Best CRM software for Construction Companies: Close deals and manage projects with Insightly Best Practices by Val Riley January 30, 2023 What’s the best CRM software for construction? Let’s start with a definition of CRM. A CRM, or customer relationship management software, is an online tool that creates customer profiles, stores and tracks customer information and data, an email tool, and more. CRM software for construction companies can eliminate the need for a paper filing system and vastly improve your close rates at the same time. It’s a bit of a stereotype that the construction online presence is not strong and that it can be challenging to have a positive online experience when trying to find construction companies. This will likely vary by sub-industry, as construction has many applications and niches. Construction software is often about supply chain management, project management, or invoicing and billing. Some construction software companies provide some of the functions of a simple CRM, but it’s often not feature rich and fully customizable, and it may not offer integrations. A true CRM for construction and the best CRM for small construction businesses gives all of that different information one place to live – a central source of truth that connects every project to a customer. Why use CRM software for construction businesses? Companies in every industry can benefit from the use of a CRM – in fact, businesses that do use a CRM have a significant advantage over those that do not. Companies that are not using a CRM to manage and track their customer information are likely still using a paper system or a manual system like Excel. There are a few problems with this. Here are a few of the significant risks of using a paper or manual method to keep track of customer information that often plague the construction industry: 1. Security risks Paper systems and manual spreadsheets are not secure ways of storing customer information. Without permissions-based access, customer information can be seen by parties who do not need to have access to it. In the case of a cyber-attack, manually kept online spreadsheets are susceptible to risk and harm by online hackers who then likely have access to all of your customer’s information – possibly including their debit/credit cards. Modern CRMs are cloud-hosted and have strong encryption with advanced permissions-based access, so that only people who must have access to customer information related to their job can see it. 2. Lack of organization Paper systems and manual online spreadsheets are not self-sorting or self-creating. They do not automatically update with new information. Data can be lost or misplaced in paper systems. Data can also easily be deleted or overwritten in manual systems. CRMs are automatically updating and can even create brand new profiles for new customers or prospects depending on their online actions. If a prospective customer fills out a form on your website, a CRM can create a profile for them that alerts you to their interest and then continues to monitor their interactions with your business, allowing your sales team to gather the data they need for a memorable and personalized experience. 3. Confusion from separate systems The best construction CRM software is going to be one that allows administrators to multitask and follow projects from lead scoring all the way through to completion. Thanks to Insightly’s built-in project management features, you can create projects directly from closed-won deals. This means you don’t need two systems and you avoid the risks and confusion of passing data between the two. Win a project in Insightly and then work it in that same system with a familiar interface. All of the customer’s history passes into the project, giving the project management team a full picture into the customer’s journey. Construction companies of all sizes can benefit from the use of a CRM system. A small construction company CRM software should be able to scale with them as they grow – and Insightly is built for growing businesses. With Insightly, you are up and running in no time, making data migration simple. Larger companies can add seats, upgrade for more features, and expand with customizations and integrations. Insightly grows with you. Some common complaints about some construction CRM software, such as Zoho CRM (which can be used in many industries), are that it requires a lot of customization to begin with and that the forms are not optimized for conversion. Insightly can be used out of the box, or easily customized to meet the needs of your construction business. 4. Data loss from field work Another reason to invest in CRM construction software is mobility. Whether your team is in the field or in the office, if they need to pull up a client file, they should be able to. With multiple construction sites or offices spread out across the country, it’s important that everyone has access to the same data, no matter where they are. Papers and files left in field offices, trucks, and on-site lead to costly errors and data entry mistakes. Modern CRMs for construction companies will offer mobile apps for easy use in the field. Apps like Workyard that provide employee arrival and departure times, effectively tracking employee hours for accurate time sheets are a great way to ensure your payrolls are accurate. A mobile CRM with project management features can then ensure the project is moving through milestones properly. Best CRM For Builders Wherever your business falls in the construction process, you need a solid CRM. The right CRM for builders allows you to keep information on your clients on file without the clunky paperwork systems or hard-to-navigate manual file system held on a desktop. Similarly, CRM software for tradesmen allows them to keep and make digital notes on their prospects and clients so that all of the sales team and client-facing roles would have all of the same information about the leads, creating a personable and friendly experience for the potential client. A key feature – relationship linking – is especially of interest if you’re looking forthe best CRM for independent contractors. In large projects, your sales team is likely meeting with multiple contacts from the same company. Having a system that is able to keep track of their relationships saves your team from having to constantly remember who works for who, what their title is, what project they’re looking for, and more. With Insightly’s CRM, you can link customers and even emails to other contacts in your database so that you always know who’s who. Insightly is a great option as a CRM for builders, tradesmen and independent contractors as well as construction companies because it is customizable, and it holds and organizes essential data. It does a lot of the heavy administrative lifting for customer records and keeps the team on the same page – saving money and time. The use of a CRM can play a significant role in optimizing business processes, leaving the sales team, administrators, and others aligned. Construction Business Workflow Management Construction workflow software is often sold separately from CRM software. However, with Insightly, construction workflow management is built directly into the CRM itself. Deals won in Insightly can move right into a project and be managed in the CRM with a familiar interface. All of the data from the deal comes along right into the project. With Insightly, you can align your teams and processes around a single source of truth, keeping all of your team members on the same page – whether they are involved pre-sale or post-sale. This reduces the possibility of information silos, which can waste time and cause errors. A CRM for small construction businesses might have a lot of processes to optimize. With Insightly, organizations can customize views, dashboards, and workflow processes based on their unique needs and users. Insightly can give users access to real-time data, and if they’re using a mobile app, they have access to that data on any device, anywhere. One of the things that make Insightly the best CRM for small businesses and small construction businesses is its automation features. In a small business, there are likely fewer employees. This means that perhaps only one or two people are solely responsible for everything that running a business entails, from billing to marketing to stocking shelves. Luckily, a CRM can take care of all of that (except the stocking shelves, but – you might need a robot for that one). A CRM provides a centralized hub for all of your software. Insightly connects with all of the best software for billing and invoicing, project management, and more. This can free up a significant amount of time for a small construction business owner while helping to bring in new business at the same time. CRMs for small businesses and small construction businesses play an essential role in the acquisition of a new business. It may be as simple as a happy birthday email – with a CRM, you can remember little details like that about all your contacts! Construction CRM Software Options When it comes to construction CRM software, you’ve got options. However, not every CRM system is built the same. Depending on your business’s unique needs, some CRM systems may be a better fit than others. Insightly comes with built-in project management capability, which is a huge win for companies in construction, which have a lot of projects open with moving parts. Insightly makes it easy to see at a glance what stage the projects are in and what needs to be accomplished to move them on to the next stage. That said, Insightly has a few competitors, like Zoho CRM and HubSpot, that rely on brand name and recognition to sell products, while the applications below market specifically to the construction industry. Let’s look at a few: Smartsheet vs. Insightly Smartsheet is not a CRM system – it’s for project management. A glorified spreadsheet, Smarsheet has its uses, but it does not have the functions of a true CRM. With Insightly’s built-in project management capability, we know just how important it is that all projects are tied to a customer and that workflows are customizable. Smartsheet may help manage projects, but it’s the customer that’s really important. Houzz vs. Insightly Houzz positions itself as a top all-in-one system for residential contractors & design professionals. However, some of their reviews found on software review sites speak of poor customer service and poor or inaccurate lead scoring, which can create unpleasant or unsatisfying results for sales teams attempting to pursue leads. Insightly consistently rates high in satisfaction on sites like G2 and TrustRadius. Procore vs. Insightly Procore also advertises themselves as an all-in-one system for general contractors and specialty contractors. However, Procore, like many CRM systems, is a product suite that one must purchase fully to gain access to all of the features advertised. Insightly is built as one system with built-in project management, relationship linking, and more. There are other competitors, such as Buildxact, PlanGrid, and AccuLynx, that also advertise themselves as all-in-one systems. However, they seem to be project management systems that have a CRM rather than a CRM with built-in project management. CRMs like Insightly also offer powerful customer acquisition tools for leverage in addition to built-in project management. Best CRM for Small Construction Businesses Your small-but-growing construction business needs the right tools that will grow along with you. A CRM with project management built-in is an efficient way to grow. It will help your team understand and serve the individual needs of customers to create long-lasting client relationships. Insightly gives your team the tools to streamline every part of your construction business so that you can efficiently acquire new clients and then give those clients the attention they deserve. Check out Insightly CRM today and be sure to ask to see the built-in project management functions. When you’re ready to grow, consider adding Insightly Marketing, Insightly Service and AppConnect to see how aligning your team on a single platform can help your business hit the next level. Additional helpful links More information on this topic is available on the following pages: CRM For EnterpriseCRM SoftwareSales CRMCRM For Small BusinessCRM For Mid Sized BusinessCRM For EntepriseCRM For Manufacturing5 Goals You Can Achieve With a CRM6 Types of Customers and How to Delight Them Customer Relationships Val Riley Val Riley is a tech marketer with more than 20 years of experience. She specializes in Content Marketing at Insightly and previously worked for a marketing automation platform as head of Product and Content Marketing. Also known as The Decaf Marketer, Val is a regular contributor on LinkedIn.