Best CRM Certification (Microsoft Dynamics & Other Courses)

Michael Scheiner
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Everyone should know how to use a basic CRM. But this does not mean there is no room for a certified CRM expert to help out a company. When selecting the best CRM certification, there’s a lot to first consider. One of the first questions is, will you be working in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem or with another great CRM tool.

This piece will review the top CRM training courses and certification programs available for a variety of CRM platforms, but especially with MS Dynamics. It’ll compare prices, niches, pros and cons.

 

CRM training comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)

Here is our general overview of the 10 best CRM training and certification programs, beginning with Microsoft Dynamics 365 courses and then covering alternatives to Microsoft Dynamics certificates.

Product

Best for

Pricing*

Site

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals

Best CRM certification course overall

$99

Visit

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate

Top MS Dynamics certification for customer support

$165

Visit

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate

Top CRM certification for learning Microsoft 365 sales software

$165

Visit

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate

Top marketing certification program for Dynamics 365

$165

Visit

Microsoft Customer Data Platform Specialty

Good Microsoft Dynamics certification course for data management

$165

Visit

Salesforce Administrator

Great CRM certification online

Free with Salesforce subscription

Visit

Zendesk Support Administrator 

Good online CRM training

$350

Visit

HubSpot CRM Academy

Best free CRM certification

Free

Visit

Zoho Spark

Great CRM certificate online

Contact vendor

Visit

Oracle NetSuite Administrator

Good certificate courses in CRM and ERP

$250

Visit

*Prices start at

 

CRM certification vs a CRM certificate explained

Nobody wants to waste time doing something to help their career only to find out it was useless or wrong. That’s why it is important to spell out the difference between “certification” and “certificates” since anyone would be forgiven for mistaking these two terms as meaning exactly the same thing. 

This is no mere matter of language confusion, but two different approaches to learning about how to use software, and about acquiring official recognition that you are an expert in that software and should be hired and paid accordingly.

What is CRM certification?

CRM certification is the most official form of proving that one has done the training and mastered CRM and is ready to teach and help companies use their CRM systems. One can convey CRM meaning and CRM practicality for daily operations. 

When it comes to MS CRM certifications, this means not only completing courses and tasks, but registering for an exam. Passing the exam is like passing a driver’s license test, it officially recognizes you as an expert.

What is CRM certification good for?

Microsoft CRM certifications are good for several reasons. The main one is you can advertise on your CV or business card that you are an officially certified Dynamics expert and can use this to get a full-time job with a company or hire yourself out as a freelance consultant to companies who want to implement Dynamics 365. 

That’s why MS CRM certification is so valuable. One more thing it’s good for is simply to help you master Dynamics in case you want to use it for your own business, however, in this case, a training course and certificate can also be enough.

 

What is a CRM certificate?

A CRM certificate is a bit less officious and important than a full-on certification, but that does not mean it isn’t useful. This is just proof that one has attended a course or training program and saw it through to the end. 

There is no rigorous examination period to get a certificate, however one can still advertise that they’ve done the courses when trying to sell their skills.

What is a CRM certificate good for?

A CRM certificate is good because, firstly one can do these training courses without necessarily having to shell out lots of money for certification exams. CRM certificates are easier to get and often can be done in one’s own spare time.

Another reason a CRM certificate is good is that it lets one immediately be of service in helping others learn all the CRM features. Additionally, having the basic education that comes with a CRM certificate is often more than enough to be the master of one’s own CRM if you’re an individual entrepreneur or work for a small startup on a budget.

 

What is the best Microsoft Dynamics CRM certification? Here’s our top 10 list:

From a range of MS Dynamics CRM certification courses to a sampling of alternative CRM training courses, we’re ready to get our comparison going. So grab your notepad and reading glasses and get ready for these reviews of Microsoft exams and other certificate modules. Let’s do this!

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (Best CRM certification course overall)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals badge

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one of the best known and most loved business tools and CRM platforms which also does things like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business process functionalities. Do consider checking out our Microsoft Dynamics review if you’re looking for more info. 

There are many verification exams for Microsoft Dynamics, and this one is the most general for all the tools of a basic CRM solution. One more note: Microsoft NAV no longer exists. Dynamics NAV certifications are now part of MS Business Central.

Pros:

The fundamentals certification exam is the best way to validate your Microsoft 365 skills. It covers the broad strokes for sales, marketing, field service and customer service without drilling down into too much detail. There are project management and project operations introductory lessons too. You can do online courses for free or pay for an instructor to best boost your chances of getting that Microsoft certification.

Cons:

Since this is a fundamentals course, you only get the basics. This means if you want more advanced certification training for things like complicated automation workflows, you’ll need one of the more specific professional certifications.

CRM certification cost:

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals certification exam costs $99.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate (Top MS Dynamics certification for customer support)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate badge

Customer service and support are crucial to any functioning business and getting online training to become a customer service functional consultant for Dynamics 365 is one way to help a support team best leverage the helpdesk software.

Pros:

Lots of modules here for this certification program, including ones in creating business rules and setting up automations. There are also modules in analytics and business intelligence. You learn how to manage cases, implement scheduling and configure omnichannel customer support in unified dashboards.

Cons:

One of the drawbacks here is the emphasis on mastering Microsoft Dataverse, although for some IT professionals, this might be a useful thing to do. You’ll also need a minimum of anywhere between 1 and 3 years of experience to get this certification.

CRM certification cost:

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification exam costs $165.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate (Top CRM certification for learning Microsoft 365 sales software)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Functional Consultant Associate badge

Sales are the backbone of any business, and customer relationship management is the keystone to that backbone. Microsoft’s sales functional consultant associate certification program is ideally suited to IT professionals serving their sales teams well.

Pros:

Sales professionals doing this training will learn all the ins and outs of lead management, handling opportunities, doing quotes, and processing orders. It also teaches you about configuring pricing lists and doing a product catalog. Of course, like any CRM software and sales program, there is a good deal of data management.

Cons:

You’ll need to be ready to learn about Microsoft Power Platform to truly get the most out of this certification program. But that’s not too much of a negative thing because you may also learn how to build apps with Microsoft Power Apps.

CRM certification cost:

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Sales Functional Consultant Associate certification exam costs $165.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Sales Functional Consultant Associate

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate (Top marketing certification program for Dynamics 365)

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing Functional Consultant Associate badge

Dynamics 365 is as good a marketing platform as it is for sales or support, so of course the Microsoft training and certification programs for their marketing features are just as crucial to other departments.

Pros:

Marketing professionals get a full tour of all the tools associated with email marketing and marketing automation, including making audience segments and lists, creating marketing forms and web pages, manage leads and contacts, and even do marketing events and webinars.

Cons:

There is quite a lot of overlap between the marketing, sales and support modules, especially with basic Microsoft Dataverse instructions. Still, the marketing application parts of the program and exam are about 1/4th of the entire certification program.

CRM certification cost:

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Marketing Functional Consultant Associate certification exam costs $165.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Marketing Functional Consultant Associate

 

Microsoft Customer Data Platform Specialty (Good Microsoft Dynamics certification course for data management)

Microsoft Customer Data Platform Specialty badge

Data platform specialists are the ones you turn to set up workflows which are meant to constantly reveal new insights into your contact network or marketing and sales engagement activities. 

Pros:

You'll learn how to organize your key performance indicators (KPIs) for things like data retention, data visualization and validation, and how to prepare, match and segment contact profile data. You will also get training in more advanced data enrichment. Here you can learn how AI can even do predictions and forecasting.

Cons:

This certification training program is perhaps one of the most difficult ones to follow and pass the exam. You are expected to have quite a good handle on Dataverse, Azure and Power Platforms.

CRM certification cost:

The Microsoft Customer Data Platform Specialty certification exam costs $165.

Microsoft Customer Data Platform Specialty

 

Alternatives to becoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM certified

Not everyone loves Microsoft and all it stands for. Or perhaps the Dynamics 365 price tag is too hefty for some and they’d like to seek out some substitutes, and the same thing goes for CRM training courses.

Now we’re ready to run down some of the top Microsoft Dynamics alternatives when it comes to certification, certificates and training courses for CRM and similar business tools. 

 

Salesforce Administrator (Great CRM certification online)

Salesforce Administrator badge

Salesforce is a cornerstone of the CRM software consultant scene with many people making full-time lucrative careers as certified Salesforce CRM administrators. Salesforce has tons of tools to learn. Trailhead is the name of their customer relationship management certification online.

Pros:

There are loads of customer relationship management certification programs online with Salesforce. These include free courses to make sure you spend your money wisely when paying for the exams. This program is designed to help IT specialists and other admins make the most out of raw data and prep it for insights and other actionable strategies. The interactive tools and practice tests are also superior.

Cons:

It’s been said by many users that Salesforce CRM tests can be quite challenging and difficult to pass. Also, between Salesforce Trails, Trailmixes and Trailhead Academy, it could be confusing to navigate the modules.

CRM training materials cost:

Salesforce Administrator training programs from Trailhead are free with a Salesforce CRM subscription. For exam costs, contact the vendor.

Salesforce Administrator

 

Zendesk Support Administrator (Good online CRM training)

Zendesk Support Administrator badge

Many people are familiar with Zendesk as one of the original customer service and help desk software, but today they have Zendesk Sell and are a great CRM platform option especially for small businesses. The CRM training online for Zendesk certification still specializes in customer support administration. 

Pros:

Zendesk offers many administrator certification modules. These include training modules for omnichannel communication experts and support administration experts. You will master Zendesk’s ticketing solution software and learn how to set up communication channels across different platforms. You also get to join the LinkedIn Zendesk certified community.

Cons:

This is actually one of the more expensive training programs, but on the bright side, there are preparation paths you can do to make sure your dollars don't go to waste. The practice exams also lighten the drawback load.

CRM training materials cost:

The Zendesk Support Administrator Expert Exam costs $350, while the Zendesk Omnichannel Agent Specialist Exam starts at $199.

Zendesk Support Administrator

 

HubSpot CRM Academy (Best free CRM certification)

HubSpot CRM Academy logo

HubSpot is an industry leader in all things CRM and inbound marketing. Aptly named HubSpot Academy, this is the place to go for CRM certification free of charge in sales, marketing and more training.   

Pros:

The sheer number of online courses is one of the pros to HubSpot Academy. Some top ones include LinkedIn marketing, digital advertising, website optimization, SEO, social media marketing, inbound marketing and inbound sales and more. Educational resources often include videos, workbooks and quizzes.

Cons:

Very few drawbacks here except maybe that, since HubSpot Academy is mostly free, not everyone will recognize the validity of these badges. What’s more, you do need a premium HubSpot subscription to access more advanced practical exams.

CRM training materials cost:

HubSpot Academy courses are free of charge.

HubSpot Academy

 

Zoho Spark (Great CRM certificate online)

Zoho Spark logo

From Zoho CRM, a robust suite of business SaaS, comes the training app called Zoho Spark. This is a solid mix of training courses as well as certifications.

Pros:

There are options for virtual classroom training as well as one-on-one training. In some cases, one can even have expert instructors flown out to you for direct training. There are courses in sales, marketing, project management, helpdesk, finance, HR, IT, business intelligence and analytics. Finally, Zoho CRM has a large 3rd party consulting partner database for help with CRM and sales management tools.

Cons:

Zoho CRM’s Spark does appear to lack a bit of the high standard legitimacy as other certification programs, but this does not preclude the courses from being useless. Also, pricing information is not so clear.

CRM training materials cost:

For Zoho Spark prices contact the vendor.

Zoho Spark

 

Oracle NetSuite Administrator (Good certificate courses in CRM and ERP)

Oracle NetSuite Administrator badge

Oracle NetSuite is another humongous brand in business software like ERP and CRM. NetSuite certification is one of the most demanded certifications out there right now, with certified admins commanding impressive salaries. 

Pros:

NetSuite’s customer database can be a bit complicated especially if you want to take advantage of all its functionalities. Therefore the NetSuite Administrator program is a true boon to those on the platform. You can even put NetSuite certificate logos on your business card or website. The whole thing is divided between certifications, study guides and sample tests too.

Cons:

It's a bit of a disadvantage that the pricing plan is complicated and that there are few details on the website, though it seems most programs' costs begin at $250. Another con is that these are notoriously hard exams that often require many prerequisites, though if you are diligent with the training courses, you should have a shot.

CRM training materials cost:

Oracle NetSuite Administrator certification costs begin at $250.

Oracle NetSuite Administrator

 

What is the best CRM software training for me? Our conclusion

When it comes to becoming a killer CRM consultant working in the Microsoft universe, it’s clear to us that the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals is the way to go. As for something a bit simpler and more broadly applied, Salesforce’s Trailhead courses are really useful. Finally, HubSpot’s free online training programs deserve quite the praise as well. 

Whichever way you go, getting Microsoft or alternatively certified through CRM classes is a game-changing move for you, your company and the greater world of better customer relations.

Now  we’ve come to the end of this amazing comparison review of the best Microsoft certification programs and alternative CRM platform certificate and training courses. We hope you are now a bit clearer on the difference between the two: Certificates are mostly courses you attend or read through, while certification requires examinations and other proof of skills, like getting a badge or a license to be a CRM expert, whether for Microsoft Dynamics 365 or any CRM alternative.

Hopefully, you’ve found out exactly which course or program best suits your needs if you are looking to become a CRM expert and command those ever-increasing salaries. It’s worth it, and so will you be once you’ve become the master of CRM through training and certification. Congratulations on your exciting new career!

FAQs

Which CRM certification is best?

While there is no unanimous opinion as to which CRM certification is the best, a slight majority of reviews will name Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals as the top certification for customer relationship management, sales and more. Salesforce Administrator with its Trailhead courses are also worthy of mention. 

Do all CRM training courses lead to certification?

It’s always a good idea to do a CRM training course to boost your knowledge of CRM solutions and all their tools. However, this does not automatically lead to certification. In order to get certified as a CRM platform expert, you often need to register to take an exam.

Can you get Microsoft CRM certification with CRM courses online?

It is possible to get Microsoft CRM certification by taking online courses in CRM, however this is not a guaranteed way of becoming certified. Of course, the more courses and training you have, the easier it will be to pass the Microsoft CRM certification tests and become an expert.

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