How do you find the best virtual classroom software for your team if you’re racing the clock? This article features all the tips and tricks you need to choose a ROI-boosting LMS today.
Just like any other L&D investment, you need maximum value for money when choosing learning tech, which isn’t the easiest task. Given that there are so many options and so little time. For example, you need a new LMS for virtual classrooms but don’t have much to spend. You also have a long list of features that you can’t compromise on.
So, how do you find virtual classroom software that delivers all your must-have features without going over budget? More importantly, how do you know which LMS offers the best ROI? Today, I’m here to share 7 insider secrets to choose the right virtual classroom software for your SMB. Namely, a platform that prioritizes CX, UX, and remote collaboration.
- Set A Realistic LMS Budget
This is not the time for ballpark estimates. You need an accurate budget to avoid overspending and ensure that other business operations don’t pay the price. For example, you have to borrow from different departmental budgets to make up the difference. A realistic virtual classroom LMS budget should include the usual software and setup fees. But you must also consider online training content development, instructor, and ongoing maintenance costs. For example, even though the instructor doesn’t travel to on-site locations, they still charge for their expertise.
- Evaluate Your Current Online Training Strategy
One of the main reasons to invest in an LMS for virtual classrooms is to fill existing gaps, pain points that your current LMS or online training strategy overlooks. So, evaluate assessment scores and take a closer look at online training performance. What are your online training goals and outcomes? Where does your online training plan fall short, and how can the new virtual classroom software bridge the gap? Do you need a platform that builds a stronger team dynamic? What about better analytics of video conferencing support? This will help you not only draft a clearer budget but compile a list of essential features.
- Gather Employee Feedback
Another great way to spot pain points and remedy them with your new Learning Management System is to survey the team. Gather employee feedback to see what they like best and least about your current program. What are their virtual classroom expectations? Are there any activities or JIT tools they need to boost workplace performance? Staffer feedback can help you add items to the expense sheet and choose an LMS that aligns with their needs. For example, they expect simulations and branching scenarios that suit different online training styles. So, you need a virtual classroom LMS that supports more interactivity and real-world application.
- Use An Online Directory To Identify Top Solutions
Online directories feature a section that’s dedicated to pricing options. Thus, you can see which vendors offer free trials and their general price range. You can identify top virtual classroom software that delivers all your must-have features because every listing has a detailed product overview. Just be sure to use a reliable directory that specializes in Learning Management Systems as they know which selling points you need to maximize ROI.
- Evaluate User Ratings And Reviews
Top online directories also feature user ratings and reviews so that you can weigh the pros and cons of the best virtual classroom training software. Start with the performance overview that covers the basics, like Customer Experience and usefulness. Then move onto the overall satisfaction score and summary statements. This will give you a good indication of the product’s track record. There are also detailed reviews that explore what users liked best and least about the virtual classroom LMS. Best of all, reviewers must provide some background info, such as industry and company size so that you can focus on ratings that align with your online training needs and project scope.
- Tap Into Your Social Network
There are plenty of social media groups and online forums where you can find LMS buying tips. But you can also ask for recommendations. Include your essential features, price range, and intended use. This helps group members narrow the list based on your L&D requirements. You can also look for pinned lists at the top of the page. Many forums have a database of top-notch virtual classroom LMS providers. Lastly, visit the vendors’ social media page to see if they’re active. Do they respond to posters? Or has their page been idle for months? Are they active on several platforms? And are there any reviews from satisfied customers?
- Submit RFPs To Top Vendors
RFPs are your first contact with vendors. At this point, you’ve already done your homework. You know their standout features and general price range. However, requests can provide you with detailed estimates based on your LMS use case. Vendors send their proposals that cover everything from product benefits to cost considerations. Then you can follow up with your top choices. The only catch is that RFPs are a bit more time-consuming because you must draft the request and wait for vendor responses. But it is a more personalized approach since vendors have all the crucial info about your project, current gaps, and spending limits.
Virtual classroom LMS platforms should offer your team the best of both worlds. That said, you shouldn’t have to bend your budget to achieve the online training objectives or boost employee engagement. One of the most effective ways to choose the best virtual classroom software is to test-drive the tool. After you conduct all your research, sign up for free trials and demos. Some vendors even host live events to showcase their product in action and field questions as well as point out the main selling points and real-world benefits.