What is a CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management and often involves a process or platform for managing the customer life cycle. Businesses implement a CRM process to track customer purchases, organize lead conversion efforts, and track prospective interest in the product or service.
In residential construction, builders + remodelers can leverage a CRM platform to manage leads and land more projects. CRMs make it easier for companies to complete tasks like scheduling a client meeting or following up with a client over the phone. In a CRM, tasks can be automated to make the sales process more efficient and less time consuming.
Why are CRM systems important in residential construction?
In the chaos of building projects, it’s easy for builders + remodelers to forget they also have a business to run. When builders are busy juggling job sites and coordinating with subcontractors, it’s normal for them to lose track of new prospects. At the end of the day, it’s just as important for a builder to keep their sales pipeline full as it is for them to complete high-quality projects. Without new customers, the business collapses.
The innovative builders + remodelers who adopt a CRM system end up with more time to strategically engage with customers. A CRM system keeps a building company in tune with their sales process even when the stress of the building process takes over. In a CRM, a building company can compile a categorized list of contacts to follow each lead as they enter their sales funnel. An organized and well thought-out CRM process leads to higher conversions and more sales.
How do builders + remodelers track contacts and leads?
1. Manual Methods
As some say, “There’s no school like the old school.” Many builders + remodelers run their businesses straight from a personal smartphone or laptop. Naturally, some builders use the same contact list for both their personal life and their business. The simplicity of this approach is attractive, especially for leaner operations. No complicated software to learn or special tools to acquire. A simple notepad alongside that ringing telephone captures messages and new leads quickly and without hassle -- put that message on a 2x4 and it’s even guaranteed to not blow away. However, for a company working on more than one project at a time, this approach is confusing, inefficient, and can result in lost sales. With this method, a builder or remodeler has to keep everything in their head or keep careful track of those pieces of paper. Then there’s ensuring each prospective client goes through all the required prerequisites from scheduling meetings to discuss designs to talking budget.
2. CRM Software
Generic CRM software is very helpful for tracking leads and generating sales. Even though these platforms are not specialized for construction, apps like Monday.com and Hubspot help small businesses engage with prospects. From spreadsheet tools that store plugged in leads all the way to CRM powerhouses such as Hubspot or SalesForce, builders and remodelers accomplish important lead tracking functions. This is only one piece of the puzzle, however, as these tools often drop off once the project starts. Many of the discussions started at the beginning inform the build, so having to reference several tools to find answers causes delays and risks miscommunication.
3. Integrated Construction Management Tools
In order to compete at the highest level of the residential construction industry, builders + remodelers use integrated construction management tools to keep every part of their building process connected. In programs like CoConstruct, builders + remodelers track, manage, and communicate with their leads in the same platform they manage active projects. Moreover, CoConstruct also operates as a financial management platform so builders can send their clients estimates and proposals directly from the system. In short, the software comes to play a vital role in a builder’s approach to sales, bidding, estimating, scheduling, and much more.