Roofing Software 101
What is roofing software?
Before we can get down to the nitty gritty, we have to define what roofing software actually is. The term “roofing software” generally refers to cloud-based technology specifically developed to help roofing businesses efficiently manage different functions or tasks. It helps everyone in the company—owners, salespeople, production teams, and office staff—easily manage roofing jobs.
Roofing software can take many forms. Some software includes CRM components.
What is a roofing CRM?
A roofing CRM can be a type of business management software that is designed around the needs and workflows of the roofing industry. This version of a CRM provides roofing businesses the tools they need to manage customer data, billing information, material orders, production, and more.
You’re probably thinking, “How is this different than any other CRM software?”
Roofing CRMs vs. standard CRMs
Here’s one thing we know: Every industry operates differently. And different industries require different tools. You wouldn’t expect a mechanic to use the same tools as a gourmet chef. So why would a roofer use the same CRM as a bathroom remodeler?
Generally speaking, standard CRMs allow you to manage customer information, track activities, look at project statuses, run some basic reports, and view leads. Pretty straight forward. While roofing CRMs do many of the things standard CRMs do, the user interface, features and functionality are built around roofing businesses.
Roofing CRMs like Acculynx, for example, allows businesses to manage everything from an initial lead to a final invoice, including:
- Tracking your sales pipeline
- Creating estimates and contracts
- Ordering materials and aerial roof measurements
- Managing production
- Reporting on sales performance
That said, it’s no surprise more and more roofing companies are taking advantage of roofing software as a more efficient way to manage and scale their businesses.
Why Contractors are Taking Advantage of Roofing CRMs
Information storage and accessibility
Many industry leaders agree that organization is essential to successfully scaling a business. Instead of trying to maintain customer details and billing information in messy spreadsheets or paper files, contractors can manage their business with one centralized system.
Contracts, material orders, aerial measurements and billing details are just some of the pieces of information your roofing software can store. All the data is secure and easy to find. The best part? All of this information is shared across the company to help everyone stay in the loop.
Live business activity
Whether a team member is in the field or in the office, information and activities can be captured/accessed via a desktop computer, mobile device or tablet. Whenever a project status is updated or a new sale is made, any user can see the information or activities that pertain to them in real time. Likewise, if a field team member needs to receive an update for a project they are working on, they can check their roofing CRM’s mobile app to view the new details.
Having the ability to view live business activity can improve communication across teams, helping ensure jobs are executed flawlessly.
Better communication and collaboration
One issue many roofing businesses face is lack of communication between different departments. Maybe sales didn’t give specific details about a new project to the production team. Or perhaps the office staff forgot to mention a billing issue to the business owner. With roofing software, communication across departments has never been easier.
Roofing CRMs help eliminate communication or collaboration problems by providing a single source of truth for the company. If a team member has a question about a particular project, they can simply log in to the CRM and find the information they need. Team members can see when a job was last updated, what the status is, and who is working on it, allowing them to reach out to the appropriate staff member with any questions they have.
Not only does better communication improve moral within the company, but it also allows for more growth opportunities.
More growth opportunities
“Growth opportunity” is one of those phrases that can either spark a lot of joy or potential fear. Whenever it’s mentioned, many roofers may think this requires tons of expensive marketing ploys on their part. But, that isn’t the only way. By implementing roofing software, the return can mean more business and higher profits.
Organizing all of your data can streamline your business process, leading to smoother project completion, happier customers, and reduced admin resources. This allows you to juggle multiple projects at a single time while providing superior service, and in turn, enhancing your company’s reputation in the market. What’s more, your sales team can use this data to identify new opportunities.
Business growth positively impacts the company in many ways, and that starts with more revenue.
Let’s be honest, more revenue is what every roofing business wants and needs. It helps put more money in your staff members’ pockets, as well as allows you to reinvest into the business. But, how can roofing technology increase profits?
Roofing software is designed to streamline your business process and provide you with increased visibility into your performance. Improving things like more accurate estimates on the spot and more efficient production processes can actually improve your profits. With increased visibility into job costs, you can clearly see where you can make changes to make more money.
Benefits of CRMs for Roofers
More accuracy, less human error
Humans aren’t perfect. We know this. We can easily (and innocently) miss or invert a piece of vital information. While it isn’t done on purpose, it doesn’t make the headaches that follow any less painful. With roofing software, these errors are no longer as common.
For example, say a member of your field team is out knocking on doors and needs to deliver an estimate quickly. He or she can place an order for an aerial roof measurement report and pull up material pricing from the manufacturer right from their smartphone. Since the information is automatically populated into an estimate, they know they’re providing an accurate estimate.
Improving accuracy will not only help streamline your business process, but it will also allow for your team members to have more accountability for their projects.
Improved staff accountability
Running a successful roofing business requires everyone to do their part. From business owners to office staff to field teams, it’s important for everyone to make sure they are doing what is required and not holding up projects. When teams begin using roofing software, it is much easier to hold staff accountable and get ahead of potential issues.
Roofing CRMs have the ability to show a timeline of all progress made on each project. With this, you can see notes on a job, when materials were delivered, how far along a job is, photos of the job site, what’s been invoiced and what payments have been received, and much more. This way you can communicate to the appropriate team member about what needs to happen next or understand what is holding the project up.
When your staff takes greater accountability for their work, it benefits all areas of the business—sales being one of them.
Streamlined sales processes
Since the sales process is the starting point for any roofing job, it is one of the most important. You have to record any damage to a roof, identify the type of roof, gather measurements, and provide the customer with a competitive estimate in order to get the job. It also can be difficult because sales team members can have their own way of doing things, making the information gathering stage a little messy.
By using a roofing CRM, the sales process can be a much easier, faster procedure that every sales member can follow. Instead of having to take measurements by hand, you can use tools within the CRM to search for the house you are working on and obtain actual measurements. You can also take photos of the roof.
With a roofing CRM, streamlining your sales process and tracking performance has never been easier.
Track and measure performance
The first step to improving any business process is knowing your business’s performance. Roofing CRMs aren’t available just to help order supplies or manage customer information. CRMs allow to you to pull detailed reports that show you your results across various areas of the business. Sure, colorful graphs and numbers can make a report look fancy, but roofing CRMs give you a clear picture into the most vital information so you can make more informed decisions about your operations.
From tracking performance to streamlining your process, it is important to know what your goals are to help you choose the best roofing software for your business.
The Best CRM for Your Roofing Business
Roofing CRM Software vs. DIY
One question that may cross your mind: Why pay for roofing software if I can manage everything myself, the same way I have been for all these years? Handling multiple projects in different stages, across multiple systems can cause long-term problems for you and your staff. For one thing, it requires navigating a variety of platforms for different tasks. For another, it prohibits you from being able to easily collect and analyze data across the entire business, which is critical to success.
Roofing CRMs, on the other hand, remove the need to use many different systems to complete various project stages. You can track performance, manage customer details, order job materials, get accurate aerial measurements, manage billing details, and more—all from one place.
Likewise, you have the opportunity to identify where your process is hitting snags.
Areas for improvement
The first question to ask yourself as you think about growth: Where are my problem areas and what do I need to improve? Before deciding on what roofing software to go with, you have to know which areas of your business need some TLC. Production? Operations? Sales? Marketing? Finances? Roofing software provides innovative tools that can optimize all of these different functions.
When it’s time to take your roofing company to the next level, evaluating a roofing CRM is a great place to start.
Solutions that fit your business
Not every CRM is “one size fits all”. Some have a variety of tools and features specifically designed for roofing companies, while others offer features that can accommodate the needs of a variety of trades. When deciding on the right software for your business, you have to weigh your wants and needs, and think about which system will ultimately help you make more money.
Looking at your current business process and performance will help you decide what functionality you should look for. While it is important to choose software that helps you achieve your business goals, it’s also a necessity that it can be quickly and easily adopted by everyone.
Software for the Entire Company
Features for business owners
As a business owner, it’s important to know everything going on with your roofing company at all times.
Roofing CRMs offers features specifically for business owners. In addition to having visibility into all of your roofing jobs, they can manage teams, get a historical view into past projects, run reports, and get a clear picture into areas that can be optimized.
Having a roofing CRM that is beneficial to all teams (not just business owners) across the company is very important.
Features for office staff
While sales and production teams make the physical work happen, office staff keep the project moving.
Having roofing software that helps your office staff’s process can minimize chances for duplicate information, as well as human error—not to mention keeping operations running efficiently. The features within the roofing CRM they can take advantage of (depending on their roles) range from billing management, job material orders, labor crew scheduling, and more.
Roofing CRM Features and Functionality
When it comes to effectively managing your sales pipeline, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks—meaning a missed opportunity for additional revenue. Your roofing software can help you manage your sales pipeline so you have more success closing deals.
With a roofing CRM, every detail and activity is tracked, giving you a streamlined view of your sales process. This allows you to focus your selling efforts on the right opportunities and always know what you need to do next.
Roofing project management
Once a lead has gone through the sales process, it’s time to get down to business with a new roofing job. But, how do you keep track of everything through each phase? Your roofing CRM can keep you organized and in the loop with what’s happening throughout your project, as it moves through different milestones.
For example, if a lead has moved from the scheduling phase to the production phase, you can send them through the pipeline, letting the team working on the project know when they should jump in.
Roofing crew scheduling
When it comes to getting your labor crew scheduled, your roofing software provides capabilities to view schedules for all of your crews. You can cross check their availability with the date of the project and notify everyone on that crew.
The estimating phase is the one that can make or break a sale. When you visit a customer’s home to take measurements, inspect and check their type of roofing, it can take some time to get an accurate estimate back to them. By the time you reach back out, they may have moved on to a different company who had a quicker turnaround time with their estimate.
Roofing CRM software can help you put an estimate together quickly. With integrations with aerial measurement providers, these quick estimates take the hassle out of even having to climb the ladder. Your roofing CRM allows you to set templates for a type of roof so you can automatically pull the information into the estimate, while still being able to add any secondary items. You can also factor in material costs and delivery prices from the manufacturer.
Roofing material orders
Making sure your material orders have been placed and arrive on time is a big part in helping the project go smoothly. Having to place orders through the manufacturer by phone or online takes extra time that you don’t have. Roofing CRMs can cut out the extra steps by allowing you to place orders directly to your supplier as you build your labor order.
Permits, supplements and mortgage check tracking
If you’ve been in the roofing industry for a long time, you know keeping important documents in a safe (and memorable) spot is key. With your roofing software, you don’t need to worry about making copies or risk things being lost in the mail.
When you submit permits or insurance claims, you can track where they are in the process of being approved or when they’ll be received right in your roofing CRM. This makes it easy for all crew members to reference job-related documents.
If a customer needs a copy of their original estimate on the day of the project, your production team can access the information and send it to them on the spot. Everything is secure and readily available when it’s needed. And this doesn’t just stop at billing and customer information—you can also use your roofing software to store images and videos.
Photos and videos
With roofing CRM software, you can easily take pictures (and videos) of any before and after work, as well as highlighting any specific damage or details that need to be addressed. Everyone from your sales staff to your production teams can upload and access these photos. With your mobile device, just snap a picture using the CRM’s app and save it to that project.
Being able to store photos and videos with your roofing CRM can improve communication across teams.
Communication can be a challenge when different departments/crews handle different parts of the process. Roofing CRM software improves the ways teams communicate by tracking all communication throughout a project. Say one of your staff members has been talking to a customer about an upcoming project. With a roofing CRM, emails can be tracked and the sales team member can review the conversation to see if they need to assist anywhere.
Everyone can agree what the best day of the week is: Payday. So, if someone on your crew notices an issue with their paycheck or that their commission wasn’t calculated correctly, it could cause problems.
With your roofing software, you can calculate and track commissions for each of your crew members for every job. You’ll always have a record of what’s been earned, approved and paid in the system.
Roofing company reporting
The easiest way to track your business’s performance is by taking advantage of customized reporting tools within your CRM. You can stay in the loop on the information that is most important to you and your roofing business. Some roofing software applications like AccuLynx even offer pre-built reports for you to help you track and view job progress, permits, material orders, billing information, estimates and more.
Mobile Apps and Roofing Software
Importance of mobile apps
Mobile apps are beneficial to businesses because they bring new levels of productivity to the workforce. Your roofing business isn’t any exception.
From providing an estimate to a potential customer to recording details of a project, these activities can be done from your roofing software’s mobile app, making it easier for your crews to get their jobs done outside of the office.
Roofing app features
Mobile apps for roofing contractors provide convenience to employees as well as customers, helping everyone stay connected to any customer or project from anywhere. From snapping pictures of damage to creating instant estimates to ordering materials, you can do it all from your phone or tablet.
These features also allow you to access information that is flowing from other applications, too.
Roofing CRM Integrations
Benefits of integrations
By now, most businesses are taking advantage of some form of technology to help them carry out certain processes or functions. But switching between different systems for day to day activities can be time-consuming and create information silos that make it difficult to understand performance on a larger scale. Integrations can make handling your information a lot easier. For example, roofing software integrations with HomeAdvisor automatically send leads into your CRM so you don’t have to enter information twice.
Types of integrations
Integrations with roofing CRMs can vary, but some popular integrations include those with your billing/accounting system to external lead sources as well as those with aerial measurement providers.
AccuLynx offers many integrations including those with the following:
Implementing a Roofing CRM
On-demand training and support
Implementing a roofing CRM requires teams to work together. When you purchase new technology, some companies provide hands-on support and training at the beginning, while others may just offer documentation to help get you started. Regardless, the initial onboarding processes requires coordination and time at the beginning.
On demand training and support is something your roofing software company can provide you – at no additional cost. Your CRM’s company has training specialists on standby to help. They are available to walk you through any specific features you’re struggling with or address any questions you are having about functionality.
Training and support will help you and your team get in the habit of being consistent with your new software.
Get your team on board
Adding a roofing CRM to your process can feel like a big shake up to some employees. They may see this as changing the entire way they do things and completely having to re-learn a process they already knew like the back of their hand. Making sure your team is on board and fully adopting the new technology is critical to realize a return on your investment.
Your employees might not understand the need for any upgrades if they’re not aware of performance and business goals. Share an overview of current company performance and what you would like to see in the future. It would also be beneficial to provide one on one training with team leaders for department specific functionality.
Patience and practice are key when promoting consistency with your new roofing technology. But, you have to continuously remind your staff members that this change has big benefits – some that affect the money flowing into their pockets.
Introducing your team leaders to your roofing software’s training specialist will also help build confidence with the new system.
Getting started with roofing CRM software might seem intimidating with all of the functionality and features, but it’s actually super simple. Training, live support and easily customizable workflows make your roofing CRM the one-stop shop for everything your roofing business needs. You and your crew can sit back and enjoy the benefits of letting your new roofing technology do all the work for you.