Follow "By the Number$"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hiring Sales People in the Construction Industry

One of the hardest challenges in any business is hiring good sales people who can sell. If you are looking to hire people who can sell, are good estimators, and do well at managing projects you might be destined to fail before you even start. They are three different skill sets that make up good sales people, estimators, and project managers.
To be a great sales person one must be driven and communicate well with customers. To be a good estimator one must be detail-oriented. To be a good project manager one must be organized. Unfortunately, the really successful sales people are neither detail-oriented nor organized. The ones that have all three skill sets are typically running their own companies. The chance of finding a person with all three skill sets is slim to none. If you do find this prospect, you may soon discover they will be out on their own doing it for themselves.

What is the solution?

Since most of us in this economy cannot afford or compete with all the extra overhead of two extra people many successful contractors are turning to automated estimating tools that allow good sales people to become better estimators and project managers. We’re talking about automated estimating systems that allow sales people to estimate faster, create more accurate proposals, and once the proposals are signed to be able to communicate what was sold more effectively with their vendors and internal employees.
There are many adequate unit price estimating systems that can generate proposals for the customer to sign. The problem with unit price estimating systems is that it is very difficult to order or budget from a unit price. Once the job is sold, someone has yet to complete a detailed estimate/budget and communicate that information to the vendors and internal employees.
You could also invest in estimating systems that allow you to communicate more effectively with vendors and employees. These estimating systems allow you to estimate in greater detail; faster. They also automatically generate budgets, purchase orders, subcontracts, and work orders from the estimate. Unfortunately, many of these estimating systems do a poor job of generating proposals for the customer to sign creating redundant work. Another issue is the proposal/specification are not integrated and transferred automatically to the purchase orders, subcontracts, or work orders. There could be an overlap or error in communication between what was sold to the customer, the vendors, and employees.
Contractors Software Group (CSG) has developed two estimating products that incorporate both philosophies into one solution. With an integrated solution, your sales people can become better estimators and project managers. CSG has incorporated within their estimating software the ability to build bid sheet templates of cost items and assemblies broken down by category of work and/or by location. Attached to these items and assemblies are specifications. Once you merge these templates into your estimate and enter quantities, footages or lump sum amounts, you are generating the proposal for the customer to sign at the same time. This way, what is sold is also being estimated. Since CSG is attaching vendors to cost items in the templates you can automatically generate request for quotes, purchase orders, subcontract agreements, and work orders for vendors and employees. This way what was sold to the customer via the proposal is automatically transferred to these documents, which improves communication. With fully integrated estimating, proposal/specification, and purchasing software your sales people can be better estimators and project managers.

Contractors Software Group also develops lead tracking, follow-up marketing, customer service, scheduling, and job cost accounting products. These products are fully integrated with their estimating software products so everyone involved in the project are working together for the same common goal. In this economy, when everyone is asked to do more with less, fully integrated software streamlines your business.

Written by Jeff Knutson / J. Knutson & Associates' President
1-800-866-3083 / /

No comments:

Post a Comment