Offering a great product and service is the start to growing a successful construction company. However, this will only take a company so far.
Many construction businesses are missing a key component to increasing sales, managing customer relationships and achieving their goals. The answer is effective sales and account management technology. With the right technology, small sales teams and business owners are significantly more productive and can deliver performance on par with a massive sales team.
What is the best sales and account management technology for a construction business?
There are many options for construction companies and picking the right solution is challenging. To help with this daunting task, there are four key things contractors need to look at when choosing a CRM. First, the technology should provide clarity to the sales process and business. Next, the CRM needs to put the team on the same page with task and contact management features. Finally, it needs to be simple enough for everyone on the team to use it efficiently.
1. Eliminate Chaos
For most small businesses, getting a business off the ground is challenging. A healthy level of turbulence is a regular part of growing a business, but too much chaos can slow or derail a company’s growth.
One common pitfall to avoid is a corporate-focused CRM with too many bells and whistles. Instead, focus on choosing a system that emphasizes simplicity. Features like contact management, document storage, and a clear workflow are essential for contractors to manage customer relationships and projects. These features allow contractors to organize their entire business by tracking estimates, blueprints and photos on a project in one area that sales and field reps can access.
2. Remove Guesswork
When contracting businesses start, managing jobs and team members is fairly straightforward. There are fewer projects and employees to manage, and the projects are smaller in scale. As a company grows, sales and project management gets more complex. Managing dozens of employees and subcontractors across multiple jobssites is challenging.
Employing a CRM creates one central location for progress on all current and potential projects. Salespeople and estimators can report on upcoming jobs, and project managers can review upcoming projects and report on the job progress. Managers use a CRM to review activity at a high level using reports and dashboards and can dive into specific projects and deals to view progress.
Getting control of project management and customer acquisition is the defining point between a company that is growing and thriving, and a company that is stuck. Companies that can’t figure out how to coordinate and manage the chaos get bogged down and cannot continue to grow. CRM software plays a critical role for companies working through this growing phase by removing the guesswork from the management process.
3. Find Technology that Works for Everyone
Most managers understand that they need insightful tools to sustain growth. The challenge is finding tools that fit their needs and empower the team to go to new heights. To be successful, technology needs to work with the team instead of forcing people to work with it. That means finding a CRM that is customizable to the sales process.
Construction companies need a CRM that enables them to build a sales pipeline that reflects their bidding process. Most CRMs use default language to describe a sales pipeline, using stages like “qualified,” “presentation,” “negotiation” and “closed.” These stages generally don’t match a contractor’s bidding process. Luckily, it’s possible to customize these stages in many CRMs. If the sales process involves steps like “estimating bid,” then the CRM should represent that.
Furthermore, if the CRM is a part of the project management process, then the stages should extend past the point a bid is accepted. If tracking projects in the CRM, include steps like “project started” and “project finished.” To be valuable to a construction business, a CRM needs to reflect the nature of the work.
4. Look for a Partner
A CRM is an essential resource to any contractor that aspires to grow its business. For many companies, adopting a CRM that boosts productivity has become a competitive advantage against both local and regional businesses. CRM software gives contractors the ability to take control of their customer relationships and capitalize on the good work they’ve done. Sales technology gets down to the core of a business strategy: how it interacts with its customers and organizes itself operationally. These are big shoes to fill for any piece of software. It’s important to find a provider that has an excellent product, is enthusiastic about getting to know contractors’ needs and can be relied on to support business growth.
There are many options out there and choosing the right CRM is critical. One thing is certain: Not having one is not an option for a contractor that wants to grow and is serious about taking control of its customer relationships. Companies that can’t organize their approach to customers’ needs are placing their future in jeopardy. Managing these relationships is the key to building a business that is durable and can last in a competitive sector.