Centralized Access to Information Enables Architecture Firm to Improve Pursuit and Opportunity Tracking

Rapid growth can be both an opportunity and a threat for architecture firms. It’s great to expand the client base and increase revenues. But efficiently managing prospect pursuits and proposal opportunities—to make sure the firm does not lose any business—becomes more difficult as marketing and business development teams also grow and new offices open. 

It’s become easy for critical information to get isolated in individual spreadsheets. Internal teams can’t share data and tap into up-to-date information to know what’s going on in real time with a particular pursuit or opportunity. Even though the firm is doing well overall, it’s not growing at the rate it’s capable of.  

Improved CRM a Must to Drive Future Growth 

As Cushing Terrell steadily expanded operations to more than 450 professionals working out of 14 offices in 7 states, the senior leadership team was determined to manage this growth efficiently by improving the company’s customer relationship management capabilities. This included streamlining processes for tracking prospect pursuits as well as existing customer relationships. Accelerating workflows in both areas was necessary to continue driving growth.  

One particular capability Cushing Terrell needed to add was quickly determining if a pursuit is a “Go” or “No Go” so the business development team could assign the necessary resources to manage the deal. With a specific set of questions for business development to answer, this required a CRM system with the flexibility to build in the firm’s unique qualification process. 

Cushing Terrell also sought to migrate to a CRM platform that could consolidate all marketing and business development activities, along with customer and project data, into one system. This would make information readily available to all team members and allow managers to understand the status of prospect pursuits and proposals.  

The Answer: aec360 

To solve these challenges, Cushing Terrell turned to HSO’s aec360, built on Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

In addition to tracking and automating contact, lead, opportunity, proposal, and customer relationship activities, aec360 integrates with the existing Cushing Terrell ERP system as well as Microsoft Outlook and the firm’s OpenAsset digital asset management system. The ability to customize aec360 was also critical—Cushing can add any new functionality the marketing and business development teams require.  

Access to information was another key benefit. aec360 provides dashboards with quick views into reports and runs in the cloud with a mobile interface so the marketing and business development teams can tap into the CRM system from anywhere they work. Having all the data in a central CRM system makes it easy to search for information—rather than checking multiple spreadsheets. The internal teams also know the information won’t move—it’s always in the same place.  

Go/No Go Feature a Big Hit 

Cushing Terrell uses aec360 to analyze prospect pursuit data, proposals, requests for qualification, project information, and project closeouts. The business development team tracks lead communications, who last talked to a prospect, and whether leads are worth pursuing. They can also track when leads are promoted to opportunities and when opportunities are promoted to projects. aec360 keeps all the records in one place. 

The go/no-go workflows in aec360 have been a big hit. HSO built a field that calculates the likelihood of a project closing, which is based on the answers business development team members give to a series of questions. Each question has its own calculated weight, and if the total number equals a high percentage, Cushing Terrell knows they will pursue it. If it’s a middle grade, they consider bringing in a third party. And for the lower grades they don’t want to pursue, they note the reason, which is helpful for future qualification efforts.  

A Partner Who Always Responds 

Looking ahead, functions that Cushing Terrell plans to add include contact harvesting and email signature scraping. These services—provided by HSO’s relationships360—analyze prospect information and score relationships based on key interactions including emails, tasks, appointments, phone calls, and notes. This will enable Cushing Terrell to know who in the company has the strongest connection with each prospect. Cushing Terrell will also track where prospects come from and how many have visited their website.  

“From the beginning, HSO has been helpful and responsive,” says Toni Schneider, the Regional Marketing Director for Cushing-Terrell. “They gave us quality training on aec360 so we could pick up the backend to the point where people without a technical degree can create new features.”  

“Not only does HSO give us the training to do a lot on our own, they also provide resources we can use in a pinch,” adds CRM Manager Victoria Matthews. “They gave us tips on how to search for help, which is a big reason why we picked up so quickly on aec360. And we never run into a scenario where HSO can’t fix something. If there’s an issue, they find an alternative—we’ve never been left empty-handed.” 

To hear more about the Cushing Terrell story, check out the complete case study. And to find out how HSO’s aec360 can deliver the same pursuit and opportunity tracking benefits for your firm, contact us today.   

Michael D’Alesio is VP, Customer Care at HSO ProServ | Michael has served in many roles during his tenure in the Microsoft Partner Channel for the past 25-years.  Michael currently is responsible for supporting, enabling and strategically leading the HSO ProServ Team responsible for HSO ProServ D365 installed based customers to accept, adopt the Microsoft platforms to ensure they attain business value and user adoption.

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.