5 Reasons Why Construction Companies Need a CRM Today
By JP WERLIN
Technology is rapidly changing the game in the construction industry, and the firms who are paying attention and embracing the change will be the ones who win.
KPMG’s annual report, "Building a technology advantage — Global Construction Survey” reports that 55 percent feel the industry is ripe for change with 74 percent of respondents saying that technology will significantly transform their business in less than five years.
Within that technology space is CRM software which is the fastest growing software market in the world. Across all industries, CRM has proven to make a positive impact on sales and the customer experience. As construction leaders seek ways to differentiate their businesses, stay competitive, improve service and boost the bottom line, they’re turning to CRM software as a big bet. Here are the top benefits they cite.
1. Track a Sales Pipeline Effectively
Every business needs to know where its sales pipeline stands. A sales pipeline is defined as a way to track the progression of deals that your sales team is working on and can expect to close within a certain amount of time.
In the construction industry, too many contractors are going after projects that simply aren’t worth it. This is a waste of time and takes focus away from opportunities that are worth it and can boost growth. Take a look at these questions below.
- What projects is my sales team bidding on right now?
- What part of the sales process is each sales rep in right now?
- What is the bid due date?
- What activities have been completed (emails, phone calls, meetings)?
If you can’t answer those questions right now, then you aren’t tracking your sales pipeline effectively. You need a CRM.
2. Build Relationships and Boost Productivity
Paper is a way to jot down notes. Spreadsheets may be a way to track results. Neither build relationships.
A CRM tracks customers and your every touch point with them. This functionality also extends to all business partners from subcontractors, architects and financial institutions. A CRM gives you one source of truth for details on any customers, companies, contracts or bids. For each account, an unlimited number of contacts can be added so every stakeholder at a company can be identified.
With all the information you’d need about a customer or partner available with the click of a mouse or a scroll on your mobile phone, your sales teams can concentrate on what they do best — selling. As a result, construction companies can manage their business by leveraging important relationships. That’s a much better plan than simply reacting to calls or emails.
CRMs also integrate with other useful and productive cloud-based tools from email, communication to marketing software. As a result, construction companies have the ability to interact with customers in convenient and efficient ways.
3. Improve the Customer Service Experience
When customer information is readily available, your entire team can handle all types of interactions in the right manner. Having client data when you need it is critical to a better experience.
A CRM also gives you accountability. When you lack the tools to manage customer relationships — customers are going to fall through the cracks. As you grow your business, naturally your customer base will too, and a CRM can ensure no one is left behind. Anyone who should follow up with a customer will be notified. A CRM also has a simple way to assign responsibilities to your team. If tasks aren’t met, you can know what went wrong and who needs to improve. With the right information, you’ll have a way to improve your processes.
4. Improve the Sales Process
A CRM is the best way to either create a sales process or improve the sales process you have in place already. Your sales team needs a consistent approach to bidding and winning work to truly succeed. The sales process typically falls into these buckets:
- Qualifying Leads — Identifying the scope, timeframes and decision maker
- Bids — Pricing and takeoffs
- Proposal development — Estimates and proposals
- Negotiation — Finalizing contracts
- Close — Closing deals
With a CRM, you can know about each part of your sales cycle and work on improving your process to close faster or boost your win rate. As you improve your sales process you’ll get rid of manual processes, automate the mundane and save time so you can focus on selling and work on building relationships.
5. Make Informed Decisions
CRMs contain key information about any deals or opportunities in your sales pipeline including everything from the value of an opportunity, key dates about a bid, construction details, associated tasks and all involved players from architects to subcontractors.
When you have access to historical and interactive data and can actually pull that data into a report to analyze opportunities, you can make informed business decisions. With deeper insight into your business, your sales strategy will be much more effective.
With the right CRM, construction companies can impress customers with more than the jobs they complete out in the field. When a sales team can manage their relationships, build their pipelines, stay organized and make informed decisions, the entire company benefits in what has become an increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace.
JP Werlin is the CEO and co-founder of PipelineDeals CRM. Based in Seattle, Werlin is a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with sales teams across a breadth of industries to build game-changing relationships. Today more than 18,000 users in 100 countries use PipelineDeals to gain visibility into their sales pipeline to accelerate opportunities and close more deals.