I was asked recently by a new client how using Salesforce.com for Construction gave them an advantage. After giving it some thought I realized that outside of all the powerful tools that Salesforce.com provides, the one big idea that provides real advantage is – getting specified on a project sooner or faster.
Obviously, there are the typical uses of Salesforce.com like managing accounts, contacts, and deals on any device – anywhere, but using Salesforce.com to get spec’d (if that’s a word) is a really big deal.
As I’ve worked with different construction clients over the years I’ve learned that the best sales people work as high up in the specification process as possible. Meaning, if I can get the Architect or Customer to spec my product by name, then I’m much more secure in the deal. Security in this case translates into higher margin and less price pressure than if I’m fighting for the project at the General or Sub-Contractor level.
Granted, the sales cycle may be longer, but I’m learning that more and more clients are moving in this direction and looking for tools to help them manage this process. Salesforce.com, when tailored for construction, gives the sales guy a very powerful way to quickly and easily track where they are in each deal and manage all their key relationships. I realize a lot of reps naturally do this without a “system” but more of our clients see the value of transparently sharing that with the entire team using Salesforce.com. Click here to see our video blog where I talk give an introduction to Construction for Salesforce CRM.
After working with a few clients we added some simple modifications to Salesforce.com to make it much easier to track these relationships and clearly see where we are in the deal and how well we’re managing the spec process. For example, it really matters downstream if our product is spec’d by name or “something comparable” and it’s important to really know how solid a deal is after years of work and expense.
What’s also important, though, is the adoption of the mindset as well. Salesforce.com is not a silver bullet but rather a tool that can help manage and implement a process. The process needs to make sense across the organization and the mindset needs to be adopted and taken seriously.
If you’d like to learn more about using Salesforce.com and you’re in Construction Sales, please feel free to watch the video on our product page or schedule some time with me to talk about your situation by clicking on the button at your top right.