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Revision 1 – November 2019
Terms Used in this Guide
In ensuring Constructor is as streamlined as possible, certain terms have been defined and are uniformly used throughout the program. Each term will be explored in detail in this getting started guide, and other more advanced guides. Below is a quick Summary to help get familiar with them.
TIP: The terms listed here are written with a capital letter and in Bold throughout this guide, so you can refer back to this glossary if you are unsure of what the term means.
A Sales Process is a set of repeatable steps that a Sales team takes to convert Prospects into Customers. Whilst the Sales Process you build may be unique to your Company, it is generally accepted that most Sales Processes go through a number of Stages. This can be anywhere from 3 to 7, depending upon your business and the complexity of the Sale. Each Stage consists of tasks which are the key activities your team must perform in order to advance from Stage to Stage. These are the 6 Stages that are frequently used in Sales Processes:
- Handling Objections
Also known as Lead Generation. Prospecting involves identifying potential buyers. You will likely already have a Marketing Strategy in place for generating leads which may include a website, advertising, customer referrals etc.
This may be the first time your Sales team make direct contact with a Prospect. Through whatever contact method is used, the goal is to gather enough information to determine if the Prospect is a good fit for you to do business with. This may include:
- Budget – do they have funding?
- Authority – do they have the decision-making power to buy from you?
- Timeline – are timeline expectations acceptable?
- Geography – do you build in the area they are after?
Presenting is your Sales Team’s opportunity to lay out a compelling, personalized plan for fulfilling the customer’s needs and expectations. The research done in the Qualifying Stage will help to formulate the presentation and anticipate questions.
There are plenty of reasons why a Customer may hesitate to commit when building a home is so important to them. Even if they’re interested in your plans; price, timing and fear of change are some of the reasons why they may have Objections. This Stage is all about identifying any Objections and demonstrating the value of your Company as the best solution.
Closing involves everything you need to do in the late stages of a Sale to get your Prospect to sign a Contract.
This involves providing the Customer with post-sales support. There will be a cut-off point which may differ from Customer to Customer. There are also legalities involved, which your team will be aware of. No-one wants to get involved in disputes. They are costly and have a negative impact on reputations.
The Constructor Sales Module allows you to record the information needed to create your own Sales Process. The determination of your Company Sales Process will be entirely up to you. This guide explains the Sales tasks available within Constructor and where they fit into a basic Sales Process.
So how does this theory translate into practice within Constructor Sales module? The below chart is a generalization of what tasks can be undertaken for each Stage of a Process. This is a guide only but may help your Sales team to make decisions regarding setting up your own Sales Process.
There are a number of Administration tasks that need to be configured (to suit your own Company needs) before you can start to use the Sales module. These can be categorized into the following sections:
- Contact Types
- Document Templates
Contact Types include Address, Phone and Email.
Address Types will appear throughout Constructor wherever an Address can be entered. For example, Clients, Suppliers, People and Employees.
To access Address Types, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Address Types:
This will bring up a Summary list of any Address Types that are already set up. A new Address Type can be created by clicking New (1). The Service Address tick box was once used by Constructor to determine if an address was the primary address. This is no longer used for programming purposes, but is available for you to use if you want to differentiate between Address Types.
Phone Types will appear throughout Constructor wherever a Phone number can be entered. For example, Clients, Suppliers, People and Employees.
To access Phone Types, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Phone Types:
This will bring up a Summary list of any Phone Types that are already set up. A new Phone Type can be created by clicking New (1) and entering a description for the Phone Type.
Email Types will appear throughout Constructor wherever an Email address can be entered. For example, Clients, Suppliers, People and Employees.
To access Email Types, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Email Types:
This will bring up a Summary list of any Email Types that are already set up. A new Email Type can be created by clicking New (1) and entering a description for the Email Type.
There are two different sections for Document Types within the Sales Module. Customer Documents are attached to the Client Record and Sales Documents are attached to the Sales Record.
There may be a number of different Documents that you provide your Clients during the Sales Process. This guide will explain how to do just one of those, a Building Response Letter. Other Documents can be created and sent in exactly the same way. Set up as many as are applicable to your business. Some examples include:
- Congratulations / Introduction Letter
- Authority to act as Agent
- Proposal Letter
- Finance Options Letter
To access Customer Documents, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Customer Document Templates:
This will open a Summary list of any Customer Documents currently set up on your system. From here you can create a new template, open an existing template or copy an existing template. If you have a letter or Document that is regularly sent to Clients, then set it up here so that it can be easily created, sent and attached to the Client record.
To set up a new one, click New (1).
This will bring up the Context Editor (1).
The Context Editor is an inbuilt Word Processor. You can add in a logo, copy and manipulate text and add in Datafields so that each document contains links to the database fields, such as Client Name, Address etc. Below is an example of a Building Response Letter created using Context Editor.
Datafields (2) are inserted by clicking Insert Datafield (3). This will bring up the list of available Datafields that can be inserted into the Document. Find the Datafield you are after, highlight it and click Insert.
Text is added by typing directly onto the page or copying from another source, such as Microsoft Word.
If amending an existing Document, it is always worth taking a copy of it first, in case you need to revert to it. To copy a template, from the template summary, click Copy (1). An exact replica will be created with the word Copy at the end of the description.
There may be a number of different Documents that you provide your Clients/Prospects during the Sales Process. This guide will explain how to do just one of those, a Preliminary Brochure. Other Documents can be created and sent in the same way. Set up as many as are applicable to your business. This is also where the Preliminary Estimate template is created.
To access Sales Documents, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Sales Document Templates:
This will open a Summary list of any Sales Documents currently set up on your system. From here you can create a new template, open an existing template or copy an existing template. If you have a Document that is regularly attached to Sales, then set it up here so that it can be easily created, sent and attached to the Sales record.
To set up a new one, click New (1).
This will bring up the Context Editor (1).
The Context Editor is an inbuilt Word Processor. You can add in a logo and images, copy and manipulate text and add in Datafields so that each document contains links to the database fields, such as Client Name, Address etc. Below is an example of a Preliminary Brochure created using Context Editor. It is designed to contain a plan and a façade image for one of the Blue Building Company’s designs called The Maitland.
Datafields (2) are inserted by clicking Insert Datafield (3).
This will bring up the list of available Datafields that can be inserted into the Document. Find the Datafield you are after (1), highlight it and click Insert (2).
For an Image to appear on a brochure, it must first be attached to a Standard Plan. This is not done in the Sales module, but rather in Projects, BOQ’s.
From the BOQ Summary, go to the Images tab (1) and click Images (2). This will bring up the Image Viewer. Highlight the Image (3) and tick the appropriate box in the Preliminary Brochure section:
To Insert the brochure Image onto a Document template, open the template in the Context Editor (1) and click Insert Datafield (2). The Datafield selection box will pop up. Open Product, Details and insert Brochure Image, Plan Image:
Sales Statuses are where you set up the flow through your Sales Process. To access Sales Statuses, either use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Sales Statuses:
This will bring up a list of any existing Statuses. These are customizable to your Company requirements.
Following is an example of a workflow through the Sales Process. Each business may have a different flow from Status to Status. It is worth mapping out before you begin.
The Process begins with an Enquiry. The Sales Person gathers information during Qualifying. This leads to Presenting, followed by Negotiations after which point the Sale is Won or Lost. At any point in the Process, the Sale may be Lost or turn into a Tyre Kicker.
NB: Tyre Kicker is another term for a time waster.
In Constructor, this is set up as:
Notice the gaps between the Sequence numbers. These are deliberate so that any future Statuses can be easily slotted into place.
To set up a new Status, click New. To amend an existing Status, double click the Status or highlight it and click Open.
The top section of the screen is for the Description and Sequence Number (1). You can also set a display colour for the description.
You may want to set up the Statuses to flow automatically from one to the other. You may want some Statuses to have dependencies upon other Statuses being complete first. This is where that Workflow is set up.
The Workflow tab (2) contains two sections. The first section is called Restrict Next Status (3) and can be used if you want to stop a Status from being able to transition to another Status. For example, you may want Qualifying to always go through the Presenting Stage. You could prevent it advancing straight to Negotiations by ticking all the boxes EXCEPT Negotiations.
The second section is called Automatic Workflow (4). This will allow you to set up an automatic Status change after a certain number of days. For example, you may want to set up the Qualifying Status so that it changes automatically to Tyre Kicker after 90 days.
Note, that it is not essential to set up Automatic Workflow. The User can manually change the Status from one to the next.
The final box, Automatically create a Project based on enquiry information when enquiry enters this status, does exactly what it says. A Project will be created so that the Project Manager can take over from the Sales team:
This tab gives you the ability to set up a Notification to another Constructor User if a Status remains in the same state for a defined number of days.
Set the number of days (1) and choose the User to whom the Notification should be sent (2). Type in the message that you want to appear on the Notification (3):
The Notifications tab can be used to send Constructor Notifications to the Sales person assigned to the Sale as a Sale enters (1) and leaves (2) a Status:
Here is the ENTERS Notification:
And here is the LEAVES:
Diary Notes can be set up to automatically appear (on the Diary Notes tab of the Sale) as a Status enters the Status (1) and leaves the Status (2) (i.e. the Status changes):
Not currently in Use.
This section of Sales Administration is for setting up the various Sources of the Sales Enquiries that may exist. Use the shortcut or go to Sales, Administration, Sales Sources:
These are very easy to set up and comprise only a Description. They are currently not used in Reporting but are entered on the Sales Record.
After the all the Administration tasks have been completed, the next items on the Sales menu are Clients and People. Clients are also known as Prospects, Customers or Debtors. For the purposes of the Sales Process, they are Prospects until such time as the Sale is Won and the deposit received. Constructor however uses the terminology of either Client or Customer from the moment the Enquiry is logged in the system, regardless of outcome.
All Enquiries can be logged into the system, even if they end up fizzling out. They may go from Status Enquiry to Lost all in the space of a day. Whether you want to record such Enquiries in the Sales module is up to you.
In whatever manner an Enquiry is received or a Prospect is found, the first step is to create the Client record. This can be done from the shortcut or Sales, Clients. The Client can also be created at the same time as the Sale, which will be outlined later in this guide.
If the Sale is Won, the Client record created by the Sales team will be used by the Project and Accounting teams as well. If there is a Naming Convention in place for the creation of Clients, then please make sure it is followed from the very beginning of the process.
A Client record in Constructor contains quite a lot of information, much of which is redundant for the Sales Process, but important for Projects and Accounting. Therefore, when creating a Client in Sales, only basic information need be recorded. After all, if the Sale is Lost, the Client record will not be used again. If the job is Won, then the Project / Accounting team will be in charge of assuring the remainder of the necessary information is recorded against the Client.
Click New (1) to create a Client record. Expand the Name fields (2) and enter the Client name. For Address, Phone and Email, click the Add button for each (3) to enable the fields.
You may notice that as information is entered on the left-hand side, it is also populated on the right (4).
Keep going until the top half of the screen is fully populated and Save.
There are a number of tabs at the bottom (5). They will be filled in by the Project / Accounting teams if the Sale is Won.
Whenever a Contact record is created in Constructor, a Person record is created in this section. The People records held here can come from Suppliers, Clients, Employees etc. If you want to view or amend these records, use the shortcut or go to Sales, People:
The record is set out over three tabs (1):
- Contact Details
- Personal Information
- Company Information
All of which can be amended if required:
In Constructor, Standard Plans (or Products) are linked to BOQ’s (Bill of Quantities), Standard Options, Brochures, Preliminary Estimates and Slideshows.
Standard Plans are set up in Projects, BOQ’s. They can be viewed in the Sales module, but not modified here. The Estimating/Project team will have set up a number of Standard Plans for the Sales team to show Prospects. Once the Prospect has shown an interest in one, it can be attached to the Sale.
The Prospect may not be interested in any Standard Plans, but have a completely custom build in mind. During the Qualifying Stage, the requirements can be gathered and passed to the Estimating team to provide a Custom Plan, if there is nothing similar already set up on the system.
It is useful for the Sales team to understand what the Standard Plans contain. To view them, use the shortcut or go to Sales, Standard Plans.
This will open the Standard Plans Summary. Highlight a Standard Plan and start with the Details tab (1), which shows (2):
- Construction Type
- Design Group
- Elevation Style
- Product Group
The Images tab (1) shows the technical drawings:
Accommodation Tab (1) shows the room summary, customizable for your Company.
The Standard Options tab (1) contains any of the Formula that have been flagged as standard for this Plan:
The Specifications tab (1) will show any Specification assigned to the Plan:
The Slideshow Viewer can be a useful tool for the Presenting Stage. It is a Slideshow of Images, such as plans, elevations, etc.
For Images to be available for the Slideshow, they must be flagged as such in the BOQ.
From the BOQ Summary, go to the Images tab (1) and click Images (2). This will bring up the Image Viewer. Highlight the Image (3) and tick Product Slideshow:
The Standard Plan must also be flagged as Included in a Slideshow. Back in Sales, Standard Plans, highlight the Standard Plan and go to Viewer, Slideshow Administration, Include selected products in Slideshow. If a Standard Plan is included in a Slideshow, it will have the green symbol (1):
To present a Slideshow, there are two options. Either a Slideshow for a selected Standard Plan or a Slideshow for all Standard Plans with flagged Images.
Choose either of the Start Slideshow options and the Slideshow will commence. Use the arrows (1) to move from Image to Image OR simply leave it and the Images will scroll through automatically. Click the picture of a computer (2) to minimize the Slideshow enough to close it.
Standard Options are Formula that are associated with a Standard Plan. A Formula must be flagged as a Standard Option for it to be available in this section.
To mark a Formula as a Standard Option, use the Formula shortcut or go to Projects, Formula.
Tick the box This Formula is a Standard Option for use in Standard Products (1):
Once it is marked as available for Standard Plans, it needs to be associated with each Standard Plan to which it applies. Either use the shortcut or go to Sales, Standard Options:
Highlight the Standard Option and go to the Standard Options Products tab (1). Click New (2). This will bring up a list of all Standard Plans. Choose as many as are applicable for this Option:
The Replacements tab (1) will show a list of any Replacements for this Standard Option. These are for display only in this section. If they need to be changed, that is done on the Formula in the Project menu:
Once all the Administration and setup has been completed, the Sales Process can begin.
Setting up a Sale is a very quick process, assuming everything has been properly set up beforehand. It can be done whilst the Sales Person is on the phone to the Prospect.
From the Sales Summary, click New (1) and enter the Date of Enquiry, Enquiry Source and Branch (if applicable). The Sales Person field will automatically populate with the current logged in User, but can be changed if required.
Note: The First Contact field is not currently in use.
In the Client Information section (1), click the box marked (2) to expand the Name entry fields:
Main Contact (1) and Correspondence will be ticked and can be amended later on if it turns out that the person is not the Main Contact or Correspondent. Choose the title and start typing the First Name (2). A list of Possible Matches will pop up. This is reading names from the Person section and if you find that this Person is already set up as a Client contact, you can highlight the name and click Use (3):
If the Person doesn’t already exist in Constructor, then you can carry on filling in the contact information. Add in the Phone, Email and Address. Click Add (1) to enable the entry fields. The data will automatically populate the fields on the right-hand side of the screen. Once you have entered that basic information, click Save.
Move down to the Details of this Enquiry section (1). On the Site tab (2), enter any details you are provided about the construction Site. The Prospect may already have purchased land, in which case, you could fill in the address details, if they are provided. You may not know the information at this early stage of the Sale, so there is no necessity to fill in this tab.
The same goes for the Requirements tab (1). Fill in only the information you can get. The Product Choice, Elevation Style etc can be filled in as the Sale progresses:
Go to the Status tab (1) and make sure the correct Status is set on the Sale. The system will use the Status with the first Sequence Number, but can be changed if necessary.
Save the Sale.
Whilst you may have professionally printed brochures to pass on to your Prospects, Constructor has the ability to produce one if you want to take advantage of it. The setting up the brochure template is covered in 4.2.2 – Sales Documents (above).
Before a brochure can be produced, a Standard Plan must be attached to the Sale record. Open the Sale and go to the Requirements tab (1). Click the Suggest button (2) and choose the Standard Plan (Product) the customer is are interested in:
The Standard Plan must also be set up to have Images available for the brochure. Open the BOQ for the Plan by going to Projects, BOQ’s. Open the BOQ and go to the Images tab (1). Click the Images button (2). Highlight the Image (3) and tick the Preliminary Brochure option/s that is relevant (4):
To insert a brochure Datafield onto the brochure template, open the template from Sales, Administration, Sales Documents.
Position the mouse in the position you wish to enter the Image and click Insert Datafield (1). Go to Product, Details, Brochure Image/Plan Image (2):
The Brochure Image / Plan Image will appear as a box on the template. Save the template:
On the Sale record, move to the Documents tab (1). Click New and then Use/Create/Alter a Document Template (2):
The document will pop up and can be Printed or Saved and Emailed:
The Preliminary Estimate is a Document that can be produced for the Client, which is derived from the Standard Plan plus any Standard Options that are required:
During the Presenting Stage, a Preliminary Estimate may be required. The layout for the Preliminary Estimate can be edited in Sales, Administration, Sales Documents.
From the Sale record, go to the Preliminary Estimate tab (1).
The screen is divided into four sections:
- Product Information
- Accommodation Types
The information on the first three sections is drawn directly from the Product (Standard Plan) that has been attached to the Sale.
The fourth section displays all the Standard Options associated to the Standard Plan. If any of the Options aren’t included in the Plans’ Estimate, they can be added in by ticking them (2). The total Price (in the Price section), will increase as Options are added (3):
To produce a document to Email or Print, stay on the Preliminary Estimate tab and click New Preliminary Estimate Document (1). Choose the Preliminary Estimate (2) to see the document.
To Email the Document, go to File, Save As (1) and save the file to your computer. Attach the file to an Email and send. To Print the Document, click Print (2):
The Documents tab will display the Documents that have been created:
As the Sale progresses, there are a number of tasks that should be undertaken to ensure that the Sale record is kept up to date with all information.
As soon as the Site Details become available, they should be entered into the Sale record on the Site tab (1). Information that can be recorded includes:
- Site Notes
- Whether the site is owned or still needs to be purchased
- Site Address
- Site Attributes
Once the Requirements are known, they can be entered on the Requirements tab (1). They may be added to piecemeal if they aren’t all decided upon at the same time. Information that can be recorded includes:
- Accommodation Type
The Diary Notes tab (1) can be used to record any Notes, such as the time and date of a call that went unanswered or details of a conversation with the Prospect/Client. It is also possible to set up tasks and send Notifications to Constructor Users.
To create a Note, click New (2):
The Diary Notes screen will open. Date and Recorded By will automatically populate, but can be changed if necessary. Enter a Subject for the Note (1). Details of the Note can be entered in the ConText field (2). If the Note is saved at this point, it will appear on the Diary Notes tab of the Sale, but if you want to create a To Do Item with a Notification, then complete the bottom half of the screen (3). A Notification can be sent on the Due by date and upon completion of the task (4). There is no restriction to the number of Notes that can be entered.
All Emails that are sent to the Prospect/Client or are related to the Sale can be attached here. Highlight the Email in your Email program (1):
Hold down the left mouse button and drag the Email onto the blank section of the Emails tab (1).
Let go the mouse button and the Email will appear on the tab:
To review the Email, either double click it or highlight it and click Open.
This tab is for attaching relevant Files to the Sale record. For example, proof of finance, custom drawings or permits.
There are two ways to attach Files. The first one is the drag and drop method, similar to the way Emails are attached to the Email tab. You can drag a File from wherever it is saved on your computer or you can even drag a file that is attached to an Email. Highlight the File and hold down the left mouse key.
Drag the File to the blank area on the Files tab (1). A category list will pop up. Hover the mouse on the category you wish to put the File into (2) and drop the File:
The File will then be categorized (2) and available to view on this tab:
Throughout the life of the Sale, the Status will have to be kept up to date. Even if you are using automatic workflow Status changes, they may still require manual intervention. This is done from the Sales Summary Screen. Highlight Sale and click Change Status (1). The below example only has one option, but dependent upon the Status workflow, there may be many more to chose from.
To view the Statuses that the Sale has been through during its life, highlight the Sale on the Sales Summary screen (1) and go to the Status tab. This will show the Current Status (2) and the Status changes, along with their dates (3):
At any point during the Sales process, a Sale can be Won and Project can be generated. For example, the below Sale was considered to have fizzled out, but suddenly the customer came viable and was ready for a Project to be created. Click Generate a Project based on this Enquiry (1):
A message will pop up to confirm the Project creation:
If Yes is clicked, a Project will be created based on the information in the Sale (1).
Another way to create a Project is to have a Status configured to automatically create a Project. Any Statuses with this setting will have a symbol next to them, as in the example below for Deposit:
When a Sale is moved into such a Status, there will be no pop-up warning. The Project will immediately be created.
A Sales Funnel represents the quantity and conversion rates of Prospects through the Sales Stages. It is called a funnel because it is wide at the top as Prospects enter, then increasingly narrow as they are disqualified or decide not to buy.
At its simplest, the Sales Funnel can have 4 Stages:
If the Constructor Sales module is used to its full capacity, a Sales Funnel report can be produced to help pinpoint at what stage in the Sales Process most business is Lost or Won. This report is still under development.