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CRM – Eggs Are Good/Not Good For You


Eggs are good for you. Wait, no they aren’t.

The best way to lose weight is watch your fat intake. Actually, the best way is a diet high in fats and protein.

To reduce the national debt, we need to raise taxes. Well, in fact, lowering taxes will increase federal revenues.

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What does any of the above have to do with CRM? Not much except when seeking wisdom on the best CRM for your business, generating corporate acceptance, data standards, dashboard formatting, etc. – you will likely get more than one answer.

Getting input on which CRM package to use, and how to use it, can be a lot like asking someone how they make gumbo…everyone has their favorite recipe.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from asking questions, but remember, what works for a logistics company may not be suitable for a commercial general contractor. What may be vital for an insurance company may not make the short list for an architectural firm.

I recently completed two projects untangling data from two separate CRMs. One client struggled with the temptation of features overkill, while the other was the exact opposite.

You will need to take time in fine-tuning your data input requirements, user-time investment, data-mining best practices and the other important functions of your CRM. However, don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in the details.

Your CRM system doesn’t have to be perfect before you begin implementation. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend prior to launch, until you start using your CRM, you won’t know exactly what works and what doesn’t for your company.

I encourage my CRM clients to remember; there is a reason very few successful software programs stop development at version 1.0. CRM was made to be tweaked and is, if you will, a living organism.

Once you have a good baseline for your CRM, be sure you have a process in place to propose, review, approve and make changes. Your business isn’t static, and your CRM shouldn’t be either.

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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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Subcontractor List: Drywall, Concrete, Business Development…


It is no secret that a commercial general contractor does not handle all the sub-trades with their own W-2 employees. It is also not a secret that architects often hire consulting engineering firms as well. The A/E/C marketplace lives and breathes subcontracting.

With that stated, this post is not about getting pricing for steel, electrical, HVAC, etc., or even proposals for MEP, Structural or Civil Design. I am here to shed some light on the ever-growing subcontractor population of the Sales, Marketing and Business Development consultants.

When I started Construction Market Consultants back in 2001, I began by offering part-time, business development on a retainer basis to several non-competing firms. Each client was fully aware of the other companies I was representing. It was a win for me as I had immediate revenue, and it was a win for my clients as they had someone handing out their business cards at industry and networking events, beating the bushes, and developing a database of targeted, qualified prospects at a fraction of the cost and overhead of a full-time employee.

Part of what I did in my early days ran the gamut from developing collateral materials, logo design, website development, guest blogging, CRM implementation, lead generation, business plans, marketing plans and more. Along the way I developed a network of industry professionals enjoying real, symbiotic relationships.

Allow me a quick pause to share a bit about the name Construction Market Consultants, Inc.

The first part of my career I worked for a company called Construction Market Data, Inc., or as it was known in the A/E/C world, CMD. CMD tracked commercial construction projects from concept through the design, bidding, or contract negotiation, and on through the post-bid and awarding of subcontracts. We took that data, sliced and diced it into a number of products and sold it to just about anyone that had anything to do with a commercial building. Basically, our data served as project leads for our customers.

In 2001, when CMD was sold to Reed Elsevier, I knew the name Construction Market Data was going by the wayside. When I learned I was going by the wayside as well and I decided to hang out my shingle, I wanted to leverage anything I could from the “Construction Market” portion of CMD.

Plus, I was an optimist. I envisioned one day having a huge network of consultants in the construction industry that would be available to help with projects too large, complex and/or time sensitive for just little old me.

When I write about CRM or Business Development, it is not just some guy fondly recalling his salad days, but I write from a player/coach perspective. I continue to do business development daily and I love it. My tenure at CMD afforded me access to the marketing and business development techniques of the largest players in design, construction and manufacturing.

Working with these companies, helping them leverage their data allowed me to develop an appreciation and, dare I say, expertise in CRM unique to the A/E/C industry. Even back in my CMD days, I was a business development consultant but didn’t know it at the time.

I am happy to report that I do have a small circle of consultants I call on for support and assistance. I am also happy to report I am not alone when it comes to offering business development on a contract basis. Contract Business Development is alive and well and has proven to work for Fortune 500 Building Product Manufacturers, National Commercial General Contractors, Architectural Firms, Subcontractors, Technology Companies, and more.

Could it make sense for your company to find a place somewhere in the middle between limited business development and a full-time, six-figure employee? Please note: I am not knocking six-figure Business Development employees – I believe every company should have at least one! But, in the meantime, just know there are options.

If you want to know more, reach out to me. In that small circle I mentioned, I know several people who may be able to help you build new business without breaking the bank.

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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