Training your CRM users: a comprehensive guide

User training is probably the most important step to implement a CRM solution successfully.

CRM is growing quickly as an industry, but its actual benefits after rollout aren’t keeping up. According to the National Computing Centre, one in three companies say their CRM rollouts deliver only limited benefits.

Why?

Industry research is revealing a big problem: customers aren’t taking advantage of all the features CRM offers.

Even if you manage to onboard your end users, you won’t get much out of the system if they aren’t well-trained to use all the features.  

Who needs CRM training?

Who needs training? Anyone who will be using the system, and anyone who is supervising system users.

Get advice on user training, change management and more with our seven-step guide to CRM implementation

A common mistake is to skip management during the training process, but if they don’t know how to use the system, they won’t have the knowledge to efficiently supervise those who do use it.

And the more knowledge management has of the system, the better job they can do of promoting proper use after initial training.

What method of CRM training is best?

There are a lot of different ways you can train your staff, such as:

  • A company-wide seminar 
  • Department-specific seminars 
  • Classroom-based training
  • Online courses

It’s best to use a combination of training methods to suit the needs of different teams. For example, online tutorials would work well for your IT staff so they can learn on their own time. Your customer service team might benefit from a group seminar.

Training documentation

Your documentation is something that will be there to help with training, but it will also be a resource employees can refer to again and again. Having thorough documentation is really important, since new employees down the road will be using it for primary training.

Take the time to create a quick reference guide, which includes

  • Step-by-step instructions of main procedures
  • Illustrative pictures and screenshots 
  • A reference section for quick questions

And create a facilitator's guide that covers in-depth resources and advanced operations. This will make it possible to pass user-training onto someone else down the road.

Follow-up CRM training

If you want your new software to really improve your relationship with customers, then follow-up training is a must. A month or so after initial launch and training, have a refresher program to make sure your staff is getting the most out of the program. Enlist the help of your super-user to help people learn the most productive ways to do things. Follow-up training will also help deter bad habits from becoming permanent with the new system.

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Courtney Danyel

About the author…

Courtney is a business writer, content marketing expert, Twitter addict (@danyeltravels) and recovering academic. These days she works with marketing agencies and SaaS companies to create content that engages audiences, generates buzz, builds relationships, and drives sales.

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Courtney Danyel