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For sales and marketing teams in the construction industry, keeping up with the trends and times is just as important as it is for materials and design professionals. Earning 2% to 3% profit margins (compared to an average of 20% in other industries) isn’t sustainable for most companies, especially after the last two years.

Buyers’ expectations are trending towards tailored experiences, making the push towards digitization and customer-centric solutions more important every day. The firms that were successful while construction slowed and material costs skyrocketed put a powerful emphasis on streamlining sales and marketing. They built out solutions for virtual sales and digital presentations that helped them lower downtime, cut costs and bolster their closed-won deal buckets with less effort.

Recognizing this emerging demand, information technology and software companies began to include solutions tailored for the construction industry. Immersive virtual presentations, data and analytics features, CRM integration, cloud-based content studios and full-stack B2B integrations offer the ability to increase effectiveness at every stage of the sales cycle. Virtual presentation platforms where sales and marketing work together in real-time offer a single source of truth that allows users to predict desires and find new buyers. For those willing to accept a digital transformation, rapid evolution gives them an edge. The ability to act quickly and decisively results in a flexible, scalable model for growth. 

The first step is understanding what a firm’s “tech stack” is made of. For sales and marketing, it’s every application, piece of software or technology that’s used to improve operations. It’s the CRM, the design programs, email/messaging platforms, video chat software, social media automation—any and all operations that a team uses on their desktop, mobile or tablet to get the job done. 

Once a firm knows what its tech stack is composed of, it can look for weak spots. The most efficient way is to track competitors and work from there to meet or exceed their efforts. Firms should focus on new ways a business can cut through the noise, and differentiate themselves from competition, starting from the ground up: pitching and winning bids.

For the best chance at a winning bid, It’s imperative to build an early rapport with prospects during the process, listening to their challenges and focusing on their organization. What are their needs? The prospect must be confident that their construction company understands their business backwards and forwards.

One way to beat out opposing bids is through a comprehensive, digitized presentation. It’s important to note that 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. There’s a boilerplate layout, simple slides with an image, links that link to other webpages such as YouTube or a homepage, and offer the creators 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.

An outstanding digital presentation, on the other hand, breaks away from the “offline” feel of the 2000s, using a “platform” focus. Instead of outsourcing links to a browser window, video chats to another app, multimedia and large files to an emailed link, all content “lives” in the presentation itself, making it immersive. A presentation platform looks and feels like a functioning, living website with all the same abilities. 

Users can easily utilize custom-designed layouts, integrated videos and multimedia, seamless addition of other pages built-in to slides, built-in surveys and interactive items. Offering audiences a 3-D, explorable virtual layout of a building is the next evolution beyond the simple blueprint PDF. 

Additionally, every slide view or click sends customer data back to the presenting firm. Ultimately, platforms utilizing the latest technology allow firms to tell a story when pitching prospective clients in ways the standard PowerPoint presentation lacks.

Digital presentations made on a platform are more attractive and, when necessary, easier to share. When competing against the manila-folder and blueprint-based competition, a presentation platform helps a company stand out, offers more organization and presents the company as a leader in the industry. 

Better yet, digitization provides more flexibility and faster reaction times. Once the prospect is impressed with the initial pitch, their feedback builds its own baseline digital presentation that features the job requirements, company profile, needs/wants of the client and auto-populates case studies that make sense for the bid. In a matter of minutes, the presentation platform handles the content needs and positions the contractor’s specific solutions that meet those needs. 

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, that one presentation link evolves and grows to hold everything the client needs, simplifying the file exchange process tenfold. 

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 digitized presentations beget additional streamlined business practices. The firm’s 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 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 can use presentation data and analytics to find clients most likely to re-buy and offer the services they are most likely to need. 

The embrace of tech such as AI, robotics and drones in the construction industry is a sign that the times are changing. But that first step is adopting digital technology into the presentation model–is something powerful that has the potential to take a business far, and fast. 


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