Let’s explore if the Learning Management Systems are only for colleges and universities and how every business can take advantage by having an LMS integrated into their CRM.
What is a Learning Management System?
A classic example of an LMS is HubSpot Academy. An online platform where people learn about inbound marketing, HubSpot platform, SEO, sales, and marketing and do certification courses. Students or learners have access to course material in the form of video-recorded lectures, transcripts, presentations, and pdf files. At the end of every course, they go through a series of questions that they have to answer correctly to get the desired certification. 70-75% marks are necessary to score to get the certification.
This is what you see at the front end. Managing Learning Management Systems at the backend is quite complex because a lot goes into making things easier for the learners. There are registrations, class schedules, course population, uploading questions and the correct answers – it’s just the whole manual schooling system that goes digital in an LMS.
Don’t confuse LMS with SMS – Student Management System. These are closely related but not the same.
What is Student Management System?
Student Management System tracks and maintains the data generated by the school. A student gets an entry in the Student Management System at the time of admission and his/her activities are tracked and monitored in the system ever since. Grades in each test, their participation in curricular activities, their attendance everything is updated in the Student Management System. It’s like a buyer’s profile in the sales cycle but only with school-related updates.
Student Management Systems enhance the communication between a student and the teaching staff. Teachers interact with the students in a better and informed way. Not to mention that this saves lots of paperwork and the administrator’s workload. They easily manage examinations, grading, transport, fee, hostels among other domains in the day-to-day school routine.
People of all ages are taking up different types of courses one after the other. They do it to enhance the skill set that helps them in their job or they are just keen to learn new things. The universities and other educational institutions are just giving them enough knowledge and degrees to make the students eligible for certain job roles. The online courses are adding to the skill set that employers look for.
Whatever the reason, people have shifted their learning from traditional methods to digital courses through LMS.
As a digital course provider, you would want people to take up your courses so you get more popularity and traction. Courses are your products and just like any business, you also want to promote your products and sell them more. And, to do all this, you need a good sales pipeline, lead segmentation, lead nurturing, and pitching strategy. That’s when the need to integrate your LMS or SMS with a CRM like HubSpot arises.
With a CRM like HubSpot in place, students get listed in the CRM as contacts, their course stage is fetched from the LMS into the CRM, and from there, emails are prepared to send them to complete the course. If the candidate fails to pass the exam, then also emails are sent with suggestions on how to improve and score high in the next attempt. There are many scenarios where the integration of LMS and CRM comes out beneficial.
Data Flow Structure and Benefits of Learning Management System Integrating with HubSpot CRM
Common data fields fed from LMS to CRM: Name, age, gender, membership type, groups and forums joined, email address, certifications, registration details,
Once the data is fetched into HubSpot, the marketers take over from there to see how they can use the data for business growth.
Considering courses as products and signees as customers, the most generic scenario in data workflow would be listing signees as contacts, and everything else related to them as properties. When they register for a particular course, deals are created. Marketers can know about their course status through properties. They can even know their subscription type, when it is ending, among other things that would help them pitch their courses better to the prospects.
Automated emails are sent to those who have quit the course in the middle or have not cleared a certain certification or those who have successfully completed the course.
Marketers know the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate. They can activate their workflow effortlessly with the data fetched from LMS to HubSpot. The pitching message is created accordingly so that it resonates well enough with the candidate.
What data goes out of HubSpot and into the LMS/SMS?
Marketing efforts made through HubSpot CRM and the candidate’s responses allow the marketers to prepare a detailed candidate profile. This decreases the onboarding process for the new candidates and you can close more leads in less time.
Here’s How CRM and LMS Integration is for Everybody
Studying and learning are not limited to only those who wish to generally enhance their skills. Every organization has an onboarding process where they teach their business processes and special skills to the new applicant for a smooth transition in their company. Uploading their general and special learning material about their tech stack and business process in the LMS, the companies can reduce the onboarding time for the new employee.
Companies can do the same for their partners, franchisees, distributors, and others. And, all the data and progress are managed through the CRM.
Integrating LMS to CRM
Like every integration task, LMS and CRM are integrated using APIs too. And, not to anyone’s surprise, the standard integration does come with some restrictions and standard workflow which may or may not meet all your business requirements. You can then try third-party connectors that are more flexible than the native integration solutions. If that doesn’t suffice you, then custom integration is always open for you.
To see if an LMS solution and your CRM solution are fit for each other and for your business as well, set up your goals for LMS and integration.
Ask and answer the following questions to have some clarity
- What type of data do you want from LMS to CRM?
- What type of data do you want from CRM to LMS?
- What kind of courses you will usually run in the LMS?
- What would you do with the CRM and data shared in it through LMS?
Once you have noted down, see the integration solutions out there that would do the job for you. If your workflow and data flow structure make a match with what is available in the native integration, Bingo! you are ready to tie the knot between LMS and CRM.
In the case of custom integration, the timeline and budget for the integration will depend on answers to these questions. The number of hours needed and the complexities of the job will only be determined after that.