During challenging economic times like this, progressive architecture and engineering firms know how to leverage CRM systems to be more successful in finding work. Here are 5 things they know that other AE CEOs should too:
- When business opportunities are less plentiful, understanding your prospects’ and existing clients’ needs are more critical to winning new business. If you cannot add value based on knowledge of your clients’ needs, you are just another architect/engineer and you will be chosen (or not) based on price.
- Done right, CRM systems provide a systematic process for collecting data to guide future marketing/positioning to differentiate your firm from the pack. The way to collect premium fees is by providing unique capability defined as value to the client. CRM systems allow you to track client requirements and make that available across your organization.
- Do you have more than one client, contact, or opportunity list? If you do you’ve exponentially increased the chance of bad data entering the firm’s operations. Equally important, you’re limiting your ability to collaborate within your firm and leverage all your expertise. By maintaining a single database with this information you have a much better understanding of your status across the entire enterprise and you can share this information to be a more effective team pursuing new business.
- What is my pipeline? Your pipeline is one of the best predictors of your business volume in the future. Most AE firms rely on new business to keep the organization performing at high revenue and profit goals. By analyzing your future pursuits (pipeline) you can determine whether you have sufficient business by market sector to support your current staff resources or whether you need to increase the number of opportunities.
- Ever had a situation where more than one office is chasing the same business? If you maintain all your opportunities in a single database you will avoid the embarrassment of having two groups in your company chase the same project. By keeping all the opportunities centralized, there is greater potential to leverage skills across your company to ensure you have assembled the most effective team to win the work.
Bob Stalilonis has provided design and best practice consulting to AE firms for more than 30 years.