Because you consider different construction software options, you’ll probably talk to dealer sales reps or resellers, depending on how each system is sold. Bear in mind that the goal of these individuals is to make a sale! Although you’d like to assume these people would only sell you software should it be a good fit for your company, I know from experience that the isn’t always the case.

Based on feedback I’ve received by real people searching for construction estimating , I’ve compiled a list of the highest four red flags to raise when talking with sales staff or resellers. (Seriously, I’m not making this stuff right up! )

1 . The Software Can Do Anything You Need it to Do

Don’t use broad, categorical statements about the software being capable of accomplishing anything and everything you might ever want. This can be a cover for a salesman who doesn’t really know his product. Raise the red rag by asking specific questions about vital functionality. In addition , ask to see a demonstration of how each capability is treated within the software!

2 . The Software Can Create Any Custom Survey You Need

All construction software programs generate reports of one manner or another. When you hear that, if a standard report is absolutely not available for what you need, a custom report can always be prepared, raise the red flag because this is not always the case. The data you would like in your report, your level of technical report writing skills including your willingness to pay a hefty fee for custom report writing services are all factors that will determine whether the statement you need is writable.

You’re better off working with a salesperson who admits some of your “must have reports” probably are not available out of the box, than a salesman who refuses to declare to software shortcomings or – even worse – comes with a “simple” workaround solution without demonstrating it.

3. Adverse Selling Practices

Always raise the red flag when a sales rep as well as reseller bad-mouths the competition. Do you really want to work with someone that adheres to that — or with a vendor that allows negative selling techniques? No construction software solution is perfect, so taking potshots at a competitor’s known issues can be a temptation. But highly regarded sales professionals will emphasize their own product’s capabilities, as an alternative to pointing out the deficiencies of competing systems.

4. Giving Old References Only

Some construction software vendors in addition to resellers use the same references over and over again. When a vendor claims to have hundreds or even thousands of customers and gives you two or three referrals that have been using the system for many years, raise the red flag. While good customers can provide useful information, to get a reasonable perspective with user satisfaction, you should also talk to references in your industry who experience installed the software within the past year or two.

Be Cautious: Ask Questions

On the subject of buying construction software, it pays to be cautious and not lower corners. Sales reps and resellers will give you the replies you need as long as you raise the red flag by asking the right issues.