It is widely known that there are three primary learning styles for adults: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners tend to learn by looking, seeing, and watching. Auditory learners tend to learn by listening, hearing, and speaking. Kinesthetic learners tend to learn by experience, doing, and moving. With those differences in mind, I have compiled a wide-ranging list of 21 methods for learning a CRM.
1. Play with your CRM
2. Read a CRM book
3. Go through a CRM training manual
4. Attend a customized CRM training
5. Attend a public CRM training
6. Get personalized CRM Coaching
7. Team with a CRM super-user
8. Go to live or virtual CRM User Groups
9. Attend a CRM conference
10. Get CRM cheat sheets
11. Attend a recorded CRM conference
12. Subscribe and learn from a CRM magazine
13. Listen to a CRM video series
14. Search and listen to YouTube videos on CRM
15. Go to a CRM boot camp
16. Listen to personalized CRM videos
17. Read CRM related blogs
18. Listen to CRM podcasts
19. Take a CRM certification course
20. Get a CRM demo from a CRM partner (This is a great time to ask for a “what's new” review of your CRM’s latest release.)
21. Invite a CRM partner to a Q&A session about CRM
Each of these ideas vary in:
o Effectiveness for the learner
o Costs for the organization
o Time spent by user
o Level of customized/personalized support
Introductory videos, books and training manuals tend to be great for new CRM users, while going to a conference or a user group, reading blogs, and getting certifications might well fit the more savy CRM user.
A customized coaching plan can be very effective, but is also likely the most expensive, due to its personalized nature. A key benefit – which may be worth the investment – is the interactive nature of working with someone who can answer questions on demand and provide the “why” behind the instruction. Often understanding the “why” or the reason for doing something makes all the difference.
YouTube videos are essentially free for the taking but may be expensive in the time required to sift through the material and find what is needed. It is possible you will never find exactly what you seek.
Advanced video series can be effective, if they are short enough to narrow down on a feature you want to learn.
Some folks are comfortable and able to "play with" a CRM on their own until they have learned enough to start getting the benefit of the system. This trial and error method is the mother of all learning for software; most people even after being coached will still go through this stage of learning!
More proficient users may like “What’s New?” training, which really helps them get up-to-speed on the latest without having to go through the agonizing review of repeating what they already know! That could be the case in a company group training session or listening to a video series. Even with some review, there may be a great new nugget you can adopt to save time and increase your productivity.
A cheat sheet is a tool that has been specifically created for your database by an internal CRM expert or a CRM partner, who developed a specific customization or workflow. This gives users detailed instructions for using a unique element of the database.
Regardless of the method you choose to embrace CRM, the rewards of becoming proficient are well worth the investment in learning. Nothing replaces a very motivated individual who loves leveraging themselves with productive tools, such as CRM.
TopLine Results has taught CRM for over 20 years. We have used all these methods for learning ourselves. We have many certifications and have passed our knowledge on to our customers. We find great satisfaction in helping our clients become proficient and get the most out of their CRM investment. If you’d like expert help with CRM, contact us or call 800-880-1960.
Best wishes for your CRM journey!