Digital Tools for Contractors: Using Technology to Help Manage Your Business

By Satta Sarmah Hightower 09-23-2020
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When you own a business, every minute counts. Inefficiencies can lead to wasted time or mistakes that slow down your sales cycle and impact your revenue.

That's why using the right technology is so important. From appointment schedulers to cost estimating software, there are several digital tools for contractors that can help you manage your sales process more effectively.

If you're still managing your business manually, here's a rundown of some of the ways technology can make your life easier.

Tracking Sales Leads

Manually tracking leads in an Excel spreadsheet or Word document can take a lot of time and lead to errors. But lead-and-customer management software, such as GAF Leads, can help you work smarter by keeping track of current and potential customers.

You can also learn from an integrated tool. For example, you can use the data to better understand what marketing strategies are most effective in driving leads and what factors turn those leads into customers. You can then use this information to focus your time and money on proven marketing efforts and tailor your sales approach based on what's worked in the past.

The ultimate benefit of integrated software is that it can help you streamline your marketing and sales efforts by keeping all your data in one place, offering one interface from which your entire team can work, and help you identify insights about your customers that you simply can't get from a spreadsheet.

Scheduling Appointments

How many emails does it take to schedule an appointment? Often, it can take several back-and-forth exchanges to find a time that works for everyone.

Scheduling appointments via email is a hassle, but an appointment scheduling app or all-in-one tool can solve this problem. At their best, these tools integrate with your Outlook or Google calendar and show your team's availability in real-time. You can assign a team member and schedule a consultation right away, which can help you close deals faster and keep project timelines on track.

Video Calls

Video conferencing tools can help you connect with clients, especially in the current environment where meeting face-to-face isn't always possible. You can use video conferencing to go through your sales presentation, review project estimates, and even virtually show your customer how different color shingles, styles, and products would look on their property. This is much quicker than mailing materials or emailing a proposal and waiting for feedback.

Overall, video conferencing tools are invaluable for helping create and maintain face time with customers and build trust.

Cost Estimating, Proposals, and Project Management

A project doesn't begin and end when you're physically on-site installing products. There are several steps to get to this point, including obtaining measurements, creating sales presentations, creating project bids, and more. Post project, having the ability to organize your customers, receive payment, and manage all your data is critical as well.

Cost estimating and bid management software allows you to store all your estimates for materials and labor costs in one place. Then, you can easily access this information if a client wants to revisit details or if you need to reference them in the future.

If you keep all this information on paper and store it in a file cabinet, it may take a lot of time and effort to search through it and find the relevant information. But if you store your bids and estimates digitally, you can quickly access a dashboard that organizes all these details by category—without wasting valuable time rummaging through a stack of paperwork.

Finding an All-in-One Digital Solution

There are several digital tools available that can help your team tackle any specific phase of a roofing project, from acquiring leads and closing deals to managing the installation. However, using separate tools can lead to more time learning new technologies and result in a disjointed process to manage your data. And that could defeat the purpose of going digital in the first place.

For most contractors, an integrated solution like GAF Project, which offers a range of capabilities, is an ideal option. GAF Project helps contractors streamline everything from lead management, to initial inspections, to customer presentations, and final payment. You can use the program to create personalized presentations, draft and send proposals, enable customers to digitally sign agreements, and securely offer financing and accept payments. It makes collaborating with your customers and employees easier because all project information is stored in a single platform. GAF Project has a built-in MarketPlace that allows for integrations with many other third-party digital tools you might already use, bringing all the capabilities you need together in one place.

Technology makes managing your business much easier, allowing your team to focus on providing the best customer experience possible. By using an integrated, all-in-one tool, you can rely on one program to handle all your project needs from start to finish.

To see all of the contractor programs and solutions that GAF offers to help you grow your business, visit Get There with GAF.

Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers business, healthcare and technology topics for a wide range of brands and publications. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
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