The construction industry is complex, and so is the art of sales within it. Far from being a simple task of conversation leading to conversion, sales in construction require a deep understanding of multiple facets. A slight misstep can send ripples across the entire sales process, affecting the business as a whole. Mastering sales is a journey of continuous improvement, crucial for the growth and success of any construction business.

Streamlining Your Sales Process

Crafting a Clear Path
In the dynamic world of construction, the sales process often starts with the founders and evolves as the company grows. However, as responsibilities expand, the time available for sales diminishes. This shift can become a significant barrier to growth. The key to overcoming this challenge lies in defining and streamlining the sales process.
For instance, consider the journey of a family-owned construction business. The owner, initially involved in direct sales, excelled in this area but struggled to replicate his success through hired salespeople. The root of the problem? A lack of a well-defined sales process.
A Blueprint for Success
To address this issue, the company embarked on a journey to document every detail of its sales process. By capturing the intricacies of their approach, they were able to create a comprehensive training system. This system empowered salespeople to understand and replicate the owner’s successful techniques, leading to a transformation in the sales department and the business as a whole.
Consistency is Key
Achieving consistency in the sales process is paramount. By ensuring that the process is followed precisely each time, the business can achieve uniform results. This consistency allows for the effective training of team members and the replication of success across the board.

Leading with Authority in Sales Meetings

Taking Control of the Conversation
In sales meetings, it’s crucial to establish who leads the conversation. Allowing prospects to take control can lead to suboptimal outcomes and a disjointed flow of information. Instead, construction business owners should assert their expertise by outlining their process from the start. This approach not only positions them as the authority but also ensures that the conversation stays on track.
Building a Solid Foundation
Once a consistent process is in place, it can be fine-tuned to better connect with individual prospects. Techniques like DISC profiling can enhance rapport and communication, but they should be built on a solid foundation of a well-established process.

Presenting with Professionalism

Making a Lasting Impression
In the construction industry, professionalism is crucial, especially when dealing with significant investments. Sales proposals should be presented with care and attention to detail. This means avoiding email proposals for high-value projects and opting for in-person or video conference presentations. Dressing appropriately and providing well-organized, high-quality sales materials further reinforces professionalism.
Attention to Detail
The presentation of sales materials can significantly impact the perceived value of a proposal. Using company letterhead, including images or infographics, and opting for heavyweight paper are all small details that can make a big difference.
Creating a Robust Follow-Up System
In the construction industry, a strong follow-up system is crucial for converting leads into profitable projects. A roofing business, for example, struggled for a decade before realizing that their lack of an organized follow-up process was causing them to lose half of their prospects. By implementing a system where they responded to new leads within 48 hours and utilized customer relationship management (CRM) software, they transformed their profitability and set themselves on a path to their best year yet.
Tips for Effective Follow-Up:
  • Respond to new leads promptly, ideally within 48 hours.
  • Use CRM software to track leads and schedule regular follow-ups.
  • Ensure your team consistently checks in with leads, regardless of how busy you are.

Understanding Sales Goals and Conversion Rates

The Numbers Game in Construction Sales
Sales success in construction is a balance between generating qualified leads and achieving a healthy conversion rate. Utilizing a scorecard to track your sales metrics can provide valuable insights into your sales process’s effectiveness.
Key Points to Consider:
  • Aiming for an overly high conversion rate might indicate underpricing. A rate of around 30-50% is generally healthy.
  • Properly qualifying leads is essential to avoid wasting time on unviable prospects.
  • Implementing a professional service agreement (PSA) can help filter out less serious leads and ensure you’re compensated for your time and effort.

Setting and Achieving Sales Goals

Goal Setting for Growth
Establishing clear sales goals is vital for driving your construction business forward. Whether you’re measuring success by the number of projects or revenue, having a system in place to track progress is key.
Strategies for Success:
  • Reverse engineer your goals to determine the number of proposals, client meetings, and qualified leads needed to achieve them.
  • Use scorecards to monitor progress and make incremental improvements.

Compensating Your Sales Team

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
A well-structured compensation plan is crucial for attracting and retaining skilled salespeople in the construction industry. A combination of a base salary and commission can provide the right balance of security and incentive.
Best Practices for Compensation:
  • Set a base salary at half of the total expected compensation.
  • Ensure total compensation does not exceed 19-20% of the project’s gross margin.
  • Consider bonus structures for exceeding sales goals to motivate your team further.

Maximizing Sales Success with Small Business Growth Partners’ BPA

In conclusion, mastering the art of sales in the construction industry is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a deep understanding of the sales process, professionalism in presentations, and an effective follow-up system. By streamlining your sales process, leading with authority in sales meetings, presenting with professionalism, and creating a robust follow-up system, you can significantly enhance your sales performance and drive your business towards success.
To further support your journey in mastering sales, Small Business Growth Partners offers our exclusive Business Diagnostic & Plan of Action (BPA). Developed with a focus on the unique challenges faced by small business builders, remodelers, and trade companies, our BPA provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of your business. As a member of the Home Builder Association, you can access this valuable tool as a member benefit at no additional cost. Alternatively, a direct client referral can also grant you access to our services. By leveraging the insights and strategies provided in your BPA, you can refine your sales process, set and achieve ambitious sales goals, and ultimately, propel your construction business to new heights.