“My customers are my greatest assets.” Should be both mantra and battle cry for the modern business. In this day and age where word of mouth can make or break a business being there for your customers when and how they require just makes sense. Fortunately, being there for your customers has never been easier.

If you’re ready to step up your customer relationship game then read on for 10 Tips that will make choosing the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for your business an absolute breeze.

1. Don’t Be Dazzled

Establishing a budget for your CRM shopping spree might be easier said than done. However, the sky doesn’t need to be the limit. The most expensive solutions might not offer the flexibility or the features you need. Make sure you pick the solution that best fits your requirements. Not the solution that looks the snazziest.

2. The Now vs. The Not Yet

When purchasing a CRM solution make sure that you carefully weigh your current needs against your future goals. It might not make sense skimp on features in the present only to be caught short later.

3. Down & Dirty Data

The right CRM solution has the potential to become the cornerstone of your business. Make sure that any CRM software you consider has at-your-fingertips analytics that will give you deep insight into your customers and your business.

4. Functionality is Key

Imagine what it might be like to use your various CRM software options on a daily basis. Are features easy to navigate and clear or do you feel like you’re fighting through a jungle armed only with a toy compass?

5. CRM on the Road

Mobility is becoming an increasingly key part of any CRM solution. If mobility is going to be a key part of your CRM strategy then you need to make sure this feature is well supported by your selected vendor. You may also wish to find out if this mobility only extends to laptops or if smart phones are included too.

6. The Kick Start vs. The Slow Burn

Ease of implementation is an important aspect of choosing CRM software. Are you looking for an on-premise (software housed in your computers) solution or an on-demand solution (software available through the internet)? Both have pros and cons and which one you choose will heavily depend on your business’ unique needs.

7. Vet the Vendor

As with any major purchase, make sure to thoroughly investigate the vendor. Check out when they were founded. Explore their financial records (if available). Discover their strengths and weaknesses. Clues to whether or not their CRM software can stand the test of time may very well be found in the strength and reputation of the vendor.

8. The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Does your vendor continue to train and help troubleshoot once the CRM software has been purchased? Adoption and integration woes may very well be smoothed to an acceptable level if your vendor stays in the picture to ensure a smooth transition.

9. The Social Revolution

The revolution is here and it is social. Social media continues its slow creep into nearly all aspects of life and CRM is no exception. Making sure that your CRM solution has specialized social features that allow for greater collaboration and better customer service might be a very strategic move that pays back huge dividends in the future.

10. The Ins & Outs of Integration

Understanding how integration will affect or slow down Explore the minefield filled world of your shiny new CRM software’s integration with your legacy systems before you buy. Ask your vendor as many troubleshooting questions as you can think of. And bear in mind that the phrase “seamless integration” may be a contradiction in terms.

Choosing a CRM system can feel like an insurmountable chore, but with these ten tips you’re now well on your way to finding the CRM solution of your dreams.