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CRM For The Construction Industry – Lifting The Fog – Part 1

I was recently asked, “What is the best CRM for my construction company”?

Answering that question, without asking some qualifying questions would be similar to answering the following, “I don’t feel well, what medicine should I take?”

CRM, it’s good for what ails you if it is applied in a way that addresses your symptoms.

Managing construction data has been the foundation of my entire career. As a result of that, I have been involved with CRM implementation for companies with more than 200 users down to a small local general contractors with three users. Each engagement is like a fingerprint, unique.

There are so many great systems available and often CRM can been seen as a ‘Silver Bullet’. Hint: It’s not and never is.

My reply to questions such as this is to use an exercise parallel… “Buying a Treadmill does not get you in shape. However, its continued and effective use can.”

The same with CRM with an emphasis on ‘continued and effective use’. Getting to ‘continued and effective use’ is typically where the fog rolls in.

A few questions that will help steer one towards a better solution:

Q: Do you subscribe to a lead generation service such as F.W. Dodge, CMD, CDC News, etc.?

Q: Who will ‘champion’ this initiative towards its ‘continued and effective’ use?

Q: Will you need to be able to attach more than one company to an opportunity?

Q: Do you need to capture this? Why do you think this is important?

Q: Do you understand the difference between a ‘Lead’ and an ‘Opportunity/Potential’?

Q: Will you be importing data from Excel, BST, Unity, Outlook or another system?

Q: Is your company large enough to be concerned with territorial standards?

Q: What are you top three goals in implementing CRM?

Q: Who will serve as the company champion for the system and lead the charge for data standards, best practices and maintenance?

… and many more.

Having answers to the above will guide one towards a system that is better suited for a company’s specific needs. Selecting possible vendors, vetting vendors, short listing vendors, getting a purchased signed, assigning roles for a corporate wide implementation and managing data standards can be the easy part.

No CRM? Is your CRM gathering dust? What are you waiting for? Often times, when pressed to provide an answer, some companies don’t have the foggiest idea.

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