What They Are and Why They’re Important
CRMs, or Customer Relationship Management tools, are becoming more popular than ever in the construction and contracting industries. This trend is due to the wide accessibility of digital technology and smart phones. It’s also a result of the number of contractors getting serious about refining their back-office and project management processes. CRM’s may seem overwhelming at first glance, but they are valuable tools in business and customer service.
There are many CRMs on the market today who cater specifically to the unique needs of contractors and tradespeople. A few of the more popular systems are BuilderTrend®, CoConstruct®, Service AutoPilot®, and CoreCon®. We see more and more of our clients turning to tools like these to help them stay organized, productive, and profitable. The added bonus? These tools connect with QuickBooks Online®, so we’re able to link the Apparatus Operations Program™ to our client’s CRMs to stream their financial data to their CRM in real-time. Talk about efficient!
Robust contractor’s CRMs all share some common features. These features are worth comparing and testing, if possible, when shopping around for the best management tool for your company.
A pre-sales feature is important to contractors because it contains templatized tools to streamline your automated email marketing and your estimating, bidding, and invoicing. Most CRMs offer free branding options, too, so you can brand all customer-facing documents with your company’s logo and information.
Project management tools are designed to improve efficiency and productivity. Common features include scheduling, task tracking, and timesheet management. You can also coordinate field visits and let team members know which jobsite they’re supposed to be at and when.
These features allow you to manage job costing and give you the ability to track customer payments, project expenses, and change orders more with financial data pulled directly in from your QuickBooks Online books. This is especially helpful for contractors who don’t have the time to create their own reports…everything is easily accessible in the CRM dashboard and populated on the backend by your bookkeeper.
The client management features of these CRMs allow you to manage your customer lists, but also give you the capability to have each client assigned a portal with their own unique login. This simplifies communications because all correspondence occurs within the system and multiple parties can participate. You’ll be able to easily share documents, receipts, and project updates. Some systems also make it easy for clients to leave reviews and offer feedback on completed jobs.
Overall, the biggest benefit of using a construction CRM system is that it was designed specifically for contracting companies. Just like Apparatus, these CRM companies are taking the needs of contractors seriously. They provide productive solutions that, until now, have not been available.
If you have any questions when shopping for your CRM or want more information on how we integrate our bookkeeping and back-office services with these useful new tools, contact us here.
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