Why bother with CRM training?
Companies spend weeks to months comparing, purchasing, and implementing new CRM software.
But after implementation, users are left to figure out how to use the software.
Without adequate training, CRM implementation delivers poor ROI and may hamper work processes even more, as there’s now added complexity from a new tool.
CRM training is thus crucial to effective CRM implementation and onboarding new employees effectively.
Let’s look at a few CRM training formats, what to include in your CRM training program, and tools and tips to keep in mind.
CRM training formats
Not all CRM training is created equal.
To get the most out of your CRM training program, you’ll need different tools and formats.
- Live training with an internal or external instructor
- Written guides hosted on a drive or resource site
- Audio CRM guides to pair with written guides
- Video guides for step-by-step learning
1. Live training with an internal or external instructor
Your internal instructor should be someone skilled in the CRM tool and enthusiastic about helping others master it.
You can set up virtual training sessions with each team member individually or in groups. Use Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype for virtual training.
You can also set up in-person training sessions at your office or some other venue of your choice.
If you go with an external CRM trainer, they should ideally be certified in the CRM and come with great references.
To hire an external CRM instructor, ask for referrals and testimonials from your business network.
You can also check LinkedIn for CRM trainers.
2. Written guides hosted on a drive or resource site
Written guides are great for future reference.
You can create your own CRM 101 guides and host them on a shared internal drive such as Sharepoint or Dropbox.
You can also share written resources on an online platform such as Notion or Guru.
And if you’d like a no-frills option, you can simply host your written CRM training resources on Google Drive as PDFs.
3. Audio CRM guides to pair with written guides
Audio guides pair well with written guides and provide a new way of consuming information.
Users can listen to these guides while at work and follow along the instructions to master different aspects of the CRM.
You can record audio guides using Loom and host them on your training or resources website together with their write-ups or transcripts.
(Hint: use Rev or Descript to pull transcripts from audio files.)
4. Video guides for step-by-step learning
Video training guides are best for users who want to follow along and learn how to use your CRM step-by-step.
You can record video training guides internally using Loom and make the guides accessible to everyone.
More likely, your CRM developer will already have video guides you can share with your team.
What to include in your CRM training program
There’s plenty of ground to cover in a CRM training guide.
Depending on the complexity of your CRM, you might need to address each of the following:
- Basic logins: There are at least three different ways to log into a CRM. These include manual logins (via email or username), email login (using Gmail, Outlook, or another email provider), and SSH/SSO (single sign-on). Your CRM training should outline how to sign in via manual vs. email logins. It should also cover how to recover lost or forgotten login credentials.
- Leads & contacts: Leads and contacts are the atomic units of most sales CRMs. Show your team how to add, amend, and import leads and contacts from other sources, such as spreadsheets or contact books.
- Automation: Automation makes work easier. Include guidance on how to automate records and reports in your CRM training.
- Data hygiene: CRM data hygiene keeps your data fresh for sales campaigns. Show your team how to remove old, inaccurate, and duplicated data from your database. However, ensure you have access controls in place to prevent unauthorized data deletions and changes.
- Customization: Modern CRMs are highly customizable. Your team should learn how to personalize the CRM’s interface to suit their needs.
- Tasks: Individual projects are broken up into tasks. Your team should know how to create, amend, update, and delete project tasks and tag teammates in them.
- Deals: Pipeline opportunities determine future revenue. Show your team how to set up deals in your CRM, track their sales pipeline, and update opportunities as they progress.
- Quoting: There’s an art to quoting for products and services. Ensure your team know how to create, send, and amend quotes and invoices in your CRM.
- Records: When your team can search, filter, group, and sort through your records, it makes finding information faster. Make this a core module of your CRM training program.
- Emails: Integrated CRMs allow you to send emails from within the platform. Your team should know how to send, schedule, retrieve, and delete internal and external emails.
- Apps: Depending on your CRM, you might be able to build customer modules, sometimes called Apps, that provide multiple tools to serve a specific function. Advanced users and CRM admins may need to know how to create and amend Apps to suit your workflow.
- Templates: Templates make everyone’s jobs easier. If your CRM supports templates, show your team how to create and access email and form templates for communications, data entry, and reporting.
- Integrations: Your team doesn’t work with the CRM alone. They likely use email, calling, and document or spreadsheet software. Show your team how to set up third party app integrations with these apps to centralize their workflow.
- Mobile: Work is now mobile. Your team should be able to download and use your CRM app on any device.
- Documents: Your team should know how to store, access, and manage documents and sales assets within your CRM.
- Metrics: Reporting underpins your sales, marketing, and support functions. Your team should know how to track metrics and generate reports – even automated ones.
- Access control: Not all CRM access is created equal. Users should understand what permissions their profiles comes with.
- Tickets: Support teams should know how to manage and escalate customer support tickets to the right people.
- Support: Should there be any snags, your team should know how to access support resources in your knowledge base.
Tips to keep in mind
The following four tips will help you implement a successful CRM training program at your organization.
- Personalize your training: Your support staff will need to learn different things from your sales staff. Personalize your CRM training to focus on the most important aspects of each function on your team.
- Include training in the onboarding process: The earlier your teammasters your CRM, the better their job success will be. It’s also easier to learn on the job with your CRM tool for project centralization, data consistency, and maintaining a single source of truth.
- Use nudges and reminders to keep everyone on track: Gamify the training progress to motivate people to finish it. Use different levels and milestones to encourage completion.
- Get your team using your CRM from Day 1: Nothing teaches you how to use a CRM faster than actual practice. All the training in the world won’t help if your team doesn’t actually apply the lessons in their daily work.
FreeAgent makes CRM training a breeze
FreeAgent CRM was built to be intuitive and easy to use.
The interface is fully customizable, and you can create powerful Apps to serve different functions such as sales, hiring, and customer support.
Access control comes built-in, so you can decide who can create, amend, and delete data granularly.
Powerful search and filter functions help you find data faster, and you can automate data entry and report generation in just a few clicks.
FreeAgent also integrates with other work apps to improve your workflow.
And if you get stuck, our support team offers fast and accurate in-house support to help you troubleshoot any issues.
With FreeAgent CRM, teaching your team how to set up and use CRM software is a breeze.
Sign up for FreeAgent CRM and drive CRM adoption today.