Moving from Excel gives Construction firm a better handle on opportunity management

Construction business outgrows Excel

With annual revenues of circa £100m, Henry Brothers is a construction business focusing primarily on the public sector, covering education, defence, and health.

To manage its growing sales pipeline, the Business Development Manager wanted to get a better grasp on opportunities and their progress. Specifically, there was a need to identify and track leads, and to automate lead and opportunity follow-up reminders.

With many opportunities coming through government procurement frameworks, a lot of effort goes into competitive tendering. Such opportunities can be administratively burdensome and require a lot of management. Previously, tracking this process was managed through an Excel spreadsheet.

With circa 250 opportunities in the spreadsheet, it had grown in both size and complexity over its 7 years of use. With the Business Development Manager being the only person who truly understood how the spreadsheet worked, this represented a risk to address.

Contacts required centralised management

Separate to opportunity management, the business had no formal way of capturing and managing contact data. This proved especially troublesome when a rebranding exercise required mass emails to customers and contacts to ensure awareness. With no central database, contact details had to be established by trawling through Outlook.

A supportive partner was required

Henry brothers engaged CRM Insights to assist in identifying a suitable solution.

“It’s difficult to know what to look for, and choosing a product is such a minefield. We considered Microsoft Dynamics, but it was both expensive and too big of a product for our needs. What we needed was a solution to fit our needs, not the other way around. In seeking a company that could independently advise us, we were introduced to CRM Insights. Since engaging them it’s been a surprisingly easy process.”  
Clare Swaine, Business Development Manager, Henry Brothers

Workbooks CRM ensures improved sales pipeline management

Following on from a free trial provided through CRM Insights, the Workbooks CRM product was implemented. The nominated CRM Insights consultant engaged with the Business Development Manager throughout to ensure appropriate configuration and to provide training.

A key area of improvement for Henry Brothers has been in its reporting capabilities. Previously, the spreadsheet was updated in part by positioning more important opportunities towards the top. This heavily manual process then required the spreadsheet to be emailed out on a weekly basis.

With Workbooks CRM in place, sales pipeline reporting is now much easier and clearer, with automated report distribution from within the system. Follow-up reminders are also automated – a much sought after functional - enabling the business to stay on top of live opportunities.

Future possibilities

The implementation of Workbooks CRM ensured Henry Brothers improved its sales pipeline management and addressed a critical business issue. The next stage is to leverage the CRM to bring further business improvement. This is set to include:

  • Utilising graphical reporting using charts and graphs to aid information assimilation.
  • Analysing won opportunities to ensure focus is on the right future opportunities.
  • Trend analyses to identify factors that may impact upon win likelihood, such as professional teams they interact with the most, geographical location, market sector, government framework, etc.

As the business grows, Henry Brothers now has the tools in place to ensure its processes run smoothly and evolve with the business.