If you think software is annoying, fearful, or frustrating, join the club, I’m right there with you. But there are two kinds of software apps that, if you choose well, can save you significant time and help you make significant money. They are:
- An automated marketing application.
- A CRM.
The main goal, of course, is to make your construction company more profitable. The two keys to doing that, of course, are to get more leads, and to close more sales. Let’s take a look and see how a CRM can make you money.
What’s a “CRM?”
CRM stands for “customer relationship manager.” It’s for sales. And it does just what it says: It helps you manage your customer (or leads) relationships.
As you know, finding and nurturing leads is all about relationships. Building relationships takes time, and you probably won't close that sale until you’ve earned the trust of your potential customer. They’ll want to trust that you’re capable, responsible, safe, and available.
Why Use a CRM?
- According to Salesforce, marketing and sales costs average 15% to 35% of total corporate costs. (Click to Tweet)
- From a sales perspective, CRM systems equip sales people with in-depth knowledge about customers, allowing them to close sales more quickly. -Source: Market Smartly (Click to Tweet)
- Having a CRM streamlines a customer's process from start to finish. -Source: Marketing Weekly (Click to Tweet)
How a CRM Works and What You can Do with It
Let’s look at a few scenarios:
1) Manual entry:
- The phone rings, and on the other end of the phone is a top of the funnel lead asking questions about your products or services. You have a focused, but friendly chat with the lead—step one of a discovery call.
- You create an entry in your CRM of the customer’s information, and then you log some high points of the conversation you just had.
- If another sales person in your organization would be better equipped to handle follow-up, you assign the lead to that person, and send them an email letting him or her know. Then, you schedule the date and time for a follow-up call, and set up a reminder for the sales person.
2) Automated Workflow:
- Your company website has clickable calls-to-actions and “smart” forms on key pages.
- When a website visitor comes along, sees something of interest, clicks on something and fills out a form, an entry is auto-created in your CRM.
- Leads are auto-assigned to sales team members based on their lead status or position in the funnel.
- Follow-up and lead nurturing emails go out automatically.
- When a lead becomes a sales qualified lead (SQL), the CRM automatically triggers an internal email to your sales person alerting him or her of the change in lead status and prompting for a follow up call.
Can you begin to see how using a CRM could help make your construction company more profitable? By streamlining and automating, your company will save time by cutting out wasted effort, and following up with leads will become more effective.
We’ve looked at a tried a great number of CRM systems over the years. We now use Insightly for basic project management tasks. It’s a great all-in-one system and includes a CRM (which we don't use). It’s very affordable, but lacks many of the high-end features I shared above. Customer support is minimal, and the customization options are tricky to use.
For high-end systems, Salesforce has been the choice of many corporations for years. It’s full-featured, and support is great.
What do we use? Hubspot. Why? Hubspot’s CRM is fully integrated into their marketing platform. For one thing, this means you are buying only one platform that does just about everything. There is only one database for both sales and marketing (aka: “Smarketing”—sales + marketing). So, when a lead becomes a customers, it’s easy to implement closed-loop reporting—so you can track things like customer acquisition cost.
And you can create segmented lists to keep nurturing your current customer base using email marketing. Do you think these things will work for you?
What did you think of this article? Please get the discussion moving by sharing in the box below!
Key take-a-ways from this article:
- Good cloud-based software should be a joy to use and not annoying or frustrating.
- Marketing software and a good CRM are the two key tools that will help grow your business more than any other software.
- “Smarketing”—integrating sales and marketing, allows for ease of lead management and allows for closed-loop-reporting.
- For the difference in cost, higher end systems offer far more value and much greater support.