In short, it’s pretty easy! The most useful elements of customer relationship management software are VERY easy to use. The advanced features such as marketing, automation, automated email sequences, are typically more complicated and require more effort to learning and understand.
The 3 core elements of CRM software are the features that are easiest to use, are usually:
- Storing information about your leads, clients and customers
- Communicating with your leads, clients and customers
- Using your CRM software to create actions for you to follow on a weekly basis
A huge benefit of CRM tools – is their free training
The creators vendors of cloud-based CRM systems are keen for you to LOVE their software. The more you love and use the software, the longer you’ll stay. That’s why the most popular CRM solutions offer extensive training courses and materials. If you stay for a long time as your business grows, then of course you become value to them as a customer.
You’ll also find that the best customer relationship management platforms have very easy-to-use interfaces. From your perspective, you’ll want to do the least amount of training before you get deep into using the software. Nobody wants to use software that has a huge manual or requires hours of training to use!
Our Tip: Look in the ‘Knowledgebase’ or ‘Training Zone’ sections of your chosen CRM, and look for guides that help you to get started quickly.
How do you learn how to use CRM Software?
- Our recommendation is that you learn to use your CRM Software by just getting started!
- See how far you can by creating a contact record (i.e. an individual), and add some contact details (such as name, email and phone number).
- Then look at the training materials with the CRM online training, and look for videos or guides that have ‘Quick Start’ in the title. Since you’ve already started experimenting with the software, you’ll find that the training content makes more sense.
- When you need more detail on a topic, then look at the guides, articles and training videos specifically on that topic. e.g. you might do lots of research on CRM automation once you’ve been using the CRM application for a few months.
You’ll find you’ll be more confident using the CRM platform if you learn by experimenting and attempting to achieve certain objectives (we’ve given you some exercises below to help you get started). Each time you encounter a problem, take a look at the online training when you get stuck.
Our Tip: Just have a go! One common behaviour we see with software-users is that they fear ‘breaking’ the software that they’re using. There’s no need to be afraid. You’re very unlikely to do any damage to any system you use. You’re unlikely to lose any data unless you specifically delete something, which is the only time you’ll need to check that you’re deleting what you expect.
Use the CRM daily, and it’ll help you learn everything you need to make it useful for you
Some example CRM exercises to get you started
These ideas as designed to help you begin your CRM data where you can use your own customer and client data. We’ve found that if you use your own customer data, it feels much more useful and interesting to you. This will naturally motivate you to use the tools more often.
- Add a Contact Record: You should add a record for one of your VIP customers. Include all relevant details such as their name, email, phone number, and any special notes that might assist in future interactions.
- Import a VIP Customer List: Import a list of your VIP customers from a CSV or spreadsheet. Make sure all necessary fields like contact names, email addresses, and phone numbers are correctly mapped in the CRM system.
- Update Contact Information: Find a contact in your CRM and update their information. This could involve changing their address, phone number, adding some customer data, or adding a birthday reminder.
- Create a Simple Note: Choose a contact and add a simple note to their record. This could be a reminder about their preferences, a summary of your last call, details of the last customer interactions, or any other pertinent information.
- Track a New Lead: Add a new lead into your CRM. Include their basic contact information and the source of the lead, such as a website, referral, or event.
- Assign a Task to Yourself: Create a task in the CRM and assign it to yourself. This could be a follow-up call or email to a customer. Set a due date and a reminder for the task.
- Record a Recent Interaction: Choose a contact and log a recent interaction with them. This could be a phone call, meeting, or email exchange. Note the date and key points discussed.
- Set a Goal for the Month: Use your CRM to set a personal sales or outreach goal for the month. This could involve contacting a certain number of leads or closing a specific number of deals.
- Categorise Your Contacts: Organise your contacts by categorising them. Create categories such as ‘Prospects’, ‘Current Clients’, and ‘Past Clients’, and assign your contacts accordingly.
- Create a Custom Field: Add a custom field to your contact records. This could be something specific to your business needs, like ‘Preferred Contact Method’ or ‘Product Interest’.
- Schedule a Group Email: Use your CRM to schedule a group email to a selected list of contacts. Draft a brief message, perhaps a newsletter or a special offer announcement.
How can taking online courses help me learn CRM tools?
Quite simply, the more you learn, the more you are likely to get from your CRM software. However, whilst you can learn a lot from online training articles and videos, you’ll only want to learn enough to achieve your objectives. Don’t do the training just for the sake of it, as you’ll lose a lot of time! You only want to know enough that’s going to equip you with the knowledge to use a CRM.
We’re interested in gathering leads, facilitating new sales and converting leads to clients/customers. Therefore focus your learning on doing these sales-related tasks better, no more.
CRM Training and Certification
Is CRM Certification Worth It?
Yes and no.
If you’re a business owner or sales person, you only need enough training that allows you to win more sales. So I’d say certification would NOT be beneficial to you.
If you want to boost your qualifications to help you win a better-paying job or to win client contracts, then a certification IS probably going to be beneficial to you. You’ll maximise your CRM skills, and have a certificate or qualification to stand out from others.
However, if you just want to do the qualification, and you have the time, then go for it! Some CRM systems have training programs with certification exams or certification courses. They have different modules and qualifications, which means you don’t need to learn everything!
What CRM courses are best for training and upskilling employees or the workforce?
This is going to be bespoke to you, but our tip would be any CRM system where you can embed their training videos in your own training platform. Creating your own training content is expensive and slow. If you can use the training platform of the CRM system that you’re using, you’re going to significantly boost your teams CRM skills, whilst saving you effort. This might be as simple as being able to embed the videos that your particular CRM platform provides.
99.99% of CRM training will be online CRM courses rather than instructor-led training. When it comes to CRM systems, that’s an advantage as you can consume as much training content as you need. Instructor-led training will typically be expensive way to conduct your training.
Over time, you can create your own training process. You’ll establish your own CRM best practices that best suit your business and role. You can then use this to train your assistant, your sales team, your admin team, your marketing team, and more.
We recommend training yourself to use a CRM. i.e. we suggest:
- Getting stuck in by using the examples above, and getting a basic understanding of CRMs and learning how they work
- Use the quick-start training to expand your CRM knowledge around the objectives you’re trying to achieve (e.g. the exercises above)
- You then might go deep and complete a range of more detailed training on the advanced features, such as automation or emails.
- Try and use the CRM for 15 minutes every single day, you’ll be amazed how quickly you pick it up!
And make sure you take advantage of the helpdesk and support for your particular CRM, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of more onboarding and training to help you further.