Did you know that there were more than 900,000 construction establishments in the United States in the first quarter of 2023?
The construction industry will always be needed because it accounts for nearly $2.1 trillion worth of structures every year. If your construction business isn’t booming, you might just need help finding more clients.
Outbid your competition with effective construction CRM software that helps manage client relations and other day-to-day construction tasks.
You need to be in the market for CRM platforms. Keep reading to learn what to look for.
Consider Your Needs
Before you start comparing the different construction CRM software options out there, it’s important to have a firm grasp of what your needs are. Some of the common reasons construction companies opt for CRM are:
- Lead generation
- Customer support
- Storing client data
- Outdated management software
If your business has never used CRM software before, you might be looking to move away from the manual way of doing things. Finding a robust program that is easy to use and that can track important information is a great place to start.
Read more about small business CRM now.
In short, make sure you know what your pain points are before dedicating time to your search. Once you know this, you can narrow down your list of options.
Ease of Use
When you start your search, ease of use should be at the top of your mind.
Multiple employees will need to access this software during a project. These employees are likely to be of different ages and have different levels of technological knowledge.
Implementing a CRM platform that is easy to use for everyone is critical to getting the most out of the software. A construction CRM software with a steep learning curve will pose challenges and be difficult for people to use.
When you hire new employees, you’ll have to train each of them to use this software. A complex program will take a lot longer to learn and drain important productivity hours.
CRM software should help your construction business run like a well-oiled machine while saving time and money. Choosing a program that takes a lot of commitment to learn takes up resources that you could use to build your backlog of work.
These are all reasons why ease of use is one of the most important, if not the most important, features that a construction business should consider when choosing a program.
Quick and Easy Access
Moving construction data to a centralized CRM platform can do so much to improve sales and overall management. However, it’s important to select a platform that can be accessed on various devices.
We’re an on-the-go society and the construction sector is no different. If some of your employees are in the office while others are on a construction site, they should all still be able to access the CRM platform.
Choose a CRM program that you can use on computers, smartphones, and tablets. A lot of great options come with a mobile app that makes pulling up your construction information quick and easy.
CRM solutions are commonly hosted in the cloud because it is preferred by many construction companies. This is not only an easy option, but it is more affordable than an onsite solution that requires investing in hardware and IT support.
If you want to manage your CRM yourself, you might choose an onsite solution. This is going to require higher upfront costs and support, but the added control over data without relying on external parties might be worth it for you.
Choosing a cloud-based CRM vs. an onsite CRM program goes back to considering your business needs. 62.4% of construction companies use mobile devices for daily reporting in the field, so cloud-based CRMs are common.
If there isn’t a way to use your software on different devices, you might want to consider a different CRM option for your company.
A robust CRM program should integrate with other key platforms with ease. For example, you’ll want to choose software that connects with contact management.
To achieve conversations with current and prospective clients, a CRM platform should integrate seamlessly with your key communication channels.
If you are communicating with a client over Outlook, Gmail, etc., you’ll want to carry the information over to the CRM.
Otherwise, when you are looking through the archives, you’ll have to search through various platforms to find the conversation you are looking for. This is important because emails are a common way of pursuing a bid.
After all, CRM stands for customer relationship management, so it should be adequate in helping you manage customer relationships.
The bottom line is that any CRM platform you use should not work as a standalone program. Make sure the software integrates with other programs you use daily.
Sales Pipeline Management
The right CRM for businesses will provide you with visibility into your sales funnel and sales pipeline. This enables you to track leads and note where your possible clients are in the sales journey.
A clear visual overview of the sales pipeline makes it easy to see which deals you should focus on over others. You can also optimize sales activities by seeing which stages are likely to lead to a collapsed deal.
If you continuously lose a deal in a certain stage, you’ll be able to make a change in your process and take different approaches to reach success.
You won’t have complete control of whether or not a deal will close, but you can control the tasks your employees carry out, such as:
- Making phone calls
- Sending emails
- Following up with clients
The CRM you choose should remind you when it’s time to touch base with a customer to avoid losing out on a potential project.
Sales managers benefit from increased visibility into the effectiveness of their activities. From there, they can identify weak points and create strategies for improvement.
In addition to keeping track of project quotes and contracts, CRM programs can help your construction business maintain compliance by handling data correctly.
Tracking and Reporting Capabilities
The best CRM software will help your construction business make better data-driven decisions. Robust CRM reporting can lead to informed decision-making when it comes to leads, project management team tasks, and client follow-ups.
Using data analytics, you can track your current progress and determine whether a new project is worth pursuing. You’ll be able to assess work that you didn’t win in the bidding process and what factors likely led to this decision.
A CRM should clearly show you helpful data in an easily digestible format. For instance, you can see what your top-performing team members are doing differently and decide if you need to change your sales training process.
A CRM with a sales dashboard will provide your team with a snapshot of valuable information, including the KPIs that matter most to your organization.
CRM software can assess which construction markets are booming and which ones are dwindling to help you figure out which areas your business should enter.
Over time, you’ll be able to see your revenue growth and how you can keep meeting your business goals. You’ll get real-time data that allows you to see where adjustments can be made for the benefit of the company.
Analyzing available data can help you figure out what you have done in the past that works or doesn’t work, but the data is also beneficial for forecasting the future. This can help your team know what to expect during certain times of the year.
Metrics and comprehensive reporting lead to better decision-making and growth. If you can’t track your efforts through CRM software, it’s going to be hard to know where you can improve.
Because CRM software is focused on customer relationship management, providers should always have customer history as a feature.
This gives construction companies the ability to view a customer’s entire history in one location. It involves maintaining a list of bids so that you can deliver high-quality services to each client.
A shared list of customers will help you maintain strong relationships because no matter who answers the phone, they will have the information they need.
The construction industry is collaborative so having all of your contacts in one place will help on any given program.
A CRM with everyone’s contact information makes it easier to identify who is needed for a certain task. Contractor contacts will be included in a CRM program as well because you will need inspectors, subcontractors, and architects.
Value for Price
You know that running a construction company takes a lot of investing, and investing in a CRM program is no different. This overhead operation expenditure can maximize your return on investment if you choose the right program.
Keep in mind that the lowest-priced CRM software doesn’t always equate to poor quality and vice versa. Just because a CRM program is up there in price, doesn’t mean it’s going to provide your construction business the quality you desire.
When weighing the pros and cons of each CRM software, you have to do your due diligence to decide if you will be getting a good value for the price.
If improving client relationships is your biggest reason for adopting a CRM program, you might not need all of the extra features that come with a higher-priced CRM program.
If you want help in various areas, consider the programs with more features because you will get the most value out of them.
There are CRM programs that help a business during the preconstruction, building, scheduling, and post-construction stages, in addition to managing client contacts.
A construction CRM platform should accept credit card payments and ACH payments. These convenient payment options with help you simplify the payment process and get paid faster
Some CRMs can send users invoices through an online portal link. This makes it easier for customers to view their bills and pay online and may lead to clients always paying on time.
The top advantage of a CRM that offers payment services is a reduced risk of payment process errors. Sales teams won’t have to manually process payments and can avoid taking multiple steps to reach the end goal.
These features can also eliminate the need for employees to have to access accounting software while they are out in the field on a construction site.
Case Studies and Trials
With your shortlist of potential CRM solutions, you can further narrow them down by looking at a provider’s website. An ideal provider should have case studies and experience working with construction companies similar to yours.
There are general CRM providers that have successfully worked with other construction companies.
If one CRM provider looks promising, see if you can request a demo to get a feel of the features and how using the solution would look during day-to-day construction operations.
There are a lot of cloud solutions that come with a free trial period so that your entire team can check out the CRM before making a final decision.
You don’t want to leave your employees to figure out construction technology on their own. It’s important to provide your salesforce with the training and resources they need to successfully understand a CRM program.
Let them familiarize themselves with the features and allow them to ask questions on how to effectively use it for specific construction business requirements.
Some CRM providers offer training so that you and your employees receive clear instructions on implementing a new program.
Choosing the Best Construction CRM Software
Choosing the best construction CRM software might look different for your business. This is because choosing the right program is going to depend on your company’s needs, not what others are doing.
Before you begin your search, know what areas you want to improve in to have a better idea of what you are looking for.
At Alkries LLC, we have the software you need to automate your construction business. Our CRM software is an all-in-one sales and marketing system that can manage contacts, capture leads, and save time and money.
Get started today by scheduling a demo!