Digital learning: The Limits To Salesforce – LMS Integration

While the top-vendors in the LMS market are promoting their Salesforce – LMS integrations, the reality of those offerings is more nuanced. The limitations faced by LMS vendors can result from strategic choices as well as technical constraints. Here are three limits that demonstrate why these integrations cannot keep their promises.

Seamless integration with pitfalls

The learner’s experience plays a core role in a Salesforce – LMS integration scenario. Employees who use Salesforce throughout the day must have easy and timely access to the training they need to achieve their goals. A learning experience (LMS) integrated with employees’ digital workplace (Salesforce CRM) should enable a pervasive learning environment. How? By taking the headache out of sales teams’ daily job that’s filled with multiple clicks, duplicate entries, and the need to switch between many and complex applications. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality in most Salesforce – LMS integrations. The learning experience proposed by LMS vendors merely consists of pushing training content available on the LMS into iframes displayed throughout a succession of popups windows.

Salesforce – LMS Integrations bases on iframes are the default choice for most of LMS vendors and by far the least effective. On the one hand, the reason for this might be that LMS vendors’ understanding of Salesforce’s platform integration techniques is very light. On the other hand, those who will benefit from integration – Sales teams and Sales or L&D Managers – do not own enough experience to lead the vendors’ specs to a more value-added solution.

Yet Salesforce’s integration capabilities are enormous. For example, SCORM or video content can be embedded directly into the product or opportunity pages in Salesforce. The learner can watch this content securely without having to switch to the LMS within an iframe. iFrames don’t just compromise the experience, they are known to cause considerable security problems and costly maintenance tasks.
Last but not least, to adapt the training to the learner’s goals, it is possible to contextualize the experience by offering specific content according to meaningful business criteria: the opportunity stage, the status of an account, or a lead. That is the real definition of what we name a seamless learning experience.

The illusion of real-time

It’s no secret that the business world is making data integration a priority. Sales and L&Ds Leaders want a constant flow of real-time information in Salesforce to make better decisions to improve performance. And that’s exactly where the problem arises: In most of Salesforce – LMS integrations, training data is never updated in real-time in Salesforce – something that LMS vendors often avoid to mention – creating a constant delay. It implies that decision-makers have to wait for information to be refreshed daily or weekly. But the strength of integration is precisely the ability to ensure that the user has up-to-date data available when needed.

As sales managers, you plan your team’s activity according to the business goals. Your team’s ability to close deals is at the core of your strategy. They must master skills such as negotiation or sales techniques. Therefore, you need to connect your business goals with the required skills to increase your chances of success. Effective decision-making relies on your capacity to track training KPIs in real-time: what training is achieved by top-performing sales reps? Which training to offer to less-performing ones? The possibilities are limitless.

But to take advantage of them, you need immediate access to training activity data in Salesforce, just like sales performance data. Leveraging Salesforce event-based API can make it easy to achieve this. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Salesforce – LMS integration out there that relies on asynchronous data exchange.

Give up on mobile learning?

The advantage of mobile learning is well established:

  • Practical: Information is easily accessible and is not limited to a specific place or time.
  • Engaging: A shorter, fun content format and more digestible information.
  • Collaborative: Learners can share through online communities on corporate social issues (Chatter in the case of Salesforce).

A meaningful learning experience should offer mobile access to content. Consequently, a Salesforce – LMS integration must consider whether the learner connects from a desktop, mobile, or tablet. Consistency is key. For example, a sales rep who used to watch training content from Salesforce at the office should have the ability to do so on the Salesforce1 mobile app on-the-go. But in reality, the integration scenarios offered by LMS vendors do not include the Salesforce1 app.

For some, it’s a strategic choice. They don’t want to put their LMS mobile app in competition with the Salesforce1. The latter considers that their LMS mobile app does the job already. There is no point in providing a mobile experience other than the one they offer. It’s a choice that can be problematic. The integration of the LMS with Salesforce must leverage the entire employee experience, the office as well as on-the-go,  to provide a personalized and contextualized learning experience. It shouldn’t be limited to just sending data from one platform to another. The learner should remain at the heart of the experience, not only the data flows.

For others, it’s a matter of cost. Investing in such development could slow down innovations on the LMS, so they prefer to limit their integration to single access to content on desktop devices from Salesforce.

Daniwoo Lx: the best of both worlds…

For us, a unified learning experience in Salesforce has never been just about building bridges for data to move between Salesforce and the LMS. Creating a Salesforce learning experience starts with the learner’s performance and productivity goals and ends by leveraging all of Salesforce’s technologies (Lightning Experience) and tools (Lightning components) to deliver on that purpose.

Daniwoo Lx is a learning experience platform (LXP) built-in Salesforce CRM. It leverages the latest innovations and the whole suite of Salesforce technologies to provide sales teams and employees with a complete learning experience tailored to their work pace. It exceeds the imperfect functionality of a Salesforce – LMS integration.

Daniwoo Lx connects the learning goals with the sales objectives. For example, your sales reps’ convert a lead into an opportunity, and they happen to need qualification skills. Daniwoo Lx then steps in to automatically provide the right content within Salesforce CRM.  To enable Sales and L&Ds managers to make informed decisions, it grants real-time access to data within Salesforce Analytics, a crucial benefit over most Salesforce – LMS integrations.

Finally, Daniwoo Lx enables mobile learning in Salesforce1, giving your teams, who are often on the road, the opportunity to learn whenever and wherever they want, without the hassle of having to do it in the office.

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