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Megan Miller
Megan Miller
Megan Miller is a senior product marketing specialist for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms and government contractors, and can be found at

Stop Wasting Your Marketing Efforts

April 23rd, 2015 by Megan Miller

Each year, there is that one trade show that management flags as a top priority. It costs $50,000 to sponsor and participate. And each year, when asked how much business your A&E firm drives from that event, you have no idea.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there.

But what if you could show that participation generated more than $1 million in work? Or conclusively prove that your firm loses money on the show and would be better off investing in other marketing efforts? It is possible.

Leading A&E firms are already tracking the details of their marketing efforts in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, enabling them to make smarter decisions about their marketing investments.

The right CRM system will let you organize all of your client interactions in one centralized database from initial conversation at a trade show or networking event through opportunity and project award.

Your marketing staff, business development personnel, project managers and management team can use one system to share all client information including: activities, conference/event follow-up, future opportunities, past project experience and contacts within the organization.

But, not any CRM system will do. While there are a lot of technology solutions for business development, most are designed for organizations selling individual products – NOT services that are delivered and managed on a project basis.

The difference is that each opportunity for project-centric firms is unique – and generic software just can’t adapt to that kind of variability. For growing firms, generic CRM translates into ineffectual CRM.

Instead, seek out a CRM system that provides visibility into your marketing and business development efforts, so that you can invest your money and resources in the right events and campaigns. Also, make sure your system is fully integrated with your project management solution, eliminating time spent searching for information or aggregate data from different systems.

When that trade show comes around next year, you’ll be prepared to track follow-up, see what opportunities are generated, if those opportunities became projects and how much those projects are worth.

Then you can easily say, “Hey, we won these five projects for $1 million thanks to that $50,000 event. Should we do it again next year?”


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