CRM certification is a professional certification demonstrating that the holder has the necessary expertise to manage customer relationships and interactions and optimize them where needed.
Lots of different organizations offer certification programs, including some of the best-known CRM companies in the world, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. While there are several different types of certification, each typically involves a certain amount of coursework and training, followed by exams designed to test a person’s skills and knowledge in different areas, including sales and marketing automation, customer engagement, data analytics, and customer service.
While it seems sensible to ask what the best certification is, the answer depends on several things, including experience, expertise, and career goals. The following certifications are widely recognized and respected across the industry:
- Certified Customer Relationship Management Professional (CCRMP): This certification program is offered by the Customer Relationship Management Institute (CRMI) and covers the fundamentals of CRM, including CRM strategy, customer engagement, data management, and CRM technologies. The certification is designed for professionals who want a broad understanding of CRM concepts and practices. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and the certification is valid for three years.
- Certified CRM Specialist (CCS): This certification program is also offered by the CRMI and focuses on specific areas of CRM, such as sales, marketing, or customer service. The program includes training on CRM best practices, industry trends, and case studies. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, and the certification is valid for three years.
- Salesforce Certified Administrator: The Salesforce Certified Administrator certification is for people who have a basic understanding of Salesforce and are competent in performing simple administrative tasks. It’s an entry-level credential, and candidates must pass a multiple-choice exam covering managing users, data, and security, customizing and maintaining Salesforce, and working with reports and dashboards. There are 60 questions, and the exam must be completed within 105 minutes. It is valid for three years.
- Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator: The Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator certification is an advanced-level credential designed for individuals with an in-depth understanding of Salesforce administration and who can carry out complex tasks. It builds upon the knowledge and skills validated by the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification, so candidates must already have passed that certification before they can take this one. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions on advanced reporting, advanced security and access, automation, dashboard management, and data management that must be answered within 105 minutes, and certification lasts for three years.
- Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud/Service Cloud Consultant: Salesforce offers two separate certifications for its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud products. Both are designed for individuals responsible for implementing Salesforce Cloud solutions in a customer-facing role. Each requires the person to pass an exam of 60 multiple-choice questions within 105 minutes. Both are valid for three years.
- Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist: This certification is for those responsible for designing and implementing email campaigns using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. One exam must be passed consisting of 60 multiple-choice questions on email performance measurement, subscriber data management, email marketing best practices, email automation, and email design and development and must be completed within 90 minutes. It is valid for two years.
- Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant: This is designed for people responsible for designing and implementing marketing automation solutions using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. An exam with 60 multiple-choice questions must be passed – the exam lasts 105 minutes. It covers marketing automation best practices, data management and segmentation, integration with external systems, and content creation and personalization. The certification is valid for two years.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate: This certification is designed for those responsible for implementing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales solutions. Two exams must be passed – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant. Both exams consist of multiple-choice questions and last for 150 minutes. Certification lasts for two years.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate: This is designed for those responsible for implementing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service solutions. Again, two exams are required – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer and Service and Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant – each multiple-choice that must be completed within 150 minutes. Certification lasts for two years.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate: This is designed for people responsible for implementing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing solutions and requires two multiple choice exams to be passed within 150 minutes each – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing and Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant. Certification is valid for two years.
- Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Developer Associate: Lastly, for Microsoft, this certification is for people responsible for developing Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions. Only one exam is required for this one – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Developer – and it is a multiple-choice exam that must be completed within 150 minutes. It lasts for two years.
Other CRM certifications include:
- HubSpot Inbound Certification: for those with knowledge of inbound marketing best practices, including creating effective content, optimizing your website for search engines, and converting leads into customers.
- HubSpot Marketing Software Certification: for experts in using HubSpot’s marketing software, including creating and managing marketing campaigns, analyzing results, and automating workflows.
- HubSpot Sales Software Certification: for those skilled in using HubSpot’s sales software, including managing contacts, deals, and tasks and using the CRM to drive sales productivity.
- HubSpot Service Hub Software Certification: for people with a solid knowledge of how to use HubSpot’s service software, including managing tickets, feedback, and knowledge base articles and using automation to streamline service processes.
- Oracle CX Sales Cloud Certification: for people with expertise in implementing and configuring Oracle CX Sales Cloud, including managing accounts, leads, and opportunities.
- Oracle CX Service Cloud Certification: for those with expertise in implementing and configuring Oracle CX Service Cloud, including managing cases, service requests, and knowledge articles.
- SAP Sales Cloud Certification: for experts in implementing and configuring SAP Sales Cloud, including managing accounts, leads, and opportunities.
- SAP Service Cloud Certification: for people with expertise in implementing and configuring SAP Service Cloud, including managing cases, service requests, and knowledge articles.
Choosing the right certification depends on many things, and each of those listed above focuses on different areas of expertise and levels of proficiency. Researching and choosing a certification program that aligns with your career goals and helps you demonstrate how well you can manage customer relationships effectively is important.
It is impossible to choose one certification that stands out as the best because every individual is different, and the certification they choose depends on their career goals, current expertise levels, and experience. However, all those listed here are useful certifications that prove proficiency and knowledge in the relevant subjects.