Read Before Investing: What Corporate Learning Platforms Don’t Want You to Know

It’s no secret that corporate learning platforms make your employee training a LOT easier and more effective. Trainers love them because they simplify course creation and learner management. Learners love them because they make learning immersive, interesting, and fun.

But, choosing a corporate learning management system isn’t as simple as using one. There are whole websites – like and – dedicated to helping you compare learning management systems. A corporate learning platform is a big investment, so it needs to be the right one for your corporate training.

This blog will guide you through the potential pitfalls and hidden truths of choosing corporate learning management systems. With safe advice, you’ll find the perfect online learning software for your corporate training program.

What corporate learning platforms promise

Building training programs and creating online courses is a lot of work, and learning management systems (LMSs) promise to make it easier. When the average LMS for corporate training advertises itself, you’ll often see guarantees like:

  • Increased productivity due to faster course creation and superior user management features
  • More effective employee training thanks to tracking features that measure learner progress
  • Cost savings as learners learn everything right the first time without repeating a lesson
  • High learner participation due to excellent user engagement tools

At their best, corporate learning management systems deliver on each promise. But, not every LMS solves online learning problems in a way that suits your use case. Not every LMS can provide online courses for various audiences, from customer training to sales training and beyond.

Real corporate LMS problems and hidden issues

Look at for these “gotcha” moments when choosing a learning management system:

Hidden costs

Hidden costs have to be the worst kind of “gotcha”. Like traveling on a budget airline, you may feel good about getting a deal when you make your purchase, but as the unpleasant surprises begin to mount, it becomes clear that you’ve made a mistake.

Corporate learning management systems might hide fees under technical requirements, like charging extra for integrating their software with your current system or software. Surprises may also come in the form of premium content  that isn’t available under your standard contract.

Particularly insidious are the long-term subscription commitments that lock you into a years-long relationship with the LMS vendor and cost more than buying the software outright.

Nobody likes surprises like these. Make sure you ask any potential LMS provider about hidden costs or extras up front, and get a complete list – in writing – of what you’re buying (and what you’re not).

User engagement challenges

Every learning management system will tell you they’re brilliant at learner engagement. But, only some LMSs are immersive, intuitive, and a pleasure for learners to use.

Before you decide, ask for user engagement metrics from some of their existing customers. You’ll want to see high completion rates and proof that learners interact on the platform. Low completion rates and limited interactivity between learners might mean that they find the platform tricky and uninspiring to use. Without an intuitive user interface and learner communication tools, building an engaging learning experience will be difficult.

Implementation and integration

Whatever learning management system you purchase must play nicely with your existing software.

Talk to your IT department about whether the LMS you’re considering is compatible with your existing systems. Talk to the LMS integration team about the complexity and time required for their setup.

You don’t have to say “yes” to a poor integration experience. Many online learning platforms feature timely, expert integration to ensure complete implementation success. You deserve one of those.

Data privacy and security

It’s vital to find out how your potential online learning platform handles data privacy and security. Data breaches erode customer and public trust in your company and place you in a precarious legal position.

You need an LMS that carefully considers how to comply with GDPR, CCPA, HIPPA, and other data regulations. You should also look for a company that prioritizes careful handling of sensitive company and employee data. Ask for specifics about their data protection policies and data breach action plan.

Assessing corporate learning platform claims

Look closely at the software’s marketing and sales materials before you purchase, paying particular attention to these areas:

ROI metrics

Case studies and success stories that sound too good to be true probably are. While it’s heartening to read about others who have used your LMS for corporate training with amazing results, it’s unlikely that any software has been the sole reason for a company’s professional development success.

Many corporate learning platforms tout impressive ROI figures, but it’s often challenging to measure tangible returns due to the qualitative nature of learning outcomes. You should be wary of overly optimistic success stories that lack comprehensive data or real-world validation. To assess the true ROI of these platforms accurately, it’s crucial to set clear, measurable goals and track relevant metrics, like employee performance improvements and productivity gains.

Customer support

Ensure your LMS platform offers quality customer support options. Round-the-clock service, available to you through multiple channels, is a must-have. The customer support team should be responsive, knowledgeable, and easily accessible.

Look for an LMS that offers email, chat, and phone support 24 hours a day, no matter where your company is located. Call them to test the service, to see how much customer support is being outsourced to AI chatbots and whether you can talk to a human agent when needed.

Customization and flexibility

Customization is key for branding your learning programs, courses, and learning materials to match your corporate brand.It helps every learning module in your library – from compliance training to employee training – feel cohesive and unified.

You’ll also want to be able to set individual learning paths for users based on their tastes, previously completed courses, and learning goals. Users learn better with an LMS that responds to their learning process, so look for an one that can accommodate learners’ preferences and meet them where they are.

All of these features should be included in the price of your learning management system, so don’t settle for pre-set templates and minimal customization options.

Before you invest in a corporate LMS

Ensure your corporate LMS software investment is solid by checking these key features before you sign a contract:

Research the learning management software

Read unbiased reviews about the LMS platforms you’re considering, paying close attention to any mention of your specific use cases. For example, if you want a platform that promotes social learning, check that reviewers are satisfied with the software’s collaborative learning tools. Or, if you prioritize mobile learning, ensure the LMS has robust mobile learning options.

Compare multiple online learning platforms to weigh up which ones will offer the features you need at the right price point for your budget. Some websites offer side-by-side comparisons that help you visualize the best online learning platforms for your needs.

Request demos and trials

Any LMS worth its salt should allow you to demo and trial the software risk-free. Before you invest, always trial software to ensure it will meet your online training needs, allow you to create training content in a way that works for you, and suit the goals of your training program.

Let a handful of your learners try it, too. That way, you’ll know whether the LMS delivers on promises of exceptional social learning tools and enhanced interactive courses that will make learning more engaging for your learners. You can also gauge whether there will be a steep learning curve when your learners use the software or whether they’ll find it simple to log in and start learning.

Involve stakeholders

Purchasing a corporate LMS platform shouldn’t be an isolated decision. The success of your company’s online training courses is at stake, not to mention the money invested in buying the software.

Big decisions are best made with a panel of informed stakeholders. Share your findings about each LMS option with the team to ensure it meets everyone’s expectations and needs. Work with every department using the LMS to make sure it offers the advanced features they need for their individual use cases and allows them to create training materials with intuitive content creation tools.

Evaluate the total cost of ownership

Think about all the costs associated with owning this software, from initial fees to long-term commitments. Will you always have access to free and comprehensive customer service? Are there monthly or yearly subscriptions that will drive costs beyond the budget in the long run?

Also consider the software’s future scalability. As you expand employee development in your company, you’ll want a platform that scales to accommodate your growing learning resources library, plays nicely with increasing numbers of mobile devices, and offers unlimited potential for personalized learning paths.

Red flags to avoid when choosing a corporate LMS

When evaluating corporate learning platforms, be aware of these red flags that might indicate the platform isn’t as reliable or effective as it appears:

Overly-aggressive sales tactics

One of the first red flags to watch for is overly-aggressive sales tactics. These can manifest in various forms, such as persistent calls, emails, and pressure to make a quick decision.

A reputable corporate learning platform should allow you ample time to evaluate their offerings and make an informed decision. If you feel rushed or pressured into signing a contract, the platform is more interested in securing sales than genuinely addressing your needs.

Aggressive sales tactics often include unrealistic promises. Be skeptical of guarantees about rapid ROI, immediate improvements in productivity, or other outcomes that lack clear evidence.

A trustworthy vendor should provide realistic expectations and be willing to discuss potential challenges and limitations. They should also respect your decision-making process, offering support and information rather than pressure and ultimatums.

Lack of transparency in pricing and contract terms

Another big red flag is a lack of transparency about how much a learning management system is and contract terms. Some platforms may advertise a low entry price, but hidden fees abound. These can include charges for additional features, user licenses, premium content, or necessary integrations. Always request a detailed breakdown of all costs involved, and ensure you understand the total cost of ownership before signing any agreements.

Similarly, unclear or complicated contract terms can lead to unexpected commitments. Be particularly wary of long-term contracts with minimal exit options, automatic renewals, and unclear refund policies.

A reputable platform should offer clear, straightforward contracts and be willing to discuss and clarify any ambiguous or unfair terms. Transparency in pricing and terms is a hallmark of a provider that values long-term relationships over short-term gains.

Poor customer service reviews

Customer service is crucial to any corporate learning platform because you’ll likely need support as you install and use the platform. Poor or nonexistent customer service reviews are a major red flag. Before making a decision, research the platform’s customer service reputation. Look for reviews on independent sites, ask for references from existing customers, and test their support responsiveness during the trial period.

A platform with a good reputation will have a track record of prompt, effective customer service. They should offer various support channels, including phone, email, and live chat, and have a knowledgeable support team to assist with technical issues, user training, and troubleshooting.

If a company lacks adequate customer service, it may indicate potential difficulties getting the help you need when problems arise.

Limited information on data privacy policies

Corporate data privacy and security are paramount. Corporate learning platforms handle a significant amount of sensitive data, including personal employee information and potentially confidential company information. Limited or unclear information on data privacy policies is a huge red flag. Ensure that any platform you consider provides detailed information on how it protects and manages your data.

Key aspects to look for include:

  • Compliance with relevant data protection regulations (like GDPR or CCPA)
  • Data encryption methods
  • Data storage practices
  • Policies on data sharing with third parties

The right platform will be transparent about its data privacy measures and willing to answer any questions you may have about data security. If a provider is vague or unresponsive about its data privacy policies, it’s a strong indication that it may not have adequate protections in place, putting your company at risk.

Top tip: Write it down

Here’s our foolproof advice for ensuring you’re getting the learning management system you need: write down the features you want and the problems you need to solve.

Make a list

Start by writing down every problem you encounter in your current corporate training programs. Get specific, listing the sources of your frustrations and the solutions you’d like to find in an LMS.

Remember to describe your problems from every angle, including content creation, user management, and the tracking and analytics tools you’d like to have.

Ask stakeholders to do the same

Ask any stakeholders involved to make a list, too. Include stakeholders from every department that might use the LMS, and consider their needs as you identify potential vendors and make a final decision.

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find it. Go through every last wish and request on your must-haves list and ensure the LMS you’re considering has a feature or function that addresses it.

The final word on choosing a corporate LMS

Investing in a corporate learning management system could revolutionize your training programs and reinvigorate your employee training. But, deciding on an LMS platform should be a thorough, thoughtful process approached with caution and due diligence.

Heed red flags

Watch for red flags. Pushy salespeople, lack of pricing and contract transparency, and limited data privacy policies may signal an LMS provider that’s all flash and no substance. Look for the warning signs of an unreliable and ineffective platform.

Consider all options

You might not need a learning management system for your corporate training. If you’re a large company with a seasoned team of developers, in-house training development allows for complete customization to meet your specific needs. For smaller companies, blended learning approaches let users learn online and offline, harnessing the strengths of both methods.

Or, you may want a niche learning platform that focuses on a few industries, tailoring its solution to help you create targeted content that speaks to your learners and addresses their learning gaps.

Know what you need

Write down your training needs, including as much detail as possible. Ask every stakeholder to do the same. Compare those lists to the features and functionality offered in potential LMS platforms to double-check that they meet all expectations.

The cheapest isn’t necessarily the best

The key to successful corporate training is balancing quality, relevance, and cost-effectiveness. You need all three components to get the right LMS for your company. Research, evaluate, and consider. Take your time and make the decision with stakeholders so everyone’s needs are met.

If you’re ready to experience a brilliant LMS, book a demo of LearnRight. You’ll get a comprehensive look at what we can offer your corporate training programs, and you can trial the software for free so you know you’re making the right choice. Book your tour now!

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