LMS vs. LXP vs. PEP Part 2: The Business Value of PEP for Sales and Operations

If you’re interested in sales enablement software for the modern workforce, it’s essential to understand the value of Performance Enablement Platforms (PEPs). These platforms represent an advance over the traditional Learning Management System (LMS) and Learning Experience Platform (LXP), and those corporate leaders seeking to advocate within their organizations for better and stronger technology should learn the difference between these in order to advocate for – and implement – the right solutions.

If you caught Part 1 of our LMS vs. LXP vs. PEP analysis, you’re already caught up. If not, there’s no need to read it in order to understand Part 2, though that might help. 

Where Part 1 covered the history and technology behind the LMS, LXP, and PEP models, Part 2 will uncover the real-world business value that distinguishes these system types from each other. 

Instead of going through each system separately, we’ll explore how PEP goes beyond former forms of simplistic learning technology to drive sales, repeat customer traffic, sales rep retention, and other core metrics for business success.

If you want to explore even more the difference between PEPs and sales enablement software systems of the past, download our PEP Whitepaper.

Definitions: Distinguishing Between Sales Enablement Software Paradigms

First to get some basic definitions out of the way, for those who haven’t read Part 1 of this series on sales enablement software types:

  • Learning Management System (LMS): Linear learning technology with one prescribed path through which the user can travel.
  • Learning Experience Platform (LXP): Branching learning pathways determined by user decisions and accomplishments.
  • Performance Enablement Platform (PEP): Multiple, diverse productivity and performance pathways determined by multiple data sources (user choices and performance metrics, external data, corporate rules, etc.).  

In this schema, as we argued in Part 1, PEP is the most technologically advanced of the three different paradigms for sales enablement software – though it goes beyond normal sales enablement software platforms. 

Where LMS is completely straight-ahead, with one path for the sales rep’s user journey, the LXP is generally more plastic, more dynamic and flexible, presenting different paths according to the sales rep’s choices. PEP brings the user experience to another level altogether.

Why Should I Care About PEP for My Business?

Yet where these two paradigms for delivering the sales rep enablement experience – which, again, only cover the terrain of learning and education – are two-dimensional and three-dimensional, the Performance Enablement Platform is multi-dimensional, presenting a radical evolution in sales enablement software for sales reps, sellers, and sales teams. 

The following three business advantages are important to note:

1. Business Rules and Smart Recommendations Engine: 

There’s been much talk of AI for sales enablement software, but it can be a bit obscure how exactly it helps to boost business performance. With PEPs it’s quite easy to see where the advantage sets in. 

Combining pre-defined business rules (when the sales rep does X, assign Y) and intelligent recommendations decided upon by the platform itself, PEPs personalize operational “to-do” activities for the individual sales rep. 

Basically, user choices, company presets, and the system’s own intelligence work together to personalize the day-to-day sales rep experience, resulting in more engagement due to maximally relevant activities. The result of PEP-personalized activities is +21.8% productivity gains

2. End-to-End Sales Rep Experience: 

In going beyond mere learning, PEPs encompass the sales rep’s entire day – from customer acquisition and retention to operational tasks. 

The abstract learning modules of the LMS and LXP are abolished in favor of concrete activities in the flow of work, which create and reinforce knowledge while actually getting things done. 

Meanwhile, the PEP assigns smart to-dos to nurture customer relationships and create brand/product loyalty. 

At the same time, the system incentivizes the sales rep with visualized progress markers and smart notifications regarding their personalized goals.

The point here is that the sales rep has a digital assistant throughout the day for every type of task and activity, contained in one platform. This cut costs by reducing the need for extra tech vendors while making the sales rep more productivity via more personalized and contextualized recommendations.

Sidebar: Smart Notifications

It’s worth noting that “smart notifications” help unify this experience. The PEP sends smart notifications for any activity deemed important enough to the sales rep’s success. 

The sales rep, then, doesn’t need to sift through the PEP’s interface to find the next activity to do; his or her mobile device will provide a smart notification to alert him or her to the right and most applicable to-do.    

The data bears out the usefulness of smart notifications. Rallyware’s research shows that 58% of smart notifications are completed, while there is a +131% increase in productivity through enabling smart notifications.

3. Actionable BI & Analytics: 

Lastly, the third standout business-booster is actionable data analytics. 

Lots of platforms have BI and analytics, but PEPs give the business demographic, behavioral, and performance insights that allow them to tweak business rules to suit their corporate KPIs. 

In short, by seeing what is hindering or driving performance, the company can alter the rules guiding the digital sales rep journey to match the decisions and behaviors of the top performers.  

Corporate administrators and leaders can also use these analytics to show real revenue gains via the PEP. 

This helps them demonstrate to the “boardroom” that the PEP has added, and is adding, real value to the company. 

As opposed to the LMS and LXP, which historically have not tied their technologies to material gains and sales performance. Here is a graphic illustrating the difference in task completion journeys for the three paradigms:

PEP in the Flow of Work and Tangible Business Values

Today’s assisted-sales environment is incredibly dynamic and fast-paced. In mid-2022, consumer sentiment was at its lowest point ever recorded, according to the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment. 

By early 2024, sentiment was on an upswing, surging more than 28% from November 2023 to January 2024.  

Sales reps have to be prepared for such shifts. Consumer behaviors and psychologies change, often overwhelming unequipped sellers; new sales strategies and approaches are often required. 

What use is a sales aid, such as an LMS or LXP, that only adapts based on user inputs, as opposed to the multiple data sources that determine PEP’s sales rep journey? Such as:

  • External data integrations
  • Sales rep decisions
  • Sales rep goals
  • Company business rules
  • PEP’s (for instance, Rallyware’s) smart recommendations engine

Thus, PEPs like Rallyware shift depending on real-time context. 

Where LXPs shift only according to user input, PEPs “understand” that there is more to selling than the sales rep’s own decisions and determinations. 

Rather, PEPs take into account company best practices, changing according to behavioral and demographic data sourced through the PEP itself; the recommendations engine that transforms the sales rep’s experience according to real-time customer interactions; and external data sources like commissions trackers and eCommerce platforms.

The business value here is undeniable. 

With a mobile-friendly sales aid that changes and adapts autonomously, the sales rep is always one step ahead of the real-time selling context and real-life customer interactions – instead of, as in LXPs and LMSs, one or several steps behind. 

Real-World Sales Enablement Software Example: Run Shoe Retailer

Let’s say Jenny works at a major run shoe retailer like Fleet Feet, a Rallyware client who used the technology to drive sales +140%.

Customer data, fed into the Rallyware platform, might “show” the system that Jenny needs to focus more on selling a specific SKU, for instance a pair of overstocked HOKA sneakers. 

These shoes might not be selling well this quarter and they are over accounted-for in the store’s inventory. 

Corporate data from an external system might also show that the number of repeat customers are dropping, so Rallyware – Jenny’s on-hand sales assistant – might suggest activities to nurture past customers for future sales. For instance, texting a past HOKA customer about a new HOKA sneaker that’s just “dropped.” 

The bottom line is that at the same time that this PEP makes the seller’s day-to-say easier, making her more likely to stay employed, it drives the company’s bottom line – revenue and customer retention. 

Plus, with incentives, Rallyware sweetens the deal for Jenny: showing her her visualized progress versus other associates, or notifying her of how close she is to receiving a weekly reward (for instance, store credit). 

Both internal and external incentivization, then make her a more empowered, engaged sales rep.

Conclusion: Exploring PEP’s Evolution in Sales Enablement Software

By now, we are far from the LMS and LXP paradigms. Where these focused on the sales rep’s individual experience, and homed in only on learning, PEPs are multi-dimensional. They incorporate far more of the sales context, from customer behavioral data to Jenny’s daily performance, in order to personalize concrete activities in the flow of work that drive real business metrics.  

Digital transformation should not only “digitalize” but transform – and transform not only the sales rep’s experience but the company’s present and future fortunes. This is what PEP has come to deliver. To learn more about how PEP drives sales performance for assisted sales organizations, like retailers and direct sellers, click here to talk to our product experts.