Backloaders are Like Shoes?! CRM for Construction

by Joanie Hollabaugh

Construction companies purchasing software solutions reminds me of women reluctantly buying new tires. We know we need them, they’re obviously critical – but we would much rather spendbulldozer-shoes-300x227 money on something else. ANYTHING else (like shoes, lots of shoes)! So while you may be yearning for a shiny new backloader, you should really be thinking about new business-critical software.

Your company has most likely invested in a digital takeoff system, estimating software, job costing and project management software, and of course an accounting solution. These systems are very “visible” to project success; however, it may be time to consider a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

Let’s make another assumption that you’ve reduced staff and resources during the recession. You’ve been hanging on for dear life, and are cautiously optimistic now that the construction industry is recovering. How do you do business differently now? How can you manage your pipeline without costly overhead?

Pipeline Visibility

Back in the good old days, most companies kept track of RFPs, bids, and sales progress on generic spreadsheets. Most likely, that information was not shared between departments, and there could potentially be a huge disconnect between departments. Customer details were mostly never documented – how big the company is, what segment or vertical it serves, and who the personnel is, and what job they perform. It’s all up there in the owner’s or sales person’s head – not easily accessible by the entire company!

Customer Relationship Management, (or as Sage likes to re-brand it “Construction Relationship Management”) can be a game changer in the new NOW. CRM is much more than a contact library or a lead tracker; it’s a business development tool that standardizes the progress from the first bid to long-time loyalty.

For construction companies, it’s just like job progress. You want to know what stage the job is in, who’s working on it, and what comes next. When will it close, and when will you profit from it? CRM can do that for you, by managing your relationships with prospects and clients, giving you visibility into your pipeline (what stage it’s in, who’s working on it and what comes next). CRM establishes a measurable marketing and sales methodology, just like your run on your jobs. Nice, right?

Sage CRM is affordable, easy to install, and ‘talks’ to your Sage 300 CRE software. No big overhead, no extra hiring – just your company easily sharing information on your customers and your pipeline – by managing relationships! See how Sage CRM helped RAM Construction Services capture historical data in this video.

Ready to try on some new shoes or test drive that backloader? Talk to Ed Ledgerwood ( | 480-423-8300.) Let LAI help you plan your company’s growth in the new now!