The Importance of CRM Training
CRM software can be one of the most important tools for managing sales, marketing, and customer service. But at the end of the day, it is up to the people who use it to take advantage of its capabilities, and further, up to management to teach those users how to do so.
CRM training classes increase users’ awareness of features, functions and usability in order to increase their confidence in working with the system and provide greater efficiencies. CRM training aids in user adoption, which improves CRM usability and acceptance.
General CRM Understanding
In general, CRM training should focus on these five main functions:
- Navigation and Views
- System Administrator
- Query Training
- Dashboards and Reports
Most CRM vendors will offer free training on their system, and it is important that companies take advantage of this during the onboarding process. Typically, courses will be offered based on specialty, so each department can focus more on the features of CRM they will be using.
Proper CRM training can ensure that all users not only know how to use the CRM software, but also understand how the tools will benefit their everyday workflow and make their jobs easier.
Getting Everyone on Board
User buy-in can be extremely important to a CRM software implementation. If users don’t fully understand the benefits of the CRM, they won’t learn it, and if they don’t learn it, they won’t use it. This can quickly snowball through a department and be detrimental to the CRM program.
Explain Specific Benefits of the New System
Users can be resistant of a new CRM software solution because they feel overwhelmed by change or liked how it was before. By showing your users how the new system can make their jobs easier and require less work to do the same task, you can help put them at ease.
Ask Departments What Training Method(s) They Prefer
Different groups of users might prefer different methods. For example, the sales team might want online tutorials and ways they can learn on their own time, whereas the customer service team might want a group demonstration via the web.
By adjusting to individual needs, training can go smoother and it will help build support for the new CRM solution. Additionally, by getting teams involved in their own training method, they will be more engaged since it was their choice.
Reconfirm Processes and Procedures.
Knowing the company’s processes and procedures is step one; fitting them into the system is step two. Using the CRM training – or retraining – is a perfect opportunity to make sure company policies and procedures are understood. Having all of the users on the same page makes this process much smoother and leads to less confusion, more efficiency, and better results.
Implementing a Training Program
Whether switching to a new CRM, adopting one for the first time, or training new hires, having a CRM training program in place can be the best way to bring everyone up to speed. Here are four keys to a good CRM training program:
1. Create a schedule
Setting a plan, staying organized, and following it all the way through is vital. There are multiple ways to do this – set up one day for training in a certain area of the software, break it up into smaller sessions, or customize training for certain individuals.
2. Bridge the difference between “the old way” and the way of the new CRM
Whether you had a different CRM or used a manual/other method, the more similarities you can draw from the old to the new will make it easier to learn. Build off similarities and put in perspective the importance of the difference (like how it will make their jobs easier).
3. Leverage Vendor Training and Various Methods
Your CRM vendor should offer multiple training methods; take advantage of as many as you can. These may include:
- Training one or a select few users who will then train the others
- Onsite group training
- Online Live Training and Tutorials
- Demo environment training with vendor assistance
4. Keep Training an Ongoing Priority
As with any technology, CRM software is constantly adapting to leverage new capabilities. Regular training internals, like annual or semi-annual, will help keep everyone up to date on any new features. It can also be a great refresher for those who may not be utilizing the CRM to its full potential.