How the Construction Industry Benefits from Virtual Bids
For sales and marketing teams in the construction industry, standing out in a sea of bids is just as important as the Pantone Color of the Year is to designers. And, as buyers start to expect tailored experiences, the push to digitization and customer-centric solutions increases every day.
The firms that found success when construction slowed and material costs skyrocketed in 2020 were the ones that streamlined sales and marketing. They prioritized the buildout of virtual sales and digital presentation solutions. This resulted in less downtime, lower costs and faster closed-won deals.
Not long after, information technology and software companies started tailoring solutions for the construction industry. Additional features such as data and analytics, full-stack B2B integrations and cloud-based content studios were implemented to increase effectiveness at every stage of the sales cycle.
The ability to act quickly and decisively resulted in a flexible, scalable growth model. This rapid evolution provided those willing to accept a digital transformation a necessary edge. Here’s a deeper look into how they did it and how you can still make the switch.
First, Optimize Your Tech Stack
The first step is understanding what your “tech stack” is made of. For sales and marketing departments, the tech stack includes every application, piece of software or technology used on a desktop, mobile or tablet to get the job done. It’s the CRM, design programs and email/messaging platforms, for example.
Once you’ve determined what makes up your tech stack, you can look for weak spots. The most efficient way to do this is to track others in the construction industry and work from there to meet or exceed their efforts. You should focus on new ways to cut through the noise. How can you differentiate from competition, starting from the ground up … pitching and winning bids?
Then, Earn Their Trust
To increase your likelihood of winning a bid, you’ve got to build a rapport with prospects early in the process. Listening to their challenges and focusing on their organization goes a long way. It also helps instill confidence that your construction company understands their business backwards and forwards.
One way to beat out opposing bids is through a comprehensive, digitized presentation. But, just because a presentation is hosted over the web doesn’t mean it offers any benefit on its own. A middle-of-the-road digital presentation feels like a simple PowerPoint hosted in a video chat or emailed alongside a bid. A boilerplate layout, some simple slides with an image and perhaps a few links to other webpages provides little or no insight into how the customer interacts with it. Essentially, it’s a temporary fix for companies that only want a one-to-one mirroring of its regular presentations. Most middle-of-the-road digital presentations may not hurt sales numbers, but they aren’t going to help them either.
Basic Formats Just Don't Cut it Anymore
An outstanding digital presentation, on the other hand, breaks away from the “offline” 2000s feel by using a platform focus. Instead of outsourcing links to a browser or video chats to another app, all content “lives” in the presentation itself. A presentation platform looks and feels like a functioning, living website with all the same abilities.
Users can easily utilize custom-designed layouts as well as integrated videos and multimedia. Or, seamlessly add built-in surveys, additional pages and interactive items. Offering audiences a 3-D, explorable virtual layout of a building is the next evolution beyond a simple PDF.
Additionally, every slide view or click sends customer data back to the presenting construction firm. These platforms allow firms to tell a story when pitching prospective clients in ways the standard PowerPoint presentation can’t.
Digital presentations made on a platform are more attractive and, when necessary, easier to share. When competing against manila-folders and blueprints, a presentation platform helps a construction firm stand out, offers more organization and presents them as a leader in the construction industry.
Better yet, digitization provides more flexibility and faster reaction times. Once your prospect is impressed with the initial pitch, their feedback builds its own baseline digital presentation. Their clicks help jumpstart automation that creates a presentation with the job requirements, company profile, needs/wants of the client, etc. In a matter of minutes, the presentation platform positions the contractor’s specific solutions.
Firms accepting bids with digital presentations get to easily pivot to the planning stages and beyond. A client gets one link with every step in the process. With limitless storage, enhanced visual assets and interactive capabilities can be built into the same presentation, as well as planning documents, material needs, staffing, timeline details and beyond. As meetings and presentations continue, the platform expands to hold everything the client needs, simplifying the file exchange process tenfold.
Put Your Platform to Work
A successful presentation platform goes beyond the pitch and works as the intersection of sales and marketing operations internally and externally. In short, the technology itself builds presentations, but allows construction firms to enhance every other section of their tech stack.
Streamlining digital presentations can enhance other business practices as well. Your sales, marketing and revenue objectives stand to benefit from its widespread rollout. Internally, sales and marketing presentations that live in a presentation platform always have CRM-based, real-time updates and act as a single source of truth for qualified leads, generated leads, opportunities and closed-won/closed-lost stats.
Successful bids and pitches can be recorded, so your teams can watch the playback tape of winning bid strategies and train new people faster. Whole onboarding presentations can be made for employees and recruits, while investor presentations are elevated to the next level.
Once a job is completed, client retention teams can use presentation data and analytics to offer services to clients most likely to re-buy.
The embrace of tech such as AI, robotics and drones in the construction industry is a welcomed improvement, though it will take time to become more approachable for smaller companies. In the meantime, adopting digital technology into the presentation model has the potential to take a business far, and fast.