All About CRMs and How to Make Online Training Effective

A customer relationship management system is one of the most important things many businesses invest in. Most e-Commerce companies use them, but they can also be valuable for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Benefits of a Customer Relationship Management System

All About CRMs and How to Make Online Training EffectiveA CRM is a streamlined way to understand more about your clients, and then translate that knowledge into marketing and sales.

Today’s CRM software is incredibly advanced and offers an array of reporting, segmentation and identification options.

It makes it easy for businesses of any size to track what customers are buying, their preferences and what interactions are like with them. It also simplifies the process of delivering customized marketing materials and messages to customers, as well as potential customers.

Many businesses are going the way of cloud-based CRM systems, so they’re not required to install expensive hardware or on-site software. These cloud-based options don’t require an enormous initial investment, and they can grow as a business grows.

As with any software program, it’s vital to thoroughly train employees on the use of a customer relationship management system, but there are training challenges.  

CRMs and e-Commerce Companies

While customer relationship management software is used by brick and mortar retailers and businesses, it’s also growing in use because of the e-Commerce economy. E-Commerce retailers and service providers are finding it more imperative than ever to deliver outstanding service. Otherwise word will spread quickly through social media channels and sites like Yelp.

By utilizing software that provides the tools to track and manage customer interactions and preferences, e-Commerce companies are using these software programs to remain competitive.  

CRM Employee Training Challenges

Regardless of how great your CRM system may be, if employees aren’t properly trained on how to use it, it can create a customer service nightmare.

The number one problem? There is no training. So often companies will make an investment in customer relationship software and then fail to put attention on training employees who will actually be using it. There’s usually two reasons companies offer little to no employee CRM training: time and cost.

These businesses often hold the misconception that CRMs are self-explanatory, and employees will learn as they go. While employees may learn the basics just by using the software, they’re not likely to make use of the full potential and all the features available. This means businesses aren’t getting the most out of their CRM investment.

Another pitfall? Relying on the wrong people to provide training. Training needs to happen in a way that not only takes into account the system and its functionality, but also your particular business and customers. It’s important to be able to provide a holistic picture of how the CRM not only works in the general sense, but how all of the components come together.

It’s also worth noting that CRM training, like most employee training, isn’t a one-time event. It should be something that can evolve with employees as they learn more about the system. It should also be something that can easily be tailored to evolving functionality on the part of the CRM program. This is important as most cloud-based CRM systems are going to have automatic changes and updates. Employees need to know about these as they occur, so training needs to be delivered in a way that speaks to this, yet is time and cost-effective.

CRM Training Tips (and The Benefits of Moving it Online)

Most CRM professionals agree—the best way to deliver robust and efficient training on this type of software is through e-Learning. Online training is valuable because it gives employees the opportunity to get hands-on with the software and learn in a way that mimics what they’ll really be doing on the job.

Online and e-Learning training delivery is also the best way to reduce the need for resources, including time and money. Training is delivered in a way that’s quick, practical and costs a lot less than classroom training.

Using a learning management system for CRM training means content can easily change and evolve as the CRM system itself does. If your cloud-based CRM software is updated, you can easily incorporate this update into your employee training without a complete overhaul.

Finally, when using an LMS to train employees, they can access the information on an as-needed basis if they have questions or issues that arise as they’re actually using the system.

Learning Management System (LMS) word cloud business concept

To make it work, consider the following:

  • When developing e-Learning to train employees on a CRM, don’t just focus on features. Also create training that looks at functionality and process. Show how each department’s use of the CRM will interact with all other departments. Cross-training can also be valuable here. Even if separate departments aren’t going to all be using the CRM system in the same way, at least having some idea of how it all works together will allow employees to make the most of the system.
  • Let employees know what the organizational goals are when it comes to the use of a CRM and show them how they’ll fit into those goals. Let them know in a macro and micro way what can be achieved with the use of the new software.
  • Create training that starts simply and then builds on a strong foundation. Build your e-Learning first around the very basic concepts and then use a self-paced training format to allow employees to progress through training as they learn and gain more skills in the use of the software.
  • Involve everyone in the developing of CRM training, and also the training itself. All employees, including management, should be thoroughly trained on the use of a CRM.
  • Dedicate your business to an ongoing learning process. As mentioned above, this is one of the primary benefits of using an LMS for this type of training. It’s easy to build training and implement a continual learning process for the use of your CRM.

Does your business rely on a customer relationship management system? If so, let us know how you provide training to your employees.

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