Cosential is a cloud-based CRM and proposal automation tool that allows business developers, marketers and principles to access and act upon the information specific to their role that compliments cross-functional workflows.
The solution enables businesses to build marketing and proposal database that provides a comprehensive picture of their firm's connections, interactions and history with any client or partner.
Cosential also provides a lead management solution that organizes contacts, tracks new opportunities, manages pending projects, runs reports and responds to RFPs by generating prescriptive, engaging proposals.
Cosential is browser- and device-agnostic, allowing for access in and out of the office. Users can customize system interface for their relevant portion of the business so developers, marketers and principles can each create their own personalized dashboard.
Cosential integrates with MS Outlook, financial systems and most of the industry-specific third party applications within the AEC ecosphere.
Gretchen from Cochran
Employees number: 51-200 employees
I look forward to learning the software completely and being able to take advantage of all the great features that Cosential CRM has.
I like how it can captures and links so much information between clients, contacts and opportunities.
Some features are still not working correctly and/or they are replacing with different features but I'm finding there are lots of issues still they haven't worked out which can be frustrating when learning a new system.
Derick from Walter P Moore
Employees number: 501-1,000 employees
We used to have to pull and drag project information out of our Project Managers after their projects were completed, while they were already working on a few others.... Now with the workflow and Financial Data Connector, we are able to sync our financial projects directly into Cosential project records and pull relevant data real-time.
Built by and for the AEC industry. The workflows are a huge time-saver and allow us to capture the data we need to make our systems function.
Nothing major - I love their reports, but they can take some getting used to.
You will need a Cosential Champion and they will need support from the top!
Sabrie from Universal Construction Company, Inc.
It geared toward the Architect/Engineer/Construction field only. Customer service is wonderful!!
A little dated and a fully functioning app (right now it is just limited).
If you are an AEC firm, I highly recommend this software.
Kayla from Buttcon Limited
The dashboard and workflow system are excellent tools. As a very visual person, the ease and impact of the dashboard widgets are a great. Seeing your information in charts and graphs really help to monitor our marketing progress. The automated alerts and notifications from the workflow system are excellent as well. Easy and efficient way of letting the team know when there are new prequals, awards, proposals, etc.
There are a couple of areas that would be better suited for our needs if the customization was available. But all in all, the program works great for us and is getting our tracking on track!!
The whole experience has been a breeze. From the first sales contact to the support team while setting up the program to fit our needs has been amazing. After sourcing out other CRM programs, Cosential fit best for us and the customization is great.
Karen from Steele & Freeman
After researching many CRM platforms, and test-driving three, we decided on Cosential. First, it is developed by someone in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC), so we would not have to tweak anything to jump in and use it every day. It is our new repository for all kinds of data on projects, and employees (their projects, sortable in many ways), which will help so much with not having to look through old records of all types in various places in our network and on paper. We do a lot of public works projects, and in responding to RFQ's/RFP's, the information asked for increases all the time. We run lean and mean here, so any way we can save time is invaluable. Cosential is very intuitive and easy to use, which was the second reason for our purchasing decision. The training and tech support is user-friendly for busy people. Thanks Cosential. I would rate everything a "10" but I'm still pretty new at it, so I'm giving mostly "9". I can quickly schedule my training online by looking at my trainer's calendar, so if I have an hour free I can make good use of my time, and with one click it's in my outlook. If, due to deadlines, I need to cancel and reschedule, I can do that too.
The only thing I don't like is nothing to do with Cosential, we are learning how to input data and put all our records into the system.
Try software before you buy. Everyone will give you a free trial. Before you start, develop a decision matrix of what is important to your decision. We did not want to have to configure software for our specific use, we wanted something affordable, with ease of use, and good training and tech support.
Laura from CGL Ricci Greene
Ability to enter narrative information about a project or business lead, and to cross-reference information.
There can be a lot of redundancy of information; however, I like that you can enter/use as many or few fields as you want.
The information is only as good a that which is entered. There needs to be a lot of monitoring for quality control/accuracy of what is entered.
Brett from GSL Electric
I like the willingness to tailor the product to meet the specific needs of our organization.
Some of the updates that have been promised were very slow to be implemented.
Spend your time, get a good demo team, and make sure to have management buy in.
Elizabeth from GEI Consultants
I like that it brings many aspects of company relationship together in one place: opportunities, projects, and contacts. Before Cosential, our information was in separate places. Now, it is more like a one-stop shop.
Sometimes, formatting changes are made to the system that affect how my data appears (e.g., formatting bullets or paragraph spacing for resumes).
Be sure you understand your source data before putting it into any software like this.
Kym from Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc
It is very easy to use and very intuitive. I like that you can suggest enhancements. The support staff is very approachable.
I really like this product and cannot honestly think of anything I like least.
Look at the ease of use and the customer support team.
Matt from Hyder Construction
Being a general contractor, the best part about it is that it is already customized to fit our needs. It is clear that they have studied how AEC professionals sell and procure work and have tailored the program to meet these needs.
The mobile app is terrible; however, they claim to have a new one in production that should be rolled out soon.
If you are in the AEC industry you shouldn't look any further than Cosential.
Courtney from Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors
The fact that Cosential is specifically designed for the A/E/C industry is vital. Cosential is a rare find because it was built by A/E/C marketing professionals with a profound understanding of the industry, its pain points, and its business processes. That knowledge is reflected in key features, implementation, and support, as it is a system tailored to industry best practices. Users of Cosential view the system as very customizable and are able to adapt it to fit their specific needs.
Cosential has come a long way in the eight years that I have been using the system. They have grown quickly and have rolled out great new features. With that said, sometimes I think the new features are focused on a little too much, and the current bugs or enhancement requests are left behind. Dan, the CEO, listened to his users, took this to heart, and announced at the last conference that he has brought on developers to clean house and improve what is there already. I feel that is happening, especially as I read the monthly updates.
Regardless of the system you decide to use, always remember that software systems do not and will not self-monitor, solve problems at the push of a single button, or remedy all your aliments. Most importantly, the CRM system will never eliminate thinking! Someone must take ownership of the content, put best practices in place to safeguard the system, and champion it along with the idea of what a successful CRM is and can do for a firm. A decision on one software over another depends on the needs of your firm and the goals you have in using a CRM system. Good luck in your pursuit of the right CRM software for you and your firm!
Katie from Charles M. Salter Associates
Cosential is designed specifically for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry, so it fits our needs better than any other platform I know of. It also has a lot of functionality and is customizable. I like that all of the current and future features are included so there are not hidden charges for additional functionality.
Fixes to our data import do not always happen quickly.
This is the best platform I know of for the AEC industry.
Jennifer from England-Thims & Miller, Inc. - duplicate - emailed reviewer for new content
After much research, I set my last firm up with Cosential. After using other products that were ten times the price, I was surprised to find that Cosential gave me all of the features - and more - that I had gotten from similar CRM systems.
As a result, I immediately implemented Cosential when I changed firms. I also incorporated Cosential into my priority-based client management system, and the solution is working wonders for my firm. We utilize it to its fullest potential, and it tackles a multitude of tasks that were previously daunting. I highly recommend Cosential to anyone.
Deborah from KCI Technologies, Inc.
Cosential provides us with a comprehensive database, allowing us to quickly access projects and data used for generating proposals, track our hit rates, follow up with opportunities, and run reports. The system has no problem managing our average workload of 75 proposals a month, 850 employees and over 6000 projects. Furthermore, Cosential makes it easy for us to efficiently store, search and retrieve the information we need.
We used a different CRM system prior to beginning with Cosential, and the implementation team made our transition the easiest experience I've ever had. The team helped me successfully meet our implementation deadline, with very little complications along the way.
Customer service at Cosential is personal, attentive and understanding of the A/E industry. They treat their clients like members of the development team, rather than as mere customers.
Lisa from Satterfield & Pontikes
I have seen all of the solutions out there for the AEC industry. There is no one solution that does what Cosential does. They have thought through our business and created what has long been needed for everyone in our industry.
This CRM system has allowed multiple companies I have worked for to organize and better utilize their data and resources. Anyone going without this system is far behind the curve. Competition has gotten fierce in today’s economy, and we all need every advantage we can get.
Cosential is the key to success!!
Amanda from BBL
Great CRM system for the A/E/C Industry at extremely competitive price. Training process takes time as the CRM comes fully loaded with features. No additional costs for add-ons.
Sandra from Nabholz Construction Corporation
Cosential is like food to your body.
You have to eat to survive.
Cosential helps me to survive my daily tasks and functions of my work.
I don't like to go hungry! And I don't with Cosential.
Amanda from Walter P Moore
Employees number: 501-1,000 employees
I love how easy it is to access and analyze our information. Cosential has a home for every data point you can imagine -- and the flexibility add new ones as needed -- so you can store and recall information about all of your pursuits and projects.
Our biggest problem prior to using Cosential was that knowledge about our projects, clients, past pursuits, etc. lived primarily in the heads of our people. That's fine as long as no one leaves and no one forgets...but that clearly isn't reality. Cosential is a robust, interconnected database that allows us to have literally everything in one place, and we can view that information from multiple perspectives.
A place for everything.
Load time has been a factor, but it has improved significantly over the past 6 months and I know their developers are actively pursuing even greater speed.
Be sure to work VERY closely with your implementation specialist. This can be an intimidating software package and needs to be populated and launched by someone who fully understands the system.
Donna from MATT Construction
The support staff was very attentive to the many questions I have. My recent encounter with Lisa Pitts was exceptional. She went out of her way to help me solve a couple issues I was having and helped me create a report that saves me time. Thank you!!
Meg from Schaefer
I appreciate the timeliness of the Cosential staff in helping our firm achieve our goals with a CRM Database.
Seth from Outside the Lines, Inc.
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Cosential is a great CRM solution. Their implementation team made data import from multiple different sources an easy to understand and execute process. Any questions I have had along the way we're responded to very quickly.
Data organization is great. Unlike other CRM solutions you do not need an outside programmer to customize. In fact the software is so robust in pre-loaded features implementation is more of subtraction process to hide modules your firm may not need or use. Field customization to match our firms processes and terminology was pretty straight forward.
Some newer modules (marketing e-blasts) are in their infancy, and work like their in their infancy. Generating reports and automatically generated reports (workflow) are not as intuitive to create as I would have liked and can be difficult at first. Mind you my implementation specialist Amy was always there to help me get the reports to do what I needed. It just takes some time to learn Cosential' s interface for this.
Keeley from Hunt Companies
I was first introduced to Cosential in 2010 and began to research and push for the software at my previous company. After a long inside sales process, the company decided not to move forward with my recommendation ¿ which was a major factor in my leaving that organization. One of the main goals of my coming onboard to my current company was to implement Cosential as our marketing database software, and see what other tools are available that we can utilize in other parts of the company. We are full-service real estate company that provided construction (at the time), development, financing, tax credit syndication, facilities maintenance, and property, asset, and investment management services. We ended up implementing across all marketing groups in the business ¿ in the construction, development, investment, asset and property management, and in our justice division. Different groups adopted it more quickly than others, and some we ended up just removing entirely as they were not utilizing the system. Currently our marketing groups across the business still utilize Cosential for business development tracking, current project and property data collection and maintenance, and personnel resume maintenance.
Because Cosential was designed by marketers in our industry, they know what information is important to collect, track, and analyze. The organization of the information and ease of use of the system is unparalleled to other CRMs/databases. Cosential is constantly updating and enhancing the system, so there are new, and improved, features being released to its users constantly, and I always hear what's going on - I know it's the top of the line database for information junkies like me. The reporting and template publishing tools are also incredibly helpful. Tracking our proposals and showing our win/loss ratios to senior leadership has been crucial. Also, the ability to store less-than-popular data for possible future use is highly beneficial.
I wish the reporting module was a little more user friendly - it can be daunting to new and novice users causing it to go unused and frequently used incorrectly causing frustrations. I am now in the Commercial Real Estate industry (more so than what would be termed AEC), I would love LOVE to have more information/modules relating to development of projects, property and asset management - understanding the high-level of property and information turnover for these types of services.
It's the best in the industry, but implementation (as with any software), can be very time consuming and overwhelming. Depending on your level of implementation, I would highly recommend a dedicated employee to this endeavor, and then can become the go-to Cosential person/administrator for the system ongoing. Even after implementation, you need to understand any database is only as good as the information that goes into it - so constant maintenance is imperative to keep the system updated and accurate.
Holly from Yates Construction
Employees number: 10,000+ employees
I use Cosential literally every single day...and that's not just because I'm the OFA but because it's so easy to upload information and documents. I use the personnel, projects and opportunities modules almost daily. Being able to reference so much information for a project we may be mentioning in a proposal is very helpful and makes my job a lot easier.
It's incredibly user friendly and is getting more and more user friendly with each and every update
It has a tendency to run really slow at times
Deborah from KCI Technologies, Inc.
Employees number: 1,001-5,000 employees
KCI has been with Cosential since 2007 and have watched the system expand to meet the needs of industry. While we do not use every function the system offers, we rely heavily on it for proposal tracking, proposal generation, customer information (hit rates, history, contacts) and firm qualifications (projects and personnel). The Cosential team has never lost sight of what it is that makes them successful which is involving industry in their roadmap for enhancements and functionality. These folks listen to what we need and respond.
Cosential gives us quick access to all our past proposal information. Our marketing team is quickly and easily able to access past proposals for guidance, develop intel about our history with clients and understand our experience in a region or with a certain service. As a firm with over 25 offices across the country, this information is vital to our team.
While Publisher has come leaps and bounds from where it was originally, we would like the ability to create several resumes at the same time. For example, I'd like to select several employees, choose a template and have the system walk me through each employee to choose his or her projects.
By far, Cosential is the best option for A/E/C industry. It is customized for our industry, understands what we need to get our jobs done and the team at Cosential is constantly looking for ways to help us do our job better.
Megs from MDG
Employees number: 11-50 employees
A good system for integration- user interface/user experience could be more solid. A more intuitive interface can help users navigate, update, and understand the CRM with ease!
A strong CRM with lots of capability
Not intuitive - improved UX/UI could improve this; The help section is not very detailed.
Improving the UX/UI could help make it more intuitive for users. Adding depth and detail to the Support Center can result in a lot fewer confusing scenarios and calls to support as well.
Nora from U.S. Engineering Company
Employees number: 201-500 employees
My company had implemented Cosential about 3 years before I joined, and they did a good job of inputting the bulk of project, personnel, and contact info into the data base. By the time I came on board the staff that had implemented had left, so I received minimal training on administration of the system, and how all the pieces fit together. That being said, it has not been difficult to learn the basics, and I am currently in the process of "re-implementation" to establish standard work flows and systems to manage the data input, user training, report management, etc. The biggest challenge is carving out the time for data input and cleanup, not to mention bringing new modules (surveys, marketing, etc.) on line without having a full time data base manager.
I like that Cosential has implemented upgrades in speed and search functions. It is tailored to the A/E/C industry, and we have the ability to customize fields. We use Adobe InDesign for proposals, so the ability to generate resumes and project profiles directly into InDesign templates is a big plus (it can also be done in MS Word). The dashboard widgets are really helpful for our business development team. There is a phone app available. I am getting good service regarding support for re-implementation.
The report module is always a challenge, the interface is cumbersome and it usually takes multiple attempts to generate the data I am looking for. It is not forgiving for variances in naming conventions. Customer support relies on just pointing you to a video. I have put in tickets for fixing issues and never hear back.
If you are in the A/E/C industry this data base software is geared to meet your needs. Allocate adequate hours to keep it maintained, have buy-in from management. It is a huge commitment, but as far as I can tell, beats the alternatives.