Within the booming architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industries, there are always leaders. And then, there are followers. What sets the leaders apart is positioning their marketing teams as strategic drivers for success for accelerated pipeline and growth now and in the long term.
The principles and the best practices of these highly successful marketing teams can be summarized in these four best practices:
Prepare winning proposals with speed
Accelerate efficiencies in the bidding process
Eliminate organizational silos and collaborate
Use the right purpose-built marketing tools for the job
Marketing Pro Tip 1: Prepare Winning Proposals with Speed and Efficiency
While pipelines may be strong today, winning firms can’t be complacent for the long term - they know the time is now to build acceleration across all of their key business functions, especially marketing.
Leading firms have elevated their marketing departments from simple proposal writers to strategic enablers: They invest in them to wow the right customers and build the business foundation for the future.
Winning firms run their marketing processes like clockwork - not only do they have the right information at the fingertips of their strategic proposal development teams, they also use the latest tools in creating project proposals that delight.
These teams don’t need to source the same information within their organization every time they need to develop new proposals. They move with the speed, efficiency and elegance of a modern, agile delivery system.
The winning firms have embraced the most agile processes and adopted the latest tools so much so that they beat their competition with incredible speed and efficiency - 50% faster than the rest.
Marketing Pro Tip 2: Accelerate Efficiencies in the Bidding Process
This is the time to bring order and control to your processes and put an end to rushed proposal submission, while at the same time eliminating wasted manual effort.
Leading firms’ marketing teams spend more time creating winning proposals than on manual work such as looking up past project information, contacts and resume data.
The marketing and biz dev power of A/E/C leaders comes from knowing where their firm has been historically most successful and knowing the right doors to knock on and when. With the right data at their hands, marketing leaders are also better equipped to know whether to price competitively or aim for higher margins.
It’s becoming increasingly critical to know and leverage the entire firm’s relationship history to win right and fast. AEC marketing leaders know which relationships drove the most referrals and who your best references are. They can easily see and leverage those who helped in winning prior projects similar to the one your team is currently pursuing.
Marketing Pro Tip 3: Foster Seamless Bus Dev and Marketing Collaboration
Winning firms shift control of the firm’s knowledge of relationships and prior project experiences from specific individuals to all employees. Winning AEC teams start from the same foundation, a common set of technology-enabled databases, proposal materials, and communication flows.
They have abandoned the use of multiple, disparate systems, such as generic CRMs and have eliminated data being scattered across an organization in siloed financial and project management systems.
They are working with their bus dev counterparts via unified, purpose-built systems and processes enabling them to effectively oversee the pursuit of new projects at each stage in the sales cycle and respond to inquiries quickly, efficiently and professionally.
The winning firms have ingrained the most agile processes and adopted the latest tools that can reduce report preparation and generation time by as much as 80%.
Marketing Pro Tip 4: Use the Right Marketing Tech built for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Firms
The smart ones, those ahead of their peers, use the right marketing tools for every job.
Today’s leaders have zeroed in on marketing technology solutions that address the complexities of proposal management and the intricacies of relationship management.
By automating their approach to proposals with the proper technology-enabled solutions, winning marketing teams work efficiently and eliminate wasteful hours spent tracking down resumes and project lists thus freeing teams to focus on proposals that wow and delight prospects.
Winning firms use integrated and intelligent marketing automation to send emails and win with analytics by tracking and measuring proposal success and failure.
They enable better cross-team collaboration, strengthen the brand, and build stronger connections with prospects and customers, propelling their firm to always be top-of-mind for customers.
If you’re wondering how your firm stacks up against these winners, or whether your firm is deploying the right Growth and Relationship Management strategy, consider these questions:
- Are our teams struggling every time you need to prepare a new proposal?
- Are your marketers truly enabled to deliver winning proposals with speed and accuracy?
- Does your firm have one source of truth for all contacts and key relationships over its history that fuel the business?
- Do you have multiple, disparate systems, such as generic CRMs and siloed processes hindering collaboration?
- Are current marketing processes making your company tread water versus being always on the pulse of the right projects and opportunities?
By adopting and following the four marketing and proposal management best practices for the AEC industry, leading firms have delivered unrivaled results. And after embracing Growth and Relationship Management, these teams are empowered with insights, enjoy accelerated growth and drive sustained marketing and business development success. As a result, winning marketing teams have also won a permanent seat at the firm’s executive and strategy table.
Accelerate Growth and Profitability
As the leader in Growth and Relationship Management software for the A/E/C industry, for 20+ years Cosential has helped 1,000+ AEC firms such as Skanska USA, KCI Technologies, DPR Construction, Robins & Morton, and JE Dunn Construction increase annual revenue and increase productivity in key business development and marketing processes by up to 50%.
About the Author: Randy Reynolds is VP of Marketing at Cosential, the leading provider of Growth and Relationship Management software and services for Construction, Architecture and Engineering firms. Mr. Reynolds has held leadership positions in Marketing and Product Management at companies including ServiceMax, Inc., a provider of service execution management software for equipment manufacturers and service providers and SuccessFactors, a leader in Human Capital Management software now owned by SAP. Prior to entering the tech world, he helped his father build a successful home general contracting business.
Cosential is a sponsor and exhibitor at A/E/C THRIVE 2019: The Growth, Profit, and Success Summit for A/E/C Firm Leaders taking
place October 2-4, 2019, in New Orleans, LA.
This unique conference is an opportunity to hear directly from the leaders of top-performing firms and other industry visionaries on specific growth, profit, and performance improvement practices and how to replicate them.