Suppliers and contractors in the construction industry may be under the impression that their sales teams are bringing in sufficient revenue, but the truth is their sales strategy is probably costing the business a lot more than they think. This is according to Databuild CEO Morag Evans, who says that sales teams need to be more strategic about how they spend their time.

“It’s no secret that the best source of new business for suppliers and contractors is project leads, which are usually either obtained through an internet search, or by driving around looking for construction sites, which is extremely time consuming.

“Assuming either of these methods yields some results, considerably more time then has to be spent identifying and calling the relevant professionals to set up an appointment to present the business’s particular product or service. It might take three or more calls before an appointment is secured and a further two or three face-to-face consultations with the professional before the deal is finally clinched, if it ever is.”

A comprehensive calculation of the cost of all these activities yields astonishing results, she continues. “You could be spending at least R1500 on each initial appointment but have nothing or very little to show for it.

Sales call costs grow and grow…

“Depending on your sales person’s annual remuneration, the cost of setting up each initial sales call can easily exceed R2 000. This becomes significantly more expensive when one considers that the majority of sales appointments are either made with the incorrect person, or the reason for the appointment has not been properly qualified. This is where an appointment service can be very effective in ensuring that sales consultants’ time is effectively used.

Evans cites timing as a critical factor in the sales process. “It’s important to get involved as early as possible. Products should be specified at the planning stage of a project, followed up when the project is put out to tender and then again with the successful contractor. The best time to get in on the action is during the project planning stage, before any tenders or contracts are awarded.”

This requires a significant amount of research, but that’s where Databuild Online comes in. “This dynamic, online database comprises the latest projects and tender opportunities in South Africa and other African countries, and includes contact details for architects, quantity surveyors and engineering teams,” Evans explains.

Proactive, timely marketing

The real-time information provided enables users to proactively and timeously market their products and services to the right industry players throughout the supply chain and across all stages of a project’s lifecycle. Users can also tailor the information to their unique requirements so that they can engage with it as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Databuild Online is also accessible through Databuild’s mobile application Databuild Anywhere, which includes handy geolocation features that allow users to search for projects and companies around them, and view relevant contact information, watchlists and tasks.

“Having access to reliable, real-time information significantly facilitates the generation of new business by enabling sales teams to manage their sales calls more efficiently. Additionally, contractors and suppliers are empowered to focus on running their business and deliver the best of the products and services they offer,” Evans concludes.

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