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CRM For The Construction Industry…Lifting The Fog – Part 3


This final installment of our little series has to do with those already using CRM or are very close to implementation. Now that you’ve pulled the trigger and have committed to a brand/system, what next?

While I have no empirical evidence to share, I would say the majority of the CRM systems out there probably offer less than 15% of a difference in features. They all do leads, accounts, contacts, opportunities, tasks, dashboards, email links, allow one to attach documents, make time-stamped notes, set up reminders, etc.

The real challenge in ‘right-sizing’ your CRM is to have an awareness of what exactly you want the system to provide beyond the basics.

One method I suggest is to ‘reverse engineer’ your way towards a solution; focus on functionality as opposed to features. Where exactly is the optimal point to place the fulcrum on this lever called CRM? What do you need your data to tell you?

If you are new to CRM or dusting off a neglected system…here is a list to consider. If you find no value in any of these, at least it may get you thinking of ways you can tweak your current system in order to provide useful and actionable information at the click of a mouse. Currently can your CRM tell you?

— The top five source categories for new opportunities

— The top five source categories for new contacts

— The percentage increase/decrease in the timeline it takes for an opportunity to become a contract

— The percentage increase/decrease in your public to private work

— The best time of day to contact your top prospects

— A breakdown of industry class of your new clients YTD (Subclass)

— A breakdown of industry class of your new prospects last quarter (Subclass)

— A report that gives the CEO a ‘headline update’ of where the company stands with the top 100 clients/prospects in your industry

— The top five reasons why you lost the last 25 opportunities

— Where you stand with a prospect on becoming an approved vendor

— A list of all inactive clients and the amount of time since the last contract

— Win/loss percentage that truly reflects wins vs. losses and not ‘misses’

— A list of all active clients and key contacts, broken down by revenue gained from each, for holiday packages

I could go on and on but these are just a few of the reports I like to create when working on any system, for any client.

In closing, another overlooked item I come across would be the lack of data standards. Without some guidelines, it won’t take long to have a dozen different entries for the same company, duplicate contacts, duplicate opportunities and things can get real ugly, real fast.

If you have any questions, let me know. For a brief, three part series on lifting the CRM, it is quite possible I mist something. (rimshot!)

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Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc. An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, CRM, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

Bobby can be reached at bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com

www.cmconl.com

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CRM For The Construction Industry…Lifting The Fog – Part 2

Which of the following does not belong?

— Lean Process Improvement
— ISO 9001
— The Dodd Frank Bill
— CRM
— IRS Statutes Involving Multi-State Revenue Sources As They Pertain To Personal Income.

If you answered number four, CRM, you are correct! The reason? Most business people enjoy talking about the other four.

Seriously, CRM does seem to have a sense of mystery that reminds me of my ‘pre-sushi’ days. (Raw fish? I’m not going to try that!) People are comfortable with what they know and no matter how much ‘something new’ can help, they are often content with the status quo.

Example: Several years ago I was involved in a project with a construction software developer. The main investor owned a substantial amount of stock in a publicly traded building product manufacturer and was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (I only know this because his story kept coming up in meetings where he was not in attendance.)

Anyway, the investor had a private jet, a huge yacht and everything one would expect for someone with his means. However, his cell phone was the size of a shoe…and this was back in the day when cell phones were small.

One day, on our way to lunch, David said, “Hang on, let me get my cell phone.” At this point in the project, I knew him well enough to say, “You know David, they are making them smaller these days.” To which he replied with smile, “Yes, but I actually know how to work this one!”

Outlook, Excel, Rolodex, index cards in a plastic container are all tools people use to track their contacts and leads. If there is reluctance to embrace CRM, think back to a time when, once you were beyond your initial hesitancy, you enjoyed a substantial benefit from learning something new….like learning to swim.

Don’t let complacency fog your vision. Once you engage CRM, use it to build new business and see how powerful it can be, I believe you will be more excited to talk about it than you would IRS statutes involving multi-state revenue sources as they pertain to personal income.

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Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc. An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, CRM, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

Bobby can be reached at bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com

www.cmconl.com