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Here’s How to Get Free Construction Leads

by Sarah LorekConstruction, Cosential, Uncategorized

Jun 18, 2021

Comprehensive guide for finding free construction leads… Getting construction leads can be a challenge. AEC Business development and sales professionals know that paying for leads or cold calling are options, but strategies for finding free construction leads shouldn’t be ignored. There are tons of free tactics, resources, and tricks that firms can leverage right now to find qualified, industry-specific prospects. The best part is that Business Developers, AEC Marketers, and Sales teams can focus on platforms and tools that prospects are already using daily.   In this article, you’ll learn how to get 100% free construction leads today, using tools that are easy and familiar to both you and potential prospects.  Read on to learn how to get free construction leads for your AEC firm.  Join LinkedIn Groups to Access the Right Audience for Free Construction Leads LinkedIn is a great resource for networking with like-minded peers and companies. But there are also groups that can be joined which include members of your exact target audience and potentially, customers. I have been using LinkedIn groups for years to learn the latest trends in AEC and to find people who might be interested in thought leadership articles, blogs, or eBooks. The same can be achieved for finding potential customers who could be interested in your product or service offering. Below are a few LinkedIn groups to join if you are looking to connect with more like-minded AEC professionals who could be interested in using your firm for work. LinkedIn Groups Specifically for Construction  Design and Construction Network – This group boasts more than 80,000 members (about the seating capacity of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum). It’s a great resource for connecting with construction professionals who mostly fall under the design-build category.  Construction Marketing Association – With more than 4,600 members, this group focuses on exactly how to market your construction firm to win more work. Online Expo’s & Virtual Trade Shows- Construction Who’s Who – This 3,000-person LinkedIn group is great for finding virtual conferences and local events to connect with construction professionals and find potential leads.  Top Construction Jobs – If you look at the posts in this massive 25,000-person group, you’ll notice that some firms and owners are looking to hire. Furthermore, you can find some posts looking for RFPs for construction work as well.  CIM | The Chartered Institute of Marketing – Construction Industry Group – CIMCIG – This 3,500-person group focuses on marketing your construction firm.   AGC Business Development Forum – This group by the Associated General Contractors of America is focused specifically on GC business developers. It’s a great resource to see how others are finding quality leads.    LinkedIn Groups Specifically for Architecture  TEKLA Structures Users – Users of Tekla, a software for architecture professionals, could find this group helpful for finding leads. A lot of posts are related to individuals in architecture that are trying to fill vacancies on their team or find qualified individuals or firms to fill in where their team is lacking.    LinkedIn Groups Specifically for Engineering & CEC  Quantity Surveyors, Commercial Managers, Cost Managers/Engineers and Estimators Forum – More geared towards estimators and cost engineers, this group includes posts from a plethora of users dedicated to sharing ideas and concepts.  Civil Engineering Jobs – This group boasts over 160,000 members and includes information about jobs related to CE.  Civil/Structural Engineering Network – With over 115,800 members, this network is great for sharing ideas, project pursuits, and information about how your firm is running the business.  Civil Engineering & Construction – This 68,800-person group shares best practice knowledge in CEC. Here, you’ll find people looking for but also be able to use business development knowledge to ensure you’re always staying ahead of the competition.    LinkedIn Groups for Overall AEC   Engineering News-Record – ENR is one of the top news sources for the AEC industry. Their group is full of information from firms across the entire architecture, engineering, and construction spectrum.  BIM (Building Information Modeling) Experts – Posts from this BIM (Building Information Modeling) experts group come from professionals across the AEC spectrum. Many of the 97,600 members are owners or operators looking for workers or jobs.  BIM (Building Information Modeling) and Architecture, Engineering, & Construction Projects and Jobs – This 91,000-person group is chocked-full of companies looking for subcontractors or individuals that can fill in where their team is lacking. It’s also a great resource to see what types of projects certain firms are working on. Just by connecting with others in this group, you should be able to find quality projects.    LinkedIn Groups for AEC Business Development  Bd4aec – Business Development for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Markets – With a little over 300 members, this group has a specific audience. According to the page owner, the goal of this group is “to bring together the best-of-the best ideas, concepts, strategies and tactics and put them in front of you to make a difference in your business. If you’re a principal of an AEC firm and want to get more business, or you’re a business developer wanting to improve your game, or you’re an estimator or a project manager wanting to improve your skills, or just someone who wants to move into the business development field, then this group is for you.”    Attend Local Meetups for Qualified Construction Leads You can find local meetups for architecture, engineering, and construction on meetup.com. It’s free to join, and they even have online events for those who are concerned about social distancing during in-person events. This is a fantastic way to learn more about businesses in your area that could be looking to partner with a firm like yours. Just search for the topic you’re interested in meeting up about and you’ll find a list of events in your area.       You can also create your own events and invite others who might be interested in attending. Creating a thought leadership event and inviting potential prospects can help build credibility as an individual and build trust for your firm.  There are even events specifically for Business Developers to connect and network about clients looking for jobs across industries. The event in the screenshot below offers networking opportunities for BDs and sales professionals to “build better business by referral.”         Attend In-Person and Virtual AE and Construction Industry Conferences for Lead Opportunities Although several in-person conferences were canceled for 2020, many popular AEC events have gone virtual. Event hosts across the country are using creative ways to make the conference experience feel as immersive and real as possible— think virtual booths, live Q&A sessions, interactive content, and online “happy-hours” to network with like-minded AEC professionals. These events are a gold mine for networking with people who could refer your firm to quality construction leads. Some of the events are user conferences for customers of a particular product, while other conferences invite anyone in the AEC industry to attend. Below are a few conferences to check out this year.    Champions Conference 2021: Built2Win  June 15–16, 2021 – This virtual user conference, hosted by Unanet and Cosential, focuses on best practice techniques for users of Unanet’s ERP and Cosential’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) products. Learn how to use the family of Unanet products to their fullest capabilities, network with like-minded individuals or business developers who can help grow your client base, and attend online presentations with live Q&A.  Current Unanet and Cosential customers can Register here.  Not a Cosential CRM customer but want to be? Request a demo.  Not a customer of Unanet but want to be? Contact the team.    ENR Future Tech  June 9–11, 2021 – Hosted virtually this year, ENR future tech is “the go-to source for business and IT leaders in architecture, engineering, and construction to explore emerging technologies that can enhance construction productivity, profits, and safety.” Connect with business leaders, meet others who are facing similar business development and sales challenges, and brainstorm with other professionals in your area of expertise.  Register here    PSMJ’s THRIVE Conference  September 22-24, 2021 – A/E/C THRIVE Conference will be hosted in-person in Scottsdale, Arizona this year. The conference will focus on growth, profit, and success for AEC firm leaders across the nation. You’ll learn what the most successful firms are doing today to drive more revenue, increase business performance, and truly scale their firms for the future. This is a great opportunity to network and meet potential partners who can help refer you and your firm for future projects. Register here    2021 Elevate AEC Conference & ElevateHER Symposium      September 13-October 8, 2021—This event hosted by Zweig Group will be virtual this year. Offered at only $49 per person, this event is one of the AEC industry’s top networking and learning events. You can even enter your firm to win an award across Zeig group’s selection of award entries. To celebrate great projects and teams across the AEC industry, the awards will be presented at the conference in front of all the attendees. This is an excellent strategy to promote your firm and to celebrate a job well done.   Register here    There are so many more conferences to check out for 2021! Take a look at this full list of upcoming AEC conferences from Construction Dive.    Request Ratings, Reviews, and Referrals to Encourage Free Construction Leads Are you currently requesting reviews and referrals from past or existing clients? Any time your clients have a positive experience while working with your firm throughout the project lifecycle—from conception to completion—you should request a review.   The most common way for potential prospects to see reviews for your firm is via Google reviews, as shown in the screenshot below. The more five-star reviews you have, the higher you’ll appear in search results anytime someone searches for something like “Top rated construction/architecture/engineering firms near me” or “Best commercial construction firms in (state).”       Google isn’t the only place to request reviews, however. There are many other ways for prospects to find you based on your high rating. On Glassdoor, you can ask your own employees to give your company a five-star review. When potential prospects are searching for firms to handle their next big project or when they’re reviewing RFPs, they’ll read your company reviews from current and past employees. The best part about Glassdoor reviews is that you don’t have to reach out to past customers. Simply send an email to your employees asking them to add their review, and you’ll be well on your way to showing up as a five-star firm in search results. Look at the full list below for instructions on how to get reviews on Google, Glassdoor, and a few other platforms.  Google Reviews  Glassdoor Reviews Clearly Rated Reviews  Facebook Reviews  Trustpilot Reviews   For strategies on exactly how to request reviews from customers, check out this article from Forbes.    Check Job Postings and Investor Websites for Free Construction Leads One way to find out which companies are planning big projects is to check out job postings across Glassdoor, LinkedIn jobs, Indeed, and other hiring websites. This is a great way to understand companies that might be planning their next big project. Companies are constantly using Glassdoor to hire subcontractors, architects, engineers, and to outsource work that they might not have the resources to complete with their current team.   Also, browse investor forums to see who is willing to front some cash for the right project. AngelList, the world’s largest startup community, offers an extensive list of construction angel investors that you can follow or reach out to for free.    Monitor Community Forums and List Your Business in Their Directories  NextDoor is an online community where residents can post about happenings in their town, request recommendations, or discuss issues affecting their area. Although most of the posts related to construction serve the residential community, any local businesses can add their details to NextDoor and will appear when anyone searches for your services. Expanding your brand locally is a fantastic way to connect with the local community and potentially find new leads.   Another tactic for your firm to find leads (and for leads to find you) locally is through Facebook. Over the years, Facebook has become more than a social networking tool. It now has a marketplace to sell and buy products, groups to join that are specific to interest and industry, “looking for recommendations” posts, job listings, town hall discussions, business pages, events, and even an “Offers” page. If your firm has a Facebook business page, you can post offers or updates, and anyone searching for services you offer will see it in their feed, as shown in the screenshot below.      So, what happens next?  If your business development, sales, or marketing budget is tight, we hope you found a few of these strategies helpful. Before long, you’ll find qualified architecture, engineering, or construction leads and, more importantly, they will find you.  Here’s what you could expect after successfully applying any of these construction lead tactics for your firm:  Your contact list will grow exponentially.  Business development activities will increase significantly.  Your time will become more valuable.  You’ll need to assess pursuits as go/no-go to quickly decide which projects are worth your time and effort.  Your boss will love you even more than he/she did before. If you’re your own boss, go ahead and pat yourself on the back.   Finally, once you have all these free construction leads, you’ll need a way to manage them. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a solution that helps businesses manage sales opportunities, log activities and customer interactions, store internal and external contacts, track leads, and grow their business—but not all CRMs are alike. Some AEC firms have tested well-known CRM tools, like Salesforce, to manage their customer relationship activities. What they found is that these CRM tools don’t have the specific capabilities that the uniqueness of the AEC industry requires. These “one-size-fits-all” CRM tools aren’t built for the AEC industry, and thus aren’t tracking some of the most important aspects of the AEC sales lifecycle. Many firms discovered that they needed more specific tracking for business development and sales activities that these “one-size-fits-all” solutions weren’t designed to address.     Want to win more work with a CRM built specifically for architecture, engineering, and construction? Access this free guide.    Unanet CRM by Cosential is the only CRM built specifically for architecture, engineering, and construction. The company has spent the last 20+ years tailoring its platform’s robust CRM and proposal generation features to the AEC industry, enabling business developers, marketers, executives, and project teams to win better projects and grow more revenue.   If you’ve applied any of the tactics listed in this blog and want to learn more about how to win better business, make better decisions, and grow revenue, be sure to request a demo of Unanet CRM by Cosential today. 

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Modernized Design Meets Productivity with our Newest Navigation

by Kellye KingCosential, CRM

May 19, 2021

As a Business Developer, Seller-Doer, or Marketer in the AEC industry, your CRM is at the center of where projects are pursued and won, with research from Software Advice showing that over 70% of business professionals agree, there’s no doubt a CRM improves access to customer data. With your firm’s institutional knowledge and best practices, specific project records, and opportunities constantly growing, Unanet CRM by Cosential is an integral part of your day-to-day. So, when it comes to your experience as a user, it should be easy. You’re building relationships, responding to RFPs, and nurturing pursuits for the next big projects that are, sometimes, years in the making. We believe your platform should work with you in a meaningful way and remove the guesswork. An intuitive platform meets you in the moments you need it most and flows at the pace your business needs for success. We’re invested in building a rich experience for you, as our customer, and ensuring adoption of Unanet CRM by Cosential is easy with a streamlined approach across Mobile, Outlook, and now our Web application. “I love the new navigation in the web app because I’m constantly viewing opportunities and our pipeline, and now I can dive directly into Leads and Opportunities in a single click and even collapse the side panel altogether. This quickly gets me to where I need to be and gives me so much more real estate, making it easier to view my data across the page and find key information without needing to scroll.” – Misty Thurman, FSMPS, CPSM, CF APMP Business Development Director at BKL, Inc. A modernized navigation to enhance productivity in Unanet CRM by Cosential for Web is making its debut for you to have a simplified view, enjoy new search capabilities, and more at your fingertips. When setting out on our re-imagined interface, we started with one singular factor driving us forward: our customers. For the stretches when you’re not on-the-go, and dedicating time at your desk to grow or update key Contacts, jump into specific records while the pursuit is top of mind, or access reports to understand the big picture, your CRM should enable you to dig into your business and never stall your firm’s momentum. Unanet CRM by Cosential’s new navigation accomplishes that by bringing to the surface the core elements of what business developers, seller-doers, and marketers are executing on most often, making it easier to find what they’re looking for and complete daily tasks. “We’re focused on solving our customers’ specific challenges with a solution that’s tailormade for their needs. My goal is to ensure when customers come to our product, they feel like we understand them while they’re using it and know that we’ve thought about even the little details of their daily habits,” shares Julia Seltzer, Senior UX Designer at Unanet.   Now in Unanet CRM by Cosential for Web, all customers benefit from: Streamlined left hand navigation highlighting key aspects of your day-to-day in Unanet CRM Access key modules in a single click without navigating away from your home screen. Enjoy cleaner organization with supplemental modules still at your fingertips. Easily clear visual space with a new collapsible sidebar and simply hover over icons to reveal familiar module names. Enhancements to Quick Search, making your data more accessible Narrow in on your results with over 5 different filters, such as Projects, Opportunities, and more. Pick up where you left off, with easy drop-down views of your most recently viewed records. New capabilities to jumpstart your day and make it easy to get work done Quickly create Call Logs, Contacts, Leads, and more in a single click. Know the details at a glance, with Personnel Records and Preferences nested for viewing with your profile photo. Dig into the details with advanced searches with finite lists or record searches. It just keeps getting better. “We know a great user experience with a key product can help transform our clients’ business and introducing our new navigation is the continued proof of a powerful combination: our dedication to building a product that meets the unique needs of AEC, and the partnership with our customers that continues to fuel our innovative approach,” shares Lisa Pitts, Product Manager at Unanet. We understand that user adoption is paramount to any platform’s success, making our new Navigation a major value to the way that users work inside of Unanet CRM by Cosential, as well as the first step in a completely revived experience coming to Unanet CRM by Cosential for Web. Interested in learning more about how our new look and key enhancements could bring to ease of use across AEC firms like yours?

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Cosential Honored with 2021 CRM Excellence Award by CUSTOMER Magazine

by Carrie MahonCosential, CRM, Unanet News

May 18, 2021

DULLES, Va., May 18, 2021 – Cosential, a Unanet company and the leading project-based CRM platform for architecture, engineering and construction industries, was selected by CUSTOMER Magazine for its 2021 CRM Excellence Award. This distinction further demonstrates Cosential’s leadership and reinforces the company’s commitment to innovation and value-laden solutions for its users. Based on hard data, the CRM Excellence Awards rely on facts and statistics demonstrating the improvements that Cosential’s product has made in a client’s business. Winners were chosen on the basis of their product or service’s ability to help extend and expand the customer relationship to become all-encompassing, covering the entire enterprise and the entire lifetime of the customer. “The CRM Excellence Award honors Cosential for being a true CRM partner to its customers and clients,” said Rich Tehrani, TMC’s CEO and Group Editor-in-Chief. “Cosential has demonstrated to the editors of CUSTOMER magazine that it improved the processes of their clients’ businesses by streamlining and facilitating the flow of information,” added Tehrani. Cosential recently launched new software capabilities that deliver greater functionality and visibility into the business development experience, giving firms the ability to pursue and win more projects. Cosential offers a mobile app for iOS and Android, and Cosential for Outlook seamlessly integrates contact and opportunity management with email, allowing users to run on the power of their firm’s data while connecting to their contacts and leads, and maintaining their pipeline straight from their inbox. Cosential is part of the Unanet suite of SaaS, project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM solutions, which are purpose-built for the architecture, engineering, construction, professional services and government contracting industries. The Cosential CRM Excellence Award closely follows Unanet’s recent win as a gold Stevie award winner for its ERP solutions, and comes on the heels of recent industry rankings in G2’s Spring 2021 Reports, which named the company among the fastest implementation, highest user adoption, most implementable, easiest setup, best customer support, best relationship, easiest to use, and best usability. “This continuous recognition for our CRM and ERP solutions demonstrates that the industry is taking note of the innovation and value we are delivering to our customers,” said Craig Halliday, CEO of Unanet. “With integrated technology, we can give architecture, engineering, construction, and government contracting companies a complete set of purpose-built intelligent software to manage their entire business lifecycles, from pre-sales through invoicing.” About Unanet Unanet is a leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, AEC, and Professional Services. More than 3,200 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and accelerate business growth. All backed by a people-centered team invested in the success of your projects, people, and financials. Learn more at www.unanet.com About CUSTOMER Since 1982, CUSTOMER magazine (formerly Customer Interaction Solutions) has been the voice of the call/contact center, CRM and teleservices industries. CUSTOMER has helped the industry germinate, grow, mature and prosper, and has served as the leading publication in helping these industries that have had such a positive impact on the world economy to continue to thrive. Through a combination of outstanding and cutting-edge original editorial, industry voices, in-depth lab reviews and the recognition of the innovative leaders in management and technology through our highly valued awards, CUSTOMER strives to continue to be the publication that holds the quality bar high for the industry. Please visit http://www.customer.tmcnet.com.

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Champions Conference 2021 to Deliver Value-Laden Sessions, Networking and Interaction at Revamped, Enhanced Virtual Experience

by Carrie MahonBusiness Development & Growth, Cosential, Unanet A/E News, Unanet News

Mar 26, 2021

Keynote to feature Chief Engineer for NASA Mars mission DULLES, VA, March 26, 2021 — Registration for Champions Conference 2021 is now open. This year’s Unanet and Cosential user conference will take place virtually June 15-16, 2021 and will demonstrate how the two companies’ solutions are Built to Win. The user conference will be the first time Unanet and Cosential combine forces for a comprehensive, interactive event that brings extensive ERP and CRM tools, knowledge and engagement to Unanet and Cosential users. In addition to the value-laden agenda, activities and sessions, Champions Conference 2021: Built to Win will feature Dr. Adam Steltzner, Chief Engineer for the NASA Mars 2020 Mission’s Rover Perseverance that successfully landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. Dr. Steltzner will present, “Into the Unknown: How Leadership, Ingenuity, and Perseverance Put a Rover on Mars.” “This year especially, our customers need energizing and useful ways to connect with each other via live video and audio. In addition to our exciting keynote speaker, this year’s conference will deliver a robust, engaging and interactive experience,” said Jeff Davison, Chief Customer Officer, Unanet. “With the important addition of Cosential, we have an even larger Unanet family now, giving us three times as many sessions as we’ve hosted in previous years and the ability to discuss integrations and future innovations. Customers will get unprecedented value.” Champions 2021: Built to Win will feature product roadmap deep dives, speed learning, access to Unanet’s experts as part of the Consulting Corner, peer networking and a virtual exhibit hall. Interactive sessions will allow attendees to hop from table to table, floor to floor, to engage in real-time with experts and peers. More than 1,000 attendees are expected to attend, all of whom will gain access to event sessions through a new online hub where they can easily navigate with search and filters. Guest speakers will share their best practices and innovation in using Unanet GovCon, Unanet A/E and Cosential to support every phase of the project lifecycle and improve growth. Topics include analytics and reporting, innovative integrations, business development, finance and accounting, project management, and more. Premier sponsors for the 2021 event include Cordia Partners, Paylocity, and OpenAsset. Additional event sponsors include GovConPay by Payroll Network, Cherry Bekaert CPAs & Advisors, Aronson LLC, Bloomberg Government, BDO, Strategic Consulting Solutions, BOOST LLC, Palmer Consulting Group, WJ Technologies, Outsourced Accounting Services, CKearney Consulting, LLC, Technik Solutions Group, CohnReznick, and NFP. For more information and to register for Champions Conference 2021: Built to Win, visit www.championsconference.com. Early bird registration ends May 15. About Unanet Unanet is a leading provider of ERP solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, A/E, and Professional Services. More than 3,100 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and nurture business growth. For more information, visit unanet.com. Follow Unanet at @UnanetTech on Twitter and Unanet-Technologies on LinkedIn. About Cosential The industry continues to see upward motions of digital transformations and Cosential has been leading the charge in that movement by being the only growth platform that goes beyond a CRM in owning the pre-sales process for market leaders winning business in the AEC industry. Cosential has spent the last 20+ years tailoring their platform’s robust CRM, and powerful proposal generation features to the construction and related industries- empowering Business Developers, Marketers, Executives, and select Project Teams to own, enrich, and leverage their firm-owned data.

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Expert Advice: How to Make the Right Go/No Go Decision

by Sarah LorekAEC, Construction, Cosential, CRM, Uncategorized

Mar 07, 2021

Is your firm wasting time and money pursuing projects that… You have no chance of winning? Don’t make good business sense? Don’t fit your firm’s strategic goals? You’re not alone. Tons of firms go after every single opportunity that comes their way, thinking that gives them the best chance of winning as many new projects as possible. That’s simply not the case. Every second your firm spends on the wrong pursuits — every phone call made, every email sent, every piece of marketing collateral produced — is time you’re not focused on opportunities that actually make sense for your firm. And spending hours and hours chasing projects your firm ultimately loses will demoralize and burn out your marketing and business development staff. Not exactly a recipe for success. That’s why it’s crucial to develop an effective Go/No Go process. Consistently making the right Go/No Go decisions will empower your firm to focus on high-probability, high-profit projects. [Free tool]: Make Go/No Go Decisions in Seconds Below, industry experts share their advice for developing a Go/No Go decision-making process that supports firm-wide success.   5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Go/No Go Decisions Keep the Big Picture in Mind for Projects Understand Where Your Firm is Today and How You Plan to Grow Commit to the Process Only Pursue Opportunities that Inspire Passion Seek Outside Information   1. Keep the Big Picture in Mind for Projects One thing many firms lack when creating a Go/No Go decision-making process is a strategic firmwide plan. Without knowing your goals and how you define success, it’s impossible to know which projects are worth pursuing. “You have a ‘Go/No Go’ process, and sometimes your senior folks actually follow it. But you lack a major tool that would make your ‘Go/No Go’ process truly efficient: a PLAN! “The ‘Go/No Go’ process is designed to help you say ‘no’ when ‘no’ is the appropriate answer. The hard part is determining when ‘no’ is the appropriate answer. With a Strategic Plan, Marketing Plan and/or Business Plan, this determination is much easier.” — Bernie Siben, CPSM, AEC marketing consultant   2. Understand Where Your Firm is Today and How You Plan to Grow Go/No Go decision-making is about determining which projects you’re most likely to win and putting your firm’s effort into those opportunities. But that’s only half the story. It’s also important to develop a strategic plan for growth and view Go/No Go decisions based on where you see your firm several years down the line. “The framework of a go/no-go tool must blend strategy and historical evidence. For instance, the firm must use criteria that helps define its success, coupled with a blend of factors that enable the firm’s strategic plan. “For example, Brand X Construction’s ‘sweet spot’ is defined at $7 million in project revenue. This is an important characteristic to understand, as it helps create a picture of the ideal customer or project. Notice this does not say ‘average project size.’ It is important to conduct a thorough study of where a firm excels and where it does not. “The strategic growth niches also help define categories that are worthwhile targets. Without them, the firm might acquiesce and simply engage in identical work. While it may be currently profitable, it may also be myopic and fail to include a balance of long-term strategy.” — Gregg M. Schoppman, consultant at FMI [Get the Guide]: Top 5 Ways to Win More Work with an AEC-Focused CRM   3. Commit to the Process Your firm will never follow any process 100 percent of the time. And that’s okay. There are certain circumstances you can never plan for. You need to respond to each situation appropriately, regardless of the rigid rules you’ve put in place. But be careful. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking every opportunity deserves special consideration. That’s just not true. In the vast majority of cases, you should follow the strategic Go/No Go process you put in place to give your firm the greatest chance of success. “Be wary of end runs around the go/no go process. Sometimes there are bona fide emergencies or other reasons to stray from the committee review process, but the odds of getting stuck with a losing, or expensive, project increase if the go/no go process requirements are too easily sidestepped. “One example is that a business unit may delay asking for a ‘go’ decision, then claim it is too late for management to say ‘no go.’ The theory may be that commitments have been made to the subcontractors or JV partners, or that estimators have already done so much work and would be demoralized if the plug is pulled. Effective management should not allow this ‘end run’ tactic to be rewarded.” — Tom Porter, JD, DBIA, EVP at Barton Malow Company   4. Only Pursue Opportunities that Inspire Passion You can’t afford to think of every single Go/No Go decision solely in terms of numbers. While metrics and data are crucial to success, your firm and your clients consist of people, and that means emotions and mental states play a role in every task and initiative. Before making a final decision, find out how your staff feels about pursuing and working on the potential project. Their excitement — or lack thereof — just might sway your choice. “Are you ALL in it to win it? Mentally, we are wired to believe we can do anything and sometimes we can climb seemingly impossible mountains. The whole team must recognize the ‘fire in the belly’—the passion and inner drive to take action—when pursuing the win. If everyone from leadership to seller/doer, PM to marketing professional has the fire, then: GO. If even one person has reservations about getting to the top of the mountain, you will likely not get to the top: NO GO.” — Frank Lippert, FSMPS, CPSM, partner at Go Strategies   5. Seek Outside Information Even if you have the ability to access and analyze mountains of data about a potential opportunity, there’s likely certain information you can’t learn on your own. Take some time to research what those outside of your firm have to say about the client you’re evaluating. “Working with unappreciative clients, will sap your time and energy from working with great clients and designing top projects. You must research both the company and its leaders online and through speaking with colleagues, contractors, and furniture suppliers.” — Richard N. Pollack, FAIA, FIIDA, managing principal at Pollack Consulting   Take an Objective Approach to Go/No Go Decisions By developing and implementing an effective Go/No Go decision-making process, you’ll empower your staff to focus on the opportunities that make sense for your firm. While your total pursuits will decrease, your hit rate will likely improve at a level that increases your total wins and/or profits.   Want actionable tactics that can drive results? Get the calculator below! const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#a8b8b8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/895a1/Go-NoGo-update.png","srcSet":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/c6630/Go-NoGo-update.png 243w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/e8d4d/Go-NoGo-update.png 485w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/895a1/Go-NoGo-update.png 970w","sizes":"(min-width: 970px) 970px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/5b201/Go-NoGo-update.webp 243w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/ed8b1/Go-NoGo-update.webp 485w,\n/static/42f984f1b000bc5f324c653c3a9ea16e/116d9/Go-NoGo-update.webp 970w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 970px) 970px, 100vw"}]},"width":1997,"height":514.6907216494845},"alt":"Go No Go Decisions_blog CTA","className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} Download this 17-point, weighted-scoring tool to quickly and objectively determine which projects are worth pursuing.   If you liked this article, you might also enjoy: [Blog post] How to Get Free Construction Leads [eBook] Top 5 Ways to Win More Work with an AEC-Focused CRM [Blog post] Quick Tips to Improve Your Go/No Go Assessment

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Transform your address book with Unanet CRM by Cosential CallerID

by Kellye KingAEC, Cosential, CRM

Mar 01, 2021

Regardless of our role, business size, or even geolocation, so many of us – even in this moment – share one thing in common: we all likely have our smartphones in our pocket or securely nested by our computer monitor for quick access. According to Inc.com, on average, we tap, swipe, and click our smartphone 2,617 times a day. The moment your screen lights up from an unknown caller? Forget it. Numerous research studies shared with the FCC show 76% of phone calls go unanswered when the call comes from an unidentified or unfamiliar number.   Business Development in AEC is all about building relationships, educating prospects on why your company is the best choice for them. It’s safe to say your smart phone is your lifeline because you’re on-the-go constantly.   You are the expert on the state of your business, so you should never be caught off guard with an unknown call from a business contact due to pursuit data that’s not readily available on-hand. Momentum to capture the market is lost when you’re stockpiling contacts in disjointed systems. What happens when that business pursuit call goes unanswered?  You need a solution made for how you spend your time – we know the fastest way to bring teams and their data together is to enable the way you execute project pursuits today.    It just became more seamless with Unanet CRM by Cosential.  Never miss a critical conversation, or be caught off-guard while on-the-go: Unanet CRM for Mobile’s latest feature, Unanet Caller ID, surfaces key Contact and Company information instantaneously to your phone while receiving a call tied to your pursuits. While you’re receiving an incoming call, Unanet CRM simultaneously searches and links the number from your Unanet CRM Contact List- surfacing back the Contact and Company name to you.   “We’re continuing to deliver on our promise: Unanet CRM by Cosential delivers the right information to you at the right time. This new Cosential for Mobile feature is all about driving user experience which grows user adoption. Cosential truly becomes your single address book that is used by everyone in your firm.“ Akshay Mahajan, VP of Product at Unanet   Accomplish even more while you’re on-the-go with Unanet CRM Caller ID:  Seamlessly infuse your mobile address book with key contacts from Unanet CRM  Automatically recognize name and company with each inbound call received  No need to sync or download additional data 

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No Business Card? No Problem. Create Leads On-the-Go

by Kellye KingAEC, Business Development & Growth, Cosential, CRM

Jan 21, 2021

You need smart technology that fits in your pocket. According to JB Knowledge’s 2020 Technology Report, 92% of the construction industry uses a smartphone daily for work. Think about it, business developers and seller-doers are truly on-the-go while out nurturing prospects in meetings, or on calls – but how many of those Leads come with a business card, and if they do, which desk drawer are they getting stockpiled in after-the-fact?   No one wants to lose out on key opportunity data from the various contacts they’re interacting with by holding that lead information hostage in an email thread, jacket pocket, or piling it onto their institutional knowledge center (that’s right – keeping it locked in their memory). But, they also don’t have time to stop and create additional tasks for themselves at the end of the day. Manual data entry isn’t a very scalable or efficient way to pursue business. Over time, Business Developers forget, miss out, and rarely find the information needed to be put to good use.   Simply put – momentum to capture the market is lost when key pursuit data is stockpiled in disjointed systems.   You need a solution made for how you spend your time – we know the fastest way to bring teams and their data together is to enable the way you execute project pursuits today. Firms need a solution that meets Business Developers in the moment of capturing critical milestones in a pursuit, so no time is wasted chasing the wrong business or being strapped in at a desk manually inputting old business card data.   That’s why mobile matters when it comes to your CRM data, and Unanet CRM by Cosential’s take on User Experience is unmatched in the industry. In fact, since Unanet CRM by Cosential for Mobile’s debut in The New Business Development Experience, well over 20 enhancements have been dedicated to our mobile app alone, continuously up-leveling the on-the-go experience. Today, you can grow and enhance your Contacts, understand your connections and business insights, and now even create Leads right on the spot with Unanet CRM by Cosential for Mobile. No business card scan needed.   “Mobile matters. AEC needs smart technology that fits in their pocket. Our dedication to building an unparalleled mobile experience in AEC for our users enables them to take technology to-go. Unanet CRM by Cosential’s approach to meeting Business Developers and Seller-Doers where they are, in the real-life context of how they spend their day has been proven as the right choice to drive user adoption.” Lisa Pitts, Product Manager at Unanet     It just got easier to drive ahead with business pursuits while you’re on-the-go. With Unanet CRM for Mobile’s latest feature, you can take Leads to-go:  Create leads without a business card scan.   Search for a Lead while you’re on-the-go.  Create Call Logs from a Lead straight from your phone.  View a list of all Leads right in the palm of your hand.      Learn  how easy it is to drive ahead with business pursuits while you’re on-the-go with Unanet CRM  for Mobile: download the  Unanet CRM for Mobile Product Overview  for  iOS  and  Android.  

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Cosential Innovates Further to Help Architecture, Engineering, Construction Firms Pursue & Win More Projects

by Carrie MahonCosential

Jan 13, 2021

New solutions designed for a data-driven COVID-19 recovery and beyond Cosential has reaffirmed their continued push of bringing innovation to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry with the launch of the New Business Development Experience. The new suite of features eclipses basic CRM capabilities, and places the power of pursuit data directly into the hands of users. The new innovations are designed to enable Business Developers and Doer-Sellers with quick and easy access to the data they need on-the-go to strategically leverage the power of their relationships and drive predictable revenue for their firm within a project-based platform. Cosential allows Business Developers and Doer-Sellers to work where their daily habits already thrive in business pursuits by delivering them the right information, real-time, in the context of how they operate today: on-the-go with their smartphones, and at-their-desk directly from their email inbox. Business Developers and Doer-Sellers are the pace-setters within AEC firms, the introduction of the New Business Development Experience includes an entirely re-imagined mobile application, for iOS and Android, as well as the strongest integration with Outlook – bringing the right information to users in the context of how they pursue and win business, and cracking the code to wide-spread technology adoption across firms by eliminating the need for multiple web page logins to further operational efficiencies with familiar tools. Cosential’s new mobile app completely up-levels the on-the-go experience for users. Cosential for Mobile enables business developers to access and manage their contacts from anywhere, and feed their colleagues important relationship and pursuit information on-the-go, never missing a critical moment. Cosential for Outlook seamlessly integrates contact and opportunity management with email, allowing users to run on the power of their firm’s data while connecting their contacts, leads, and maintaining their pipeline straight from their inbox. “A/E/C firms are experiencing one of the most complex and unpredictable environments in their history, now more than ever their success depends on their business development teams’ ability to help draw predictable revenue streams and stabilize accounts. Relationships are at the core of Business Development teams, and that’s true here at Cosential, as well. Our customers told us precisely what they needed during these turbulent times and we’re committed to innovating and delivering those solutions. No other CRM provides this level of pre-sales relationship and pipeline management functionality,” said Akshay Mahajan, General Manager of CRM at Unanet. Cosential is delivering on its commitment to continued innovation after its acquisition by Unanet, the leading ERP provider for the A/E/C market. Together, Unanet and Cosential are uniquely positioned to continue to deliver the most innovative platform and value for A/E/C businesses looking to streamline their business operations in 2021. The Gilbane Building Company has been an early adopter and partner with Cosential on the New Business Development Experience. In fact, Ryan Hutchins – the executive VP of Business Development at Gilbane categorizes Cosential’s New Business Development Experience as a game-changer for the firm, ranked number ten on ENR’s top four hundred contractors. Sharing, in his own words, that “Now we are able to execute project pursuits without leaving the tools our BD teams are most familiar with.” To learn more about Cosential’s newest enhancements for A/E/C CRM, read the press release or Download the Overview.

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Cosential Expands CRM Capabilities to Enable Architecture, Engineering and Construction Firms To Pursue And Win More Projects

by Brent MorrisCosential, Unanet News

Jan 13, 2021

DULLES, Va., Jan. 13, 2021 — Cosential, the leading project-based CRM platform for architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industries, today launched new software capabilities that deliver greater functionality and visibility into the business development experience, giving firms the ability to pursue and win more projects. The new features surpass basic CRM capabilities, and enable on-the-go and easy access to the data business development teams need to strategically leverage the power of their relationships, grow their business, and drive predictable revenue for their firm. The new capabilities, called ‘The New Business Development Experience,’ enable users to integrate the latest technology into their mobile or office-based workflow because they with familiar tools including Outlook. This gives users the right information to pursue and win business, without interrupting their workflow and avoiding the need for multiple web page logins. Cosential’s new mobile app for iOS and Android is a significant improvement for on-the-go users. Cosential for Mobile enables business developers to access and manage their contacts from anywhere, and feed their colleagues important relationship and pursuit information on-the-go, never missing a critical moment. Cosential for Outlook seamlessly integrates contact and opportunity management with email, allowing users to run on the power of their firm’s data while connecting to their contacts and leads, and maintaining their pipeline straight from their inbox. “A/E/C firms are experiencing one of the most complex and unpredictable environments in their history, so now more than ever, their success depends on their business development teams’ ability to help draw predictable revenue streams, and stabilize accounts,” said Akshay Mahajan, vice president of product for Cosential. “Relationships are at the core of business development teams, and that’s true here at Cosential, as well. Our customers told us precisely what they needed during these turbulent times and we conceived of the New Business Development Experience in response. No other CRM provides this level of pre-sales relationship and pipeline management functionality.” The Gilbane Building Company, which is ranked tenth on ENR’s top four hundred contractors, is an early adopter of Cosential’s New Business Development Experience. As a result, the company has seen significant improvements in sales and pipeline management. Ryan Hutchins, Gilbane’s executive vice president of business development, said, “Now we are able to execute project pursuits without leaving the tools our BD teams are most familiar with.” Cosential is delivering on its commitment to continued innovation after its acquisition by Unanet, the leading ERP provider for the A/E/C market. Together, Unanet and Cosential are uniquely positioned to continue deliver the most innovative platform and value for A/E/C businesses looking to streamline their business operations in 2021. To learn more about Cosential’s newest enhancements for A/E/C CRM, please visit www.cosential.com About Cosential The industry continues to see upward motions of digital transformations and Cosential has been leading the charge in that movement by being the only growth platform that goes beyond a CRM in owning the pre-sales process for market leaders winning business in the AEC industry. Cosential has spent the last 20+ years tailoring their platform’s robust CRM, and powerful proposal generation features to the construction and related industries- empowering Business Developers, Marketers, Executives, and select Project Teams to own, enrich, and leverage their firm-owned data.

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It’s true, your new mobile app is here.

by Kellye KingAEC, Cosential, CRM

Oct 21, 2020

As a Business Developer, it’s safe to say your smart phone is your lifeline: according to a Nucleus Research report, 65% of companies using mobile CRM meet, or exceed, their sales quotas. Most projects come from your relationships, but where do those check-ins, decisions, and insights go?   We know the fastest way to bring teams and their data together is to enable the way you execute project pursuits today, so when we introduced the new Unanet CRM by Cosential for Mobile on iOS with The New Business Development Experience to help you drive forward with pursuing and winning more business – we couldn’t stop there.   Since it’s debut, our completely re-imagined mobile app has made it easy for Business Developers, Doer-Sellers, and professionals out in the field to manage contacts and feed teams critical milestone moments straight from their smart phone – and that was just the beginning.  “I like it. Especially since we’re widening our range, and moving into other states – so, Unanet CRM for Mobile by Cosential is definitely something for our future that is definitely useful.” – Marketing Manager at a Leading Construction Firm. Since the time of its release, over 18 enhancements have been dedicated to Cosential’s new mobile app, continuously up-leveling your on-the-go experience. Now, the debut of Unanet CRM by Cosnetial’s Android app has arrived, making Unanet CRM by Cosential  for Mobile accessible and easy for all Business Developers & Doer-Sellers out in the field to be equipped with strategic insights straight from their smartphones.   Take business on-the-go with Unanet to:  Grow and enhance your Contacts on the spot   Understand your connections and business insights   Uncover past records associated with any Contact Learn how easy it is to drive ahead with business pursuits while you’re on-the-go with Unanet CRM by Cosential for Mobile: download the  Product Overview for iOS and Android.   Access The Unanet CRM by Cosential for Mobile in the Apple Store, or Google Play.  

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Our engine now runs even better.

by Kellye KingAEC, Cosential, CRM, Security

Sep 16, 2020

When you invest in a software platform to drive your firm forward, this guiding principal should simplify the partnership each side enters: “do the right thing” – one of the core values that Unanet embodies for each other, Unanet CRM by Cosential, and our customers. That’s why it should come as no shock that over the past weekend we overhauled our entire system in upgrading our SQL Server – all within the blink of an eye, and with no disruption to our customers.   What’s happening below the surface matters.  You can’t always see enhancements or upgrades made to infrastructure – but I promise you will be able to feel them. The decision to upgrade our infrastructure aimed to make us even more secure and up-level our reliability in a proactive manner.   This milestone is an important moment to celebrate.  It enables us. Upgrading Unanet CRM’s infrastructure means improved database performance and better data insights – which allows us to make product decisions faster and ultimately pass those benefits directly to our customers.   It protects you. Unanet just proactively improved the reliability and security of the platform you run your business on. This SQL provides a powerful level of encryption and dynamic data masking that clamps down at even the sheer possibility of an intruder benefiting from any type of breach.   Better Performance meets best-in-class security: underneath the hood, Unanet CRM for AEC now has a much better engine, and we’re excited for the continued path of innovation this will have us pave with the best in the AEC industry.    

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Contact Management just got smarter.

by Kellye KingAEC, Cosential, CRM

Sep 15, 2020

You dedicate a significant portion of time to managing your contacts through follow–up emails, e-introductions, and even surfacing new contacts discovered throughout your pursuit of the next big project. Due to this, it’s safe to say the business contacts you’ve developed throughout the timespan at your firm has likely grown exponentially when you factor in your Outlook inbox. In fact, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day is forecasted to grow to over 347 billion by the end of 2023 (Radicati Group).   What happens when one of those contacts moves firms, introduces you to someone in a different region, or you find yourself needing to reach them on their direct line and not the conference number where you were introduced? You’ve likely heard the old adage “work smarter – not harder”, it just became a no-brainer to take advantage of the business data that’s in your email with Unanet CRM by Cosential for Outlook’s latest Contact Management feature; now helping you grow contacts and stay up-to-date with absolutely no effort.    Your Contact Management feature in Unanet CRM for Outlook is now fueled with machine learning to take the heavy lifting from manually creating new business contacts to keep you driving forward with project pursuits. Unanet CRM  works in the background while you’re in your inbox to smartly surface new contacts on your behalf and accurately identify information changes to existing key contacts straight from the email signature. In one single click you’re now notified that a Contact is being created and added to an existing or new Company in Unanet CRM. That’s right – one click, and you’re done.   “I like to think of Unanet CRM for Outlook’s latest feature enhancement as an ‘Easy Button’ for user adoption. There is no downside to this – it really is delightful.  If you have users new to CRM that don’t like entering data, or you are trying to excite your colleagues about your new CRM– this is for you. Unanet CRM can help you get meaningful data into your system of record easily without leaving your inbox.” Lisa Pitts, Product Manager at Unanet Unanet CRM for Outlook allows you to manage your contacts in one place and jumpstart growth by feeding your system of record up-to-date, accurate, information seamlessly– all within the context of your inbox. Never sweat the details again, ensure your contact data is up to date with these new smart contact management features working for you:  Grow contacts with a single-click by automatically populating record details across email signatures and social media.   Surface key contact details and auto-associations straight from email through machine learning.   Plus, auto-update Contact records with changes while you work.    Learn how easy it is to leverage Outlook and Unanet together to instantly access meaningful contact and pursuit data at your fingertips.   Download the  Unanet CRM by Cosential for Outlook Overview.  

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The Importance of Remembering Your Employee’s Birthday

by Sarah LorekAEC, Architecture and Engineering, Construction, Cosential, CRM

Feb 18, 2020

const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8d8c8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/00d3f/birthday.png","srcSet":"/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/13ce0/birthday.png 141w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/5ecf3/birthday.png 282w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/00d3f/birthday.png 564w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/85beb/birthday.png 1128w","sizes":"(min-width: 564px) 564px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/facfe/birthday.webp 141w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/eef95/birthday.webp 282w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/e706e/birthday.webp 564w,\n/static/b76c28e35ae921ae2cf3edbe4fc5329f/97f81/birthday.webp 1128w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 564px) 564px, 100vw"}]},"width":564,"height":296},"alt":"","className":"wp-image-41187 aligncenter inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie has his famous fourth principle: “Become genuinely interested in people.” And one way he did that was by remembering everyone’s birthday. Carnegie famously kept a birthday book where he wrote down people’s birthdays, and when their day came he would send them a telegram or a letter. “What a hit I made!” he declared. “I was frequently the only person on earth who remembered.” Remembering your employee’s birthday is a great way to show that you are interested in them.But we get it. It’s impossible to remember everything. You have 100+ employees on several projects going on simultaneously, so many of them being subcontractors that you haven’t worked within months, not to mention new people on the job that you don’t know all that well. And on top of all that you have to pick up your son from the mall, drop your daughter off at her friend’s house, and go grocery shopping before dinner. Wait, when was the last time you had a checkup at the dentist? Or went to yoga? And taxes . . . Geez! Did you file your taxes yet?!?! Look, we are certainly not judging. Instead, what we are doing is helping. In Unanet’s user-friendly modules you can keep track of both your employees’ and your clients’ birthday. In Contact Manager, along with their birthday, you can store all of your client’s necessary personal information: phone number, email, credentials, recent projects, and any other relevant information. In the Personnel module, you can do the same thing with your employees—all their contact information, project experience, certifications, leads, and so forth, so you never have to slap your head and say, “Did I forget your birthday? I’m so sorry!” Remember the last time you were at work on your birthday, walking with your head down looking at a file trying to perform some calculation in your head. The last thing on your mind was the fact that it was your birthday, and then all of a sudden someone says, “Hey! Happy birthday!” And what did you do? You looked up with a huge smile on your face. Doesn’t it feel nice? (Unless, of course, you would prefer not remembering your birthday. But that’s another story entirely . . .) Remembering your employee’s birthday is a great way to show that you care. It’s a way to show your employees that you have a relationship with them beyond the lead metrics and projected sales revenues, that they’re people, just like you. If you are in need of a solution for your data, proposals, or customer relations we would love to show you our CRM. Book your demo now! Feel free to also reach out to our sales team here or call 800-505-7089 ext. 1 with any questions you may have. Here are other articles that may be of interest to you: Here’s How to Get Free Construction Leads Transform your address book with Unanet CRM by Cosential CallerID. Expert Advice: How to Make the Right Go/No Go Decision

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Quick Tips to Improve your Go/No-Go Assessment

by Sarah LorekAEC, Architecture and Engineering, Construction, Cosential, Uncategorized

Jun 11, 2019

Quick Tips to Improve your Go/No-Go Assessment When designing your Go/No-Go process, it’s helpful to leverage the metrics you’re already tracking like relationship strength, competitive analyses, teaming partners, internal resources, hit rates, etc. to make more strategic decisions on which projects to chase. These questions will guide you toward building a Go/No-Go form to identify your firm’s winnable projects: Is the project in alignment with our Core Values? Do we have the staff available to take on the project? Do we have the marketing resources available? Is this a strategic owner, client, or prospect? Do we offer all the services in-house or do we have to contract them out? What is our relationship like with the client? Are we prepositioned for the RFP? What is the client payment activity like? Characterize our competitors’ relationships with the client? Is the contract with a developer or any other entity other than the owner? Is the project funded? Is a bid bond required or surety letter required? What are the project’s risk elements (i.e. schedule penalties)? If you’re using Unanets Go/No-Go functionality, you may want to add a workflow that alerts all necessary parties. Notify leaders if the score is too low so they can decide whether the project should be pursued Staff can be alerted when the score passes a certain threshold to take on next steps If the score is too high, leaders can be notified to confirm that the form was filled out accurately We hope these quick tips can help you make more informed decisions in your Go/No-Go strategy. Our clients have reported an increased hit rate and decrease in wasted resources after implementing a successful Go/No-Go process. If you are in need of a solution for your data, proposals, or customer relations we would love to show you our CRM. Book your demo now! Feel free to also reach out to our sales team or 800-505-7089 ext. 1 with any questions you may have. Here are other articles that may be of interest to you: Expert Advice: How to Make the Right Go/No Go Decision How to Get free Construction Leads Unique Project Costing Challenges for Architecture and Engineer firms Don’t forget about our resources page. It is packed full of whitepapers, case studies, ebooks and other goodies to help out your business.

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What Architects Should Look for In CRM Software

by Sarah LorekAEC, Cosential, CRM, ERP Software Best Practices, Uncategorized

Feb 13, 2019

Clients buy into ongoing relationships when they are sold on the experience your firm provides. How can you deliver at the highest levels on every project and gain an edge over your competition? Consider investing in an architecture CRM system to manage your business processes end-to-end. What is CRM? CRM is shorthand for customer relationship management. It’s more than just another software package or cloud-based service. Customer relationship management is a business strategy that helps architecture firms to increase revenues, reduce operating costs, build and nurture client loyalty, and improve bottom-line profitability. Think of CRM as an information hub. It gathers data from various sources including project budgets, conversation logs, project proposals, and invoices to give you a holistic real-time view of your clients and projects. Why architecture firms need CRM CRM helps you improve responsiveness and communication. Not only does it help improve direct communication with your client, but it also allows your employees to be more responsive to team members and be more proactive in completing tasks that make your projects run smoothly, completing them on time and within the budget. CRM allows you to measure the value of each client and each project. You’ll gain insight into how well you provide value to your clients. Together, this information helps you identify growth opportunities and develop strategies to expand relationships with your key clients. CRM in architecture not only helps you manage client relationships, but it also supports every component of business development from bidding and proposal delivery through project lifecycle management. 5 Features Every Architecture Firm CRM Must Include There are many CRM systems on the market. Some are specific to the architecture, engineering and construction industries while others are designed to work across a much wider variety of product and service industries. Here are the must-have features for an effective architecture CRM system. Project-based sales Configurability Go/No Go functionality Central database Relationship intelligence 1. Project-based sales You sell finished projects instead of physical products. Winning the next bid hinges on using information from the last project you completed. You may already use robust project management, PM, system and overlook this essential feature when selecting a CRM for architecture firms. When choosing a CRM, you can select a system that links to and integrates data from your existing PM tool, or use a CRM with project management features incorporated. Keep in mind the differences between the two. Project management focuses on short-term items including start and end dates, milestones and deliverables, workflow management, and task tracking. Customer relationship management focuses on long-term goals that support relationship building that leads to more business. Both PM and CRM support communication tools for contact management and emailing, scheduling and time tracking, and planning and analysis tools. An efficient project-based CRM gathers information from the systems and processes you already use to complete projects. It supports your proposal and bidding process with analytical tools to help you estimate budgets, completion timeframes, and logistics schedules to deliver more accurate project bids and proposals. 2. Configurability Configurability, including scalability, will ensure that your CRM will serve your business needs through crucial growth periods and beyond. When searching for the right CRM, remember that customizable and configurable are not the same thing. In software, customizing involves coding. In other words, you’ll need your IT person to custom code the fields, features, and functions you need. Configurable CRM systems allow non-IT users to change features and functionality through the built-in native tools in the system. Configurability does have limitations. You’ll need to consider whether the CRM system is designed for wholesale or retail product distribution, home or business service providers, or project-based service delivery. While a product-driven CRM may be fully configurable, it lacks the project-driven components that are essential for architecture firms. Additionally, ensure that your CRM is scalable and adaptable as your business processes change. One example of a scalable and configurable CRM feature is telephone dialing, call logging and recording, or message transcribing for mobile and desktop users. An effective CRM supports your staff through internal process changes without the need to migrate to and learn new systems each time you make small changes to your business model. 3. Go/No Go functionality Automating opportunity analysis supports intelligent business decisions. Early in the business development process, your CRM should be able to qualify or disqualify, leads and projects together and separately. To analyze new potential deals, you can configure the CRM to score a lead according to user inputs and reach a go/no-go decision. When bidding additional projects for existing clients, your CRM can pull details from previous projects, timelines, budgets, and customer experience data along with user input to yield a go/no-go on specific projects. 4. Central database Being able to find the data, documents, and information you need all in one place ensures a faster, more seamless workflow. The ability to search and sort, upload and download, retrieve and duplicate information, files, and data from a variety of locations is an essential feature of a robust customer relationship management system. CRM should bring together back-office documentation and client-facing information making them accessible in a few clicks. Also, your CRM should be able to extract data from one source and copy data into other functions to streamline workflows, task completion, and milestone delivery. A highly functional central database supports you in administrative processes such as onboarding new clients and finalizing completed projects. 5. Relationship intelligence Data without context doesn’t supply you with useful information. You need details that help you understand your clients and metrics that let you evaluate the impact on your bottom line. Relationship intelligence helps you achieve your most important business development and client-specific objectives. The most important function of the relationship intelligence feature in a CRM system is its ability to provide users with predictive information. It tells you if your firm’s relationship with a client is on track and profitable or if it’s at risk in any way. Automated relationship intelligence tracks interactions across multiple projects, can flag potential issues, and create a corrective action plan. With relationship intelligence, your team members know what needs to happen at every stage of a project and throughout the client life-cycle. Architecture CRM Meets Needs of Forward-Thinking Firms In summary, choosing a customer relationship management system is a critical decision for your company. Architecture firms sell experience and expertise. Being able to quickly and easily access past and on-going project information is crucial for writing winning architectural project proposals. Static, one size fits all solutions won’t get the job done. You need a robust CRM solution that allows you to configure your specific workflows, reporting, and analytical tools. Interested in winning more work with a CRM built specifically for architecture? Check out this free eBook. Architecture firms need go/no-go tools that help them quickly determine whether opportunities are worth pursuing, which projects get automatic approvals, and which ones require management input. A centralized hub for data facilitates better deal analysis and faster proposal creation. Architecture is a highly relationship-based industry. Therefore, make sure that the CRM architecture and design you choose supports your ability to determine how clients, internal project teams, and external partners impact your firm’s bottom line. If you like this article you may also like: What’s a CRM & Why It’s Important For Your Business

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What exactly is CRM … And How Does It Help Construction Firms?

by Sarah LorekConstruction, Cosential, CRM

Nov 02, 2018

Defining CRM In construction, CRM stands for client relationship management. It refers to cloud-based software that places key relationship, communication, lead and opportunity data at users’ fingertips. The construction industry revolves around relationships. Clients often award expensive, high-profile projects based on how well they know and trust a firm. Each point of communication with a client will strengthen or weaken that trust. That’s why it’s crucial for client-facing staff to know the full picture of their firm’s relationship with a client, including:   Who the client is. Who works for the client. What projects they’ve done with the client in the past. What projects they’ve done that resemble the one they’re attempting to win. What opportunities they have chased with the client, and how successful they have been (client hit-rate). How often their firm communicates with the client, and what they’ve said. And much more. Unfortunately, many construction firms rely on tools like Outlook and Excel to track this information, resulting in employees working from multiple, disparate documents … none of which provide an accurate, up-to-date picture of the firm’s current relationships. Without a clear understanding of previous conversations, employees often repeat questions or make contradictory promises, which can damage a firm’s reputation with clients and partners. A construction-centric CRM can eliminate this issue by making accurate, up-to-date, and actionable relationships easily accessible.   (Learn how Unanet CRM by Cosential — the CRM and Proposal Automation solution purpose-built for construction — can benefit your firm.)   CRMs offer measurable results that tools like Excel and Outlook simply can’t achieve. According to Software Advice: 74 percent of CRM users said their system offered improved access to customer data. 47 percent said it had a significant impact on customer retention. 47 percent said it had an impact on customer satisfaction. The kicker? This study analyzed generic CRMs designed for companies that sell products. Construction firms, which sell experience by demonstrating how the skills and knowledge used in previous projects can benefit future clients, have different needs. Firms that invest in a solution purpose-built for their unique challenges and business development processes can expect greater results.   Why construction-centric CRM matters In most industries, sales & business development is a two-stage process. In the first stage, the organization identifies a lead. In the second stage, the lead becomes an opportunity. The sales rep then aims to close the deal before delivering a product. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/6b1a5/2-stage-product-sales.jpg","srcSet":"/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/445ac/2-stage-product-sales.jpg 150w,\n/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/3bc07/2-stage-product-sales.jpg 300w,\n/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/6b1a5/2-stage-product-sales.jpg 600w","sizes":"(min-width: 600px) 600px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/80102/2-stage-product-sales.webp 150w,\n/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/a1246/2-stage-product-sales.webp 300w,\n/static/9998ca17e4661ef4ea758189571df17e/22762/2-stage-product-sales.webp 600w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 600px) 600px, 100vw"}]},"width":600,"height":269},"className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} But construction firms sell their experience and ultimately projects. For general contractors, this is a three-stage process. Leads or rumors become opportunities, which require proposals, bids or submittals before they can become projects. Finally, the firm uses that project data to win more projects. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/4abfb/3-stage-project-sales.jpg","srcSet":"/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/aaaee/3-stage-project-sales.jpg 188w,\n/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/ce735/3-stage-project-sales.jpg 376w,\n/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/4abfb/3-stage-project-sales.jpg 752w","sizes":"(min-width: 752px) 752px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/da494/3-stage-project-sales.webp 188w,\n/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/d58bf/3-stage-project-sales.webp 376w,\n/static/dbf7fd7bc1a9b1974040a4100012a020/da3c1/3-stage-project-sales.webp 752w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 752px) 752px, 100vw"}]},"width":752,"height":434},"className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"2"}   For sub-contractors, the process is a bit different. Firms form relationships that lead to bids that eventually become projects. The firm then uses project data to win more bid invites. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/4fff0/Project-sales.png","srcSet":"/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/778cb/Project-sales.png 256w,\n/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/1c3e2/Project-sales.png 512w,\n/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/4fff0/Project-sales.png 1024w","sizes":"(min-width: 1024px) 1024px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/2d906/Project-sales.webp 256w,\n/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/44138/Project-sales.webp 512w,\n/static/c68499c5eb33b61ab804343a8b0116ae/c2de5/Project-sales.webp 1024w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 1024px) 1024px, 100vw"}]},"width":1024,"height":504},"className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"3"}   With such a stark difference in the way construction firms and product-based companies win deals, it’s clear that construction firms need a CRM purpose-built to serve their needs. But what capabilities are most important for a construction-centric CRM?   7 things to look for when purchasing a CRM in construction: Network mapping Central database Industry-specific integrations Proposal and resume automation Hit rate-improving analytics Go/No Go functionality Mobile functionality 1. Network mapping Construction Executive warns that, when it comes to awarding a project, “multiple people can impact a decision.” That’s why construction firms must develop relationships “with everyone from top to bottom. A general rule of thumb is that every person at the prospect’s home or business is important, from the administrative staff to the president, as well as spouse and other family members.” That’s a lot to keep up with. And your firm and the prospect aren’t the only organizations involved in the deal. You also need to keep partners in mind — especially when it comes to joint ventures.   Juggling all these moving parts can get very complicated, very fast. To keep up with everyone involved, your CRM should allow you to map out and document your entire network, including: Clients Prospects Personnel Owners Owner’s reps Subconsultants Contractors Subcontractors Tracking down to the individual level is key. For example, imagine an employee leaves your firm. If they end up working for an architecture firm you work with or another construction firm you partner with in joint ventures, will your CRM recognize him or her as single person?   For most CRMs, the answer is no. Instead you would be forced to create a new record for your previous employee to associate with their new firm and mark the original record inactive. But with a construction-centric CRM, you can simply associate your former employee’s contact record with their new firm and not lose any rich details or history that is vital to your network. Put simply: All CRMs can handle contact management, but construction firms need a solution that can handle their unique use cases.   In addition to managing the contacts themselves, it’s also important to document communications between your firm and your network to empower greater internal collaboration.   “Our marketing and business development often teamed up with project managers to get new projects,” said Lisa Pitts, senior implementation specialist at Cosential, referring to her time as a marketer and business developer in construction firms like Satterfield & Pontikes Construction and Helps Phelps Construction Co. “Knowing who is talking to whom and when is key to a successful procurement.”   2. Central database Marketers and business developers in construction often live in several spreadsheets, wondering whether they’ve missed out on a great opportunity because of a forgotten lead — as Travis Wilson, director of marketing at Layton Construction, knows all too well.   “My team was struggling to collect information, and then, when they finally collected what they needed, it didn’t always make it into a central repository,” he explained. “We were using this constantly growing spreadsheet to try and keep track of all the data we had, but over time, it just became overwhelming. We were constantly saying to ourselves, ‘There’s got to be a better way.”   Now that he uses Unanet CRM, he no longer has this problem. In fact, the information he and his team need is so easy to access, he uses the CRM to quickly onboard new employees. “We used to struggle with a few people holding key institutional knowledge in their heads. I’ve been here for 13 years, and I have a few team members who are long-term employees. We know a lot about our projects, but as we grow and bring in new people, they don’t have the historical knowledge we do,” Travis said. “With Unanet, they can get a clear idea of the history behind our projects. It definitely gets them up to speed quicker and makes them less reliant on our veteran employees.”     3. Industry-specific integrations Integrations are incredibly important when it comes to CRMs, but many vendors don’t handle them well. In fact, 49 percent of CRM users said integrating with other systems is a challenge. And once again, this figure is based on generic CRMs and users from all industries. That means your chances of successfully integrating a generic CRM with construction-specific systems is slim. (Think financial systems, like Vista by Viewpoint, or project management systems, like Procore Project Management.)   But a CRM created for construction will provide integrations with these services and more. That eliminates duplicate data entry and addresses any data integrity concerns.   4. Proposal and resume automation  One of the reasons integrations are so important is they put project data at marketers’ fingertips, allowing them to generate proposals and resumes without the typical headache … a change they would welcome with open arms. “The thing about building proposals is it always comes down to the last minute,” Lisa said. “It’s really high pressure, and everybody gets frantic. Anything that saves time — that keeps you from having to dig or chase someone down for information — is huge.”   By pulling key project and resume data from your financial system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software into your CRM, marketers can use the time they save hunting down and updating this information to better tailor proposals to the client’s key issues, leading to a greater success rate.   “Project managers can get irritated at marketers who ask the same question 20 times because they don’t know where they put their response or they want to double check that it’s right,” Lisa explained. “Once marketers have a single source of truth for the information, that problem is solved.”   And knowing the project data is accurate because the CRM pulls it from the system of record is invaluable. “Having that accurate data feeding from one source is key,” Lisa said. “Any incorrect information will bring your score down and may prevent you from getting shortlisted or winning the job.”   5. Hit rate-improving analytics const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/e8443/UCRM_AEC-screen2.png","srcSet":"/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/965a8/UCRM_AEC-screen2.png 160w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/dfb5e/UCRM_AEC-screen2.png 321w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/e8443/UCRM_AEC-screen2.png 641w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/7f817/UCRM_AEC-screen2.png 1282w","sizes":"(min-width: 641px) 641px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/de774/UCRM_AEC-screen2.webp 160w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/6d670/UCRM_AEC-screen2.webp 321w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/11578/UCRM_AEC-screen2.webp 641w,\n/static/79fa13d7f55e2e9135604e17154d3adf/55bb4/UCRM_AEC-screen2.webp 1282w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 641px) 641px, 100vw"}]},"width":641,"height":467},"alt":"CRM analytics","className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"4"} In 2015, the Southern Illinois University Master of Marketing Research program partnered with SMPS to uncover which metrics matter most to success in architecture, engineering and construction. One of the most important, as you might expect, is the hit rate.   By understanding where your most profitable projects come from, you can create a more effective pursuit strategy that increases your hit rate. According to PSMJ, “In the past, the process was fraught with hunches and incomplete data. At present and in the future, there is no need for hunches or lack of data.”   Thanks to construction-focused CRMs, they’re right. To understand where your firm has the biggest opportunities to increase revenue, a CRM should allow you to analyze: The locations where you usually win work. This will help you develop a better understanding of your ideal customers and target regions where your firm thrives. Which relationships help you win more work. Measure which partnerships lead to the most wins. Maybe when you partner with organization A and compete against firm B, you win 90 percent of the time, but when you partner with organization C and compete against firm D, you lose 85 percent of the time. This information can help you determine whether pursuing an opportunity is likely to lead to a new project or become a wasted investment. Which lead sources most often lead to projects. You may already have some idea of which leads are most effective. For example, maybe you know conference leads perform well. But do you know if that’s true for all conferences or just some? Pinpoint your best lead sources at a granular level to decide which leads are worth pursuing. Which types of projects are most profitable. This analysis isn’t related to hit rate, but it’s crucial to understand. You may have certain project types or market sectors that frequently lead to wins, but if they’re not profitable, they’re not worth pursuing. 6. Go/No Go functionality A construction-centric CRM will provide tons of data to help you create an effective Go/No Go process, allowing your team to invest in high-probability opportunities and avoid wasting resources … a goal many in AEC overlook. According to Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM, vice president and CMO of JDB Engineering, too many firms put marketers “on wild goose chases because of poor go/no-go decision-making for clients and proposals.”   Fortunately, a construction-centric CRM will simplify this process, providing the data needed to answer key questions, such as: Is this a high-profile project? Does the project align with our core values? Do we have an existing, positive relationship with the owner? Is this owner collaborative and appreciative of our values? Will this result in an enduring relationship? Do we have the right team available for this project? (Want more help with your Go/No Go decision? Use this template from SMPS.)   7. Mobile functionality const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/58912/U_CRM_AEC_screen.png","srcSet":"/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/5996c/U_CRM_AEC_screen.png 251w,\n/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/c8693/U_CRM_AEC_screen.png 501w,\n/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/58912/U_CRM_AEC_screen.png 1002w","sizes":"(min-width: 1002px) 1002px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/ff88c/U_CRM_AEC_screen.webp 251w,\n/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/ff54b/U_CRM_AEC_screen.webp 501w,\n/static/6ad186563c9778f6be406585dcd5fb0c/edd23/U_CRM_AEC_screen.webp 1002w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 1002px) 1002px, 100vw"}]},"width":1024,"height":592.7345309381237},"alt":"Mobile CRM","className":" inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"5"} 81 percent of CRM users said they access their CRM using multiple types of devices. Even if you think you won’t need mobile access, it’s good to have the option. Your best sales people are not behind a desk. Mobile accessibility allows your business developers and seller-doers to capture key lead information while on the go. And that’s crucial for ensuring important information isn’t forgotten.   Your CRM should also allow you to do the following on your mobile device: Automatically log phone calls. Enter notes using voice to text. List and search your projects. Organize, search and filter contacts, companies, projects, call and opportunities. Receive enabled push notifications. Access driving directions to any address in your system. Review your upcoming and past due call logs. The #1 CRM in Construction Unanet CRM by Cosential empowers firms to: Improve their marketing and business development processes and communication. Access key project, personnel and client information anywhere, anytime. Win projects based on their existing relationships and proven experience Ditch frustrating and time-consuming spreadsheets. Leverage their entire network to win more projects. Integrate with crucial industry-specific solutions. Quickly generate bids, resumes and proposals. Analyze opportunities to improve their hit rate. Develop a strategic Go/No Go process. Want to find out if Cosential is right for your firm? See it in action.  

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What’s a CRM & Why It’s Important For Your Business

by Sarah LorekAEC, Cosential, CRM, Uncategorized

Feb 20, 2017

There are plenty who have heard those three letters “CRM” and aren’t sure what the acronym stands for. Quite often at events our staff asks or gets asked, what the acronym means and it’s a testament to the more recent awareness and adoption within AEC firms that many people to this day cannot define it. That’s okay; you’re not alone. CRM in concept is arguably one of the newest types of software to be implemented within AEC firms and the timing, while arguably late against other verticals, certainly aligns with younger generations joining and taking the helm.   CRM by common definition means “Customer Relationship Management”.  The earliest adopters are the organizations who have sold products, software, or “stuff” for decades.  They operate in a world of high-volume conversations, pitches, and attempts to win over most of their perspective TAM, or Total Available Market. AEC firms that sell projects over products are adopting CRM’s for core reasons such as having one source of truth for contact information, lead and opportunity pipeline management, and streamlining marketing efforts such as accessing historical project records for proposals and/or easily organizing email campaigns to clients, partners and prospects. Arnold Neustadter first marketed this practice in 1958 with his rotating index file cardholder we all know as the Rolodex. That type of tool reigned arguably well from its conception to the 1980s when Robert and Kate Kestnbaum pioneered database marketing. In 2007 the CRM took off fueled by the SaaS market and while you may have not known the acronym of CRM until recently it’s highly unlikely you have not heard of Salesforce, arguably the most popular and traditional CRM used by product and software-based companies to date. If we were immortal, only loyal to one employer, had immaculate memories, and of course telepathic there would be no demand for a CRM.  Perhaps in a galaxy far away this is the case but here on Earth, that’s not the case. At a business level, the information gained through years of relationships and transactions is the lifeblood of a company.  Documenting client names, contacts, contact information, and history is vital. So here we are, human.  We are forgetful tend to change jobs from time to time.  Combing through a departed employee’s laptop to recoup business intelligence is a familiar sight, but not needed for businesses capitalizing on technology such as a CRM.  The “tribal knowledge” of a company’s relationships can and should be documented within a modern, easy-to-use forum so much that when CRM is done right it’s the source of truth for your staff. What Do Most CRM’s do? The elevator pitch for a CRM is that it’s a software system businesses used to document the existence of prospects, customers, and house anything and everything associated with them. Expect a CRM to house accounts, and all the contacts with their respective telephone numbers, email addresses, notes, and conversations. Most CRM’s have a component that automatically logs every email between companies, showing who sent what and when with complete transparency.  At a minimum, all CRM’s allow users to log their own notes related to an account, contacts, and sales pipeline.  It’s the sales pipeline that business leaders focus on. Having a single pain-of-glass view showing what deals are in work, closed, and forecasted aligned with the ability to quantify or dig into activities is vital for leaders and executives.  That is what affects major business decisions and what feeds information back to owners, boards or investors. Life without a CRM Every business with ambitions to stay alive must have an aggregate view of performance. Traditionally those without a CRM live within an endless array of emails, spreadsheets, and attachments with a poor soul tasked to consolidate the data frequently.  It’s that simple, but it’s not. In such a world like this the more people contributing data the higher the odds of it either being vastly inaccurate and extremely subjective in format and content. Redefining the “C” in CRM: Fortunately, the first letter of the acronym CRM is flexible. The official definition is Customer Relationship Management.  But do you think of your projects as customers? Do you vest into having customer support lines, or a venue for customers to make returns, submit trouble tickets? For AEC firms the answer is obviously not. Unanet has redefined this “C” for years in marketing to AEC firms as a “Client Relationship Management”, tool and a taking a step further with “Company Relationship Management”.  When you consider how AEC firms manage not just clients, but partners, suppliers, and prospects, a CRM truly allows a firm to have a fantastic grasp on all relationships that matter. What if you could automate a process to reward your subcontractors with a gift or a shout-out for receiving the highest average customer satisfaction score from your most recent client?  What if you could do that without lifting a finger?  Relationships drive your business. One day you may be competing head to head with a firm and the very next day, teaming with them to win a big project.  The relationships you manage with Architects, Engineers, General Contractors, Sub Contractors AND clients are equally important.  One squeaky wheel can derail an entire project. Interested in learning more about how Unanet can help your firm stay on top of your personnel records? We would love to show you, request a demonstration today. Feel free to also reach out to our sales team here or 800-505-7089 ext. 1 with any questions you may have.