JBKnowledge launched the SmartBid construction bidding software in 2009, with a scrappy team and formidable industry incumbents. With an aggressive digital marketing strategy and a brand-driven events strategy, they gave competitors a run for their money - so much so, they eventually acquired them.
The average construction company is over 20 years old, there aren't many construction 'startups.' So it makes sense that construction companies are skeptical of the latest and great tech companies pitching to them, they've seen many come and go. SmartBid took a customer service and in-person first strategy that built loyal customers and intrigued prospects.
After only 2 years in business, we established an Advisory Board of SmartBid's power users - from the biggest GCs in the world to the smallest, if they depended on and used our software heavily, we wanted them on the board. The Annual Meeting of 15-20 clients event turned into an annual User Conference and Bid Coach content library where users could get the most out of our software and more interaction with our amazing customer service team. Builders left our competitors because they couldn't get a human on the phone - so we made sure to put our most charismatic humans on the phones at all times.
The best part about selling SaaS is the ability to sell from anywhere - but this also creates a loyalty barrier, it's easy for clients to walk away from a team they haven't met. Through our User Conferences, trade show booths and traveling SmartBid Academies we took our team and training to cities around the U.S. So clients, and prospects, could talk to us in person about their needs. We built marketing campaigns to alert them we'd be in town, promo items to thank them for coming by, lead capture mechanisms to track all the conversations had and follow up processes to make sure our sales and customer support teams knew exactly who needed attention next.