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During this business downturn, securing support and funding for e-learning may be increasingly difficult but even more crucial, since e-learning saves 30 to 60 percent in costs over classroom instruction, according to Brandon Hall, PhD. Here are some practical tips from on securing organizational buy-in; collected from 18 organizations that have implemented large, successful e-learning projects:

1. Make sure you are ready for e-learning before you ask for funding.

2. Tie your effort to a major initiative (e.g., increased customer service, ERP implementation, new product roll-out).

3. Communicate in C-speak, not Trainer-speak. Use phrases upper management is familiar with; show them return on investment (ROI); and tell them how your initiative will improve productivity and performance, as well as beat the competition.

4. Find your e-learning supporters, especially in the IT department and line management.

5. Make a proposal they can t refuse. Share ROI and find case studies from your industry to illustrate your points.

6. Run a pilot program and document your results. Your pilot will provide valuable statistics and anecdotes that will add life to your case.

7. Market, market, market. Be ready to show anyone and everyone your project and learn to sell e-learning to managers, employees, trainers, and executives.

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