5 reasons your construction business needs a CRM
The construction industry is based on customer relationships, however the use of technology to manage those relationships is often absent in many construction businesses, despite the fact that many other industries have been implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems for over a decade.
So how does your business currently keep track of leads and customer activity? Perhaps you use an excel spreadsheet, or perhaps you just rely on memory and email. You’ve survived so far without a CRM, so why start now right?
The main reason – scalability! If you are looking to grow your business, you’ll no doubt need more leads to turn into new customers, or you’ll need to grow the business from your existing customers. Either way, as your business grows, activity will grow, and having somewhere to track this will not only improve internal processes and efficiency but will also ensure the best customer experience.
Here are 5 key benefits of using a CRM to manage your sales pipeline and grow your business:
1. Keeping relationships sweet (with customers and with colleagues!)
Using a central system that is accessible by the whole sales and marketing team, as well as the wider business, will avoid duplication of documentation and inputting error, and will also provide visibility on who is responsible for what lead, contact, deal and sale.
If contact owners are associated properly, and activities logged regularly, they’ll be no confusion internally with who has contacted which customer, removing internal friction, whilst reducing unnecessary multiple touch points with the customer.
Furthermore, logging activity and notes appropriately against each lead or contact can help the sales person keep on top of where they left previous conversations, helping to build on their relationships with each future touch point.
It’s a good idea to set out what information should be added to the CRM with every member of staff, so everyone understands what is expected of them in terms of lead and contact information (email, phone number, job title etc), logging sales activities and quality controlling the pipeline. This is often helped by setting KPIs against sales activities such as the number of call connects made, emails sent, deal progression etc, as well as regular weekly updates from sales teams.
Many CRMs will now allow integration with your business’ website, allowing you to track your contacts’ activity and engagement with your site, your social media and email campaigns, giving your team a much better idea of a customer’s interest in your services and products before contact is made, helping to personalise and tailor a conversation to the specific customer.
2. There are free options available!
Many businesses might shy away from using a CRM because they associate with an expense. But did you know there are some great free options out there?
At SWW Marketing we use the HubSpot CRM, partly because we are a HubSpot partner, but also because we have had experience with other platforms including Salesforce, Teamwork and Microsoft Dynamics, and HubSpot is, in our view, by the far the most user friendly tool we’ve found! Plus it is free with unlimited users and up to a million contacts!
There are plenty of free CRM tools out there, but keep an eye out for limits such as number of contacts – it’s important to do the research and see what’s right for your current and future growth plans before setting up - give us a call if you want to chat through the pros and cons of any system, we’d be happy to help!
3. Improving efficiency
A good CRM will allow integration with your email, so that any communication with a customer can automatically be logged against each contact record. This will save your team laboriously trawling through inboxes looking for previous communications.
Furthermore, many CRMs now allow integration with your business’ website, so when a lead or customer fills in the contact form or any other form on your site, the information they provide, such as name, company, job role etc, will automatically update against the contact record in the CRM. This means there will be little effort needed from the sales team prior to contacting a lead.
4. Easy and transparent reporting
A major benefit of a CRM is the reporting function, allowing individuals, teams, managers and business owners to easily keep track of activities and progress in easily digestible dashboards, without the need for complex spreadsheet formulas and pivot tables!
5. Better understanding of the customer journey
Integrating your CRM with your website will provide visibility of the touchpoints your customers have with your business before becoming a customer. A business should understand where their customers are coming from and their journey to making a sale. An integrated CRM will allow you to see:
How they first heard of your business – Google search, social media etc
Which social media posts they’ve engaged with
Pages visited on your website
Emails they’ve read
Links they’ve clicked within an email
How sales are attributed to sales and marketing activities
Understanding this information will help you invest in the activities that are driving sales rather than spending blindly!
If you are interested in implementing a CRM within your business but are unsure where to start, give us a call, we will be happy to talk through options with you!
We’ve had extensive experience working with CRMs including Salesforce, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics and Teamwork, so understand the process of setting up and using systems effectively!