The construction industry is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Companies seek to expand their capabilities, broaden their market reach, or consolidate their resources. However, the integration process of two construction companies can present particular challenges when it comes to aligning their technology systems.
Meanwhile, today’s digital era, a crucial aspect of this integration is in fact the merging – or at least aligning – the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.
The Challenge of Merging Construction Companies
When two construction companies merge or one acquires another, they bring together different processes, systems, and cultural aspects. The technology landscape often becomes a complex web of overlapping systems, software, and data management methods. The lack of a unified CRM solution can lead to inefficiencies, data silos, and disjointed workflows, hampering productivity and hindering customer relationship management.
Importance of Salesforce CRM in Construction
Salesforce CRM has gained significant traction in the construction industry due to its ability to streamline sales processes, manage customer relationships, and track project progress. It provides a centralised platform for sales teams, project managers, and executives to collaborate, access real-time data, and make informed decisions.
In fact, in a recent article (How to boost construction productivity) Salesforce shares E&C industry-specific research findings:
- Managing Opportunities: Select work that’s right for you by unifying your data
- E&C organisations that integrate front and back-end systems for a single source of truth among customers, projects, employees, and third parties see revenue growth improve by 3% to 5%. Bidding costs drop by 15%-20%.
- Managing Relationships: Nurture opportunities more efficiently
- “Organisations that use data, analytics, and AI to choose, engage, and manage third parties can save 3% to 5% on procurement costs by offering self-help options where appropriate.”
- Managing Resources: Mobilise the right teams and defend your margins
- “With digitisation, Salesforce teams have seen E&C businesses improve resource utilisation by 20% to 30%”
- Managing Execution: Mitigate risks and optimise asset operations
- “When E&C businesses automate these kinds of tasks, Salesforce teams have seen them increase project productivity by 10% to 15% and accelerate decision making and case resolution by 30% to 40%.”
With CRMs being this important for construction company success, aligning Salesforce CRM systems in merged or acquired construction companies is crucial to achieving operational efficiency, improved data visibility, and enhanced customer service.
Identifying Technology Challenges
Before aligning Salesforce CRM solutions, it is essential to identify and address potential technology challenges. These may include:
a. Data Integration: Merging companies often have disparate data structures and formats. Integrating and mapping data from multiple systems into a cohesive Salesforce CRM platform requires careful planning and data cleansing to avoid duplications and inconsistencies.
b. Customisations and Configurations: Each construction company may have tailored their Salesforce CRM solution to their specific needs. Aligning these customisations can be challenging and may require reevaluating existing processes and configurations to ensure compatibility and harmonisation.
c. User Adoption and Training: Employees from both companies will need to adapt to a new CRM system. Training and change management initiatives should be implemented to ensure a smooth transition and foster user adoption across the merged organisation.
Strategies for Aligning Salesforce CRM Systems: How do you do it?
To successfully align Salesforce CRM systems during a M&A in the construction industry, consider the following strategies:
a. Conduct a Comprehensive Assessment: Perform a thorough evaluation of both Salesforce instances to identify overlapping functionalities, data structures, and areas that require harmonisation. This assessment will provide insights into the scope and complexity of the integration process.
b. Develop a Data Migration Plan: Plan the migration of data from the legacy systems to the unified Salesforce CRM platform. This involves mapping data fields, transforming data formats, and ensuring data integrity throughout the process.
c. Standardise Processes and Workflows: Collaboratively define standardised processes, workflows, and sales methodologies to establish a common framework across the merged organisation. Streamlining these aspects will enhance efficiency and enable seamless collaboration.
d. Reconfigure and Customise: Review the existing customisations in both Salesforce instances and align them based on the needs and priorities of the merged company. Balance standardisation with maintaining unique functionalities that add value to the new organisation.
e. Invest in Training and Change Management: Provide comprehensive training programs to employees, emphasising the benefits of the unified Salesforce CRM solution. Engage employees early in the integration process, address their concerns, and communicate the value proposition to facilitate smooth adoption.
Optimising Salesforce CRM for the Construction Industry
Aligning Salesforce CRM systems also provides an opportunity to optimise the platform for the unique needs of the construction industry. Consider the following tips to enhance Salesforce CRM specifically for construction companies:
a. Custom Objects and Fields: Tailor Salesforce CRM to include custom objects and fields that align with construction-specific data and processes. For example, create custom objects for projects, bids, change orders, or equipment tracking. This customisation allows for more accurate tracking and reporting on construction-specific metrics.
b. Project Management Integration: Integrate Salesforce CRM with project management tools commonly used in the construction industry, such as Procore or PlanGrid. This integration enables seamless data flow between project management and CRM systems, providing a holistic view of project status, timelines, and milestones.
c. Mobile Accessibility: Construction professionals are frequently on-site, making mobile accessibility crucial. Ensure that Salesforce CRM is optimised for mobile devices, allowing field teams to access and update information on the go. This improves real-time collaboration, data accuracy, and productivity.
d. Document Management: Construction projects involve numerous documents, including blueprints, permits, contracts, and safety records. Leverage Salesforce CRM’s document management capabilities or integrate with document management solutions like SharePoint or Box. This centralises document storage, improves version control, and enhances collaboration among teams.
e. Analytics and Reporting: Utilise Salesforce CRM’s robust reporting and analytics features to gain valuable insights into sales pipelines, project performance, and customer interactions. Customise dashboards and reports to reflect construction-specific metrics such as project revenue, bid-to-win ratios, or customer satisfaction scores.
Over to you.
Merging or acquiring construction companies presents technology challenges that require careful planning and execution. Aligning Salesforce CRM systems is a critical step in the integration process. It enable construction companies to streamline processes, improve data visibility, and enhance customer relationship management.
By addressing data integration, customisations, user adoption, and training, construction companies can successfully align their Salesforce CRM solutions. You can optimise Salesforce for your construction company, with customisations, integrations, and mobile accessibility. And, when you so, you’ll can get the full potential of the platform to drive growth, efficiency, and competitive advantage.
In the construction industry effective project management, strong customer relationships, and data-driven decision-making are paramount. That’s why aligning Salesforce CRM solutions becomes a strategic imperative. By overcoming technology issues and aligning their CRM systems, merged or acquired construction companies can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive market.
Last Updated on June 9, 2023