Choosing a training management system (TMS) is overwhelming, especially if you’re new to this type of software. Every platform promises big things but comparing feature lists and different price points leaves you with more questions than answers.
To help you choose the right training management software for your business, this article explores the most important features you should look for in any TMS. These are the features and tools that will help you build a more productive business that’s capable of handling more customers and increasing revenue through sustained growth.
Key features & tools:
- Course scheduler: Create new courses in a matter of clicks and schedule them for the year ahead.
- Course templates to reduce repetitive tasks and speed up course scheduling.
- Resource availability for creating courses without any double bookings or clashes.
- Course & resource calendar so you can easily view, manage and check everything from one system.
- Trainer matrix: A database of trainer information so you can assign qualified trainers to every course.
- Real-time booking & registration that automatically updates availability as places are booked.
- Document templates for quickly creating and sending documents to customers and personnel.
The core feature of any TMS is course management and you want a platform that reduces the manual administration workload. Essentially, you want team members to spend less time filling out spreadsheets, checking up on resource availability and sending unnecessary emails to get information that should be instantly available.
Quality course management software puts all of your business data in one place so you can create new courses in a matter of minutes, knowing which rooms, personnel and other resources are available for any given time slot.
As you can see from the screenshot below, Dante puts all of your resource data at your fingertips so you can create new courses within a few clicks – no double-checking availabilities or worrying about double bookings.
The platform also allows you to schedule courses for the next 12 months so that you’re always on top of resource management. This allows you to maximise the use of everything available without conflicting schedules or other assets.
With resource and asset data constantly up-to-date, your team wastes less time on internal queries and waiting for updates from colleagues.
Templates are another important tool and you want a TMS that includes both course templates and document templates. Your team shouldn’t have to create new courses from scratch when templates can cut out the repetition for them.
Likewise, you don’t want to manually create delegate certificates, attendance sheets and other documents for every course. You want templates on hand so your team can simply add the necessary information and upload or send them on their way.
Key features & tools:
- Certificate generation: Create certificates for delegates upon course completion.
- Degalate profiles for quickly capturing and storing delegate information, such as IDs, licence numbers and signatures.
- Group bookings: Add group bookings to a course date and make changes to individual delegate assignments at any time.
- Cancellations & transfers: Easily manage course cancellations and transfer delegates to alternative courses.
- Evaluation & feedback: Automatically capture meaningful feedback from delegates and improve your courses.
- Training expiry notifications: Automatically send refresher training reminders ahead of expiry dates.
Managing delegates is another drain on resources for training providers and your TMS should have a capable delegate management system to reduce the manual workload. Data entry is one of the most time-consuming aspects of delegate management so you should prioritise features that will help you complete delegate profiles, assign them to courses and manage any disruptions, such as cancellations and transfers, with ease.
For example, our platform helps you create delegate profiles digitally, on the day of training, to remove unnecessary paperwork and data entry. You can capture IDs, licence numbers, photos and signatures – all of which is added to delegate profiles on your Dante system.
Delegate profiles are accessible in your account, where you can manage and update details, such as schedules, payments, certificates and everything else associated with delegates. You can even add dietary and other special requirements to delegate profiles to ensure their needs and your compliance obligations are always met.
To help you maximise bookings, you can set up evaluation and feedback forms, which are automatically sent out to delegates. Their feedback is assigned to their profile and you can evaluate their responses in Dante’s reporting to identify any issues with your courses and opportunities to improve them.
Course booking system
Key features & tools:
- Website integration so you can take bookings on your course pages.
- Customer account portal: An interface for customers to manage their bookings.
- Payment processing: Integration with payment processors so you can accept payments on your website.
- Checkout pages: Customisable checkout pages to match the design of your website.
- Live course availability that always shows the number of available seats in real-time.
A course booking system allows you to take bookings on your website round the clock. Aside from meaning you’re always open for business, online booking capabilities turn your course pages into marketing assets, which you can optimise for organic search and use as landing pages for PPC campaigns, turning website traffic into paying customers.
You want an online booking system that fully integrates with your website, including customisable checkout pages to create a seamless experience for users. You’ll also need payment processing to accept card payments, which requires integration with secure payment systems.
Dante supports Wordplay, Opayo and Stripe payments, offering coverage for all major payment options and processing fees suitable for all business sizes.
You should also choose a TMS that includes a customer account portal where customers can manage bookings, keep track of their courses and sign up to new ones or renew upon expiry.
Training CRM & email marketing
Key features & tools:
- Customer database for keeping track of statuses and information throughout the customer cycle.
- Delegate database: Store and manage delegate data, including availability statuses, qualifications and more.
- Training database: Access all information related to training, such as bookings, invoices and instructors.
- Email logging: Automatically record email interactions to keep track of communications.
- Email tracking: View the exact date and time when recipients receive and open emails.
- Email automation: Automatically send emails, such as course refresher notifications, to maximise repeat business without getting lost in email exchanges.
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform keeps all of your customer data in one system so you can manage their accounts throughout the customer journey. For example, you can update statuses for leads your sales teams need to follow up, view all accounts with outstanding payments or prioritise high-spending customers to ensure they keep doing business with you.
This is all standard stuff from a CRM platform but training providers need specialist features from a customer relationship management system. You also need a system for accessing all of your training data, such as bookings, invoices, payments and resource availability so you can communicate with customers and respond to enquiries with 100% accuracy. A training CRM should also include a delegate database for handling all info related to delegates, including schedules, attendances, availability, etc.
Dante’s built-in CRM houses all of the data you need to manage your training business in one location so your team can access up-to-date information for every customer, delegate and resource.
Our system also helps you automate email correspondence with customisable email templates, email logging and email tracking to ensure your messages are received by everyone who needs to see them. With Dante, you can automatically send important emails, such as invoices and refresher training notices to get paid faster and encourage customers to book further courses.
Crucially, email tracking flags up recipients who fail to open your emails so you can send follow-ups.
Studies show that email communication is one of the biggest business productivity killers with a quarter of UK-based employees spending nearly one working day each week managing their inboxes. Email automation frees this time up again so your team can focus on tasks that have a stronger impact on your business’ profit margins.
Accounting & finance
- Invoices: Send invoices using customisable templates.
- Price agreements: Create price agreements with customers to apply discounts on specific courses or globally across their account.
- Payment tracking: Track payments and revenue to ensure payments are made on time and follow-up any delays.
- Automatic payment reminders: Send automatic payment reminders to inform customers a payment is due.
- Manage customer credit: Apply customer credit to accounts, allowing them to book courses freely and settle accounts later.
- Manage cancellations: Manage course cancellations, transfers and fees.
- Integration: Integrate seamlessly with major accounting platforms, including Sage and Zero.
The purpose of a training management system is to help you build a more profitable business by automating tasks that, otherwise, drain your productivity. This frees up time for more profitable activities and allows your business to manage more courses, resources and customers with your existing team.
It all comes down to revenue and profitability, which means getting paid more often and in higher quantities.
So your TMS should include an accounting and finance system to manage the most important aspect of your business. With Dante, you can send invoices, track payments, send payment reminders, chase up missed payments, manage account credits and every aspect of the customer journey.
We’ve also built integrations with Sage and Xero to sync invoices, payments and customer information, allowing you to keep your existing accounts processes in place. Our development team can also build custom integrations using our API or Zapier, depending on your current accounting software.
Is Dante the perfect TMS for your training business?
Contact Dante Systems to find out more about our training management system and discover how we can help you drive more revenue and business growth by increasing the productivity of your workflow. Request your free trial with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Telephone: 0117 405 8158. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.