Construction CRM Software What It Is and How It Works

What Is Construction CRM Software

Construction CRM software stores and manages customer-related information such as contacts, client companies, leads, opportunities, proposals, won and lost deals. More advanced CRM systems make the customer-centric data readily available and easily accessible. They organize and present this data to the user in a in a way that aligns with the construction sales pipeline. They also help users make informed decisions and even predict where the best chances of winning a bid are.

In construction, client relationships and trust are most important when it comes to winning deals. Most often, building owners, developers, and general contractors award projects based on the relationship they have with a construction firm. Client-centric information gives construction firms competitive advantage. Construction CRM Software is what helps these companies manage their client information. Let’s see how.

Sales Process Differences in Construction

Sales Process in Most Industries

Construction CRM Software - Sales Process in most industries

Companies in most industries operate with a 2-step sales process. A lead ideally turns into an opportunity for a product or service you deliver. For example, if you had a web design firm, you may get a contact form submission from a potential client inquiring about pricing. At that point you submit your proposal to them and follow up to close the deal. The more competitive the price and the more you follow-up with that potential client, the higher your chances to close the deal.

For this sales process, a contact-centric CRM system fits and works perfectly

Sales Process in Construction

The construction sales process is a more complex, 4 or 5-stage process, and differs between general contractors and sub-contractors.

Sub-contractor Sales Process

Sub-contractor Sales Process - Construction CRM Software

Subcontractors first form and nurture relationships with general contractors (GCs). When trust is established, they will start receiving ITBs or Invitations to bid for various projects. Sub-contractors submit their proposals. A lot of times to multiple GCs for the same opportunity. They track these bids to establish the status of that opportunity. After a few follow-ups, they’ll find out whether they won or lost the opportunity.

For the sub-contractor sales process, a construction CRM software that is centered around the opportunity is needed.

General Contractor Sales Process

Construction CRM Software fits the General Contractor Sales Process

On the other hand, the construction sales process for GCs is a 5-stage one. It starts with a rumor or hearsay about a proposed project. These rumors are tracked, sometimes for years, before they turn into opportunities. But once an opportunity presents itself, the general contractor sends invitations to bid (ITBs) to their network of sub-contractors. Once they have the sub-contractors’ proposals in hand, they determine their budget for the project and send their proposal to the client (the building owner/developer). At this point, the GCs’ sales efforts are geared strictly towards winning the project.

For the general contractor sales process, a construction CRM software that is centered around the opportunity is needed.

Construction CRM Software Must-Have Features

What we’ve outlined so far is that any construction company can benefit from using CRM software. But not just any CRM. The system must have all the client relationship management features like other CRMs, but it also has to be opportunity-centric and fit the construction sales process. In other words, construction companies need construction CRM software. Here are the must-have features:

Client Management

Contact and client pages that show all current opportunities with that client, past projects, winning rate, types of projects that a client is mostly involved in, areas where they operate, and much more. This information is crucial to client relationship management. A well-designed construction CRM software makes client data available anywhere, any time.

Opportunity Management

A clear view into your pipeline. You can immediately identify the opportunities that you need to bid or the ones that you need to follow-up on. You can delegate work across your sales team with opportunity-specific tasks and make sure that no opportunity goes to waste. Calendar integration would also be helpful here.

Proposal Automation

Proposal writing is one of the biggest time wasters in our industry. And that is because we rely on past proposals, and copy/paste accordingly. Saving time with proposals based on templates and the correct client information is a must. A senior estimator who is preparing and sending out about 10 proposals a day says, “I save at least 1 hour a day with our construction CRM.’ And that is just in the proposal writing and sending process! A great construction CRM software makes proposal creation a breeze.

Multiple Client Bids for 1 Opportunity

This feature specifically helps commercial sub-contractors. An opportunity-centric CRM is another must-have for sub-contractors but, even more so, the ability to track multiple bids and their status for the same opportunity. Then, and only then can you follow up with the right client at the right time.

Follow-up Automation

Most estimators and salespeople tell us they feel like they don’t follow up enough because they don’t have the time. This is where scheduling and automation come in very handy. Starting with a follow-up calendar that shows you which opportunities you need to follow-up on. Continuing with automation tools to send out follow-up emails to the right contacts at the right time. And… finishing up with a system that automatically updates your records and notes, taking the burden of administrative work out of the sales process.

A Central Repository

All too often, construction companies do business from spreadsheets or multiple systems. We all know how it goes: Search accounting system for job number to find client -> go to spreadsheet -> see all contacts from that company -> go to email -> and so forth. With a central repository of necessary data at your fingertips anytime and anywhere, you are always on top of the sales pipeline.

Reporting, Analytics, Forecasting

It’s a fact that nothing improves the decision-making process better than having the right data at your disposal when you need it. Let’s take the decision to bid a client for a project for example. The client bid winning rate, pre-approval status, your past project experience with that client, all factor into your decision. Construction CRM software captures and reports on all the important data to aid your decision-making process. Reporting and analytics also help you identify which projects are most profitable, the locations where you win more work, and which clients give you the most work. Forecasting will show you where to concentrate your efforts.

Best Construction CRM Software

iDeal CRM is a Construction CRM Software built by construction professionals for construction. It fits the construction sales process to a ‘T’. All the features of this CRM system are designed specifically for the construction industry. You can register an account and see for yourself what a construction CRM software can do for your company.

iDeal CRM Features Built for Construction

iDeal Pipeline Board to Manage Bid Activity

Here are a few of the features that make iDeal CRM a great pipeline management software for construction:

iDeal CRM Pricing

What also sets iDeal Construction CRM apart from competition is the full-featured free account. So if you’re looking for a sales management software free of charge, iDeal CRM is the solution for you. This way you can test drive all the features at your own pace without incurring any fees or obligations.

Once you decide to move forward with iDeal CRM, you have multiple subscription options including a subscription at $0 cost. The subscriptions have different pricing depending on the amount of users.

Further Reading

Further Reading