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CRM Training – Why it’s

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Charlie Spaneas

When companies evaluate CRM vendors, many criteria are needed to ensure they make the best decision. Most organizations consider the vendor’s experience, CRM features, pricing, and support. Training is often an afterthought and should garner more attention.

Why Companies Need CRM Training

To have a successful CRM implementation, every company needs training. If they have a complex business model, their training needs is higher than most.

Companies incorporate many facets of their business into their CRM.  Besides Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support, they often integrate back-end systems (like Accounting or ERP). Having all of this data provides a 360-degree view of the customer. CRM training is required to use the system properly.

CRM Training Details

Let’s talk about CRM training and what it should consist of in simple terms.  Training can be either in-person or delivered via web conferencing. Training Services should be role-based and provided in several different formats. This depends on the customer’s needs and the complexity of the usage of the system.

Training Options:

  • Administrator training contains technical content, configuration options, and troubleshooting techniques.
  • Advanced user training for the “power end-user,” who may train others, set configuration options, and perform advanced queries and searches.
  • End-user training focused on the remainder of the users who use the system as part of their role in the company.  They typically perform repetitive steps as part of a business process and rarely take advantage of the advanced options within the CRM system.
Post-implementation training is extremely critical to the success of a CRM deployment over time.  I often refer to the following analogy when discussing the importance of post-implementation training.  When building a new deck for your home you have a choice on its construction…do I use nails because it’s quicker, or do I use screws because, in the long run, it will hold together better even though it may take more effort and incur more cost?

Ongoing or continuing education should be offered (and included in the monthly charge as the cost of doing business). This is key as the company’s business model and application evolve.  It is also true for new users that are added later. Ensuring your CRM will maintain a high user adoption rate.

In conclusion, CRM training should have the same level of importance when evaluating a new CRM solution. Without the proper training, improper usage of the CRM will eventually cause mistrust in the integrity of the data in the system. User experience is key to your CRM adoption.

Your entire company of sales, marketing, and customer support teams will all enjoy using the CRM system. And it will reflect in your ROI.