When TrebleHook was created, it was more than just an “out of the blue” idea. Our long-founded sister company, TPM, has been working with Engineering, Construction, and Architecture firms since 1973. This experience (now approaching 50 years) has lent itself greatly to discovering the need for easy-to-use and comprehensive CRM systems.

Sure, there are a wealth of CRM solutions in the market. However, those systems are not geared towards project pursuit out of the box. Long gone are the days when successful AEC firms leverage Monday morning meetings or Microsoft spreadsheets to take control of their project pipeline. In today’s day and age, firms are undergoing their own Digital Transformation.

What is Important to Your Leadership?

Knowing your target audience’s pain points and what they care about is essential for selling anything. In the case of adopting a CRM to use within your firm, your leadership or decision-makers are your audiences. These individuals make your firm’s critical decisions. What is important to your leaders?

Driving More Predictable Revenue and Mitigating Risks

Ultimately, your company’s leaders want to drive more predictable revenue and mitigate risk. When building a case for a CRM system, you must address how the system will make your firm more profitable. When you convince your leadership that moving from paper and pen to a digital, single source of truth environment will significantly improve your business, you are well on your way to Digital Transformation.

But we’re a small business. Is this fancy software really necessary?

No matter the size of your company, if you’re an AEC business, there are certain things you’re doing. Your Business Developers are continually pursuing projects, and your Marketing team is constantly getting proposals out the door. As we will cover later, having a CRM system accelerates your company’s output.

Our approach seems to be working. Why would I spend money on a CRM system?

AEC is undergoing rapid change. The industry is being transformed by technology, and it’s happening quickly. Finding the right digital tools to improve your work can be challenging when profit margins are shrinking for everyone. With TrebleHook, your organization can connect disparate systems and access a single source of truth. Having one environment for all your organization’s business processes cannot be underestimated.

Everyone in the AEC industry can benefit from a CRM made for project pursuit, from General Contractors and Construction Contracting to Architecture and design firms.

Let’s dive into how a CRM platform can address the pain points that you leaders may have.

How an Effective CRM Addresses Critical Pain Points

Time Savings

A CRM system’s Return on Investment (ROI) is largely determined by its ability to save time, especially regarding sales and marketing. An effective CRM system allows Business Developers and sales teams to move quickly and win more business. Further, Marketers can focus on quality collateral instead of gathering project information and customer data, allowing them to deliver impressive proposals faster. CRM systems are a great way to save time and effort when managing project information in AEC firms.

A Focused Effort on Profitable Projects

If you were a decision maker in your firm, wouldn’t you want to focus your limited project teams only on projects that will be profitable to you? For instance, if your firm is working on Project Y, it will mean that you cannot work on Project Z. But what if Project Z was a more profitable project?

AEC-specific CRMs have an impact on the construction bidding process. You’d be kicking yourself for not having the insights into what makes your firm successful. Tracking historical data is the only way to determine your company’s profitability. How hard would it be to track valuable project data without an intuitive system? Spoiler alert: it’s tough and can also become wildly inaccurate, which brings us to our next CRM benefit.

Leveraging Accurate Data to Make Better Decisions

As we just mentioned, being able to pursue profitable projects is invaluable. So how do you identify worthwhile projects? Typically, a good CRM system, one made for project pursuit, will have Reporting & Dashboarding.

These reports should have an easy data entry, accurate, easy to digest, and full of historical and current project data. With this information, your leaders will be well equipped to identify and pursue projects that will be profitable to your firm. Saving time is the recurring theme, which ultimately saves a company money.

Increased Team Collaboration

Like all great teams, you have to have collaboration. The ability to communicate internally on projects creates efficient processes. With TrebleHook, you and your team can see project data anytime, anywhere. This functionality allows team members to work together and reduce rework.

Increased Cross-Selling Opportunities

Some design and construction firms have a diverse set of specialties. For instance, 90% of a firm may be Architecture, but 10% of the firm may involve Construction. Because one “side of the house” may be so focused on specific projects, they may fail to uncover opportunities that would be good to pursue.

With a single source of truth CRM system, complete data around a customer is accessible by the entire business. This accessibility and visibility lead to cross-selling opportunities, all while keeping your teammates in the loop.

It Keeps Your Firm Competitive

We’ve all been in the job market at some point in our careers. Everyone has had to discover what they are looking for in a prospective employer. So when you ask yourself if you were looking for a job in the AEC industry today, what would you seek? Most professionals we talk to are looking for innovative companies and market leaders.

Businesses need innovative technology to compete in project bidding and attract great talent. Technology that allows your team to focus on their growth and impactful things daily is part of what drives passion and a desire to stick around. Further, efficient technology allows your firm to retain existing customers while expanding into new markets easily.

Expense vs. Investment

If you leave with anything from this article, you must take away this point. One of the biggest hurdles we encounter is viewing a CRM as an expense. This view is dangerously shortsighted and can potentially leave a firm in the stone age.

A reliable CRM system is an investment, not an expense. When you invest in a CRM, you’re investing in time savings, you’re investing in profitability, and you’re investing in the growth and future of your company. If you understand this, you’re ahead of the curve and can potentially change your company’s future by communicating it to your leadership.

Do you want to explore how a CRM can impact your firm? Do you need help communicating a CRM’s impact on your leadership? Get in touch with our team. We have purpose-built TrebleHook for project pursuits and firm profitability.

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