Evaluating sales and marketing software is like redesigning a website – no one wants to do it; however, every few years the process is necessary to stay current, evolve with customer needs and support a company’s growth strategy. One widely overlooked software purchase in the construction industry is an integrated sales and marketing automation platform, or a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. An integrated CRM serves as an organization’s single source of truth for customers, prospects, opportunity data, and more. It’s a marketer’s dream for understanding the customer journey and has the power to create higher producing customer-first teams.
Why CRM’s Bring Significant Value
If you work in construction management and would like to understand the benefits of a CRM, software review websites like Capterra or G2Crowd are great places to start. These websites offer insight from real-life users and the ability to compare multiple platforms.
Another resource is our podcast episode on Technology & Construction: Have You Overlooked the Power of a CRM?. Here are the top five highlights:
- Operations vs Sales vs Marketing – Construction companies tend to focus heavily on their operations. As a result, software purchases center around estimating and workload tracking. The last thing leadership, commonly made up of engineers, may think about is how to grow their business through an integrated sales and marketing approach. While the great divide between sales and marketing exists across almost every industry, in construction, it’s important to be mindful that the gap between operations and sales and marketing can be even more significant.
- Digital Marketing is “New” – In construction, a small-to-mid-size marketing department may be made up of one or two individuals who are typically responsible for providing logos, planning events, posting social media updates, and coordinating RFPs. While these tasks are important, engaging with customers based on their digital preferences and preferred frequency to push them further down the sales funnel is a new way of thinking. And may require a lot of internal education.
- Find a Champion – Find an executive or high-level manager that understands the importance of an integrated sales and marketing automation software and will champion your efforts. Work together to gain the support of your leadership team.
- Show the Cost Savings – Yes, that’s right, an integrated CRM will save you money. Not only will your financial projections be more accurate, but you may also be able to hold off on hiring the business development rep (BDR) you’ve been thinking about. When you compare the cost of an integrated CRM to a BDR, the software is much less expensive. The “smaller” investment will yield a much higher, more immediate result. When your team references one system of record, it’s easier to see where the bottlenecks are and act. Now, everyone feels responsible for helping clients achieve their construction goals.
- Determine Success Benchmarks – Define measurable goals and create a detailed plan (with timelines) on how you will achieve them. Is it to replace an outdated CRM or do away with Excel documents used to currently track your opportunities? Is it to send customer emails on topics they consented to receive updates on? Or would you like 100% usage by a certain date and time? Either you or your CRM onboarding partner can help you outline a plan and not only meet but exceed your goals.