may find an LMS that ticks all of your requirement boxes but if it’s not intuitive and easy to use you may find the whole process takes longer than expected.

If the LMS you select fulfills your requirements it will enable you to deliver the best possible online training to your learners. Ultimately, the platform must meet your needs and your learner’s expectations for this to happen. Happy LMS shopping!

This post is by Caroline Lang, Digital Marketer at LearnUpon, the learning management system for professional training companies and SMEs. Sign-up today and start delivering your training courses online in less than an hour. For more information contact hello@learnupon.com or sign-up for a free 30 day trial. Follow us on Twitter @learnupon.

 

Mindflash Reviewed

Mindflash Training Software is one that worth reviewing.

It is an exciting thing for your company to come out with some new product. Another face of this launch of the product is to get your employees trained on the product. If you have never considered any kind of training programs online for the training of your employees it to be done then you can choose Mindflash for the online solution that it provides for training the people for making them well equipped in using the new product. There are many benefits that you get by making use of the online training program that is provided by this company.

Minimizing Impact Over Productivity 

When you are choosing online training program from this company, you need not have to worry about the reduction of the productivity provided of employees as there is no need for them to sit back in the training room. There is no possibility for replacing the training sessions with mere emails but there are so many benefits that you get with the choice of an online training. There is possibility for you to choose the schedule of training as per your availability. This can provide a chance for the employees to work on peek days and time and find out time for the training. You can also save much time over the setting up of training room and also no need to struggle with projectors and other tools.

No Software Required

There is no need for you to make use of some new software for the purpose of training. All that you need to do is to make the training material with the software you are familiar with and then can use mindflash. It has the ability for combining all the different kinds of documents and medias together regardless of the software made used for creating them and they can make the training components necessary for carrying out the online training.

No Expenditure Over Travel 

There are chances for your business to have branches in various places and the training of the new product in a normal manner requires the training staff of your company to travel from one location to another to train the employees. This can cost really a huge amount of money on traveling and also time is wasted. With the usage of this method, there is possibility for training the staffs without actually moving from one place to another. Employees can avail the information necessary for online training on the system that they access. There is possibility for delivering the training materials to anyplace you want with the help of the new facility.

Virtual Training and In Person Training 

It may at times require to go through in person training at the time of the situations when it is critical to make use of hands on instructions. There is possibility for you to make use of multilayer approach when in person group training is provided along with the virtual training. Mindflash can make it possible for you to re-purpose training content for in persona training for delivery online.

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Top 3 Computer Based Training Software You Should Be Using

Training is one of those fields that, in the past, was just an accepted trial of pain and suffering. This isn’t unlike dentistry before the age of good anesthetics. But, in the case of training, there’s been no proverbial nitrous oxide to make it not agony. Thankfully, computer based training software is available now that makes it far less awful.

Why Training Blows:

Training traditionally sucks for a number of reasons. First, busy workers aren’t really in the mood to put up with someone’s interloping and tinkering, when there’s work to be done.

Second, classrooms are horrible. It’s long, it’s boring, and it doesn’t work. The classical Prussian classroom system is why so many people loathed school and university. Someone working, finally free of classrooms, doesn’t want to revisit them.

Software that Helps:

Software can address these problems and many others, like schedule conflicts and other things.

#1 – LMS (Moodle)

An LMS is a learning management system. Basically, it’s a custom SaaS kit you install on a server, customize and configure. Then, it provides a web interface through which teachers can make text and video courses, questionnaires, tests and projects, which students can work on together and individually.

Teachers may design their own grading system, which will automatically track. Students may talk to each other over messaging and the like. All kinds of plugins are available to tie in social networks and all sorts of other things.

Flexibility allows all kinds of learning models to be employed. This is the backbone you need.

#2 – Onboard (WalkMe)

This kind of software is designed to create tutorials that intuitively guide users, step by step, through complex processes. It can correct mistakes, spot patterns to indicate learning, confusion and so forth. It can control forms, and prompt them on the next steps to take. It captures analytics on progress and behavior the entire time as well.

It’s easy to program, with simple point and click, and it integrates natively in web. It’s perfect for constructive practice.

#3 – Cloud Drive (Google Drive)

I’m going to recommend Google Drive for everyone, but there are fancier, paid systems if you want. The idea is the same. These cloud file sharing systems are going to be absolutely mandatory for any complex projects and team compositions, which more advanced training may call for.

Moodle can facilitate this, but to be honest, it’s not as graceful as Google’s solution. You may not think you need this now, but trust me, go ahead and set it up, because you’ll realize you need it pretty soon either way.

Conclusion:

I was fairly sparse here, because in truth, there are a bunch of solutions. But, there’s no point in naming multiple LMS systems, multiple onboard systems, or multiple cloud drive systems. So, I just named the best of all three niches here, because they are the three tool sets you are going to need.

Of course, maybe bringing in social networks, and being sure you all have mobile devices is a good idea too. But those don’t really qualify as computer based training software, so I didn’t feel they belonged here beyond this brief message. Good luck!

Corporate Training Solutions to Make Your Life Easier

In recent times, business people have enjoyed the benefits of a whole number of new and unique corporate training solutions being available. With the advent of the internet, and a new kind of academic free thinking which it allowed, a lot of new generation professionals are rethinking a lot of old standards.

Training is one of those things that is being greatly reinvented, because this new generation of professional business people remember how awful their scholastic careers were to live through, and unlike generations before them, they not only reject this as just a fact of life. So, you have a lot of new and innovative learning models which open up better ways to get things done.

So, what kinds of corporate training solutions have come around, and what does it mean for learning in the new millennium? Well, check it out.

#1 LMS

LMS, or learning management systems, are a platform or framework, not unlike a CMS, based around online collective user learning. Built to favor other ideas like organizational learning and flipped classrooms, this sort of system eliminates the need for local classrooms, or for everyone to schedule things for being present at a specific location.

LMS constructs work over internet and/or mobile apps, meaning that they can be accessed from anywhere with and device as long as internet is available. This I one way that training can stop being as underfoot inside a working corporation.

But, this isn’t the only thing that’€™s interesting!

#2 Alternative Models

Alternative models of learning, which I briefly mentioned being favored by LMS designs, are also very popular for good reasons. Being rid of the classroom model of classic academia, and replacing it with a gamified outlook, which enhances engagement, enjoyment and agency, as well as other concepts which put the experience in the hands of trainees.

These include flipped classrooms, where students socially work together, with the teachers playing the roles of supervisors and guides only.

#3 Onboarding Software

The most unique thing has to be onboarding software, which isn’t one any of us saw coming. Onboarding software such as WalkMe were invented to handle a new kind of training.

Basically, you program this thing (anyone can program it), and have it study its environment, such as the states of browsers, webforms, user activity and so on. Different combinations of these states can be criteria for it to follow programming given to it.

This lets it live inside a web form, and from here, guide a user step by step through limitlessly complex tasks and subjects. This allows for an experience-driven, hands on learning experience, which is both engaging and effective. It also lets work be done while training takes place.

There are a host of other learning solutions out there too, such as Wiki structures, social learning tools and much more. SaaS has done a lot to boost technology, but this is also just as reliant upon new ways of thinking innovatively on the part of visionary new professionals.

More corporate training solutions will come around, you can count on that. LMS is a brand new niche with much exploring left to do, and onboarding software is only going to get smarter. Those two technologies are already starting to shake hands, too. It’€™s a matter of time before this technology unifies, and becomes flexible enough to support any new age learning method anyone thinks up.

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Top 3 Employee Computer Based Training Software

We all know that the SaaS revolution, and the recent mobile boom of the past decade have both taken our being spoiled by the internet to a whole new level. This has made us impatient with the limitations of the old ways when it comes to many things like communications, shopping and entertainment. But, it has also made us rethink how training must work. This has made computer based training software a popular commodity in modern times.

Learning management systems are the most common computer based training software concept that’s going around, and that’s ok. LMS concepts are good, and they work quite well. However, there are a host of other solutions besides these that work well, too, and I’ll be suggesting one of these first off.

But, the other two are LMS systems of a sort, so don’t be too surprised by that.

#1 – WalkMe

WalkMe was designed to be a training tool out the gates, so the fact it doesn’t get enough love in reviews of learning tools is a bit upsetting. WalkMe was designed around the concept of learning while doing, with the side benefit of letting real work be done during training, safely.

It integrates into the web form, where it can react to states of the form, to surmise user activity and patterns, and prompt and guide the user through complex processes safely.

It uses point and click logic to configure for the processes, and offers an intuitive visual designer for menus and prompts, making training (and self service) a snap.

WalkMe is a new way to think of training, and it’s one that needs more attention from people at large.

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#2 – Axonify

Axonify is a corporate scale LMS with an intuitive set of subservices which combine to provide a custom, dynamic experience keyed to your company’s specific needs.

With state of the art analytics and metrics capture, as well as open endedness for gamification, behavioral change management and all kinds of graphing and mapping techniques and functionality to deliver a powerful, multimedia experience in learning that has gotten the attention of a lot of very successful businesses in recent times.

#3 – Moodle

Moodle is the most popular LMS among most, with its open source design making customization and tooling of this LMS quite easy and efficient for your organization. With dynamic grading, powerful automation, intuitive grouping systems, and a communication framework for cooperation of learning and projects, this is a strong system.

The downside with Moodle is that, as easy to modify as it is, support for this may be a bit shaky when it comes to some of the different distributions of it out there.

But, computer based training software is plentiful and diverse, so just jumping to a default conclusion of what direction you’ll take without looking at your options is a bad idea.


Employee Training Tracking Software

Often seen as dull, burdensome and something not fully relevant to everyday work, employee training is rarely something managers or employees look forward to.  Employees don’t want to have to sit through training, it’s nerve wracking, tedious and time consuming, and they usually take solace in the fact that school is a thing of the past for them, even if they’re stuck in a nine to five world now. Trainers have to bust their butts to find ways to make training engaging, and the managerial aspects of training are just a nightmare. This has made the need for employee training tracking software pretty dang obvious in recent times.

The problem is, while the SaaS revolution has brought about some good LMS designs, the tracking systems of these are limited and only effective within the courses and interaction of the LMS itself. External employee training tracking software attempts have been very limited in their practicality, and usually require more mucking about by the training managers than they alleviate.

It’s unfortunate, but this hasn’t been something easy to resolve, and while LMS systems are great, they also lack the component of learning by real experience in working with the subject. Learning by doing is an important step in training, especially when it comes to working with complex processes like using software, and the other side of this is that, without this part, all of the training is accomplishing no real work, which hurts on the time, resource and revenue budgets of a company undergoing these training projects.

With all of these problems, and no obvious solution in sight, there’s a real conundrum here, normally. Is there a solution that perhaps nobody’s thought of for some reason? In fact, there is.

If you read SaaS literature at all frequently, you’ve undoubtedly heard of WalkMe by now. If, however, you live on the dark side of the moon, and haven’t heard of this software, let me nutshell it for you really quickly.

WalkMe is a tutorial creation system which integrates into web forms, where it can observe the state of user activity by monitoring elements, as well as learn their patterns, stop them, guide them and even control the web forms itself. It does this with a point and click scripting system that requires no programming knowledge, and it’s remarkably easy to learn how to set up.

Now, the way this can help with training tracking is first, it will allow users to train on a process by actually letting them operate the process to do real work, and guide them through the most complex processes imaginable in a step by step prompted way. Its ability to control the forms means it can prevent their inexperience from allowing dangerous mistakes to happen.

Along with this, it can track important logistics for training, such as frequency of mistakes made in one aspect or another of the training subject, rate of mastery of various aspects of the process and so forth. It can also isolate who needs attention the most in what areas due to its easy-to-configure pattern recognition. With its ability to monitor the state of form elements, WalkMe can also measure how many employees are doing processes absolutely to the letter in the order assigned – end results may not always reflect something like that.

With its ability to also integrate with a lot of LMS designs, WalkMe really is the ultimate employee training tracking software solution out there, and since logistics and analytics are the letter of the day, you’re missing out if you don’t use this.
 

What to Do Before Buying an LMS for Blended Learning

This is a guest post by Jordan Barrish of Capterra.

Plan to Offer Blended Learning? Here’s What You NEED to Do Before Buying an LMS

If you are in the process of purchasing a Learning Management System, one requirement that may arise is the need for classroom training to supplement online offerings–also known as blended learning.  Blended learning is the method in which a student is taught using a combination of face to face classroom training and computer-accessed instruction.  Proponents of blended methods believe that it works because it combines the best elements of instructor knowledge and technological tools.

A number of LMS vendors provide support for blending learning models.  LMS solutions play a key role in many aspects of blended learning, including managing instructors, tracking in-class scheduling, and other training activities.  Blended learning provides the ability to easily customize instruction and obtain and track important data.

So, What Are Your First Steps?

Before implementing an LMS or a blended learning model, lay out your need for blended learning and your objectives for its success.  Think seriously about certain pain points that your trainers face on a daily basis.

  • What is difficult for them?
  • What do they waste time in the classroom doing?
  • How do they measure if training is effective for their learners?

Then, you must think through the pros and cons of blended learning for your organization.

  • How easy would it be to deliver all content through technology vs. the classroom?
  • Based on your trainer’s pain points, what’s the major need blended learning might address?
  • What specifically is different about your organization that makes it critical to provide a combination of both online and in-person training?

To think through those last two, here is some information about the benefits of blended learning:

Still not sold? Benefits to Blended Learning

  • Blended learning is perfect for organizations that must have hands-on instruction in an ongoing manner.
  • Classroom training sets a foundation for learners while technology allows them to master the more advanced content and skills.
  • Teachers can focus on the most important things during classroom time.
  • Students get the benefit of peer interaction with the objectivity of online measures for progress.

Luckily many LMS providers have started to thrive in blended learning environments.  Finding the right match is all about leveraging your current needs with a solution that fits. Blended learning can be a valuable asset for your training procedures.  Addressing these needs while searching for an LMS solution can go a long way in finding the perfect match.

 

Jordan Barrish is a Market Analyst for Capterra. She researches and writes about trends in a variety of software verticals, with a particular focus on learning management software. You can follow Jordan on Twitter -@jordanbarrish.
 

WalkMe for LMS

Using WalkMe for LMS (learning management systems) enhancement is pretty much like using milk to enhance cookies. Despite them being separate things in origin both in time and place, they just seem inarguably made for each other nonetheless. Well, at least it seems that way once you try it. You wonder how you got on without coupling these technologies together previously.

But, what does using WalkMe for LMS enhancement actually accomplish, oh skeptical readers? That leaves me with quite a bit to say, so let me get right down to it, first by addressing what WalkMe is at its heart.

For those who don’t know WalkMe is a tutorial creation program designed with web interfaces and SaaS in mind. Powered by AJAX and HTML5, it provides a rich, interactive interface within browsers that can do a lot of very cool things. The biggest feature, and one of its first, is a guidance system.

This guidance system basically can highlight various web elements in a specific order, with customized notification balloons and a strong level of control over the host interface. Through this, it can be scripted to watch the user’s progress through any given digital interface, and stop them, prompt them for the next step, and continue. This is set up remarkably easy, with a point and click design and scripting system that doesn’t require any programming experience or knowledge, only a good sense of the intrinsic logic needed.

It can do more than this, if you’re slick with it, even automating lengthy, complex processes in forms, learning user patterns to report issues or to grade progress of training, any number of things of this sort. With its level of control, it can hold a user’s hand through using the actual software they are learning, without the danger of disastrous amateur mistakes, permitting learning by doing where it once could not be done.

All of that is great, but how does this enhance any given LMS? Well, given that first of all, most competent LMS designs are SaaS-based, making them web interfaces, that means WalkMe can easily couple with them. In fact, it has plugins for one of the best of these, Moodle.

So, what do you get out of this integration? Well, in truth, that depends entirely on how creative and innovative you are as a teacher. You can go the most obvious and simple route, using WalkMe to create dynamic quizzes, exercises and tests. In fact, that’s a good idea either way, but there’s much more you can do with it.

You can use it for group projects, interactive demonstrations of software as part of courses (or heck, interactive demonstrations that visualize abstract concepts being taught as well). Really, with this kind of scriptable, smart extension easily integrated into any learning management framework, you can get just about any depth of multimedia, interactive learning experience you want, finally without the need to forsake the comforts and conveniences of a dedicated training platform like Moodle or Wikispaces or any LMS of your choosing.

But, the one use of WalkMe for LMS enhancement that I think will win you over immediately (though the others will keep you hooked), is the fact that WalkMe can teach the students and teachers how to use the LMS itself. The need to learn how to use the learning system is the paradoxical issue that the systems currently have, after all, and a quick solution to that conundrum is in itself worth a billion dollars if you ask most modern-minded educators.

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