Why is a Customer Relationship Management Tool Necessary for my Painting Company?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Nov 23, 2016

It is absolute­ly cru­cial for every paint­ing com­pa­ny to use a Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment (CRM) tool. If you want to grow your busi­ness, increase rev­enue, and build valu­able cus­tomer rela­tion­ships, you need to start using a Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment (CRM) tool. Paint­ing com­pa­nies who do not use a CRM to it’s full capac­i­ty can real­ly strug­gle, should the econ­o­my turn. Anoth­er major ben­e­fit is if you keep very good records of your prospects, leads and cus­tomers, your busi­ness will be sell­able and worth more than a com­pa­ny that does not keep good records. By tak­ing advan­tage of key fea­tures in a good CRM, I guar­an­tee your paint­ing com­pa­ny will suc­cess­ful­ly grow business.

Sample-Base-CRM-reportsTypes of CRMs

There are lit­er­al­ly hun­dreds of options on the mar­ket today. I have test­ed a lot of CRMs over the years. My clients are pret­ty much required to use a CRM if they work with me. It allows me to bet­ter tar­get their mar­ket­ing efforts. With that said, below is a very short list of some of the CRMs I think work great for painters. I won’t go into all the pros and cons of each one in this post. Every­one has pros and cons. The key is to find one you like and stick to using it! I would not typ­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend going with a CRM that has all the bells and whis­tles. I’ve seen a lot of painters pur­chase some real­ly kick awe­some prod­ucts, but then they do not uti­lize all the fea­tures. I would start with a light CRM and work your way up to more com­plex CRMs as your com­pa­ny grows.

What should a good CRM do for you?

  • Upload pho­tos and key doc­u­ments (esti­mates) with­in a person’s record. This is key so when you want to go look up what you did for a past client, you’ll have all of your files in one place!
  • It should be able to send/​receive emails
  • It should tell you where you are at in the sales process. You should be able to cus­tomize that sales process. I.e. 1) Qual­i­fy Lead, 2) Esti­mate Sched­uled 3) Esti­mate Sub­mit­ted, 4) Fol­low Up Requested…etc
  • When a CRM has a good sales process, your sales team will be more pro­duc­tive and close more deals. You’ll know where and when to look to tight­en up that sales process.
  • It should have good task man­age­ment built into it.
  • It should be easy to orga­nize and find things. This is nor­mal­ly com­plet­ed by using TAGS. You can tag peo­ple many dif­fer­ent ways. I.e. Exte­ri­or Work” Inte­ri­or Work” Cab­i­net Work” Both Inte­ri­or & Exte­ri­or Work” Do Not Work With Again” Do Not Email” Hav­ing great tags can help when run­ning an email, call or mail­ing list. If work gets slow or you want to per­haps get ahead of the game and book win­ter work ear­ly, you can use tags to run a good list. Maybe you want to have a cus­tomer reward’s pro­gram. Using tags can help with this as well. 
  • It should give you good report­ing on all of the data that you inputted. You want to know how much work comes from your web­site vs Yelp — a Good CRM should tell you that! 

The Most Rec­om­mend­ed CRM Tools for your Business

  • PipelineDealsLogo1Pipeline Deals — This is one that many of my cus­tomers use. It is a sim­ple CRM and works very well. It does not have some of the automa­tion I’d like in a CRM, and the mobile apps are good, not great. All in all, it does a great job for most painters.
  • Base CRM — This is a few steps up from Pipeline Deals. I use it for my own busi­ness. It is also great for prospect­ing if you have esti­ma­tors and sales staff that do a lot of out­side sales and prospect­ing. You can use their incred­i­ble mobile map­ping fea­ture to cap­ture leads, for exam­ple. This is not as robust as the big CRMs on the mar­ket: Sales­force and Zoho. I would say it is a mid-lev­el CRM and works very well. I have used it for many years. The design of the desk­top and mobile apps are real­ly well done and per­haps the best on the market. 
  • Sales­force and Zoho: I lumped these two togeth­er. Zoho tends to copy a lot of the fea­tures of Sales­force. Sales­force is per­haps the largest and most pop­u­lar CRM on the mar­ket. It was also one of the first cloud CRMs. Both have less expen­sive and very expen­sive options for users! If you go with one of these two CRMs, you will def­i­nite­ly need to com­mit to using a CRM!
  • High­rise CRM: The team who orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed High­rise is 37 Sig­nals, the cre­ators of the world’s most pop­u­lar project man­age­ment sys­tem. High­rise is per­haps the eas­i­est and sim­plest CRM I’ve ever used. It is inex­pen­sive and a great option for a small paint­ing com­pa­ny. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Cork CRM: This is a light to medi­um CRM. It does a bit more than just act­ing as a CRM. It helps with cre­at­ing sim­ple pro­pos­als and some light project sched­ul­ing fea­tures. From my test­ing of this App, it is good for a small paint­ing shop. It is miss­ing some key report­ing and fol­low up fea­tures I’d like to see in a good” or more robust CRM.
Now, I did not talk about many oth­er CRMs on the mar­ket. There are plen­ty more that are real­ly good. I just don’t find it help­ful to list them all on this par­tic­u­lar post. I know painters. You’ll get over­whelmed and decide to shelf the idea of using a CRM. There is always a shiny new lure lurk­ing around the cor­ner. Just dive in and try one of the CRMs men­tioned above and use it!  I’ve giv­en you some great options above that I find are fan­tas­tic for the paint­ing indus­try. Let me know in the com­ments below what your pre­ferred CRM is and if there are any indis­pens­able fea­tures you’ve dis­cov­ered for your paint­ing business.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


Subscribe to the Blog

Please provide a short summary of why you are reaching out today.