To succeed in business, you should learn all about customer relationship management (CRM) and how to create customer interactions that will benefit both your customers and your profit margins. You should explore the different CRM tools and software, and learn CRM systems that could help make business boom at your establishment.
This article will guide you through what customer relationship management is all about, what its benefits are, and the best online training and courses that can boost your skills in the area of CRM. Keep reading to discover the most popular CRM software and how to learn it.
What Is CRM?
CRM is short for customer relationship management. It is software that is used to strengthen and manage customer interactions. CRM helps organizations build better relationships with their existing customers as well as potential new customers. It streamlines processes to increase sales, enhance customer service, and boost profits.
It uses data solutions to improve how a business interacts with its customers. CRM increases profitability by streamlining the administrative processes of a company’s sales, service divisions, and marketing campaigns, allowing the business to focus on sales or customer support.
Why Use CRM Software?
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Without the support of a CRM, a business may miss out on growth opportunities as it is not optimizing operating processes. The CRM process is there to make businesses aware of potential customers, help sales teams manage customer communication, and provide the best customer experience throughout the buying process.
What Is CRM Used For?
CRM is a management tool that allows a business to see all of its customer data in one place. It tracks data, customer activity, and customer queries, and helps streamline admin tasks. Below, we have detailed what CRM does and why it is necessary.
- One-stop data shop. Instead of storing customer data on a few random office computers, CRM provides one place for all a business’s data essentials. This makes it simple for anyone within a company to access the information they need on one platform.
- Sell more. By removing repetitive admin tasks and making sales the focus for staff, CRM allows companies to sell more, and faster, too.
- Account records. The system also stores contact information, potential sales opportunities, and all other activities between the team and clients.
- Customer queries. The system can keep track of customers’ questions, making it easier for staff to answer these queries.
What Are the Benefits of CRM?
There are five major benefits of using a customer relationship management system. Take a look at these advantages to learn more about what CRM provides.
Better Data Organization
All you need to do is import lists of leads, contacts, and customers into the CRM system. Then, the system will begin tracking sales and customer engagement, providing a neat storage place for your business’s information.
CRM makes it easy for your team to follow up on proposals by scheduling reminders. It also creates email templates to make the process of contacting customers more streamlined, thus creating a happy team and customers.
Easily Share Information
You can share information across various devices. This will allow all members of your team to have the information they need right at their fingertips and will make the process much easier for everyone involved.
You Won’t Lose Leads
“Leads” is a word used to describe potential clients. CRM will help you create web-to-lead forms and embed them in your Contacts page within your CRM. This will automatically get passed to the right salesperson, allowing for quick follow-up and no lost sales.
Meet Sales Goals
You will be able to schedule weekly or monthly email reports on your company’s sales to send to your team. This will allow team members to track their progress and make sure they are meeting their weekly, monthly, or annual sales goals.
What Are the Different Types of CRM Software?
There are many different types of customer relationship management software out there. Below is an overview of some of the software and their varying features.
- Salesforce. It started with the name SAAS (Software as a Service) but is now known as Salesforce CRM solutions. One neat CRM feature is the ability to customize your dashboards and integrate your existing sales tools.
- Zoho CRM. This software has a global network of over 150,000 businesses. Some features of Zoho CRM include journey orchestration, analytics tools, marketing automation, and remote work.
- Odoo. Some features of Odoo are mobile interface, lead nurturing, live chat, logging phone calls, and activities management.
- Microsoft Dynamics. With Microsoft Dynamics, you can choose a stand-alone application or use multiple CRM tools that suit your preferred integrated solution.
- HubSpot CRM. Within HubSpot, the main attributes are reporting dashboard, company insights, deal tracking, and pipeline management.
How Long Does It Take to Set Up a CRM System?
This depends on the company’s size, the CRM provider’s capabilities, and the company’s capabilities. Setting up a CRM system from scratch can take anywhere from a week to a year. Although this may scare some companies away, it will be worth the time if it generates new leads and helps keep existing customers.
It is also worth mentioning that despite the time it takes for a company to switch systems, the new organizational tools will save time once installed. In the long run, a CRM system will save time and money, making it extremely valuable.
The Best CRM Training and Courses
There are many ways to learn about CRM, including free online CRM classes or a formal online CRM course, or even through CRM books or blogs. Discover the best online training and courses for CRM below.
Best Online CRM Courses
Below, you can find some awesome online courses and classes that will help you gain a better understanding of CRM as an employer. These can all be taken by anyone who wants to either gain a certification or just learn CRM skills.
- Time: 1.5 hours to 6.5 hours
- Price: $26.08 to $78.27
These Udemy classes are great for learning Zoho and HubSpot CRM fundamentals. Students will learn everything about creating an account, navigating the software, and managing documents.
- Time: 14 minutes to 2 hours
- Price: Varies (First month free)
LinkedIn is a valuable online learning platform in addition to a great networking and professional portfolio website. These are helpful classes to get started learning CRM tools and navigating software. They are great for both employers and individuals who want a certification in CRM to help land a job.
Google Digital Garage
- Salesforce Developer
- Time: 12 months
- Price: $521.95 per month ($6,264 in Total)
This course is recommended by Google Digital Garage and offered by OpenClassRooms. It is great for those who want to create CRM software for companies like Salesforce and are perfect for those interested in CRM and computer programming.
Best Free Online CRM Courses
Below are a couple of free online CRM courses that will help beginners learn about a variety of CRM software. See this list for some foolproof free online courses to get started.
- Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Time: 31 minutes
- Price: Free
This Microsoft Learn tutorial module will take you through the basics of using Microsoft Dynamics. You can learn about omnichannel applications, the integrated cloud platform, and enterprise resource planning.
- Time: 8 minutes to 2 hours
- Price: Free
These HubSpot training courses and short classes are great for anyone who wants to learn about HubSpot CRM. They have something for everyone, as their training is aimed at marketing professionals, online business owners, HubSpot users, and developers.
Best CRM Books
Another way to build your CRM skills is with books, e-books, and audiobooks. These are a great way to expand your general knowledge and learn a particular software. Below are our top book picks.
Using Microsoft Dynamics for Finance and Operations, Andreas Luszczak.
Learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 is used to manage finances and operations. Discover Dynamics 365 and how it is used as a premium enterprise resource planning solution. It is a good book if you are supporting a large or mid-sized organization.
Zoho CRM QuickStudy Guide, Susan Clark.
This book is an excellent resource for those already using or consider purchasing Zoho. It is a concise and easy to follow guide on everything you need to know about this CRM.
Dynamics 365 CE Essentials, Sarah Critchley.
This book begins with the Dynamics 365 online system set-up for sales, marketing, customer service, field service, and Outlook integration. In the second part, you will learn about process automation, UI customizations, and reporting in Dynamics 365 CE. You will also discover how to build model-driven apps and how to start Common Data Service for Apps.
As we all know, the Internet is a great resource and learning tool. Below are some examples of websites that will aid you in growing your CRM skills.
YouTube is arguably the best free platform to learn almost anything. Check out individual software on individual YouTube channels, and discover all the details of CRM from those who have experience using it.
Seth Godin’s Blog is a fantastic and entertaining resource for marketing information. If you search his blog for CRM, you can read Godin’s quirky and honest thoughts on the subject. You may also want to take notes on what type of content will make your customers feel most engaged.
Should You Use CRM?
Consider whether your business could benefit from a streamlined customer relationship management system. There are a lot of studies that suggest an updated CRM can save time, improve employee contentment, and grow profits. If it isn’t for you, that’s OK too, but learning more will help you make a more informed decision.
If the prospect of easily sharing customer information, scheduling marketing emails, and neatly managing contacts sounds like an essential business tool, then you should use a CRM.
It is also becoming an increasingly valuable skill for employees to learn, so gaining a CRM certification can make your resume stand out.
Lastly, we hope this article has shed some light on what CRM is, how you can learn it, and why you should sign up for one of the types of software available.
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