A CRM system is designed to do one thing ahead of all others, help your sales team sell more. If a CRM does not support your team in this goal, you'll know it right away because adoption across your sales team will be low. Salespeople need access to information quickly across a variety of environments from office Wifi to a tenuous 3G network in the field. If a CRM can't quickly supply information, or isn't easy to use, then it is costing your sales people and your entire company revenue.
There are a lot of choices on the market with different focuses and tools. Picking the right one for you can be a challenge. Most capable CRMs have a reasonably well developed contact management system, but after that, features begin to vary wildly. When testing the product in trial or sitting in on a demo, make sure to compare the features that they are showcasing as their platforms strongest to the needs of your sales people and your entire organization.
Many salespeople spend the majority of their time outside of the office visiting clients and working remotely. Even inside sales teams can need to access client information outside of normal business hours in order to respond quickly to customer requests. Making sure that your CRM has an optimal mobile experience helps to make remote sales people more efficient and increases the likelihood of it being their go-to tool for customer information.
Even the simplest CRMs can have a learning curve. When bringing a new CRM on board, keep in mind the level of complexity of the system and the technical knowledge of the users. Pick a system with enough onboarding and customer care support in place to make sure your team is able to learn the new system and hit the ground running.
The pricing on CRM software is as diverse as the software itself with options ranging from free to custom enterprise pricing. While it's tempting to go straight for the low end of the spectrum, a CRM that properly fits the needs of the sales team will more than make up for the added cost by providing a system that is easy to use and an asset in growing your business.
No one goes into business planning on staying the same size. After all, the whole goal of having a sales team is to help you get bigger. Keep your growth plans in mind when CRM shopping and make sure to pick a system that will be as effective once you've reached as it was in helping you to get there.