CRM Certifications: Definition, Examples, and Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 27, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are certifications that can help you show clients, employers, and companies how to collect relevant data about customer interactions, improve customer satisfaction, and better understand their customers' desires. Certifications in customer relationship management (CRM) are courses designed to help you develop those skills. Learning more about this topic may help you determine whether obtaining a certification in CRM is beneficial for achieving your career goals.

In this article, we define CRM certifications, discuss how you can obtain one, explain who benefits from getting these accreditations, list some providers, review what a SAP CRM certification is, compare CRM certificates vs. CRM accreditations, and share a list of skills you may develop before getting an accreditation.

What are CRM certifications?

CRM certifications are credentials that prove you have skills and software training in customer relationship management databases. Companies with CRM software systems offer these certification courses for working professionals who want to advance their careers or explore new opportunities. CRM courses may cover topics such as marketing, customer service, web development, support, and sales. Training in these topics can show potential clients, employers, and companies that you have the necessary skills to improve customer satisfaction.

Related: What Is CRM Software? (With Definition, Types, and Uses)

Obtaining a certification in CRM

The method to obtain a CRM certification may vary depending on the certification you're acquiring. Sometimes, these certifications involve courses you can take to become proficient with a particular CRM software system, while there are other certifications that are mostly for status only. They usually require individuals to spend multiple hours on training before they can attempt to pass a knowledge test to receive their accreditation. Passing this test can show clients and employers that you have a commitment to the CRM software system they intend to use to manage their customer relationships.

Professionals who may benefit from a certification in CRM

CRM training can benefit a variety of different workforces, but it's especially relevant to fields that work closely with customers and software systems. Here's a list of groups that may find a certification in CRM useful:

Recent high school and college graduates

Clients, employers, and companies commonly are looking for individuals with a CRM specialization and relevant skills. High school and college graduates with an interest in securing a high salary, or getting a competitive advantage in a potentially saturated market, may benefit from taking a CRM course. Learning CRM skills before entering the workforce might show hiring managers you're responsible and driven.

Marketing professionals

Quality leads are essential for marketing strategies to provide a return on investment. Professionals in the marketing industry with a certification in CRM may be more likely to accomplish this because of their training in customer relationships and interactions. They might develop skills in visualizing data or identifying lead patterns, which can help with determining a target audience for a company's products or services.

IT professionals

Some IT fields may require CRM certification as a prerequisite because the training is essential for the industry. IT professionals can work alongside a variety of departments, such as sales and marketing, to customize how CRM is benefiting customers. IT professionals may use a CRM software system to onboard, maintain, and provide support to employees and customers.

Where to get a CRM certification

There are a variety of CRM courses for an individual to choose from, depending on their interests, skills, and career goals. Here's a list of four companies that provide a certification:

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy offers 18 different courses in CRM that can help individuals become experts in fields, such as marketing and web development. Its CRM platform is among the most user-friendly options available on the market, which is how it optimizes customer satisfaction. It offers a searchable database that other CRM platforms may lack. Small businesses and entrepreneurs may find it to be the most suitable option for them because its courses and exams are free.

Related: 16 Examples of the Best Certifications for Your Career

Dynamics 365

A CRM certification through Dynamics 365 is usually the top choice for individuals who work with material requirements planning (MRPs) and enterprise resource planning (ERPs). This is because Dynamics 365 provides plenty of support for these systems. MRPs and ERPs provide efficient ways for businesses to manage inventory and accounting. Dynamics 365 covers additional topics such as quotes, price lists, and product catalogues.

Oracle NetSuite

A CRM course through Oracle NetSuite is an excellent choice for individuals with an interest in customizing their CRM software to best meet their customers' desires. Oracle NetSuite offers certifications in many areas, including financial management, enterprise resource planning, and inventory management tools. This platform may have the most expensive options among CRM courses available online, but they cover a wide range of additional topics, such as workflow process automation and custom records and forms.

Zendesk Training

Zendesk might be suitable for individuals with an interest in making their CRM software skills applicable to as many clients, businesses, and companies as possible. This CRM certification is popular because it can be useful for small and large businesses alike. There are several certifications to choose from in various support and CRM tools, and their two-year validity is longer than any competitor's certifications.

What is a SAP CRM certification?

This is a specific type of certification in CRM that focuses on systems applications and products (SAP). SAP is a type of software that many clients, employers, and companies might use to streamline their operations and customer interactions. An easy flow of information and real-time processing are two of the primary goals for SAP software to provide for its users. SAP courses aim to train individuals on how to support and improve relationships between customers and businesses.

Related: What Is the Meaning of SAP and How Is It Used in the Workplace?

CRM certificates vs. CRM accreditations

Certifications in CRM require individuals to pass industry-based performance tests. Passing these tests may prove to clients, employers, and companies that you're highly proficient in using and optimizing their CRM software. There may be more secure job placements and advanced career opportunities available for individuals with certifications. This is because it shows they specialize in a specific CRM software and have the skills to increase customer engagement.

Individuals earn certificates in a school setting, whether it's remote or in person, which makes it similar to an academic degree. Unlike certifications, certificates usually don't require renewal after a certain period passes. Certifications reflect ongoing professional development in their field, so holders can choose to renew their certification by passing another knowledge test. This helps ensure individuals are maintaining their level of expertise to continue benefiting clients, employers, and companies.

Related: 10 Top Customer Service Certifications (With Benefits)

Useful skills to have before getting a CRM accreditation

Technical and social skills may be useful for the completion of a CRM certification. Below is a list of some skills and an explanation of how they can apply to CRM:

  • Data entry: CRM software systems require data entry so clients, employers, and companies can see an accurate representation of their customer relationships and interactions. Individuals who know how to interpret and input data into a CRM software system effectively might be more likely to appeal to a variety of workforces.

  • Communication: It's important to be an excellent communicator if you're participating in the management of customer relationships. CRMs that can share their ideas with others clearly and manage their industry terminology appropriately might be appealing candidates for the employer.

  • Leadership: CRMs often hold supervisory positions that require them to lead teams effectively. Some of their duties may include showing a positive attitude, creating a supportive work environment, and being approachable.

  • Professionalism: A CRM might sometimes meet with prospective clients as a representative of their employer. Clients, employers, and companies might be more likely to take an interest in a CRM who represents them respectably.

  • Time management: CRMs are usually responsible for organizing and understanding a large sum of data on customers within their software system. Creating e-mail templates and automatic messaging systems to prevent human error are two examples of how a CRM might better manage a workload.

  • Lead qualification: Leads in CRM fields usually refer to new and promising business opportunities. Employers might take an interest in CRMs who can organize prospective clients according to how effectively the employer can satisfy their desires and meet their expectations.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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