ARTICLE TABLE OF CONTENTS
This is about the meaning of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) experience.
- What CRM experience is
- How to get CRM experience
- How to put CRM experience on a resume
- Lots more
So if you want to learn all about CRM experience in one place, then this article is for you.
Let’s get right into it!
CRM Experience 101
The phrase CRM (customer relationship management) experience in a job advertisement is a little confusing.
What does CRM experience mean? It almost sounds like they must mean customer service experience. But if that’s the case, why don’t they just say that?
Usually, CRM experience in a job advertisement is referring to CRM software experience.
Now, just because you’ve never heard about CRM software doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have experience using CRM systems.
Think about it: how many times have you learned to do something at a job without being told in detail about the type of system it is?
If you’ve ever used a computer system to keep track of customer information, there’s a good chance that you have CRM experience.
Let’s take a look at what exactly CRMs are and how to list CRM experience on a resume effectively.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps companies keep track of their customers, sales leads, and sales team activity.
Some of the information that CRMs organize are:
- Contact information for customers and sales leads
- Where a lead is in the sales process
- What products customers have bought
- Scheduled calls and emails for the sales team to make
- Results of calls and emails made by the sales team
- Customer issues and complaints
CRMs store customer and lead information in one central location where multiple departments can access it. This helps keep everyone on the same page, so the company can better serve their client base.
They can help make sure nothing falls through the cracks and that every department is following up on assigned tasks related to the customers.
CRMs are useful tools for businesses and can help in every aspect of the sales process.
Contacting Potential Customers
If you have reception or sales assistant experience that includes entering potential and new customer information into a computer, then you probably have CRM experience.
Each customer or potential customer has their own page in the CRM containing various labeled fields to fill in with information.
This information usually includes:
- Contact name, phone number, and email address
- Company name and location or address
- Business type
- Company social media information
- Purchase history or products/services interested in
The initial inputting of data into the CRM is arguably the most important step since incomplete or inaccurate information is virtually useless.
Accurate information entered into the wrong fields will make it harder to use the CRMs search filters, too, which is just as bad.
Employers want to make sure that someone hired for this part of the CRM process is thorough and detail-oriented.
Tracking Sales Team Activity
Have you ever worked in sales? Then you’ve probably used a CRM since they’re the backbones of most sales teams.
The CRM will often be used to assign the lead to a sales rep, who will use the system to:
- Schedule calls and emails with the lead
- Take notes about the lead’s wants, needs, and pressure points
- Change the lead’s status to “customer” and alert the department in charge of onboarding new clients
In addition to helping the sales team organize their notes and schedule their day, sales managers use CRMs to keep an eye on sales team activity, which can be helpful to:
- Determine the number and dollar amount of sales for commission purposes
- Ensure no communications fall through the cracks
- Keep an eye on how sales reps are spending their time
CRMs aren’t exclusive to the sales department, though.
Managing Existing customers
Once the sales team successfully turns a lead into a customer, it’s time to manage the customer’s relationship with your company to make sure they stick with you.
Job titles that use CRMS for this are along the lines of:
- Customer service associate
- Customer experience liaison
- Client relations department
- Existing customer renewals and sales
CRMs can handle every aspect of a client’s interaction with a company, and if used right, will improve customer retention.
- Track license expiration dates
- Customer problems and complaints
- Show which customers may benefit from additional products and services
If you’ve ever held a customer service job, especially in an office, think about how you kept track of all your customers. If you entered them into a computer, the chances are good that you were using a CRM.
Targeted Marketing Campaigns
CRMs help the marketing department too, so if you have a marketing or copywriting background, this is for you.
The marketing team can filter existing or potential customers by:
- Business type
- Previous sales
- How long they’ve been in the system
Once the marketing department breaks contacts down into lists, they can send them targeted emails based on what products or services they think the contact will find useful.
Some CRMs can send mass emails directly, and some interface with email marketing software, sending the contact info there.
The ability to filter contacts by demographics can also help create a picture of who is most interested in the company’s products and who follows through on sales.
Communication Between Departments
Before we go into the specifics of what CRM experience consists of, let’s take a quick look at the importance of communication and CRM systems.
Each department in a company uses CRMs a little differently. But as you might have guessed, each department needs to know what the other is doing to be effective.
CRM systems provide a centralized place for all interactions with a client to be recorded, so each department knows what the other is doing and any problems they need to know about.
All they have to do is open the customer’s page in the system, and it’s all right there.
That’s why CRM experience is in so many job descriptions—employers want to hire someone who’s going to use the tool to its fullest potential.
Still not sure if the system you were using was a CRM? Read on to see!
So, What is CRM Experience?
If you’ve done one of the following things in a previous job, you were probably using a CRM, even if you didn’t know that’s what it was.
And if it wasn’t, it might not even matter that much, to be honest. Here’s the thing: whether you’ve used a CRM or not, there’s always going to be a learning curve at a new job.
Say you’ve used a CRM before, but not the same one your new employer uses. You’ll have a general idea of how to navigate it but will probably need some help on the intricacies.
The same also goes for CRMs that you know but haven’t used for several years.
So if you’ve done the following tasks, you’ll have the same transferable skills, whether you used a CRM or not. That said, here are the most common CRM experience examples.
Entering Contact Information
In simple terms, if you’ve ever used a computer to input or look up customer histories or phone numbers, you were probably using a CRM.
This is especially likely if your work history includes offices or medical clinics.
But don’t assume that restaurant and retail jobs never use CRMs. Point of Sale systems in food service and retail environments are often integrated with CRMs or include a CRM function.
Ever looked up a customer’s reward points or credit history at the cash register? Ever recorded their info to include them in promotions? Right there, you have CRM experience to put on your resume.
Tracking Client Statuses
If any of your previous jobs consisted of monitoring where your clients were in a process (sales, system setup, etc.), what kind of system do you think you were using?
That’s right—a CRM system. Unless you were using excel spreadsheets or paper to track everything having to do with a customer, you were using CRM software. And these days, that’s pretty rare, unless you were working for a tiny mom and pop shop.
Scheduling Contact Outreach
There are countless scheduling and calendar apps out there for businesses, but CRMs are a little different.
You’ve got CRM experience if the system you scheduled your activities into also kept detailed records of client interactions and was accessible to multiple people and departments.
For the most part, any team in regular contact with clients is likely to be using CRM software to keep track of client communications, rather than one system to store client info and another for scheduling.
Creating Filtered Lists
You were probably using a CRM if you ever had to use a filtered list or organize customers for any reason:
- By contract expiration dates
- By business type
- By bill due dates
- To see what services they had
Whatever the reason—sales, customer service, customer analytics, or marketing purposes—detailed filtered lists are done by CRMs most of the time.
Sending Group Emails
Sending group emails is a similar point to scheduling client phone calls.
Technically, there’s a ton of non-CRM services out there that manage sending mass emails to a distribution list.
But suppose you sent marketing or other group emails to contacts and kept detailed information about them. In that case, there’s a good chance that you were using a CRM integrated with an email service, or the CRM itself included the function.
Why Do Employers Want CRM Experience?
As you already know, some employers list “CRM experience required” on job posts, seemingly closing the door to candidates without.
But the truth is, what most job posters mean is “CRM experience preferred.”
Now, what that means is—as touched on in the previous section—if you have the skills needed to learn and effectively use a CRM system, you don’t technically need to have experience using one.
Because CRMs are vital to so many of a company’s operations, employers want to make sure that the person they hire will be competent and not make a mess of the records they worked so hard to collect and organize.
That said, highlighting applicable skills and experience that show you’ve used similar tools will often get you over that hurdle if you technically don’t meet a job posting’s requirements.
How to Put CRM Experience on a Resume
Now, how do you go about putting CRM experience on your resume or ? Remember, CRM experience meaning both CRM and CRM-type experience since both require the same skill sets.
Now, listing CRM experience on your CV is, in many ways, the same as listing any other job experience. You’re going to want to break it down into:
- What you did
- How you excelled at it
- What skills you used or learned while doing it
The main thing to keep in mind is: what is the hiring manager looking for? Put yourself in their shoes and only include what’s relevant to the job posting.
What Does Your Experience Include?
The most direct method of adding your CRM experience to a resume is to lay out precisely what you did at your previous job.
- Did you enter information into the system based on query emails or incoming calls received?
- Did you oversee the accuracy and completeness of the information others entered?
- Did you schedule follow-up calls and emails for yourself or others?
- Or maybe you used the CRM data to analyze customer patterns or sales rep activity.
The more the job poster knows about how you used a CRM system in your previous job, the better.
How Did You Excel?
A step above listing your previous job duties is to detail how you excelled and exceeded expectations. Potential employers especially like knowing how your expertise will affect their bottom line.
Maybe you cleaned up a sloppy CRM database that was mismanaged by your predecessor, saving your colleagues time and making it easier to conduct searches and create filters.
Or perhaps you mastered the CRM’s filter or reporting function, making it easier to figure out where processes were working or could be improved.
Even succeeding in entering data quickly and efficiently helps keep things running smoothly and is worth noting on a CV.
What Skills Were Needed?
More skill-based resumes will briefly highlight the specific skills used or learned while gaining CRM experience.
These skills are as varied as the experiences themselves but often include:
- Data entry: quick, accurate
- Attention to detail: minimal typos or info in the wrong place
- Thorough: willing to research a contact to get as much info as possible
- Scheduling: accurately scheduling tasks and following up on them
- Running reports: sales numbers, sales rep activity, campaign performance
Remember, hiring managers want to know that you’re able to do the job, so relevant skills are often accepted in place of experience if you’ve never used a CRM before.
What About CRM Implementation Experience?
So you have CRM experience on your CV, but what about CRM Implementation Experience?
CRM implementation is exactly what it sounds like—implementing a CRM for a company that doesn’t have one.
This can involve any of the following:
- Researching CRM system options
- Installing, learning, and teaching others to use the CRM
- Monitoring the system for bugs or user errors
- Entering contact info into the CRM from a paper system or spreadsheet
If you’re the one responsible for taking a previous employer out of the stone age and into the world of CRMs, point out on your resume.
It will show that you have the skills needed to use a CRM and the organization and dedication to spearhead a whole customer database change, which is impressive.
CRM user experience is a little different with each system, but they all do essentially the same thing.
- Salesforce CRM experience shows employers that you can handle a robust software
- Oracle CRM experience is just as impressive on a resume, as they’re second only to Salesforce
- Sap CRM experience often means familiarity with enterprise resource planning
- Microsoft CRM experience usually includes other Microsoft applications
- Adobe CRM experience and other products in the Adobe Marketing Cloud are great for marketers and copywriters
How to Get CRM Experience
If you’ve read this far, then you already know not to worry if you don’t have CRM experience. You probably have many applicable skills that will translate; it’s just a matter of letting your prospective employer know.
But if you’re really worried about it, there are a couple of things you can do to feel more comfortable using CRM software.
Pretty much every CRM system out there has a ton of free online tutorials that you can watch to get a feel for the software.
Watching tutorials and reading manuals will put you a step ahead of other applicants, even if you’ve never seen a CRM in your life. Plus, it shows prospective employers that you’re eager to learn, an attractive quality in any job applicant.
Many nonprofit organizations use CRM software to manage their donor relationships. Find a local nonprofit and see if they have any volunteer data entry or donor outreach positions available.
Volunteer experience looks great on a resume, in addition to gaining you valuable experience.