So you know all about Customer Relationship Management and you are looking at options and vendors like Onpipeline. But what should you think about before you invest? Here are a few things to consider.

Is it compatible with your existing systems and applications – CRM is not only going to benefit the sales department. It affects all aspects of the business, finance, customer service, even deliveries! Therefore any new software needs to work with all the systems you already have running in the business. You want a CRM system that communicates with email, ERP, accounting and so on.
Will it fit in with your future IT plans – When you are choosing your sales crm software think about what your IT plans are for the future so that you do not have future integration issues.
Can it be customized to suit your business needs – Even if you are in the same industry, companies come in different sizes and all operate in different ways. You need to know that the CRM system you choose can be customized to your own specific business and how it operates. Think about features like data fields, report generating, security, layout, user-friendliness and so on. Opting to pay less now for a system that does not work well for your needs is not the best idea. Either pay more for something more suitable or hold out and wait till you have the budget you need.
What role will the software provider play – Different providers and different types of systems will come with different roles so think about what you want. Are they just selling you software and then that is their role done? Are they working with you to create something more customized? Are they offering training on the system once it is installed? Are they just a supplier or do they offer something like a consultancy so you have someone to turn to for help as people adjust to the system?
Consider ROI - Good providers like Onpipeline can give you feedback about what measurable benefits their clients have observed with their software and the time scale of those benefits.
What will the installation process be like – How long does installation take and how disruptive will that be to the whole business? How long will staff need for training? How complex is the system?
Make sure everyone is on board – having a new CRM system means change, and having to learn something different. Some people like change and some people do not. You will need to consider how to get everyone positive about this and onboard so that they adopt it and use it effectively. Make clear the benefits, not just to the business but to them. If people do not use it properly you do not see those as much as you could.
Does it offer remote access – In some cases when you have employees that travel for work a lot, it makes sense to have CRM software that allows for remote access.

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