Architecture, engineering, and construction firms work on two fronts: winning new business while keeping existing customers happy and loyal. Technology can be a big help, but you must also understand how to apply that technology for it to do its job in helping you build a Connected Firm. In this blog article, part of our series on the Connected Firm, let’s discuss the role of Connected Relationships.
We’ve all heard the phrase: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. If you work for a professional services firm, you know this couldn’t be more true. And if you work for an AEC firm, this phrase should be your mantra! As a result, your AEC ERP software should support Connected Relationships.
For AEC Firms, Strong Relationships Drive Sales
Nearly all your clients in this industry have repeat business opportunities that could become your next project. But you really need to know the prospective client to win the work: commercial clients have favored designers; local government engineering departments have their “go to” consultants.
How do you break into these opportunities without a current relationship with the prospect? What’s the best way to get an introduction to get things started?
It’s All About Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM)
You might not know the prospect directly, but you likely know someone who does. Your connections might be well connected! You have internal relationships with co-workers. They might know the prospect. You have external relationships with your business contacts. They may also know the prospect. Both groups are perfect sources for you to get that warm introduction you’re looking for. If your AEC ERP software has Enterprise Relationship Management, it will help you tap into those existing relationships so you can develop new ones.
Discover your best internal connections. An Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) system will tell you who in your organization currently has the best relationship with any contact. It will collect data about your co-workers regarding who they’ve been in contact with and what type of contact it was. The following screenshot is from aec360’s Enterprise Relationship Management application. It shows that if you want an introduction to Mark Becker, Gary Mills is probably your best shot. Based on the type and frequency of contact, Gary Mills is the co-worker with the highest relationship score.
Tap Into Your Best External Connections
A well designed and user focused ERM system will go a step further and provide direct access to your external network, typically LinkedIn. In the following aec360 screenshot, the user clicked on the menu option “Sales Navigator.” The aec360 ERM application brings them directly to LinkedIn’s page for Mark Becker. The Get Introduced tab shows our mutual connections. There are also tabs for Icebreakers and Related Leads. From this screen, the user can send a message to any of their contacts asking for an introduction.
Enterprise Relationship Management Helps You Learn Who You Need to Know
So, let’s summarize: Relationships drive sales. Leveraging your current relationships is the best way for you to develop a relationship with a new prospect. If your AEC ERP software has a well-designed Enterprise Relationship Management system, such as aec360, it will help you understand which internal relationships and external connections will help you get a warm introduction to the prospect. With that introduction, you are off and running with a new relationship…AND all the opportunities that will help you win more business!
With aec360, you can have a connected firm. Let us show you how in our on-demand webinar, How to Achieve a Connected AEC Firm with Dynamics 365 and aec360.