A customer relationship management (CRM) software for businesses engaged in construction or contract labor provides tools to manage contract leads, bids, and current projects. These features work best for operations in general contracting and specialty trades like carpentry, demolition, plumbing, electric work, restoration, and welding. We looked at various CRM software that work best for construction businesses and narrowed it down to the top six options.
- JobNimbus: Best overall CRM for general contractors
- Insightly: Excellent option for small contractor companies who like to use promotional marketing
- HubSpot CRM: Smart choice for startup contractors looking for a free CRM
- Cosential: Best for businesses that want to focus on high-volume proposal submissions
- MarketSharp: Ideal for home improvement and remodeling businesses
- JobProgress: Great option for small contracting businesses that want an easy-to-use mobile experience
How We Evaluated the Best CRM Systems for Construction
When selecting an industry-specific CRM such as construction CRM platforms, value for money is one of the most critical factors. We measured this by evaluating pricing, capabilities specific to construction or contracting operations (such as project management, resource management, invoicing and payment processing, contract procurement), and other usability and customer support factors.
Based on our evaluation, JobNimbus is the best overall choice due to its built-in construction management features and integrations. It offers general contractors easy-to-use work estimates and work order conversion, proposal template building, and notification functions for effectively communicating with suppliers or subcontractors.
The tabs below offer insight into our evaluation process for choosing the best CRM options for construction businesses:
40% of Overall Score
Total costs and various pricing options are typically the most important criteria for any small business decision, so it was most heavily weighed when reviewing the CRM providers designed for construction. We considered access to free account options, varying subscription plans, and whether or not there are monthly billing plans available.
20% of Overall Score
The purpose of any CRM is to provide functional solutions associated with sales, marketing, customer service, and project management. Specifically, we looked at features we consider necessary in a solid construction CRM, including integrations with accounting software, communication capabilities with suppliers or subcontractors, features for contract procurement, and other essential functions to help organize and deliver on projects.
15% of Overall Score
The functions of any application are only as beneficial as it is usable. These criteria were analyzed by knowledge required to set up the CRM, skill needed to operate the platform, and intuitiveness of the user interface.
15% of Overall Score
Extensive support and service can prevent issues that a user might encounter. These were evaluated in terms of customer service hours and availability of support through various channels like phone, live chat, and email.
10% of Overall Score
In addition to our own experiences and expertise with the providers, we evaluated what others are saying about each CRM. These criteria take into account how other experts rate each CRM and how customers feel based on their reviews to gauge popularity, ease of use, and overall value for money.
JobNimbus: Best Overall Construction CRM
JobNimbus is best suited for businesses engaged in general contracting or project oversight as it has features specific for acquiring contracts and managing subcontractors. It provides a built-in digital camera and document template builder, allowing users to create and sign proposals efficiently. These tools are compatible with JobNimbus’ web and mobile applications.
For managing subcontractors, JobNimbus offers automated scheduling, task, and notification features for effective communications. There is also the ability to generate estimates then convert them into work orders. All of that work can then be invoiced or paid for, and subsequently accounted for by integrating with QuickBooks.
- Contract procurement features for template building, job picture sharing, and e-signature
- Integration with QuickBooks for invoicing, payment processing, and budgeting automation
- Software package offers customization based on various industries like general construction, roofing, painting, remodeling, restoration, landscaping, fencing, window and door installation, flooring, and solar work
- Easy-to-use work estimate to work order conversion
- Built-in activity and time tracking features
Insightly: Best for Services Relying on Promotional Email Marketing
While Insightly is a solid overall CRM and project management option, many of its standout features are in its marketing capabilities, specifically in email marketing. The platform makes it easy to conduct email campaigns for mass marketing purposes.
Insightly is better suited for construction businesses that work primarily with consumers and residential projects because of the tools available and how business is generally won on residential projects. This could include painters, home remodelers, and landscapers.
Both Insightly and MarketSharp are construction CRM systems that focus more on assisting businesses engaged in residential projects. If you are stuck between these two options, think about the way you like to advertise. If mass email marketing and promotional advertising online is your strategy, Insightly is the better option because of its email campaign functions. However, if your business likes to utilize referrals and word-of-mouth advertising, MarketSharp offers the specific tools to better achieve your goals.
- Project management features within the CRM for task tracking, calendar synchronization, and custom project processes
- Easy-to-use email marketing tools to design and deploy promotional email campaigns or newsletters
- Online lead capture forms to submit and transfer potentially interested customers from online ads or landing pages into the CRM
- Multiproject management capabilities available on mobile devices
- Intelligent Campaigns feature provides tools to achieve better campaign results through the use of metrics like open rates, bounce rates, and click-through rates
Head over to our Insightly review page to learn more about its features and benefits.
HubSpot CRM: Best for Startup Contractors Looking for a Free CRM Option
*Based on annual billing. Monthly subscriptions are also available at slightly higher rates.
HubSpot CRM doesn’t offer some of the elaborate features specific to construction businesses like automated proposal generation or construction project management tools that the others on this list can offer. However, it has a free plan and offers unique email marketing tools, content management, ad campaigns, and social media management. Smaller startup contracting businesses using these strategies to promote their business benefit from HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot CRM Features
- Industry Benchmark Data to allow businesses to see how other companies in their industry compare in terms of sales and marketing success
- Free Website Grader tool to review website and see how improvements can be made
- Solid sales engagement features for quote generation
- Ads Software to create, target, and report on ads built in the CRM
- Mobile application runs well for iPhone and iPad devices
Read our HubSpot review to get more information on how this CRM helps small businesses grow.
Cosential: Best for High-volume Proposal Submissions
For many businesses in the construction and contracting industry, creating and submitting quote proposals can be the biggest challenge in acquiring customers and contracts, especially for large commercial and government contract work. So, having tools within a CRM that can expedite this entire process can be a tremendous asset to businesses. The template storage features, preconfiguring proposal generation technology, and document integration capabilities make Cosential a great option for businesses that submit a lot of proposals.
- Built-in publishing tools for auto-generating quote proposals with premade templates stored in the CRM
- Proposal document integrations allow users to publish proposals on Adobe, InDesign, and Microsoft Word
- Preconfigured technology built in to automate the proposal generation process
- Advanced reporting features with connection to analytic tools such as PowerBI
- Built-in Financial Data Connector links marketing proposal materials with financial data to increase the availability of information, which is especially useful for Request for Proposals (RFPs) that require financial statements to be included in the submissions
MarketSharp: Best for Home Improvement & Remodeling Businesses
MarketSharp has a fairly narrow focus within the construction industry based on the features it emphasizes. Its unique CRM functions, such as reputation management and customer feedback gathering, allow businesses that offer home improvement or remodeling to gain the most out of it. Compared to other trades in this realm, home remodeling is far more personalized and tends to get more business by referrals, word of mouth, and online reviews.
- Tools for reputation management, including the ability to design referral campaigns
- Integration with GuildQuality, Listen360, and HomeAdvisor to gather and evaluate customer feedback
- Sales Production Management tools available for quoting, payments, and commissions management
- Sales campaigns can be targeted automatically based on geographic and demographic traits
- Integration with QuickBooks software to synchronize accounting activities
JobProgress: Best User Experience on Mobile Devices
One feature that is especially outstanding for JobProgress is the mobile application. Its interface is clean, easy to use, and translates many of the web application features well. Small contracting businesses that work primarily on the go and require robust mobile capabilities should definitely consider JobProgress.
For many construction businesses, mobile capabilities will be more valuable than other industries because of how critical being on-site is for delivering services. Since the setup is configured by implementing tools specific to contractor trade types when the user informs the system on what they do, JobProgress is well-suited for smaller, specialty-trade businesses.
- Customization for CRM tools, training, and promotional offers based on what type of contract service is offered by the user
- Mobile application offers many features available in the web application, including contact and lead management and document management
- Built-in features for instant contract proposal generation
- Integration with commonly used applications, including WordPress, QuickBooks, Eagleview, Zendesk, Facebook, and Google Workspace