Contractors: Quickbooks is not Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
Most small businesses in the home services industry use Quickbooks to manage their accounting. The software is truly great at what it does, albeit slightly frustrating to use at times. Everything from creating estimates and invoices, finding a customer’s phone number, and finding out which customers to call for overdue payments, Quickbooks becomes the hub for many small businesses. In fact, we’d say second to email, construction business owners spend more time in Quickbooks than any other software application.
But let’s be really clear—Quickbooks is accounting software, not a CRM solution for small businesses.
Time and time again while chatting with our home services customers and prospects—landscape contractors and architects, custom home builders, pool builders, kitchen and bath designers, and general contractors—when we ask them what they use to manage their customer relationships and contacts, we get Quickbooks as the answer. So many times, in fact, that we decided to begin offering proper CRM software implementation as a service we provide. Why? Because we feel any small business with at least 5 customers, or even 5 potential customers, needs a CRM. The benefits are simply too huge to ignore.
Here are 3 benefits of a CRM for contracting businesses and construction professionals.
1. BETTER COMMUNICATION WITH CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS
Keeping track of your interactions with customers quickly becomes too much for that old notebook you carry or the multiple Excel files that don’t connect with each other and are saved, well, somewhere ( hmm where did I save that?) With proper CRM software, contractors can keep all the details of phone conversations, emails, social media interactions, and files related to the account, all in one place. It doesn't matter who said what and to whom…it’s all there for you and your employees to access at the drop of a hat. Mrs. Jones is calling you while you're out traveling to an appointment? No problem. Pull up the CRM app on your iPhone and get all the latest communications and info you need to keep her happy or close the deal. The increased efficiency gained by organizing all of this information in one spot saves time and money.
2. IMPROVED SALES PIPELINE INSIGHTS AND CLOSE RATES
Many home service businesses struggle to understand the status of their sales pipeline at a given time. While new leads are often tracked fairly well, and open estimates are somehow tracked (probably in another Excel file), a full, comprehensive view of pipeline is rarely achieved. With CRM software that allows for assigning leads a pipeline stage everything become much clearer. How many opportunities do you have in the qualification stage? How about the proposal stage? It’s all right there for you to use while planning your marketing and sales efforts. This information is critical to landing new projects and increases the speed and rate of close.
3. SEAMLESS INTEGRATION WITH YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE…QUICKBOOKS!
With CRM software options like Insightly, the customer information in your company’s Quickbooks portal will always be in sync with your CRM system. Get rid of all double entries of basic customer contact info and create an optimized system that works best for your business. There a multiple options on the market for CRM software that integrates nicely with Quickbooks. Be sure to choose one to make your life much easier and your business more efficient.