The many roles of an LMS in business

A learning management system (LMS) is software that facilitates the creation, administration, tracking, roll out, and data analytics for training programmes.

When most business leaders think of an LMS they think human resources. Yet the applications of an LMS extend far beyond back-office training, and the fact that the market is worth $165 billion and growing year over year is a good indicator of how innovative leaders are getting with uses for their LMS software.

Check out the surprising variety of roles an LMS could play in your business to further engage your employees, win more customers, strategise smarter, and ultimately, improve your bottom line.

Totara Learn LMS

1. To create a more engaged workforce (and everything that comes with that)

Disengaged employees cost the United States as much as $550 billion every year in lost productivity. Disengagement is not laziness. Instead, it’s the result of a variety of factors from not knowing role expectations to not feeling heard to lacking a supervisor who cares.

One big factor reducing engagement is the absence of opportunities to learn and grow. Creating those opportunities can be a challenge for business leaders — where do you find the budget for conferences, speakers, and so on; let alone the time? This is where an LMS comes in.

It’s a scalable, in-house solution that makes training accessible, no travel required. Better yet, it’s created for individual employees to use in their own downtime. The investment in your employees’ development will bring returns in boosted productivity, higher customer satisfaction, more sales and less turnover.

Samsung boosted course completions by 181% with their Totara Learn platform, owing to a wide range of engagement initiatives through the rollout process and beyond. 

2. To create a leadership pipeline

Studies show that internally promoted candidates stay longer, outperform, and cost less than external hires. Yet many companies have to turn to outside recruitment in order to fill open roles with skill gaps not found in their current workforce.

Providing employees with access to an LMS allows them to take control of their own leadership development. You can create steps towards promotion goals with required coursework and assessments along the way. This not only creates a leadership pipeline, but takes the guesswork out for employees who may be spending a lot of time wondering what’s next in their career trajectory.  

3. To close more deals

To sell your product, your sales reps need to know it inside and out. It can be a lot of information to retain, particularly when new updates are rolled out regularly.

However, knowing that information can be the difference between closing or losing a sale. When a lead is asking questions, you know they’re interested. The better answers you can provide and the faster you can provide them, the more likely you are to complete the deal. But what happens if a rep doesn’t have all the answers? An LMS can help.

Cloud-based LMS solutions allow reps to access a database of product information anytime, anywhere and may even integrate with your sales team’s CRM. If a rep knows a lead is curious about a particular feature, they can brush up on their understanding before (or even during!) a call. They can quickly access case studies that relate to the lead’s industry or needs, and talk through them as if they were memorised.

4. To reduce customer churn

one percent customer churn rate can have a 12 percent impact on a company’s valuation over five years. Just as onboarding experiences matter to retaining employees, they matter to retaining customers new to your business.

You can use an LMS to create customer onboarding trainings that allow new users to get hands-on with product features. Trainings can be combined with customer service chat or videoconferencing so that success reps are available when needed. A library of trainings can be built so that customers not only know how to use your product from the start, but continue to learn advanced features as their usage increases.

Sony worked with Totara Partner Kineo to create an LMS for the extended enterprise, using their knowledge portal for employees, partners and customers to improve the customer experience.

5. To curb legal issues

No matter the size or industry of your business, it’s likely you have some form of compliance training required. These are the trainings your employees likely complain about taking, and may put off as much as possible. Without an LMS, it can be difficult to track who has taken what, and whether or not the information was truly understood.

Using your LMS, you can track participation and create assessments that check for understanding. Employees can be required to not only take a training, but pass the test. Plus, in the unfortunate event that any legal issues related to compliance do occur, an LMS supplies easy reporting so that you can demonstrate that the trainings were completed.

6. To vet candidates for hire

Hiring is one of the most challenging and important tasks any business leader undertakes. It can be time-consuming and overwhelming to vet candidates, yet people are any company’s most critical asset.

Some roles may require specific skills that you can test for using assessments created in your LMS. Adding this step into the hiring process can help take some of the guesswork out and narrow down your pool. Assessments don’t have to be limited to role-related understanding either — you can also vet for soft skills such as alignment to your company culture. For instance, Deloitte uses its Totara Learn-powered BizQuiz app to test potential candidates on a range of topics, helping the recruitment team make a more informed decision.

7. To house critical data

If you put all (or even a couple) of these potential uses for an LMS into play, you’ll begin to notice another important feature of the tool — data warehousing. LMS software are treasure troves of analytics, storing everything from assessment scores, to survey feedback, to performance metrics, and more.

This data is critical to the intelligence of your organisation — better understand your people, and you’ll better understand what’s impacting your bottom line.

In successful businesses, everyone is constantly growing. When learning stagnates, so will your profits. An LMS empowers your employees across the board with knowledge, which in turn, empowers your business.

Taylor Burke is a contributor for, covering marketing and sales. When she’s not in front of her screen, you can find Taylor reading, cooking, running, or hanging with her dog—but rarely all four at once.