Follow this 7 POINT GUIDE to choose the BEST Contractor CRM for YOUR Business and make the most in 2022!
- Author: JobProgress LLC
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Do you wish you could burn every spreadsheet you have to deal with on a daily basis? Wish you had better insight into what your costs and margins really are on each job? Are you and your staff still using paper data sheets to track sales, contacts, orders etc? How about better insight into what your salespeople are doing and what is working best in terms of closing deals?
Admitting you have a problem is the first step, and it's time for an online project/customer management solution. But before you dive into the deep end of the pool, take the time to look into your options so you choose the one that will be the best fit for your company today and as it grows too.
And while we are a bit biased and believe Job Progress is the bombdiggity/dope/GOAT, it may not be the best fit for every company out there. That's why we encourage everyone who is ready to add a CRM and/or business management system to their business – or upgrade to a new one that is better than what they currently have – to take the time to follow the steps below to save a ton of time and potential frustration on the other side.
Here goes … (this is a BIG DECISION! Follow this guide to help you choose WISELY!)
- Outline your company's needs for the tool: Why are you looking into a system like this in the first place? What do you currently use for project management and what do you wish that system did that it doesn't? Make a comprehensive list of your non-negotiable features and your nice-to-have ones as well. And don't forget to get input from each department that will be using the software. What may be perfect for your office manager could be a royal pain for your salespeople, so don't rely on one person or department to provide all the input.
- Create a list of options to evaluate: Once you know what you need the tool to do, it's time to put together a list of your options. It is rare that you find a tool that perfectly meets each and every one of your needs, so you will probably need to look at a few options to see which one comes the closest to what you want. Online research is a good place to start, but also ask your friends and colleagues in similar businesses what they use.
- Go on a few test drives: Once you have determined the best options to consider, do a side-by-side comparison of each vendor's features first. (I recommend really geeking out here and creating a chart where you rank each one of the features that are important to you.) How well does each one meet the needs you initially identified? Does it have all your non-negotiables and most of your nice-to-haves too? Don't stop here; take your top app choices on a test drive. Have team members from different areas of your company give each one a spin to see what they think. How well will each software meet the needs of everyone that will be depending on this system daily? Is it easy to use? Can you quickly access the information you need? Once you are done, update your chart with hands-on comments about functionality, user interface and ease of collaboration.
Evaluate the reputation of the software company: Outside of how well the tool will meet your needs, it is important to look at the reputation of the vendor too. Look at user reviews to see what others have to say about the company’s responsiveness, quality, and knowledge of the construction industry. Spend a bit of time on review sites and in online forums to see if there are common complaints that will frustrate you as well. Or even better, talk to a user in a company similar to yours to learn what they like and dislike about the software. And don’t stop there! Ask the following questions too:
- If the system will be cloud hosted, what security protocols, back-up/recovery systems and uptime guarantee does the vendor have in place?
- How long has the company been in business and how well are they performing? You don't want to make a commitment to a vendor who is not going to be around for much longer.
- How are they in terms of making regular updates, fixing bugs, and adding features?
- How will they work with you if you decide to change systems in a few years? Are there extra fees for gaining access to your information or additional time needed for format conversation to make a switch?
- Look at the costs for each option you are considering: I intentionally put this toward the end since you want to find the best solution for your company, and cost is only one of the factors to consider. Once you get here, though, make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at pricing. Is the solution priced by user? Are there initial set-up fees? Are there additional fees that you need to budget for? If the one you want is priced too high, is there an option to negotiate a lower price for an introductory period? Is the additional cost worth the functionality and ROI you will get? Cost should certainly be a consideration, but it is one of many to consider in a decision like this. Don't cheap out and regret it in a few months.
- Define the steps involved in implementation: Before you plunk down any money, make sure you have determined what is involved in making the software work, and by work, I mean WORK FOR YOU. Who will need to be on the implementation team and in what roles? How long will it take? Will there be downtime to manage? Trust us, you want to do this right the first time so you get the most value possible from your time and money investment. Don't get caught in a "garbage in/garbage out" situation; take the time to do it right! And don't forget to include communication and training as part of implementation too.
- Customer Service: You may find the perfect product, but if they have poor customer service, it may not be the best solution for you. Will you have a person in charge of your account that you can email or call directly with issues? Do they provide training during set-up and as you add new people? What is their reputation in terms of responsiveness and accessibility? Do some research online and ask other users about their experience since you want to know you are in good hands once you make a commitment.
I realize this sounds like a lot of time and effort, but the revenue growth, saved time, insight into your costs and margins, and even fewer headaches will pay off in spades! Hell, you may even be able to take that vacation you've been putting off for the last few years.
To get you started, we created an evaluation chart for you below with our opinion on each of these competitors. For our chart we consider 1 to be lowest rank ie highest cost, lowest ability to scale etc. Yes, we think Job Progress is outstanding, but we also realize we may not be the perfect fit for every Contractor company out there. And if you want to talk to us about what we offer, reach out, request a JobProgress free demo and see what you think.
|Job Nimbus||Contractors' Cloud||Acculynx||MarketSharp||JobProgress|
|Cost to Use||5||6||3||6||7|
|Ease of Use||7||2||5||7||8|
|Ability to Customize||5||3||2||5||10|
|Contractor Trades Specialty||8||9||4||7||10|
|Best Overall||44||42||31||43||64 = WINNER|