3 Activities Sales People Should Never Have to Do

If you run any type of sales organization, then you know that the larger that organization gets, the more small inefficiencies become major problems as you scale.

In short, activity that is not directly revenue producing needs to be automated or reassigned so sales people can focus on the task at hand. If you think about your own organization, I am sure you can identify tasks your sales people are doing that slows them down and prevents them form achieving their goals.

Sales operations is like a company within a company. The customer is the sales person and the vendor is the sales manager. The objective of the sales manager is to empower the sales people to focus on deal production.

Because of the very independent nature of commercial real estate brokerage, sometimes agents do not get the training and the support that will help them close more business. This helps the agent and the broker since there success is connected. If you are running a CRE brokerage, this is a great opportunity to review your processes and think about what you can do to make your agents more effective.

The following are 3 common inefficiencies that sales people should never have to do:

  1. Manual researching leads
  2. Manually dialing, leaving voice mails, and sending emails
  3. Manual data entry

Clearly ProspectNow is focused on solving item number 1 above, but there are also other tools to help you with automating the other processes. There are great dialing tools for automating the calling process such as Mojo, Phoneburner or Insidesales. With regard to data entry, this can be a killer as your organization grows. Even the smallest manual operation can cost you huge dollars as you scale. If there are certain items which must be done manually, I’d recommend setting up a support team for your sales team that handles these operations so they can stay laser focused.

Every business is different, but when you become aware of inefficiencies you will see you huge opportunities to improve the performance of your sale people and yourself.

Good luck and happy selling!

Make Fewer Cold Calls & Close More Deals

What?  How can I make fewer cold calls and close more deals?  When we first started building ProspectNow, I found I was always hammering the point that the more calls you make, the more deals you will do.  There is no question that sales activity and production are related.  This will never change, but technology is making it possible for us to target in a much more effective way.

As we have progressed in the development of ProspectNow, our focus has been to help our customers make fewer calls, and send less mail…but make the RIGHT calls.

What are some ways to target building owners that are more likely to sell, buy, or refinance?  Here are a a few of my favorite targeting methods:

1.  Owners that own more than one property.
These are great opportunities to find owners that own lots of assets and but may fly under the radar by  owning smaller assets.  If you can call one owner that owns 5 properties it’s the same as calling 5 owners that own one property.

 2.  Owners that manage properties out of state.
 Sometimes owners that are not in a position to easily manage or maintain their properties are more likely to sell.  These are great calls to make, especially on apartment buildings.
3.  Loans coming due in the next 12 months.
 Clearly building owners that have a ballon payment coming due are going to have motivation to either sell, refinance  or pay the loan off with cash.  This is another way to increase your probabilities.
There is never a magic answer in business, but you can definitely improve your chances by focusing the scarce resource of time and effort in the right places.

Staying Tax-Savvy Through the Holidays

While the holiday season may just be gearing up, many small business owners are already thinking about 2013, particularly where taxes are involved. Not only are income tax rates set to increase, but a few key tax breaks are scheduled to expire as well.

With this in mind, a Thomson Reuters tax analyst provides a handful of tips for small businesses that may save them money in 2012 and set them up for a successful 2013. We hope you enjoy the holidays, and derive as much savings for your small business as you can!

Tech is Driving Office Market

It’s no secret that tech is one hot sector today. It’s so hot, in fact, that it’s bolstering office markets throughout the U.S. This is not only seen in the major tech hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and New York, but even in lower profile tech markets like Atlanta.

This is according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest reports, which outline the top U.S. tech markets. Aside from Atlanta and obvious regions like Los Angeles and New York, JLL also released reports on Austin, Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Orange County and Philadelphia, among others.

Check them out for yourselves. You’ll definitely see that some opportunities abound in these major tech gateways!

You May Be an Entrepreneur

You May Be an Entrepreneur If…

Obsess much? Bullied when you were younger? Fired from a few jobs? Hate small talk? Then we’ve got the opportunity for you! It’s called entrepreneurship  It’s not for everyone, but it is, apparently, for a select few of us who can’t seem to settle into the normal workaday grind, according to Entrepreneur.

The website has put together a rather interesting list of 12 characteristics that might label you as the entrepreneurial type. We provided a few of its examples below, but we strongly suggest you click over and read through the entire list. If, like us, you feel like you’ve just taken a peak at your life’s permanent record, then you just may have found your next big adventure. Enjoy!

  • Resist Authority – You have a lifelong record of resisting authority from your parents, teachers and bosses. You don’t go along with the agreed upon norms of the group or community you work and live in.
  • Ready to Improve Everything – You always see how you could do things better. In addition, you are opinionated and freely give your two-cents about your better way of doing things–even when you’re not asked.
  • Labeled a Rebel – You know that greatness resides outside the lines of conformity and don’t think that policies, laws and regulations apply to you. You have been described as a rebel and rule breaker and would defy gravity if you could.

Economic Recovery Set to Continue in 2013

Good news…along with the general economic recovery, the U.S. commercial real estate market is expected to continue on its path toward recovery in 2013, according to ULI’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. Though the report doesn’t call for a whirlwind recovery, it does provide confidence that we will continue our slow and steady growth pattern through next year.

Like most industries, the long-term success of most commercial real estate professionals relies on patience and proper timing. So although the market may not display the hustle and bustle of 2006 and 2007, the smart players know it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. A little pace and patience should serve you well in 2013 and beyond!

Nevada Real Estate Market Stabilizes

Nevada was arguably the hardest hit commercial real estate market during the recession. This desert oasis is still reeling from the effects of the past few years as unemployment remains high and tourism and gaming try to gain ground.

There is good news, however, on the horizon, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, which talked to many local-area brokers who feel the market is stabilizing. The story notes that Northern Nevada experienced an abundance of activity in the early part of the year, while projects that were previously stalled in Las Vegas were finally picking back up.

As the Nevada real estate market stabilizes, lower prices, more investment opportunities and great deals are sure to be found. Why not explore this market today?

Consider a Smaller Entrepreneur City

The nation’s biggest metros are obvious places to look when starting a new enterprise. San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle. Everyone knows those hubs are brimming with creative types where ideas, money and success seem to flourish. But what if you’re not the “big city” type? Or, what if there are thousands of other wannabe entrepreneurs just like you who have already satiated these spaces?

Consider a smaller entrepreneur city. These relatively undiscovered cities that may provide even more resources and opportunities than their bigger counterparts. One example is Bend, Ore. Entrepreneur highlights this city as an example of what can happen when a few key factors come together to create a synergy that supports the entrepreneurial spirit.

While the story focuses on this particular city, it serves as a template for what makes certain region better than others when it comes to launching a new idea.

Here are a few characteristics that have led Bend to become such an entrepreneurial hit. We have a feeling that other cities that share these qualities will do just as well in the near future.

  • Diversity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Desirable living environment
  • An appreciation of technology
  • Solid public-private partnership opportunities
  • A sense of camaraderie among residents and business owners

Capitalize on Summer Business

screenshot_13764It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy…right? Wrong, if you ask Mike Mann, an extremely successful Internet entrepreneur who recently wrote the book Make Millions & Make Change!Secrets to Business and Personal Success. According to Mann, summer is the perfect time to beef up your workload and nab clients while the competition is on vacation or working shorter hours.

Summer Business Happens

It actually makes perfect sense when you think about it. Yes, business activity does slow during the summer, as offices are short staffed and everyone knows that availability is limited due to vacation schedules and “summer hours.” But that doesn’t mean business stops altogether, right?
If that were true then entire office buildings would close down for this three-month period – and we all know that isn’t true – or practical! Instead of whiling away the last lazy days of summer, Mann encourage entrepreneurs and salesmen to swoop in on the competition, setting themselves up for a flurry of activity once it’s back to business as usual.
Even if you’re not reaching out to clients and getting deals done, summer provides the perfect lull to re-evaluate your business plan, beef up your sales strategies and ensure that, come fall, you’re ready to meet your clients (and competition) head on.
“Summer is the right time to give in to your inner entrepreneur and start a new business or give your existing business some needed attention,” Mann says in a recent press release. “The days are longer, networking is easier and calendars are lighter…There are more hours in the day to get things done and many times people have fewer work obligations. Existing businesses should take advantage of this extra time by improving their best practices.”
Summer doesn’t have to be all work and no fun, however. Mann also encourages entrepreneurs to take advantage of the great weather and laid-back atmosphere. Summer barbeques can provide ideal networking environments, as can golf outings, he notes.
Whatever your plan, try to strike the right balance of business and pleasure for you. Just remember that while you’re trying to tip your scale in favor of future business, your competition is likely tipping his scale to a few more margaritas. CAPITALIZE!

Opportunity In Failure

Steve Jobs famously said in his 2005 Stanford commencement address that “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” Though many wouldn’t necessarily share that sentiment, there is opportunity in every situation. Jobs went on to tell the new graduates that his dismissal also removed the immense pressure he felt to be successful; and ultimately led to what he calls “one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The late, great innovator wasn’t the only one to rise from the ashes of a very public “failure.” Business Insider recently recounted 17 other creators, entrepreneurs, entertainers and professionals of all shapes and sizes who found opportunity in failure and kept going in the aftermath of defeat. While many might have thrown in the towel after such rejection, these individuals persevered and, in the process, changed history and their given professions for the better.

Press On

If you’ve experienced a recent failure, firing or rejection, know that it’s not the end of the road. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re talentless or in the wrong line of work. It may simply mean that you and the other party aren’t compatible. And that’s okay. Just like the dating world, not everyone is an ideal match. There truly is opportunity in failure.

Below are a few of the standout successes mentioned by Business Insider who experienced failure early on.

  • Walt Disney was fired from a Kansas newspaper because his editor said he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”
  • A television producer in Baltimore pulled Oprah Winfrey off the evening news because he felt she got too emotionally invested in her stories
  • Bill Belichick was fired from his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. He went on to win the NFL Coach of the Year award. Three times
  • Elvis was branded talentless by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry after one performance. The soon-to-be-superstar was told he should go back to driving trucks.