In this post, we are going to discuss proven strategies for construction companies to use in building a team to grow your business. In our last post, we spoke about the importance of determining “who are we” before taking any further action in building your construction sales organization. We talked with you about determining if you’re a “relationship or transaction” focused company. If you missed the video blog and article, check it out here.
The next set of strategies for construction companies to take in building a successful construction sales organization is determining which hats that need to be worn in the sales process. For example, if the projects that you’re performing are more complex in nature, then specializing the take-off function, estimating the job, presenting the proposal and follow up contact could be roles that are designated to different people. As we talk with contractors across the country, everybody defines a salesperson differently. Sometimes a salesperson does the take-off, does the estimate, sells the job and even project manages – and they call that a sales person. There needs to be someone who actually presents the proposal. Now, does that mean just emailing a bid or meeting directly with the client to present the project to the client?
In the relationship based model, you never just “send a bid”, you always “present a bid”. People representing your organization in a sales related role are communicating. In fact, 55% of communication is body language, 38% is communication and only 7% is based on the actual words you say.
Based on Albert Mehrabian’s Communication theory, meeting your prospects/clients face to face is highly recommended in relationship based sales because if you just send a bid to a client, you’re limiting yourself to just 7% of your ability to persuade the client to buy your services.
The difference between Sales People and Estimators:
The best sales people are typically extroverts. They have a personality, they can connect with somebody. The best estimators are usually introverts. They’re typically very calculated, they’re great with spreadsheets. As Gregg Wallick shares with his experience is that his best sales people were always his worst estimators. His best estimators were his worst sales people. Those guys were just bidders, they were great at figuring a job and calculating a price. They weren’t great communicators, didn’t connect with the client relationally and couldn’t persuade very well. He shares that estimators just love to estimate, they love just working on jobs and making it work. The sales people, however, can’t remain focused long enough to effectively price a job because they probably have ADHD.
You have to have enough activity to justify the specialization. You must be able to support a full-time estimator and a full-time sales person. Gregg shared that he decided to specialize once we got to 2 of each type of role (estimators and sales people). He now has specialized take-off people who are in the field, while estimators remain at the estimating table. Only the sales people speak directly with the client in his business.
You must have the right talent, the right amount of activity, and a way to coordinate the workflow.
Another considerable set of strategies for construction companies to use in team building is in Project Lead Generation. We can take a look at this another layer out front in the selling process. Do you expect your salespeople to prospect? Gregg shares that what he’s grown to with a relationship based model, is to have a full-time Business Development people. Their responsibility to generate leads (projects) for the sales team. They qualify leads and can really keen in on creating great opportunities. The best situation is when you have your sales people full time to sell and not prospecting.
If you don’t have it already, the FollowUp Power software is a great workflow coordinator to make managing priorities with construction sales people and estimating easier.
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