March 14, 2024

Best CRM Certificates & Courses for 2024

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CRM certificates can be a great way to take your career to the next level for web development teams and salespeople alike. There are numerous potential programs available to turn you into a power user or even an implementation expert. The question, then, is which is right for you?

CRM courses may cover areas like customer service, marketing, administration, and sales. The CRM certification process often involves training and exams to demonstrate a worker’s understanding and proficiency of the topic or topics of study.

Once an employee has met the necessary requirements to obtain a certificate, they can show clients and employers they have the skills available to improve workflow and customer relationships.

Also read: How to Use CRM for Business

Coursera


Pros

  • Extensive library of courses
  • Works in conjunction with top universities
  • Subscription grants access to a number of courses

Cons

  • Higher price point for individual certifications

Coursera works with universities and organizations all over the world, lending a high amount of credibility to their certificates. According to a report by Coursera, employers both recognize and value industry micro-credentials, stating they are, on average, 72% more likely to hire a candidate who has earned one. “Eighty-eight percent of employers agree or strongly agree that a professional certificate strengthens a candidate’s application,” the study revealed. 

Coursera’s beauty is its partnership with top software vendors, allowing access to Salesforce, HubSpot, Google, and other courses through the Coursera Plus subscription. 

Think of Coursera like a virtual library for professional certifications, in addition to native courses. It also collaborates with leading universities and organizations to offer a wide range of courses that cater to various aspects of CRM, from fundamentals to advanced analytics and strategy. Newer courses include those for generative AI, data analytics, and prompt engineering. 

Hubspot’s Introduction to CRM through Coursera is a particular standout for CRM.

1. Coursera provides access to CRM courses tailored to different skill levels and focuses, including sales management, customer analytics, digital marketing, and CRM technology platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

2. Courses are designed in partnership with leading institutions and companies, ensuring the curriculum is up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices.

3. Learners can study at their own pace, making it easier to balance professional development with work and personal commitments. 

4. Many CRM courses include practical exercises, case studies, and projects that provide hands-on experience with CRM tools and strategies.

5. Coursera+ offers a cost-effective way to obtain CRM and other certifications.

Individual certificates average around $49. The Team plan costs $399/year for up to 25 users, while the Enterprise plan is customized based on your individual business needs. Free trials are available at every tier.

HubSpot Academy


Pros

  • Variety of courses
  • Free
  • Well-respected platform 

Cons

  • Last course addition was in 2020

All of the courses within HubSpot Academy can benefit salespeople, marketing representatives, or anyone who uses or manages a CRM. A well-respected name in the CRM space, HubSpot Academy certifications are highly regarded by employers. All HubSpot classes are also free of charge, a significant advantage over many competitor offerings. 

HubSpot Academy offers a variety of certification courses with lessons that range from one to six hours to complete. These courses include concentrations in inbound marketing, sales, customer service, CRM, content marketing, social media, and more.

New courses have been added to the HubSpot Academy over time; however, the most recent certifications and courses date back to 2020.  

The three latest courses are:

As of March 2024, the platform offers more than 40 certifications and courses for users to enhance their skills and knowledge in various areas of digital marketing and sales. Check out HubSpot’s Academy page for updates to learn about any upcoming additions to the course selection.

1. Provides valuable information and practical skills in areas such as inbound marketing, sales, customer service, and more.

2. HubSpot certifications can boost your resume and credibility in the industry.

3. All courses in the HubSpot Academy are free to access.

5. Some courses include practical exercises to apply what you’ve learned in real-world scenarios.

6. You can take the courses at your own pace and schedule.

7. In addition to courses, HubSpot Academy provides valuable resources such as templates, guides, and tools to support your learning journey.

8. You can connect with other HubSpot users, ask questions, and share insights in the extensive HubSpot community.

All HubSpot Academy courses and certifications are offered free of charge.

Salesforce Administrator


Pros

  • Career opportunities as Salesforce is used by many large enterprises
  • Free training courses and resources
  • Comprehensive certification (goes beyond CRM)

Cons

  • High exam cost
  • Salesforce specific

Salesforce is an ecosystem of software that goes far beyond CRM. As such, an administrator certification offers a multitude of benefits. A Salesforce certification is a credential that is globally recognized and can benefit administrators, marketing consultants, and developers. 

Salesforce Administrators play a vital role in ensuring their teams and organizations leverage Salesforce to its fullest potential, automating business processes, creating reports and dashboards, and training users on the system’s functionalities.

EXPERT TIP

With the demand for skilled admins surging—evidenced by a 148% job growth over the past five years in the US and a median salary of $86,000—achieving certification is a lucrative career step.

The path to a Salesforce admin certification begins with Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform. It’s designed to equip you with the skills you need through a self-paced learning approach. The active Trailblazer Community also offers invaluable resources while studying for the exam and networking opportunities post-certification. Trailhead courses can be completed on your schedule, so duration of your preparation will depend on your existing knowledge and the time you can dedicate to learning.

Trailhead provides a comprehensive suite of learning tools to prepare for the exam, including the “Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential” trailmix, the Salesforce Certified Administrator exam guide, and the Administrator Certification Exam trail. These resources are tailored to cover all exam topics thoroughly, offering interactive study tools, videos, and more to suit various learning styles.

Superbadges on Trailhead challenge you to apply your knowledge to solve realistic business scenarios, making them an excellent preparation tool for the certification exam. Completing superbadges related to admin roles significantly enhances your readiness for the exam.

Beyond Trailhead, Salesforce offers a wealth of resources to support your certification journey. From the Admin blog and podcast offering insights and tips, to community events and user groups that provide networking and learning opportunities, there’s a plethora of support available to ensure you’re well-prepared for the exam.

The cost to become a Salesforce Certified Administrator is substantial but the potential earnings associated with it can make taking the plunge a wise investment. 

EXPERT TIP

The exam provides section-level feedback, helping you identify areas for improvement. Utilizing resources like practice tests and taking advantage of the paper provided at testing centers for notes can also aid in your success.

1. This certification significantly boosts your appeal to potential employers.

2. Certified Salesforce Administrators often command higher salaries due to their verified skills.

3. The certification process equips you with a deep understanding of Salesforce functionalities, enabling you to optimize the platform’s use for business needs.

4. Certified administrators gain access to a wealth of Salesforce resources, updates, and tools that are not available to non-certified individuals.

5. Certification opens doors to a global community of Salesforce professionals, offering networking opportunities that can lead to career advancement.

$200 per exam attempt

Also read: 7 Best Management Training Programs for 2024

Microsoft Dynamics 365


Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Fundamental training CRM and ERP training
  • Offers courses for a variety of professional fields
  • Free additional resources surrounding courses 

Cons

  • Microsoft ecosystem specific
  • No free certifications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is among the best in offering CRM certification for basic and advanced skill levels. The platform provides several classes applicable to professionals in sales, finance, and customer service.

Microsoft offers a comprehensive range of certifications tailored to various roles within the ecosystem, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Whether you’re new to Dynamics 365 or seeking role-specific certifications across its applications, Microsoft provides a pathway to enhance your skills and productivity. 

For those just getting started with Dynamics 365, foundational courses such as Dynamics 365 Fundamentals are available. These courses cover the basics of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Functional consultants have a plethora of options within the ecosystem, with courses covering finance, field and customer service, sales, supply chain management, and many others. 

Regular updates to the platform’s certifications mean you’ll always learn the latest industry trends throughout the courses. However, unlike HubSpot, there is a cost to the certifications with most courses.

EXPERT TIP

It is important to note that certification courses center around Dynamics 365 specifically, limiting the ability to translate skills learned to other software.

Recommended CRM courses for Dynamics 365:

1. Validates your expertise in Dynamics 365 applications, enhancing your professional credibility.

2. Equips you with the latest skills in CRM and ERP systems.

3. Opens up new career opportunities by demonstrating your ability to work with Dynamics 365 solutions across various roles.

4. Improves your productivity and efficiency by teaching you how to leverage Dynamics 365 features and capabilities fully.

5. Provides access to a global community of Dynamics professionals, offering networking opportunities and professional growth.

6. Increases your potential for higher earnings by adding a recognized certification to your resume.

7. Offers flexibility with self-paced online learning paths and instructor-led training options.

Ranging from $99 to $165 for most certificates

Oracle Netsuite Administrator


Pros

  • Increased earning potential
  • Can improve your organization’s use of Netsuite
  • Provide certificate from the leading ERP on the market

Cons

  • Significant time and money investment
  • Netsuite-specific

Oracle’s NetSuite is geared towards larger companies and a NetSuite certification is intended for professionals already knowledgeable with Oracle and its customer database. NetSuite consultants can expect to gain more clients and maintain existing clientele more easily through certification.

NetSuite is the leading integrated cloud business software suite, including ERP, CRM, and eCommerce capabilities. This program is designed to validate and enhance skills in NetSuite, ensuring businesses can maximize their investment in the platform through expert-level in-house support and efficient system management. While you can increase your overall knowledge of ERP and CRM through Netsuite’s courses, keep in mind its courses focus primarily on Netsuite software. 

Prospective candidates can register for exams through Kryterion, NetSuite’s testing partner, choosing between testing centers or online proctored exams. The program offers flexibility with multiple certification levels and specializations, ensuring there’s a suitable path for every NetSuite user, from new to season.

NetSuite provides a comprehensive range of certification tracks designed to accommodate various roles and expertise levels within an organization. These tracks include the SuiteFoundation Certification, aimed at individuals new to NetSuite, focusing on the platform’s fundamental capabilities, record management, and business processes. 

The Administrator Certification is tailored to users tasked with system setup, configuration, and maintenance. The ERP Consultant Certification is specialized for professionals involved in implementing and managing NetSuite ERP solutions, ensuring they have the necessary knowledge to optimize the system’s use. Additionally, for those who customize NetSuite through coding, Developer Certifications such as the Application Developer and SuiteCloud Developer are available.

There is also a certification for Solution Architect Experts, designed for individuals with expertise in designing and deploying NetSuite solutions across various industries.

1. Participants gain in-depth knowledge and skills in NetSuite

2. Certified professionals help organizations leverage NetSuite more effectively, leading to better system utilization, streamlined operations, and enhanced productivity.

3. The program is recognized for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

4. Adds to professional credibility in the ERP space.

Administrator certification exams cost $250 to register for and $150 to retake.

Who stands to benefit from CRM certification?

Businesses with a desire to improve customer satisfaction and drive customer retention rates stand to benefit when key team members become CRM-certified.

A CRM certification is useful for many people who work with customers or CRM platforms. It can help people who work in sales and marketing understand and meet customer wants better, which can increase sales and make marketing more personal. System administrators, developers, and other IT pros will find it helpful for getting better at setting up and managing CRM systems. People who work in customer service learn how to use CRM tools to make customers happier. For business analysts and project managers, the primary reason for pursuing a CRM certificate is to make sure CRM tactics are in line with company goals. 

Business owners and entrepreneurs learn more about how customers act, which helps them make better business choices. A CRM certification can give anyone who manages customer interactions or CRM systems a competitive edge, leading to better business processes and success.

Also read: CRM Roles and Responsibilities

What are the drawbacks to certification?

While pursuing certification offers numerous advantages, it’s important to recognize potential drawbacks. One significant concern is the cost, which might exceed your company’s budget or be deemed too substantial to justify. Additionally, directing resources toward certifying the wrong employee could result in wasted resources and inefficient time management.

It’s common to encounter challenges with certification, and carefully evaluating the cost-benefit ratio is crucial. This evaluation should consider whether certifying specific team members aligns with your business objectives, taking into account the timing, overall expenses, and the potential return on investment in terms of employee capability enhancement.

Investing in certification can be a strategic move to elevate your team’s expertise, particularly in managing CRM systems. This not only improves your CRM strategies but also strengthens your competitive stance in the market. However, it’s essential to approach certification with a strategic mindset, ensuring that it serves your business goals and contributes to long-term growth.

Also read: Top CRM Challenges & Strategies for Overcoming Them

Why is CRM certification important for your business?

CRM certification teaches members of your team the best business practices and gives them ample opportunity to boost their efficiency, gain a competitive market advantage, and improve their CRM strategies. This should translate to better business practices overall and increase your company’s viability.

In addition to strengthening your business practices, key team members completing CRM certification will allow them to work more cohesively. This allows them to stay abreast of changing trends and unforeseen challenges that can be thrust upon your company at any time.

Having employees who are able to think more critically when a problem arises will help your company better mitigate the issue and allow your time and resources to be applied in other areas.Still looking for the latest in CRM solutions? Check out our CRM Software Guide.

FAQs

CRM certifications are formal endorsements by software vendors or professional bodies that validate an individual’s expertise and skills in using CRM platforms effectively.

Choose a CRM certification based on your career goals, the CRM systems your organization uses, and the skills you wish to develop, ensuring it aligns with industry demands and your professional growth path.


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