Increase Your Sales Force Productivity with CRM TechnologyIn today’s business environments, CRM implementations have a broad range in both their acceptance and also the reach of their deployments. Some organizations have yet to discover CRM Software, while others could never imagine how they could operate their business without it. CRM Software, at its core, is the technology that brings sales, marketing and customer service departments together to make sure that everyone knows what is transpiring inside of an organization. Let’s examine how this technology can be a huge factor in making your sales force is more productive and connected.Different Roles, Different NeedsWhen we look inside of a typical company’s sales department, one sees three major resource groups at play. First, often there is an inside sales department responsible for tasks that range from field sales support to appointment setting or just straight up sales. Next, outside sales professionals are often calling on the largest customers to build relationships and “protect their turf.” In addition, while all of this is going on, sales management is trying to monitor this activity and assist the entire department to ensure that sales are coming in the door and that the whole team is functioning as a cohesive unit.So, how can CRM Software assist a sales department in increasing productivity and building relationships while providing management with a bird’s eye view of the whole operation? To answer this, we need to look inside the CRM Software capabilities and how it functions in each role.Inside Sales RepWe will start with the inside sales department which has a broad range of tasks and is clearly in need of organization. For this article, we will focus on one of the core functions of any CRM solution – the activity scheduler. It is here where the users will organize activities, record follow-up calls and schedule appointments. All interactions between your sales department and their customers and prospects should be recorded in the system’s activities scheduler. Sales representatives should be using this tool to not only record notes and actions, but also to schedule tasks for other members of the team. In this way, everything is in one place and everyone can see what is occurring. Also, by deploying this functionality, one is putting themselves in a position to look educated and prepared when the customer reaches out.These benefits are endless for an inside sales department and we have just touched on one capability of the software. It is also important that the CRM Software provide features like, account profiles, email management, query building and document management when looking for tools that will provide productivity gains for the inside sales representative.Outside Sales RepNext, consider the outside sales professional. Here, we need a CRM technology that allows one to keep in touch with all activities at the home office while being very portable. This is where web based CRM solutions provide a wealth of knowledge for this environment. As mentioned above, a proper deployment of any activity scheduler will keep everyone in sync. However, the outside sales representative needs access to this data in a mobile, easy to use interface. Web based CRM solutions are easily accessible just by being online. A sales representative can be anywhere they have internet access and not only enter activity data, but also populate sales pipeline information, contact relationship hierarchy, and social CRM roles, just to name a few. Couple all of this into a wireless technology that can be rolled out on a phone or tabular device, and it is easy to see how the outside sales representative can stay connected, informed, and most importantly, productive.Sales ManagementFinally, we move on to the sales management point of view and what can be more useful to management then data. Data is crucial in making sure that tasks are being followed, opportunities are being managed and sales objectives are being achieved. This is where a quality CRM tool should have interactive dashboards. Dashboards need to be more than just reports. A manager needs to be able to work inside of the dashboard so that they can easily move to records and opportunities and see firsthand what is transpiring, what assistance is needed and how likely the opportunity is to close. CRM interactive dashboards are really a necessity for any productive sales management team.CRMSo, after reviewing this technology and how it can be implemented, it is easy to see how effective CRM Software can be in assisting today’s sales departments. Productivity gains are quickly seen when the proper CRM tool is implemented. Everyone is connected, in touch and focused on their customers and prospects. The need is clearly there, and it is crucial that the CRM Software you rely on can accomplish these tasks with an intuitive and easy to use interface.
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The commercial 30 year fixed loan has taken a beating by the current credit crisis. Rates have moved up and underwriting guidelines continue to tighten. Gone are the days of 6.25% on 30 year fixed rates on special purpose properties. It will probably be a very long time before they return as well. For example, the maximum loan to value on cash out refinance for an investment deal is now at 50% from 75% 6 months ago.In fact, investment loans within this program have taken the worst of it as this side of the business is the least favorite by the funding bank. They are more actively funding and considering owner occupied transactions than investments.Other restrictions include debt coverage ratios being increased to 1.25%, virtually all special purpose properties like hotels, restaurants daycares, etc are simply no longer eligible. Another major restriction is that the town population where the subject property is located now has to be at least 100,000.Why the carnage? The commercial 30 year fixed loan is structure similar to residential loans. I.e. meaning the individual loans are pooled, securitized and sold on the secondary market for commercial mortgages. As the residential subprime mess has spread into our side of the business these types of commercial loan programs have been seriously affected. The buyers of these bonds have been hurt and no longer can justify the risk, and have slowed or stopped buying these investments.If you own the property your business occupies and if its general purpose like industrial, office, retail and you would be willing to pay an additional 1% on your rate than it will still make sense for you to investigate this option.
Commercial mortgage brokers should save their clients time, aggravation and of course money. The bottom line is that the brokers experience and expertise should be valuable for the borrower, who may have little knowledge of this often complex and daunting process of closing a commercial mortgage.More specifically a few benefits of working with a commercial mortgage broker include:1. Introducing you to loan programs that are not offered by your local bank.Most commercial mortgage brokers will be able to introduce borrowers to loan programs that are not obvious. Lenders that offer untraditional loan programs (such as stated income loans, commercial 30 year fixed or second lien position loans, etc) do not have bank branches. Instead these lenders depend on mortgage brokers to produce their loans. So, brokers can give more options (often much better options), to the borrowers they serve.2. Brokers can give you solid lender recommendations based on industry experience.The real differences between lenders can be difficult to uncover. The obvious, such as which banks/lenders are quoting the lowest rates, offering the best terms, etc will be relatively easy to discover.The more important issues, such as which lenders are re-trading their borrowers, actual closing loans and not just taking application fees or have highly “painful” underwriting process is where a broker really earns his fee. This knowledge is only earned by being involved day to day in the industry and by closing many commercial loans.Most borrowers may close 2 or 4 commercial mortgages in their lifetime, while a good broker will close 2 to 4 loans a month. This experience is critical in helping the borrower achieve their goals.3. Brokers are on the same side of the table as borrowers.We get paid to close loans. Obvious – but when compared to a bank loan off icier, that is on a salary and has weekly meeting quota’s, weekly application quota’s, etc their agenda might not be simply to figure out the best route to get your loan closed . So the point is a bank loan officer may “lead you on” to take you application simply to protect his/her job – and waste your time.4. Commercial brokers should save you a considerable amount of money, not cost you bank fee.By creating a competitive environment, with relevant lenders to your situation, a good broker will get multiple funding sources to compete and produce the best pricing possible. If the broker has a solid reputation with lenders, they will take the loan packages more seriously and spend more time with it, believing that it is a legitimate transaction. Lenders also will have more pressure to not re-trade the deal in fear of losing future business that the broker could provide.5. A solid broker should make the entire process more efficient.In the same vain as number 2. A broker worth his salt should be able to identify solid options for the borrower based on their complex and unique set of circumstances. It is often a single small detail that will slow or kill a deal in process. A sharp broker should be able to spot these small details that could otherwise cost the borrower thousands of dollars, or waste months as the wrong lender wrestles with the file, which should not have been in their hands in the first place.Not all brokers have the same skill sets or experience, but commercial mortgage brokers have earned a place in this business and can assist borrowers in securing a commercial mortgage.