5 Ways to Transform Your Firm’s Business Development with CRM

November 22, 2023
Transform your A&E Firm With CRM

Your world revolves around clients and projects ─ finding prospects, pursuing and winning business and building lasting relationships. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution helps your teams identify potential projects early, pinpoint projects worth pursuing and better position your firm to win. With a CRM solution, you can also proactively manage your pipeline and nurture client relationships so you can stay in touch with clients when it matters most.

Find and Qualify New Clients

Many times, a business development (BD) manager or project manager talks with a client about a potential project, but the client isn’t ready to take action. The BD manager may make a mental note of it and move on to the next conversation, but without a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, that information is lost and can’t be followed up on or nurtured into a viable pursuit. With CRM, your team can access intel on opportunities from an early stage to better track opportunities and monitor the competition. By capturing the information as early as possible, architecture and engineering (A&E) firms have more time to build strategic teams, gain insight into the project, and better position their firm to win.

Nurture Client Relationships

According to the 44th annual Deltek Clarity Architecture and Engineering Study, 68% of respondents report nurturing client relationships as a top BD challenge. With the right CRM solution, you can enable your teams to prioritize client relationships and deliver insight for more valuable and impactful client interactions. You can create reminders to contact clients every quarter or month, depending on need. CRM solutions often work with mobile devices, and you can create an interactive calendar with Microsoft Outlook or Gmail. This helps BD managers easily track interactions while capturing key insights and scheduling follow-up activities. You can see client history, upcoming opportunities, marketing activity and much more. By leveraging CRM, you can stay in front of your clients, so you are better positioned to win the next big project.

Monitor Pursuits and Pipeline Health

Get the insight you need to qualify your opportunities. You can capture the intel obtained through client conversations and networking, so it is available to everyone on the pursuit team. Review past pursuits, client history, market win rates and more to help you make better, more informed decisions about projects based on objective data and not based on a hunch. Save hours trying to track down data from different places or people so you can make decisions faster and start developing your business strategy sooner.

A CRM solution gives you high-level visibility so you can better track performance and results, but also helps BD managers and project managers keep data accurate and up-to-date. Many solutions offer visual, interactive pipeline reports so you can view the data in numerous ways to identify trends and gaps. Captured data includes client, market, estimated revenue and potential start and completion dates.

One of the biggest challenges many financial leaders face is inaccurate or unreliable forecasts. By leveraging an integrated solution to manage pursuits and projects, business developers and financial leaders have access to the same data that can be used for more accurate and objective resource planning, business planning and financial forecasts. The solution helps break down departmental silos and brings teams together to help manage the entire business, not just one pursuit at a time.

Turn Insight into Action

To empower teams, high-performing A&E firms utilize the power of a CRM system to provide employees instant access to the most current prospect and client data. By using historical data, you can make more informed decisions, while having visibility into your client relationships to help your firm see where to focus and invest time.

Lack of time to respond to requests for proposals (RFPs) or requests for quotes (RFQs) and limited business development resources were named as top BD challenges in the Deltek Clarity study at 32% and 29% respectively.

By providing your teams with a CRM system for all prospect and client details, data is updated in real-time, so the entire team stays informed and up to date on next steps. This saves a significant amount of time and helps your team respond more quickly with accurate information.


“Before CRM, choosing which projects to pursue wasn’t really a documented process. Now someone goes in and must determine whether the project is worth pursuing.”

– Andrea Sobocinski, Senior Product Systems Specialist, H2M


Automate Routine Tasks

According to the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), 86% of organizations see failure to digitize and automate business inputs as a key transformation bottleneck. Automating routine tasks saves time and reduces data entry errors.

A&E firms that are following the best practices of high-performing firms are becoming more data-driven, tapping into the power of the cloud, moving paper-based business functions to digital and automating low-value business functions that take time away from higher-level pursuits.


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