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March 27, 2019

Keys to Winning Construction Clients When You're New to the Industry

Keys to Winning Construction Clients When You're New to the Industry

By Kit Dickinson on March 27, 2019

construction industry

Many payroll sales reps avoid selling to construction companies because they don’t understand the construction industry. Union rules, fringe rates and certified reporting aren't just complicated concepts—they're also major hurdles for payroll systems. But you can close big deals with just a little help.

One of our partner sales reps has found great success selling to construction companies—even though she is new to the industry. Heather Colby is a sales consultant on the East Coast. Her target list is across all industries, but there are a lot of construction companies in Heather's territory, and she has taken advantage of those opportunities. 

Read the interview with Heather below to find out the secret to her success. 

How to Successfully Sell Payroll Solutions to Construction Companies

IDI: What makes construction companies different from other industries?

Heather Colby: I think that construction's a bit different for a couple reasons. The first is that construction is behind other industries in terms of technology. People have been set in their ways for so long that practically all of their processes are manual. They've gotten comfortable with their systems, and they don't want to let them go. 

But their processes are so complex—unions, certified payroll reporting, job costing. These processes have to be at a level of detail that other industries don't ever have to worry about.

IDI: So, even though they're behind technologically, they have some of the greatest need for technology.

Heather Colby: Yes, desperately! Also, the workforce they deal with is typically very mobile. They're constantly out in the field, so they need tools that allow them some flexibility in the field. 

IDI: How do you use those uniques to identify pain points in your sales conversations?

Heather Colby: It's about understanding their industry and understanding what they do. Once they feel comfortable that you have some sort of idea about how painful their process is, they'll open up and tell you about all their problems. And there's no shortage of them!

IDI: Are construction companies reluctant to open up?

Heather Colby: Yes, I think so. Typically, the administrators who are processing payroll have done it for a really long time. So they might have been burned by payroll companies in the past, where someone said, "Yeah yeah, we can do it, we can do it." But they really couldn't give them what they were looking for, especially in the level of detail for something like job costing and reporting.

We're now able to do that through partnering with IDI. That's where we can make the biggest difference.

Related: Learn how IDI's Contractor Central boosts your HCM capabilities

IDI: How does IDI help differentiate your company from other payroll companies?

Heather Colby: For breaking down barriers, I've had an IDI rep on the line with me. When I first started, I had no idea about construction, so I wanted IDI on the line to create credibility because they are the true experts. So we were able to get them to open up that way. Just having IDI's expertise was the first differentiator.

Related: IDI's Resource Center explains the construction industry

IDI: What do you value most about partnering with IDI?

Heather Colby: This industry needs so much help, and I haven't run into another company that can really offer what customers are looking to achieve. And this industry is just beginning to embrace new technologies and evolve

In the beginning, I didn’t feel confident with the construction industry, and IDI really helped to build credibility throughout the sales process. As we continue to get more wins together, I’ve developed a much stronger understanding for the industry, and it has taken our partnership to the next level. It's a great partnership to win deals that have been pretty untouched for a while.

IDI: What kind of impact does it make to your sales numbers to have a partner like IDI?

Heather Colby: I've sold three units in the last five months, with the help of IDI. It was about $60,000 in sales credit.

IDI: What advice would you give to other sales reps about working with construction companies?

Heather Colby: I would say that you don't have to worry about knowing everything, because that's where I lean on the expertise of IDI. They are able to help, and you'll be able to learn. It's a whole market that really needs help, and it can be very lucrative. Especially because these companies process weekly payroll.

Start Closing Construction Deals

IDI is your partner and complete resource for winning construction contracts. Get sales materials and easy-to-understand construction guides at the IDI Resource Center.

IDI Resource Center