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Sandler Training boosts LMS adoption and engagement by 200% by switching from a proprietary system to Totara Learn

Sandler Training is a global leader in innovative sales, leadership and management training. For more than 40 years, Sandler has taught its distinctive, non-traditional selling systems and highly effective sales training methodology, which has helped salespeople and sales managers take charge of the process.

Sandler Training is made up of a robust catalogue of online training, physical learning resources and instructor-led training that is delivered directly by a global network of 275+ franchises.

The Challenge

Sandler Training was previously using a Cornerstone OnDemand learning platform. While this served their needs for a while, they eventually outgrew the platform, finding that it wasn’t user friendly (for reasons such as requiring too many clicks to do basic tasks), that trainers were struggling to set up learning programmes and that there were multiple issues with Flash e-learning courses. In addition, the system was prohibitively expensive, and every time they wanted to customise their proprietary system it cost a lot of money to tailor it to their needs. In addition, many of the user management and course enrolment tasks were manual, requiring Sandler’s head office employees to spend many hours on learning administration.

Sandler Training decided it was time to stop navigating the hurdles presented by their proprietary LMS and seek a more flexible solution. To solve this challenge, they wanted to switch to a more open LMS which could be integrated with an ecommerce and user portal (on Drupal) to empower franchises and end users to access self-service training.

“We are committed to providing the best experience for our learner and our trainers. That’s why we had to move to an open source solution that we could customise and update easily.” - Mike Montague, VP of Online Learning, Sandler Training

The Solution

Sandler Training LMS

Owing to the scale of this implementation, Sandler Systems looked at ‘every LMS on the market’ before selecting Totara Learn as their new learning management system. They chose to work with a Totara Partner on account of their excellent support services, world-class AWS hosting and development experience, as well as their expertise with Totara Learn.

This was a complex setup and launch that included the migration from Cornerstone OnDemand to Totara Learn, a build of a Drupal site that facilitated the storefront and user management. With the complexity of the user hierarchy, the Drupal site required custom integration with Totara Learn to ensure that the users entering the LMS were given the right permissions to control their level of access. Totara Learn’s hierarchies and audiences functionality allows Sandler Training to keep learners from different client organisations separate, meaning that each client has their own space to learn privately.

As a result of their challenges with SCORM e-learning packages in their previous LMS, they also decided to rebuild all of their old Flash modules as interactive, modern courses within Totara Learn. These include microlearning lessons that learners can start and stop at any time.

Sandler Training LMS

Their Totara Learn solution is compatible with all devices and operating systems, which was vital for Sandler Training with over 300 classrooms and 30,000 students to cater for in 17 different languages. Ease of use and access was essential, so this was always a front-of-mind consideration when their partner was designing the LMS. Reducing the number of clicks and compliance-driven permissions has removed a major technology barrier, allowing the LMS to work unobtrusively in the background and the content to take the lead.

The Results

Switching from a proprietary LMS to Totara Learn has helped Sandler Training completely transform their learning programme. They now have the freedom to save, estimating that they have cut the per-user cost of training significantly, and believe that they will continue to see cost savings in the coming years with Totara Learn. Additionally, in their first year using Totara Learn, online learning revenues doubled.

Sandler Training LMS

Adoption and engagement have both increased by 200%, most likely because their Totara Learn platform is much easier to use than their old LMS. There are now around 20,000 active users of the system, and this is only set to increase. Staff and learner satisfaction and confidence have skyrocketed with the introduction of Totara Learn, and learners are excited to be involved in online learning. This is reflected in a 50% increase in time spent learning and activities completed.

Sandler Training is also using the LMS as a marketing tool. They have set up an area for potential new users to trial the platform, and despite the fact this feature has only soft launched, it has already led to an increase from 2,500 to 3,500 monthly users. With an active marketing campaign planned, Sandler Training’s goal is to attract 100,000 people to their Totara Learn platform by 2020.