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How to Train Your Sales Team to Leverage the Power of Your Small Business CRM in 10 Steps

As a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is essential to a business no matter its size, an effective sales team that uses a CRM system successfully is the pairing piece to make it work properly. Read our guide and learn the steps to get your sales team to the next level.


Talia Stern
Talia Stern
July 15, 2022

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Sales teams are the lifeblood of any business. Without a strong sales team in place, your company will not be able to grow and thrive. That's why it's so important to make sure that your sales team is well-trained and effective. In this article, we will discuss customer relationship management (CRM) training and how it can help you build an effective sales team. We'll go over the basics of CRM training and provide tips on how to get the most out of your training program. So if you're looking to improve your sales team, read on!

Understanding Why a CRM is Important to Your Small Business

A CRM system is key for any business - large or small. It helps managers keep track of their customer relationships, as well as sales data and metrics. A CRM system gives managers the ability to see which salespeople are performing well and which ones need improvement. It also allows managers to track customer engagement and identify any potential issues. As David Ferguson said: “Always remember you are there to help your potential customers and to make their lives better. Not the other way around.”

By providing this valuable information, CRM systems help small businesses make better decisions about their sales strategies. A lot of leaders might wonder why is CRM training important for their sales teams. The answer is simple - because CRM systems are complex, and they require a certain level of training to be used effectively. For a CRM system to be effective, sales teams must be properly trained on how to use it. Without proper training, your team will not be able to take full advantage of the system's features and benefits. So, here is what you can do to make sure that your sales team is properly trained on how to use a CRM system.

1. Determine Members of Your Team That Need Training

The first step is to identify which members of your team need training. Not every member of your team will need CRM training. For example, if you have a sales team that is already using a CRM system and they are doing well with it, then they probably don't need any additional training. However, if you have new members on your team or members who are struggling to use the system effectively, then they will benefit from some extra training. Once you've determined which members of your team need training, you can move on to the next step. Sometimes, it's not specific members that need training, but whole teams. In this case, you should consider sending your entire team to a CRM training course.

Marketing Teams

Marketing teams are responsible for generating leads and driving sales. Without a strong marketing team, your small business will struggle to find new customers. That's why it's so important to make sure that your marketing team is properly trained on how to use a CRM system. By providing training on how to use a CRM system, you can help your marketing team be more effective in their jobs. In turn, this will lead to more sales and more growth for your small business. Sometimes, the best way to provide training for your marketing team is to send them to a CRM training course. There are many different courses available, and you can find one that fits the needs of your team. 

Customer Service Teams

Customer service teams are responsible for maintaining relationships with your existing customers. They handle customer inquiries, complaints, and other issues. Without a strong customer service team, your small business will struggle to keep its existing customers happy. That's why it's so important to make sure that your customer service team is properly trained on how to use a CRM system. By providing training on how to use a CRM system, you can help your customer service team be more effective in their jobs. In turn, this will lead to happier customers and more repeat business for your company. 

Accounting Teams

Accounting teams are responsible for managing your company's finances. They keep track of your company's income and expenses, as well as its financial assets and liabilities. Without a strong accounting team, your small business will struggle to stay on top of its finances. That's why it's so important to make sure that your accounting team is properly trained on how to use a CRM system. By providing training on how to use a CRM system, you can help your accounting team be more effective in their jobs. In turn, this will lead to better financial decision-making for your company. 

“You’d be surprised what you can learn about how you can help a potential client”

2. Identify the CRM Training Resources You Will Be Using

Now that you know who needs training, you need to identify the resources you will be using to provide that training. There are many different CRM training resources available, and you need to choose the ones that are best for your team. In the next part, we will go over some options for CRM training resources. 

Vendor-Provided Training

One option for CRM training is to use the resources provided by your CRM vendor. Most vendors offer some form of training, whether it's in-person training, online courses, or printed materials. Vendor-provided training can be a great option because it's usually specifically tailored to the features of your CRM system. Additionally, vendor-provided training can be a good option because it's often more affordable than other options. Some companies even offer free training resources. However, one downside of vendor-provided training is that it can be less flexible than other options. The vendor-provided training might not be able to be customized to the specific needs of your team. 

Third-party Training Courses

Another option for CRM training is to use third-party training courses. These are courses that are not provided by your CRM vendor, but by another company that specializes in providing CRM training. Third-party courses can be a great option because they often provide more flexibility than vendor-provided courses. Additionally, third-party courses can be a good option because they often provide more comprehensive training than vendor-provided courses. However, one downside of third-party courses is that they can be more expensive than other options. People who take third-party courses also need to be sure that the course is relevant to their CRM system. 

In-House Training

Another option for CRM training is to provide the training in-house. This means that you will have someone on your staff who is responsible for providing the training to your employees. In-house training can be a great option because it's usually more flexible than other options. Additionally, in-house training can be a good option because it allows you to tailor the training specifically to your company's needs. 

However, one downside of in-house training is that it can be more time-consuming than other options. If you are in charge of providing the training, it will take away from your other responsibilities like developing new business ideas or refining a sales process. This is why full attention to in-house training is so important. As Erik Cattelle of RezEvents notes: “Ask questions, listen and take good notes. You’d be surprised what you can learn about how you can help a potential client. Using a CRM on every interaction will make sure you don’t miss a detail for the next time you touch base.” 

Diverse group of people seated around a large table in a conference room following guidance from a female instructor as
	she points to a whiteboard.

3. Create a CRM Training Plan

Once you've decided on the CRM training resources you will be using, you need to create a training plan. The training plan should include a schedule of when the training will take place, as well as what topics will be covered in the training. One way to create a training plan is to use a template. There are many templates available online that you can use to create your training plan. Once you've found a template that you like, you can adapt it to fit your specific needs. Another way to create a training plan is to start from scratch. If you choose this option, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, make sure that you include all of the topics that we discussed in the previous section. Second, make sure that you create a schedule that works for your team. Remember, CRM training is important, but it shouldn't interfere with your employees' work schedules. 

Once you've created your training plan, be sure to communicate it to your team. Let them know when the training will take place and what topics will be covered. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that they are prepared for the training. The strategy of the plan is important because it will help you to focus on the goals that you have set for your team. Also, it is helpful to have a plan so that you can track the progress of your team's training.

If you're not sure where to start, here is a list of CRM training topics that you might want to cover: 

4. Team Assignments are Important

For CRM training to be successful, it's important to make sure that your team is properly assigned. This means that each employee should be responsible for a specific task. For example, you might want to have one employee responsible for inputting data into the CRM system, while another employee is responsible for generating reports. By assigning specific tasks to employees, you will ensure that everyone on your team knows what they need to do and that they can do their job effectively.  Additionally, it's important to make sure that your team is properly trained on their assigned tasks. This means that you will need to provide them with training materials and resources. One way to do this is to create a training manual. The training manual should include step-by-step instructions on how to perform their assigned tasks. Additionally, the training manual should also include screenshots and examples. This will help your team to understand the material and to apply it to their job. With this, we remember Greg Gutkowski, Principal at 3Clicks quote about activities and organization: “The single most important thing in sales is the number of very well-organized activities. Hence a good and easy-to-use CRM is a must.” 

“By establishing procedures and standards, you will ensure that everyone on your team is using the CRM system in the same way”

5. Determine CRM Procedures & Standards

To ensure that your CRM system is being used effectively, it's important to establish procedures and standards. Procedures are the specific steps that you want your team to follow when they are using the CRM system. For example, you might want them to input data into the system daily or to generate reports weekly. Standards are the guidelines that you want your team to follow when they are using the CRM system. For example, you might want them to input data into the system in a consistent format or to use specific terminology when they are entering data into the system. 

By establishing procedures and standards, you will ensure that everyone on your team is using the CRM system in the same way. This will make it easier for you to track the progress of your team and to identify any areas where they need improvement. Additionally, it will help to prevent confusion and frustration among your team members

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're establishing procedures and standards

6. Schedule & Conduct Training Sessions

Once you have established your procedures and standards, it's time to schedule and conduct training sessions. Training sessions will help to ensure that your team is properly trained on how to use the CRM system. When you're scheduling training sessions, be sure to take into account the schedules of your team members. You'll also want to consider the length of the training session. A good rule of thumb is to keep training sessions short - no more than one hour. This will help to ensure that your team stays focused and doesn't get overwhelmed by the material. When you're conducting training sessions, be sure to focus on one topic at a time. For example, you might want to train your team on how to input data into the system or how to generate reports. It's also important to provide your team with ample opportunities to practice what they're learning. This will help them to better understand the material and to apply it to their job. Finally, be sure to follow up with your team after the training session. 

Why is it important to follow up with your team after the training?

It's important to follow up with your team after the training session for a few reasons. First, it will help to ensure that they understand the material. Second, it will allow you to answer any questions that they might have. Finally, it will help to ensure that they are properly applying what they learned to their job. When you're following up with your team, be sure to check in with them regularly. This can be done through one-on-one meetings, group meetings, or even just casual conversations. Additionally, be sure to provide them with feedback on their performance. This will help them to understand where they need improvement and how they can better use the CRM system.

An evaluation report is given from a standing female instructor to a seated male trainee.

7. Evaluate Training Results

Once you've completed your training sessions, it's important to evaluate the results. This will help you to determine whether or not the training was effective. There are a few different ways that you can evaluate the results of your training. First, you can assess how well your team is using the CRM system. This can be done by tracking their performance over time or by conducting surveys. Additionally, you can ask your team members for feedback on the training, as we already established is important. This will allow you to hear what they thought about the material and how they feel they've benefited from the training. Finally, be sure to evaluate your performance as a trainer. This will help you to identify any areas where you need improvement and to make changes in future training sessions. 

How can you be a good leader and trainer for your employees?

To be a good leader and trainer for your employees, you need to be able to effectively communicate with them. This means being able to listen to their concerns and questions, as well as providing them with clear and concise instructions. Additionally, you need to be able to motivate your team and help them to see the importance of using the CRM system. Finally, you need to be patient and understand that not everyone will learn at the same pace. Some people might require more time or more training than others. By keeping these things in mind, you'll be well on your way to being a successful leader and trainer for your employees. 

8. Determine The Platform's Most Useful And Least Useful Features

After you've completed your training and evaluation, it's time to determine the most useful and least useful features of the CRM system. This can be done by surveying your team or by asking for their feedback directly. Once you've determined which features are most useful, you can focus on making sure that your team is using them properly. Additionally, if any features aren't being used effectively, you can work on eliminating them or finding alternative solutions. By determining the most useful and least useful features of the CRM system, you'll be able to make sure that your team is getting the most out of it. Your employees might find it helpful to use CRM software that has a free trial so they can explore its features and benefits before committing to it. Sometimes, a CRM system that's too complicated can do more harm than good and this is why it's important to find the right balance. 

9. Repeat the Training Process for Knowledge Retention

It's important to repeat the training process regularly to ensure that your team members are retaining the knowledge. This can be done by conducting refresher courses or by providing new training material regularly. Additionally, you can hold group discussions or one-on-one meetings to review the material covered in the training. By repeating the training process, you'll be able to make sure that your team members are using the CRM system effectively and efficiently. 

One of the best ways to keep your employees' skills sharp is by offering continuous learning opportunities. This could mean providing them with access to online resources, sending them to conferences or workshops, or even just giving them time to experiment with the CRM system on their own. By offering continuous learning opportunities, you'll be able to keep your team's skills sharp and up-to-date. Additionally, it will show your employees that you're invested in their development and that you want them to be successful. 

“Once your employees learn how to use the CRM system, they'll be able to onboard new hires themselves”

10. Onboard New Hires On The Process

The final step in ensuring the success of your CRM system is to onboard new hires in the process. This means providing them with training on how to use the system and integrating them into your team. Additionally, you can provide new hires with a list of resources that they can use to learn more about the CRM system. By onboarding new hires properly, you'll be able to ensure that they are using the system effectively and efficiently. Onboarding new employees doesn't have to be a difficult task. Once your employees learn how to use the CRM system, they'll be able to onboard new hires themselves. The learning process is an ongoing one and by onboarding new hires, you'll be able to ensure that your team is always growing and evolving. You will also teach new hires the importance of customer relationship management and how it can be used to improve the sales process. And who knows? They might one day lead the training process themselves. 

How To Respect the Trainees’ Time And Effort?

You must respect the time and effort of your employees when conducting training on a new CRM system. This means that you should avoid wasting their time with unnecessary information or activities. Additionally, you should make sure that the training material is relevant and up-to-date. Furthermore, you should provide employees with ample opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback. By respecting the time and effort of your employees, you'll be able to ensure that they are getting the most out of the training. 

One way to respect the time and effort of your employees is to make sure that the training material is relevant and up-to-date. This means that you should only include information that is pertinent to using the CRM system. Additionally, you should make sure that the material is easy to understand and follow. If there are any difficult concepts, make sure to provide examples or analogies. As we already mentioned above, the simplicity of the material is key to ensuring that your employees are getting the most out of the training. 

What Is The Bottom Line of This Guide?

The bottom line of this guide is that CRM training is essential to building an effective sales team. By providing your team members with training on how to use the system, you'll be able to ensure that they are using it effectively and efficiently. Additionally, you can provide new hires with a list of resources that they can use to learn more about the CRM system. By onboarding new hires properly, you'll be able to ensure that they are using the system effectively and efficiently. Finally, make sure to respect the time and effort of your employees by making sure that the training material is relevant and up-to-date. 

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to creating an effective sales team that uses a CRM system successfully. By taking the time to train your team and provide them with feedback, you'll be able to ensure that they're using the system properly and getting the most out of it. Additionally, by evaluating the results of your training and determining the most useful and least useful features of the CRM system, you'll be able to monitor your employees’ progress. So, don't wait any longer, get started today! 


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