CRM for Construction – A Competitive Edge

Construction software adoption trends

The third annual 2014 Construction Technology Report by JBKnowledge (in partnership with the CFMA and Texas A & M’s Construction Science Department) was very optimistic in the terms of mobile adoption and cloud shutterstock_194977235migration for the  Construction industry as a whole.

And while the survey disclosed that estimating takeoff, accounting, project management and scheduling software are rapidly replacing spreadsheet/manual practices, there is one outstanding area of business management that has nary a scratch in adoption: CRM.

CRM shows little adoption

The Report states, “Similar to 2013, the survey showed little to no adoption of CRM software in the construction industry for tracking and nurturing project leads, managing prospect information and keeping up with previous or current clients. While custom solutions increased from 2013 to 2014, so did manual processes.”

In an industry that spends 25% less on construction technology compared to other industries, you can bet that the technology budget is allocated to job-related and accounting software. Furthermore, the industry as a whole does not contain a sales or marketing team within the corporate structure. You may find “business development” role in an occasional org chart, but it’s an educated guess that marketing and development are absorbed into the owners or principals’ job description.

Can CRM be a differentiator?

Referring back to the Construction Technology Report, there is an editorial nugget regarding CRM and the potential for revenue growth through its use (our bolded text):

Few CRM solutions exist specifically for construction businesses, and so contractors are attempting to manage client and vendor relationships through other solutions, like project management software, or through an internal system of spreadsheets and email. The increase of CRM software in the construction industry could revolutionize business development and empower all professionals in contact with prospects or clients to monitor relations and ultimately drive future revenue. The old adage comes to mind here “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

As shown below, Sage is the category leader for Accounting software for construction. An earlier JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report claims that “the vast majority of construction companies are using software that doesn’t communicate with their other programs.”

CRM-construction-accounting-software

What if you could integrate construction software and CRM?

With a unified source of information, your construction company could not only perform in the moment (with your current investment) but plan the future (with CRM functionality). Every construction company knows the tremendous value in being able to adjust for both field conditions and Earned Value performance – but who is leveraging the value in prospects and customers as RELATIONSHIPS? Why are they not being mined as significant revenue sources?

Sage CRM for construction will empower you to accelerate your business growth. From tracking the bid process to reviewing pipeline reports, CRM creates single-view visibility across the business. How do you start?

CRM planning

Like any other business software investment, you will need a success plan. This means the principals need to be on board, goals are broadcast across business units, and resources must be allocated and trained.

Pre-project

Assuming you don’t have a sales team, you probably don’t want the person managing RFPs to initiate an introduction with the prospect (different skill sets, right?). Following bid acceptance, there will most likely be a handoff to the owners or leaders in the company to leverage relationships and connections they already have to close the sale. But SOMEONE needs to put the DATA into the system, create and SOMEONE needs to own the RELATIONSHIP (again, not typically the same person). Then you can take advantage of all the workflows and efficiencies CRM has to offer. Don’t miss this crucial step to create an in-house CRM evangelist who can help design how the system can work according to your company’s roles and rules.

Post-project

You will have the opportunity to deliver exceptional customer service throughout the project lifecycle and afterwards with Sage CRM. Project and service teams can update customer records that can become opportunities down the road for additional sales, testimonials, and references.

Now, use CRM as a competitive differentiator

A recent Sage survey reported that only 11% of contractors use CRM to build new business! These are just a few ways to get a leg up on the competition:

  • Get an edge on the competition by effectively tracking quotes to win more jobs
  • Be alerted when opportunities to bid are coming up, and act on them quickly
  • Know what’s in your pipeline at any moment
  • Keep track of current and past clients to win repeat business

Want to learn more about CRM software for construction? Email us or call us at 480-423-8300 to speak with a construction expert!