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 customer, prospect, opportunity data, and more. Not to mention it’s a marketers’ dream for understanding the customer journey and how to better meet their individual needs.
Considerations Before Pitching a CRM
If you’re in sales or marketing and would like to pitch your executive team on why a CRM would bring significant value to your organization, 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 Bush Construction podcast episode on Technology & Construction: Have You Overlooked the Power of a CRM?. Here are the top five highlights from the recording:
- 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 projects 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 obsolete CRM or do away with Excel documents used to currently track your opportunities? Is it to be able to send customers emails about 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 then crush your goals.
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