In today’s construction industry, profitability and competition represent the name of the game for business continuity. Due to the competitive nature of the field of construction, contractors must maintain excellent relationships with their prospects, clients and team. However, many contractors don’t give much importance to each of these groups due to the complexity of some projects and, especially, a lack of organization. Often, client relations are forgotten in the interest of executing a project. In other cases, it’s some tasks at work sites that are carelessly performed.
The most thriving construction businesses have already implemented a CRM for managing their projects. A CRM can help you tackle many challenges that you’ll encounter as a contractor over the course of your projects. It’s an essential tool for managing the different aspects of your projects, all while boosting your efficiency—and, therefore, your profitability.
If you’re a contractor looking for a CRM for construction, here are 7 tips to help you choose the right software.
Tip #1: Choose your CRM and integration team
We know that integrating a CRM can be intimidating at first glance. However, once you’ve start using it, you’ll quickly realize that it’s both simple and user-friendly. When choosing your software, make sure your vendor offers you all the assistance and technical support that you need to use your new tool properly.
Having a team of professionals at your side is essential not only for using your CRM properly, but also for integrating it with the other software that you already use. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is compatible with many software programs that are specifically designed for the field of construction. Furthermore, if you have an Outlook email account, or if you already use Sharepoint or Microsoft Project for your work sites, Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrates seamlessly with all these applications and can help you attain your work and profitability objectives.
Tip #2: CRM software must be able to follow you everywhere and help you keep in contact with your team
We know that, as a contractor, you need to stay mobile. Sometimes, you’re sitting at your desk working on plans; other times, you’re meeting directly with a client to go over the options available to them. Of course, you’re also needed on the work site to ensure that everything complies with regulations.
Wherever you are, your CRM must be able to follow you. Additionally, your team is just as mobile as you are. Thanks to the integration of Teams with Microsoft Dynamics, you can keep in contact with all your team members. Since the software is suited to all platforms, it can be accessed from any smartphone, desktop computer or tablet. This makes communication among your team members both fluid and intuitive.
Tip #3: Choose a CRM for contractors so that you can finally work with a centralized, consolidated database
Given that effective communication is the key to successfully completing a project, implementing a CRM is essential for seamless data flow and sharing in the field of construction. A good CRM must provide you with a centralized, consolidated database. With access to all your client information via a single tool, you’ll not only save time when searching for information, you’ll also significantly minimize the risk of poor communication and, therefore, error. It couldn’t be easier to enter your clients’ various ideas, along with the dates and details of your discussions, using a CRM designed for contractors. All your supplier contacts are listed within the same software so you can delegate your orders more easily when the time comes.
Tip #4: In construction, as in other fields, CRM provides you with powerful automation tools
It’s well-known that certain tasks relating to project management are tedious and repetitive. You’ve likely already identified them in your various processes. Equipped with good CRM software, you can easily automate these tasks. With a CRM, you can strengthen your client relations thanks to automated reminders and follow ups. Not only will you save time and increase your efficiency, you’ll also boost your business’ profitability. For example, you can automatically re-send invoices that remain unpaid for 30 days to your clients.
Tip #5: Use a CRM to facilitate decision making
Once you’ve set up your CRM properly and entered all the data from your work site correctly, you’ll get a taste of the full potential of your new software. For a contractor in construction, a CRM is a valuable asset for improving your decision making. The strength of this type of software lies in its analytical capacity. A CRM lets you view all your work-related data in real time and generates solid reports that facilitate your decision making. Many of our clients who work in construction report that their work methods have changed since they’ve implemented a CRM—thanks to the analytical capacity of their software, they have greater control over their decision making.
Beyond sharing and organizing data, implementing a CRM as a work tool makes it easier to create reports. These analytical grids give you a brief, yet real overview of budgets, advertising campaign results or production deadlines.
As we just discussed, a CRM allows you to manage more data on your construction project. This control will significantly boost your profitability. Thanks to the analytical capacity of your new tool, you’ll be able to instantly calculate your profitability index. Hidden fees will become a thing of the past. There won’t be any nasty surprises when submitting your work to your client: it will be completed on time, and, above all, you’ll make your share of the profit, as you will have stuck to your budget since day one.
Tip #6: Customization is the most essential factor to get the most out of your CRM for construction
We often hear that CRM software is complicated to use. Most often, this is because the tool is not customized to its full potential. When choosing a CRM for your construction projects, remember: the software needs to work for you, not the other way around. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there are many customization tools to choose from. Our team can assist you right from the start to customize it for your business, based on the needs of your industry and your field of expertise.
Depending on your business’ size and activities, you won’t necessarily need the same modules as your competitors. As a contractor, you know that an over-loaded toolbox is heavy and cumbersome. You need the right toolbox for your work site—the same goes for your CRM software!
Tip #7: Simplify your project management and tracking
With a CRM for your construction projects, you can organize all the information on your leads, prospects and current clients. By putting pipelines to good use, you can precisely pinpoint where to invest your sales efforts based on your prospect’s business potential. All your business development happens in one place; therefore, you won’t waste time searching for the name of the person in charge at your client’s business. Furthermore, thanks to an advanced pipeline system, you know exactly what stage you’re at in your business relationship with your partner.
As project leader, you must be able to manage all aspects of the work site to successfully complete your contract. A CRM for construction such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives you full control over your project management. This type of software allows you to store all your information in the same place, prioritize tasks, manage your budget and, above all, make faster headway at your work site and expand your business more quickly. If you already use Microsoft Project, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a compatible software that will rapidly become your preferred source of project management support.
Gestisoft, your #1 partner for CRM solutions tailored to your needs
At Gestisoft, we offer CRM software solutions that are tailored to your needs. We understand the reality of contractors who work in construction; we’re therefore well-equipped to offer you the best IT tools to meet your needs. Contact our CRM and ERP experts to discuss your work situation and the solutions we can offer you.