Winning Projects - The Funnel

Winning projects in construction is a process that evolves with growth. The process can be managed as rigorously as any other part of operations if you have clearly defined stages from networking through leads, opportunities, sales strategy, and proposal.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture



Once a contractor has chosen their core markets, the next thing to do is define the basic stages of developing work in those markets. This funnel is the beginning of defining the whole process including:

  • Workflows: All tasks and decisions required to win a project.
  • Procedures: Specific how-to instructions for key tasks and decisions.
  • Tools: Used to accomplish the tasks and decisions including things like software such as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), checklists, go/no-go evaluation forms, proposal templates, etc.
  • Job Roles & Responsibilities: Defining who is involved in which tasks - a responsibility matrix.

Like the funnels for change orders or recruiting talent, or the model of a contracting business, the sales funnel is just a higher level viewpoint of the different stages for winning construction projects. It will need to be adjusted for where your business is at currently, and even for specific markets. These example stages assume a contractor is playing the "Middle Game", and possibly the "Early Game" when it comes to winning projects.

  1. Networking
  2. Leads
  3. Opportunities - Go or No-Go?
  4. Sales Strategy
  5. Proposals & Presentation
  6. Win or Lose?


Self-Evaluation and Team Discussion Questions

  1. What do the stages in your sales funnel look like?
  2. What are the metrics at the top of the funnel that must be true in order to see enough good opportunities?
  3. How would you evaluate each stage of your sales funnel? Evaluate each stage 0-10 for the dimensions of both quality and quantity including the primary reason for your answer.
  4. What would a '10' look like at each stage in terms of both quality and quantity?
  5. If you could improve only one score at one stage that would have the biggest impact on outcomes, what would it be and why?


Related Training

Winning Projects - The Early, Middle, and Late Game
Successfully winning projects starts with knowing all phases of the game. All contractors participate in the "Late Game." Playing the "Early Game" effectively positions contractors to win more frequently, with better pricing, and better terms.
Business Development Models for Contractors
There are two primary models that contractors use for developing business. Often the best approach for sustainable growth is integrating the "Seller-Doer" and "Business Developer" models.
Creating Value
Know the difference between creating real value versus creating transactional value. Creating wealth and not just re-allocating it is the path to sustainable growth. Understand the differences and how to incorporate them into your strategy and planning.