Looking for sales and marketing technology specifically designed for homebuilding? While broad-based technology tools for CRM (customer-relationship management) are still in use by homebuilders across the market, these firms are finding more and more industry-specific applications being developed in order to help them hone in on the sale with features tailored to their market.

In fact, some have even taken cues from broad-based CRM tools and are looking to deliver the best of both worlds, so to speak, for homebuilders looking to refine their CRM processes. For example, with the launch of its integrated CRM platform last year, Sales Simplicity Software, www.salessimplicity.net, Chandler, Ariz., even acknowledged the fact some of the features were intended to provide functionality users might be familiar with in a tool like salesforce.com.

The integrated CRM platform offers a system into Sales Simplicity’s cloud-based, sales-automation tool. Sales Simplicity’s cross-platform integration with Microsoft Exchange Server and other popular programs like Outlook for calendar tasks and appointments provides builders with a single look at sales and automation technology for their company.

And the CRM releases don’t stop there. News came last week that HomeFront Software, www.homefront-software.com, Calgary, Alta., will be releasing a CRM product designed for the homebuilding market. The product’s official coming out party will be the NAHB Intl. Builders’ Show in Las Vegas later this month and HomeFront says the tool has been created with the intent to help sales people track activities, schedule appointments, show homes, and get in front of more prospects.

This coincides with the ongoing trend in construction where software providers are providing a market-specific alternative to the generic CRM solutions available today. Within the HomeFront product, for example, the company has built in features around marketing/prospect management and sales and construction management.

For example, with marketing and prospect management, builders are provided with campaign management and email marketing tools that streamline the processes related to lead generation through final purchase. With regards to sales and construction management, communications tools can help with the action of generating proposals, managing contracts, tracking change orders, and flagging deposit due dates, among other tasks.

Seeing as HomeFront also provides a comprehensive set of production and management technology for homebuilding through its HomeFront Management ToolKit ,builders are provided with a fully integrated sales and marketing experience as opposed to a standalone solution.

Sales and marketing have long been among the keys to success in homebuilding. CRM technology remains a staple in the IT strategy for builders, and this year we could see more major announcements that will help take this technology to the next level.