By Erik Cofield

Every company, especially builders, should have a contact management system. A more advanced contact management system allows you to manage the relationships of your customers and is referred to as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

In these types of systems, including BuildTopia’s BTSales, one should have defined codes for all contact types, and stages of those types.

The list below is a basic list.  For example, It can be even more sophisticated to include a code denoting the source from which the lead came.  From the list below, instead of 08-B, one could have subsets such as 08-B-Web and 08-B-News, denoting a source of web and newspaper respectively.

The idea is always striving to push a prospect to a number 1. At a glance one can understand where in the buying process a prospect is, simply by looking at the number. For example, with the list below, a 9 is not as good as a 7, and a 7 is not as good as a 5, and none of them are as good as a 1.

Be careful not to use terms that are subjective in their identification, without the clarification.
Not every team member will think of terms such as “interested” or “immediate” in the same way, so those terms must be defined for whatever works for your company.  The term “immediate” must be defined by a number of days so you entire team is using it the same way. Otherwise, your reports are meaningless.

Keep in mind your codes can, or even should, be alpha numeric.  In the list below, Do Not Contact could be replaced with a high number, near the end of your total number, such as 99-DNC.  The Bought Elsewhere could be numbered 98-BE, and so on.

In this residential construction specific example, a number 1 is the highest goal.

Having a numerical system so anyone can have an immediate feel for how important and relevant each contact (prospect) is, ultimately, will tie back in to your sales goals, and your profitability.

01 – Homeowner           Closed and in communication Post Closing/Settlement and is in warranty
02 – Buyer Active           Communication Prior to Closing/Settlement
03 – Design Center         Communication Re: Selections
04 – Under Contract       Newly under contract, but not yet approved or not a Buyer Active yet
05 – Be Back                 2nd or multiple visits scheduled and kept
06 – Onsite Appt.           Appointment scheduled and kept
07 – A Prospect             Immediate Buying Interest (<90 days), and are ready, willing and able, but not a 6 or a 5 yet
08 – B Prospect             3-6 Months Buying Interest, maybe 2 out of 3 of an 01 prospect
09 – C Prospect             6-12 Months Buying Interest, maybe only 1 out of an 01 prospect
10 – D Prospect             D for delayed. Still active, in process, on a long term follow up schedule
11 – Web Lead               Registered via our website, but has not yet been engaged or qualified
12 – Unassigned           The default people type code for all leads, not coming through the web
13 – Buyer Cancelled      Communication post Contract Cancellation, is back to being a prospect, but held out as a separate type of prospect.
All Prospects                This people type code cannot be applied to prospects. It is instead used to create campaigns that apply to all new prospects.
Do Not Contact             Do Not Contact
Bought Elsewhere         Bought Elsewhere

Erik Cofield, CGA, has leveraged technology and provided business management consulting for all sizes and types of builders, developers and remodelers since 2000, including volume, multi-family and custom, to help them improve their business. He is a Vice President with BuildTopia (www.buildtopia.com), a widely used international construction management software company. He can be reached via ecofield@buildtopia.com. Check out the blog at www.buildtopia.com/blog. Click on Articles

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