Picture this: You’re close to closing the sale on a new project. You just need to write a winning proposal and the job is yours.
But you’ve got your arms full of other proposals and your staff is stretched thin. Or maybe it’s a new prospect you really want to impress. How do you deliver a proposal that’s impressive, accurate, and comes in at a price that will work for you and help you impress your client?
You need contractor business software to manage your proposals. These are apps help lower your workload and increase efficiency while giving you a step more professional polish.
Here are some essential features of great contractor proposal software and how they can help your business.
1. Pre-filled Forms and Templates
You know what makes estimating easy? Having the busywork done for you.
A pre-requisite of even the most basic contractor app should be the inclusion of a host of template for bids, estimates, proposals, and quotes. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel on this stuff, and a good app also makes it easy to customize with your own logo and tailor the templates to your specific niche.
2. An Estimate Library for Materials and Labor
It’s hard to develop a proposal that satisfies both your potential customer and your bottom line without an accurate idea of that total costs to execute the job.
Enter the estimate library. Estimate libraries, as the name implies, are databases of materials costs to help you accurately gauge your estimated price. The best ones also have tools to help you estimate labor costs and make it easy to update material prices regularly to reflect the most up-to-date costs.
Considering that less than a third of construction projects come within 10 percent of their budgets, according to global construction consulting firm KPMG, that matters.
From there, it’s just plug and play. Bake in your margin, export your super-accurate proposal to a clean PDF, and get ready to win that next job.
3. Task and Team Management
You might be asking, “why would I need team management features in my proposal software?”
Technically, you don’t. You can create a proposal just fine without it.
But remember those estimated labor costs? Those come down to how well you manage your employees’ and subcontractors’ time and how efficiently you assign crews to tasks. Some apps even include time tracking software so you can really see how efficiently you’re doing and track the time cost of projects. That’s especially handy if you do a lot of jobs of a similar type.
In other words, this software contributes to an essential piece of knowledge affecting how competitively you can bid – and ultimately increase your profits.
4. Customer Relationship Management Tools
So you’ve sent your beautifully designed and meticulously priced proposal. Now what?
You need a customer relationship process to track the proposal as it goes, assign employees to follow up, and to make sure the customer is satisfied if you win the proposal. Even if you don’t win the work, you need a system in place to market to your potential client for future jobs.
With a detail-oriented staff, you could do this on your own with spreadsheets and the right processes in place. But it’s considerably easier to track proposals, invoices, jobs, and future opportunities with full-fledged customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
A software-based CRM keeps track of all the paperwork for little details for every prospect and client, making it simple to market to them, address payment and job history, and answer questions quickly.
It’s a holistic, comprehensive way to keep your customers happy – and it can help you turn a one-off proposal into an long-lasting opportunity.
5. Mobile Ready
If you’re in the contracting business, you most likely don’t spend all day in the office. So why be tied to an office when it’s time to fill out paperwork?
Good proposal software in 2018 must be mobile-friendly. Imagine writing down proposal details while you’re on the road, at a job site, or in an important meeting and being able to turn that into a bid within hours or days. Having an estimating app in your pocket can make you look pretty smart, too.
In a business that doesn’t always have a reputation for speediness, being able to quickly turn out professional and polished proposals from anywhere is a powerful tool. And because you don’t have to be chained to a desk, it increases your overall efficiency, too.
6. Enter FieldPulse: More Than Contractor Proposal Software
FieldPulse stands apart from other contractor proposal software because it’s an all-in-one app.
Want to create, send, and track estimates quickly? FieldPulse has you covered. But the software also tracks your customers and helps you generate invoices. What’s more, the platform includes tools to help you assign tasks and team members to jobs, manage timesheets, automate customer communications, and GPS-based location check-in.
In short, FieldPulse not only has robust estimation and proposal software, but will follow the sale all the way through the job and your final payments – along with integrations with Square and QuickBooks accounting software.
To make it easy to get started, there’s a 14-day free trial and no credit card required to sign up. Most importantly, the pricing is designed to match your business. That means you can get all of these features for a reasonable cost that relates to your needs.
What’s not like about that? Try us out today.