Some of your leads are missing, you just don’t know it yet

Leads: The more we understand them, the more we realize how completely the business world relies on them. It’s difficult to think of a line of business that isn’t dependent on leads in one form or another.  By definition, a lead is essentially the prospective consumer of a product or service, created when an individual or business shows interest and provides contact information that is captured by various means. Businesses gain access to potential customers through advertising, trade shows, direct mailings, and numerous other marketing efforts.

Some lead-driven businesses are more obvious than others. Automotive, Real Estate, Subscriptions, and Software come easily. However, if you dig a little deeper  you’ll discover some far less apparent businesses that fly under the radar.  Consider Law Firms, Construction Companies, Recruiters, and everyday Retailers for starters. Then look at Collection Companies, Screen Doors Manufacturers, and even African Safaris, these are just some of the industries that have come to Lead Assign looking to solve some very real lead routing challenges.

Most of us have seen the wildly shocking statistics published online  proclaiming that the average lead sits idle for 46 hours before being handled, and lets not forget the jaw dropping data showing that the likelihood of a lead converting will drop 900% from five to 30 minutes.

One statistic that you don’t see too much about revolves around hidden leads. The culprit is a Black Hole or perhaps the Bermuda Triangle of sales…where good leads go to die. There are many opportunities for a lead to get lost while navigating along its doomed path on a one-way journey to the grave. Many of us are guilty of helping a lead along on its ill-fated destination, yet we do it unknowingly so.

As Director of Sales & Marketing here at Lead Assign, I’m lucky to get an inside glimpse at our customers’ lead growth and activity. Quite often our amazing customers will share some very candid stories with us. We have had customers tell us that before using Lead Assign they relied on post-it notes being stuck to telephones. We have seen highly paid executive staff spending 15% of their day manually distributing leads to staff.  We’ve seen a receptionist channelling preferred leads to her boyfriend… who also worked for the firm. The stories are endless but the point of it all is that leads come from anywhere and everywhere and in doing so, they often get mishandled and never make it to a salesperson because there was no predefined destination to begin with, aside from an neglected email inbox or a voicemail that will never get heard.

We know this because we see the immediate results when leads are consolidated within Lead Assign. When we on-board a new customer at Lead Assign one of the very first things we ask is, “How many leads do you estimate will be distributed monthly?”  Without exception, the response is always about 20-40% light of the volume that we see  immediately once their leads are consolidated in our system. While it may be a short-lived pleasant surprise to our client, it doesn’t take long for the light bulb to go off when they start calculating exactly how many of their leads ended up in the Bermuda Triangle of Sales in the past. Having one single destination for all of your web leads will instantly increase your lead pool. Lead Assign allows you to point each of your lead channels at a single endpoint email address. We then parse it and distribute it based on relevant rules that you design using keywords and tags. Your chat leads, website inquiries and web-form leads plus leads from corporate HQ and even phone ins and walk ins are easily consolidated and distributed with Lead Assign.

If the available lead response data is to believed, you are probably right now, sitting on leads that you’ve paid for but, sadly they have long since gone cold. It’s not too late to buck the system. Take the steps to consolidate the leads that you are paying to generate. Get them all into one place and distribute with intelligence. Get them to the right salesperson first time, every time. Remember, you have about five minutes to get to the prospect. If you want to see this in action, click here and enter your cell phone number. I promise you will hear from us every time.   Get Lead Assign.

 

M. joe Steeves

Director of Sales & Marketing

Lead Assign

W: www.leadassign.com

E: [email protected]

P: 416-629-4477

 

Kick off 2017 by giving yourself a nice raise… Don’t bother asking your boss, Lead Assign has you covered

With 2016 behind us we are all looking forward to seeing what 2017 has hidden in store for each one of us. A new American President, record setting hydro bills, a nation divided like never before and a world without David Bowie…It can only get better.

Regardless of where one resides and how political loyalties may lie, there is certainly one thing that everyone understands and that’s the almighty quest for more money.  Cash, Moolah, Cake, call it whatever you like but there is no shame in wanting more. Lead Assign is happy to help you thicken your wallet with its brand spanking new Affiliate Referral program for 2017.

Throughout 2016 one specific theme became increasingly evident when speaking with our amazing users and that is the simple fact that our customers clearly love Lead Assign, and I mean they really, really love Lead Assign. Time and time again we’re on the receiving end of comments like “Shhhhh, you’re our secret weapon”,  “you’re our competitive edge” and “our salespeople are now responding to leads within seconds”!

It’s clear that Lead Assign has saved our community 1000’s of man hours and 1000’s of dollars while concurrently allowing our customers to conduct business in ways that they never thought possible, until Lead Assign enabled them to make their own relevant rules of lead distribution.

While Lead Assign was initially developed with Real Estate in mind, we now equate about 40% of our business to other interesting verticals including Automotive, Big Insurance, Banking Services, Lead Generators and Healthcare just to name a few.

Recognizing the incredible impact Lead Assign has had on so many of our customers bottom line, it’s only natural that we believe and trust that our customers and advocates of Lead Assign will be our best resource in spreading word about the wonders of Lead Assign to others who have yet to discover the magic.

Here is the Deal:

The first step to earning commission cash is to set up an account and join the Lead Assign Affiliate Program. Account setup and registration is free and it only takes seconds. Refer new customers from your network or your circle of influence and you’ll immediately start receiving commissions.

Do it right here, right now: https://leadassign.com/join/

Once you’ve signed up as an affiliate Lead Assign will provide you with a link that you can share with your network. When someone in your network signs up, you will receive 15% of their Lead Assign fees. Not just on leads, but also for every agent they add! We will also give you access to your very own dashboard where you can view sign ups from your referrals and track your incoming payments! Keep talking about us and keep sharing your referral link then simply put your feet up and watch the cash roll in.

Lead Assign is a young and growing self funded Start-Up. If there has ever been an opportunity to get in early on the ground level this would be it. Remember, the people you refer will also be able to refer people in their network as well. You will see a piece of that pie too.

The odds of winning the Cash For Life Lotto is approximately 1 in 7,282,016. Instead of betting on blind chance, bet on yourself and make it happen. We want to share the success of 2017 with all of you, consider this your formal invitation to write your own ticket for 2017. 

Joe Steeves

Director of Sales & Marketing

Lead Assign

[email protected]

Want Your Start-Up To Compete? Here’s What You Should Know…

Today’s start-up culture isn’t just about bringing a great idea to market in hopes of a massive payday. Even if it’s not your brilliant idea but you’re looking to get your foot in the door early with any start-up, there are a few things you need to prepare yourself for.

You will probably get paid, perhaps even an average amount, but you’re going to earn every dime of it. You’re going to earn it by putting in hours while at the office. You’re going to earn it by putting in extra hours at home after your family has gone to bed. You’re going to spend a lot of time staring at a screen, literally eight hours a day going through a plethora of emails, spreadsheets, websites that may or may not be meaningful , and you’ll spend hours on the phone listening to strangers tell you why you need them or the other way around. If you’re a Partner or a Founder you might be asked to skip getting paid for a cycle or two if your business is in a financial crunch or still awaiting an injection of additional capital, I’ve seen it happen more than once.

Your thoughts will become your obsession. To quote a good friend, Steve Southin, developer of the super innovative automotive product Bumper by Dashboard…”Finding success today is more difficult to achieve than it once was, only because in today’s world you need to discover how to be truly original while not being original at all. Wiring your brain to understand this takes practice”. You will learn to work through the impossible or the “can’t be done”.  After you have overcome the impossible, future impossibilities become a meaningless non factor.

You’ll Work Weekends even when you’re not. Whether you decide to work the weekend or not, you will still work. Your work may come in the form of a quick stop at Staples to pick up some office supplies that you know you’re going to need on Monday morning. You might be heading to an airport on your Sunday “off” to catch a flight that will get you to your Monday meeting on the other side of the country. Your iPhone may ring incessantly to notify you every time a new customer registers for your services via your website. Your boss may call you to discuss an upcoming initiative. The list is endless…so is the work.

The glamour of travel quickly disappears. Travel will pretty much consist of the typical herding at the airport security line. A long and uneventful flight followed by a taxi ride to your middle of the road hotel with just enough time for a bite to eat and a shower. You then walk across the street to your meetings or conference where you will remain until your mission is complete and you then return to the same airport to get the hell out of Dodge. If you’re lucky you will get the bulkhead seat that you requested when you booked your flight online.

You will think twice before expensing it. When you have skin in the game, you will think of money differently than you did as an employee. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of working for large corporate entities armed with a generous expense account requiring very little accountability on my part, while it’s nice to live high on the hog, it’s with a very different perspective that you view such a thing when you’re counting on every incoming dime to preserve your longevity in hopes of getting your business to the finish line. The supplies you bought, or that mileage you didn’t claim, the costs of keep your home office running or the meal you bought for a coworker are all things that you may choose to just keep to yourself in hopes that it will get you to your objective faster or with less investment money.

Having made it through this list of items that downplay the appeal of a career with a start-up, it is most important to mention that with every single point mentioned there are numerous benefits and upside to every one of them. If you want to have a measurable impact on your career and your business’s bottom line, a start-up is a great place to do it. If you have an entrepreneurial drive that you’re itching to scratch a start-up is for you. If you thrive on taking complete ownership for your positive and negative decisions, a start-up is definitely for you.

Here at Lead Assign we are faced with the challenges and the wins that keep any start-up going. I love being in the position of seeing revenue grow. I love working with a team that is lean and mean with the ability to produce more than what such a small team should be capable of creating so quickly. For me the opportunity is really what stokes and keeps the fire burning. It’s easy to believe in something that you are so heavily invested in, be it, financially, work ethic or emotional buy in. I am fully confident that Lead Assign is making a best in class product while being driven by exceptional talent. The competition has no chanceagainst us. With what we believe in, along with some hard work, and a bit of well placed luck, I expect Lead Assign to be at the top of the heap in no time with all of the spoils that go along with it. In the meantime we shall continue to compete.

Joe Steeves

Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com

Seek and Ye Shall Find, Real Estate Technology Is Abound

Presumably, the real estate business has been around as long as people have been required to pay for the place in which they live. Not the oldest profession in the world….but close.  As technology has grown exponentially throughout the last few decades, so too has the creative ways to buy, sell and market your home. I remember finding my first home in a real estate magazine, there it was, in all of its glory, printed in black and white. The responsibilities and role of the real estate agent has certainly expanded along with the times as well. Sticking a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn is certainly still a required step however by no means does the role of the Agent of the new millenium end there. The tools and applications that are available to an agent in 2016 are almost endless. There are tools for 3D virtual tours, E-Signature applications, tools telling your brokerage where you are, citing agent safety, virtual staging tools and hundreds more. Add to this list the many tools designed specifically for Owner/Brokers who demand more control when it comes to marketing and lead generation. Of course I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t also mention my own employer Lead Assign, makers of amazing lead consolidation and distribution software (seriously).

There’s no slow down to the pace in which new technology is becoming available to agents and brokers alike. Of course this creates great opportunity however, it also poses a problem. How exactly does a busy agent or broker/owner stay on top of whats available to them and what applications can be utilized to help grow their businesses. Most of us tend to unintentionally limit our exposure to new technology by lazily gathering and absorbing what we see via tech news websites or perhaps by joining a relevant LinkedIn group or two.

To really dig deep and discover what is shaking up the world of Real Estate tech, you need seek it out and go see it. Almost every major city or commercial centre in the United States and Canada routinely has tech events and conferences catering to its local businesses and marketplace. I would encourage everyone to make the effort and get out to see what’s happening in your own backyard as its both convenient and affordable.

For those who strive for even more, those that want to be on the bleeding edge of technology, you have to go big and sometimes far. Lead Assign is a very small start-up with great aspirations. We here at Lead Assign knew early on that word of mouth was going to be good but, we also knew it wouldn’t be enough. We needed to get our product in front of as many Broker/Owners as quickly as possible, and in a cost efficient manner.  Wanting to make a splash, in 2015 we committed to participating in INMAN CONNECT in New York city. INMAN CONNECT was an ideal platform to launch Lead Assign as they provided a relatively inexpensive venue for start-ups like us to participate in “Start-Up Alley”, while allowing us to get our product in front of thousands of qualified prospective Brokers and Agents.

Our first INMAN CONNECT experience was a learning one as we had little more than a MacBook running a beta version of what we were building, yet we were warmly received and encouraged by onlookers and attendees. We were featured in an article on the INMAN site which lead to further interest from Brokers and Owners.  Of course this all began the trickle of new customers wanting to take advantage of what we were selling and being a new product it helped us to get better at growing and assessing our customers needs as well.  In February of 2016 we once again committed to INMAN CONNECT 2016. Same location but with a more refined approach. This time around we had a fully developed and reliable product. We had hired a sales guy who was up for the task at hand (me)! and we were once again back in start up alley. It was a pleasant surprise to be remembered by the INMAN organizers and even more surprising was the frequency that we were approached by previous conference attendees who had remembered us from the year before!

Even though INMAN CONNECT wrapped up 3 months ago, I am still working numerous leads that reside within my CRM pipeline. Landing one or two large clients from a show like INMAN can quickly cover the costs of attending such an event. Personally I managed to secure 159 individual well qualified leads from the conference alone, additionally, many of the companies I’ve managed to engage are successfully winding their way through my sales funnel and well on their way to being full blown on-boarded active customers. I’ve experienced some great dialogue with prospects who didn’t end up as customers but graciously saw value in my product and felt compelled enough to refer me to their network of people whom they felt were a good fit for our application.

The goal of all of this is to simply illustrate the need to seek out the solutions that you desire. Believe me, I’d love to call every prospect on the planet to tell them about all of the benefits of Lead Assign but it’s simply not practical. You can however discover answers to the problems that you didn’t realize you had all on your own. From and agent or owners perspective it’s a great opportunity for you to increase your network and talk to others in marketplaces that differ from your own. You will most certainly find Lead Assign attending INMAN CONNECT 2016 in San Fransisco this August 2-5, as there is no better place for us to showcase our Lead Assign application than the high tech capital of the planet. Please come visit us in Start-up Alley, we hope to see you there.

Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com

Customer Feedback Will Point You In The Right Direction… And Open New Doors

Lead Assign runs lean. We are a small organization with big goals. Having only worked here a few months, I am still getting the lay of the land, but I love what I see.  I was whipped into action very quickly due to coming on board right after the company attended a Real Estate Tech conference called INMAN 2016. Upon returning from the conference I had a stack of 159 business cards, all from people who were quickly qualified with the promise that Lead Assign would follow up. I began the task of securing a CRM, getting all of my prospects into the application and starting to make the calls.

Early on I had some strong interest from prospects who showed great interest in the way that Lead Assign could simplify their lives however, some of the prospects I spoke with, wanted our application to work a bit differently in order to fit their individual business needs. After listening to some of the feedback from prospects, I brought some of the ideas to our development team kind of expecting the standard response of “it is what it is” or “they will have to pay for customization”. Remarkably, instead of the expected disappointing response, we ended up discussing reasons why the customer is looking to make this change. We then discussed how the changes would effect us and the possibilities of opening some new, previously unseen, opportunities.

Being as lean and nimble as we are, the development team were able to take the customer feedback, understand the goal, design the flow and then give me a completion timeline that I could convey to the client. I proudly called my clients back, thanking them for the feedback while also letting them know that the changes that they’ve requested are being worked on and would be completed by a specific date. Of course the client was impressed however, I was a little less excited, as I knew that earning the clients business depended entirely on our ability to deliver the change and I was just crossing my fingers and hoping that it would be done when I was promised. I put the clients on ice for about 2 weeks while the enhancements were (hopefully) being made. As the new guy, I was still unsure as to the process and expectations of communication between the sales department and the development team. All I knew was that I had promised a delivery date to my customer and I was hoping that it was being worked on.

About 2 days before my calendar due date, I overheard some of the team talking about the changes and I excitedly poked my head up over my desk hoping to insert myself into the discussion. Sure enough, the changes were complete, tested and we were ready to roll out ahead of schedule. I couldn’t have been happier. After getting a quick run through on how the changes would work for my client, I called them to proudly proclaim that the work was complete and we were all set to go. Both clients in question were delighted with the great news and we quickly implemented the changes for them. Two new paying customers! This is great news for our customers however, in reality, it’s bigger news for Lead Assign. The simple changes requested by our customer has, all of a sudden, opened brand new doors of opportunity for Lead Assign. To be specific, Lead Assign has always been able to deliver leads to agents phones and email, based on keywords and tags. Now with the changes in place we are capable of delivering leads to agents by a predefined “pecking order“, opening ourselves to new customer segments. We have other additional customer driven changes being worked on as I write this update. Soon we will be able to export lead data to .csv files, providing a benchmark for agencies to be able to track conversion of leads against properties sold making our product offering even more valuable.

The point to all of this, of course, is that we are developing our products with our customers needs in mind and as a priority. Coincidently, this is the same way that we initially became a company. We were approached by a Real Estate Owner/Broker who had a problem and he went searching for someone who might be able to help him solve it. This is the opposite of someone sitting at home and dreaming up a solution for a problem that might exist. I will always be more inclined to take a feedback from someone who knows that they have a problem and is looking for a solution over someone who tries to shoehorn their solution into a perceived problem.

M. Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing,  www.leadassign.com

 

5 Ways My Rock Band And My Day Job Are Alike

In yesterday’s post, I spoke specifically about harnessing one’s passion and using it as inspiration to achieve what you desire.

One of my most persistent, personal passion’s has always been music. Those who know me well, know that music has been a powerful force in my life, defining me since childhood. Growing up, all I wanted was to become a Rockstar, there was nothing else. Music and the electric guitar consumed me. I would spend hours mimicking my guitar hero’s in front of the mirror, tightly holding onto my cheap, Japanese made black Les Paul copy. I’d furiously whip my right arm in circles imagining that I was Pete Townshend from The Who doing his iconic windmill or doing the Angus Young duck walk across my bedroom floor. While I truly gave it a good shot, the truth is that none of the bands I joined or put together ever found any mainstream success. I did however, have some fantastic opportunities playing with some Internationally known bands and I’ve experienced some wonderful highlights and run-ins with genuine rockstars that I will always remember. To this day I remain an active member of a rock outfit, dare I say the tightest, most well rehearsed band I’ve been part of to date. My band, Mr Pharmacist, has been slugging away for almost ten years now. The similarities shared between being in a rock band and having a “real” day job are real. I have compiled a short list of my Top 5 similarities between the two.

1. Although you are part of a Team, it’s not a democracy…. most of the time

Being in a band, one would think that everyone has the same amount of time invested and therefore everyone would have an equal share in what goes on. In reality, as much as it pains me to say it, the singer is the one who’s holding the trump card. If he feels uncomfortable or unable to sing what you want them to, it just ain’t going to happen. A singer’s voice is your bands brand. When working in an office or work environment we are also lead to believe that working hard, as a team, will get you where you want to be however, keep in mind,  the person signing your paycheque has the ability and the right to immediately change your course of action or direction just because they want to.

2. It Doesn’t work unless everyone is participating, doing their job and giving it their all

A rock band is an ideal example of Aristotle’s claim that “The Whole is Greater Than The Sum Of It’s Parts”. If you put 5 musicians in a room together you can come out of it with something extraordinary and something far greater than just 5 instruments playing together. The same holds true with your day job. A business can only achieve their goals when the workforce is firing on all cylinders. When it truly is, you can feel it and you know it. It’s almost tangible and the exact same holds true being in a band.

3. It’s 99% work, driven by passion and 1% playing rock shows

I’m just taking a guess as to the ratio of work hours invested vs. time spent on stage performing but I think I’m pretty close. I won’t go as far as saying that rehearsals in a live band atmosphere can’t be fun, because they usually are, however what gets overlooked is what has to get done to make it all happen. A single Mr Pharmacist rehearsal on a Thursday night requires the following effort from me… A 1.5 hour drive EACH WAY, about $25 in gas, lugging a heavy amplifier, two guitars, a keyboard, a pedalboard and a bag full of cords, batteries, picks and strings out of my home studio, up stairs, to the car. Upon arriving in Toronto, navigating my way through insane traffic, I once again lug it all up another set of stairs. We set up, practice, have some fun, then I pack it all up, pay for rehearsal space rent and contribute to the beer fund, lug it all back downstairs and I then drive home, getting in at about 1 am, ready to be at work the next morning. I do this about 12 times for each time we play live. A lot of work? Definitely. Worth it? Completely. Just like the day job, the similarities are the same (except for the beer…usually). The commute, the hard work and long hours, coupled with hours of preparation and practice, the requirements are very similar.
4. Once you think you are in the groove, someone will quit or get fired

Ive been in many bands and have seen singers, bass players and numerous drummers pack it in. Sometimes the band will collectively decide to fire someone, sometimes the just leave. About a year ago I had a drummer quit citing an inability to work with another band member. You can’t try to convince them not to go, once their passion has dissolved, they will only hold you back. The disappointment of working endlessly to master the songs in the setlist and then have a member walk out is as painful in a band environment, as it is your day job. Unfortunately it’s part of the deal. One can only hope that the departure will result in a new addition that can bring some new insight, skills and positive energy to the team or the band. When we lost our drummer a year ago, he was replaced almost immediately by the amazing Glenn Miltchem.  We hand no idea that Glenn had taken great interest in the band and when we heard through the grapevine that he wanted in, we couldn’t believe our luck. Glenn has played drums for Canadian legends Blue Rodeo for the last 25 years and, is currently on tour with Ian Thornley of Big Wreck. Glenn is a monster behind the kit. To say that we landed on our feet after the unexpected departure of our previous drummer would be an understatement. We have all seen good employees leave our employers, only to be replaced with a far superior new hire. I happens.

5. You need to build and grow to keep your audience/customers engaged.

One of the most exciting things for me, functioning in a band, is when we work on new material. There is great satisfaction in mastering something new. We also know that if we want paying customers to keep coming to our shows, we must keep it fresh with new material. On the business end we also need to keep our products or services new and ahead of the competition otherwise we will become stagnant and of n interest to our customer base. You have to continually grow. I believe that at last count Mr Pharmacist had enough well rehearsed material to get through 2 one hour sets which is approximately 30 songs. It’s a lot to remember but enough practice makes a lot of it muscle memory, how our singer remembers all the words, I will never understand.

The similarities between being in a Band and working a day job are uncanny, that doesn’t mean you cant have great fun and reap great rewards doing either. Only one of these makes your ears ring. If your day job is making your ears ring you probably have an issue with an angry coworker.

You can catch Mr Pharmacist, Saturday June 11 at the Linsmore located in Toronto on Danforth Ave.

M.Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com

Tap Into Your Passion And Feed Your Fire

Over the weekend I happened upon a new TV show that caught the interest of my family. I call it a new TV show however, I’m never really too sure these days, as I am a proud “cable cutter” 5 years in, and therefore I’m not exactly sure what is actually “new”.  The show “Little Big Shots” is hosted by none other than Steve Harvey, host of 2015 Miss Universe Pageant and solely responsible for misreading the cue card, falsely identifying Miss Columbia as the new Miss Universe, resulting in a collective gasp heard around the globe which then also resulted in a series of rather funny memes and oddly placed online jokes. To be fair, I actually like Steve Harvey an awful lot and I think he has recovered rather well, from what could have been disastrous for his currently skyrocketing career.

Little Big Shots is reminiscent of the 90’s TV hit “Kids Say The Darnedest Things” (1998-2000) hosted by the now disgraced comedian Bill Cosby. The premise of the show is this,  Steve Harvey invites a child guest onstage who has become somewhat of a youtube or online sensation some how, some way. Harvey will lob the kids ultra-open ended questions that usually illicit a comical response from the child causing the studio audience to laugh loudly and thereby stoking the child’s willingness to interact with audience and host. Imagine hearing a 4 year old discuss the exact number of Youtube views he has gained to date, along with his future viewership subscriber targets and goals. After a few minutes of comical banter, the child guest eventually stands up and will reenact the original feat that made them an Internet sensation.

What I saw was really quite amazing. I saw a sassy viral dancer and an amazing spelling bee kid. I watched a 5 year old animal hypnotist  and a rather cute 6 year old conductor. All of this was, of course, topped of with the Baby Bruce Lee.

As I watched these kids perform their magic I got to asking myself, how in God’s name could a 4 year old have found enough time in their short little life to have perfected such demonstrated skills? Many folks are familiar with the adage that you must devote 10,000 hours of practice to master that which you choose to conquer. I’m good at a lot of things however, if this 10,000 hour rule is the benchmark of my mastery, to date I have mastered driving, sleeping and possibly mowing the lawn. The young boy that demonstrates his ability to match Bruce Lee, move for move, in perfect unison, while the film plays behind him is really quite something, as is the spelling bee whiz. What I think sets these kids apart is unmatched passion. The spelling bee boy proudly professes his love for the massive Dictionary sitting on his lap while, the soft manner in which the young animal hypnotist speaks to her subjects is somewhat hypnotizing to me as I watch. They’ve found it, and they found it early. One can only hope that these kids continue to discover passion throughout their lives having been so lucky from the onset.

I too, have passion for the many wonderful things that populate my life, too many interests perhaps as I’m a master of none by my own assessment. The fact persists though, I can’t help but pursue what interests me and I continue to do so. It’s an easy path to follow if you are inspired enough to want to do it, as opposed to just having to do it.  I would suggest that using passion as inspiration to achieve or acquire what you desire, will also serve well as a benchmark in professional endeavours or aspirations as well. It is so much easer for me to envision my goals or an objective, when I’m not derailed by matters that don’t interest me. I’m inspired by my role at Lead Assign, the opportunity and the potential for growth excites and amazes me. I’m excited by the faith and resources that my owners have shown they are willing to invest in me. I am blessed to be able to live and work in a beautiful resort destination, allowing for a lifestyle I never thought possible, all while raising a young family. The passions i pursue in my life drives my motivation to do what’s required to sustain them, both personally and professionally. I’ll continue to stick with this approach until it not longer works for me but so far, so good.

My passion for what I’m doing at Lead Assign is starting to pay off. I can see the progress of my early efforts which are now working through my sales funnel. I’m thinking bigger and identifying new segments and previously unnoticed opportunities. I know things are growing positively because my problems are starting to change, which I always view as good indicator. An example of this could be as simple as “I don’t have any leads” to “I have too many leads and not enough time” or any other “good new problem”.  Embrace the change and consider it fuel to feed your passion.

Let your passion direct your interest and if you can turn that interest into a career you’ve achieved something that very few do. Passion… you can’t just stop it.

M. Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing www.leadassign.com

No One Wants To Know What Goes Into Making The Sausage

Not so long ago, I was sitting at my desk at Lead Assign HQ pondering. I was having a problem understanding a part of the scoring system and algorithm that Lead Assign’s Patent Pending technology utilizes to make what we do possible. Having asked for some insight into the issue, a young apprentice coder on staff started to explain to me how and why the intricate process worked beneath the many layers computer code. As I continued to listen, it quickly became apparent that I was involved in a discussion that was far out of my league and beyond my capacity to comprehend. As I started to glaze over having lost any memory or interest in my initial inquiry, I was miraculously rescued with the interjection of an off the cuff proclamation from Tom, Lead Assign’s CTO and a founding partner. “Nobody cares what went into making the sausage” he barked loudly, “they just like the sausage” he reiterated.

This comment of course was Tom’s way of letting his apprentice coder know that when someone like myself is asking for an explanation or help, they aren’t usually looking for an answer peppered with all of the juicy details, no matter how sophisticated, or in this case, how gross they may be. A good salesperson will have the inherent ability to take something complicated and make is easy for a customer to understand. The prospect simply wants to know, where is the payoff, and what’s in it for them.

Just recently for the first time ever, astronomers have confirmed the existence of an intense magnetic field surrounding the event horizon of a supermassive black hole. To a guy like me, this highly anticipated astronomical news means very little to me, at least from the onset. Fortunately for me, Tom, our CTO happens to really be Dr. Tom Andersen, an elite member of a Nobel Prize winning team from 2015 and also an expert in Cosmology and Particle Physics. I’m certainly am keeping great company these days!  Getting to know Tom, Ive come to learn that he has a fantastic ability to take the complicated and dumb it down for a good ole sales guy like myself. After hearing the announcement of the new discovery and catching Tom as he walked by my desk, I asked him to quickly explain to me, in layman terms, what exactly all of this “space news” really means. The explanation I received was nothing less than astounding, easy to understand but more than anything he made it incredibly exciting to me. I went home that evening and proudly described, to anyone that would listen, the magnitude of this momentous and what it all meant for humanity. I was after all an expert on the subject now.

You see Tom, didn’t tell me how the sausage was made. Tom simply explained what the sausage meant, and in a way that was easy for me to understand. Lead Assign is a sophisticated little bit of software but it is pretty easy to understand and grasp when clearly explained. My Lead Assign elevator pitch is this:

Lead Assign delivers your leads, almost magically, to an agents phone seamlessly by both text and email. Lead Assign features Patent Pending technology with automated lead consolidation and distribution capabilities allowing for the automatic delivery of all of  your leads to most qualified agent, based on unique keywords and tags that are pre-determined by the user. 

If you’re a working in a lead based environment, the above statement is simple to understand and the payoff to a customer is obvious in that Lead Assign can save them a lot of time by automating what is currently a painfully manual process. I will spare you all of the other gross details.

M. Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing www.leadassign.com

Meaningful Conversation With Your Prospect Will Trump Your Powerpoint Presentation Or Web Demo Every Time

There was a time not so long ago when a sales presentation was a completely different animal than it is today. Ive worked for employers who stated with conviction “your job is to Demo, then Demo and then Demo more”. At the time I remember thinking “yah, that’s it! I’ll demo the hell out of them until they buy”. Man, I’ve never been so wrong.

To be clear, I absolutely believe in the power of a well executed online or in person demo or presentation. The problem as I see it is,  salespeople (myself included because I’ve made every mistake there is), often run the risk of viewing an opportunity to demo or present as a nice easy shortcut on the path to a close.

It’s tempting to speak to a prospect and suggest “just let me take you through a quick webex, I know you’ll love what I have”. In reality the salesperson is simply looking for a shortcut to get the real work out of the way. “I just have to show them how great this product is and the selling will take care of itself”.  While the “demo or die” mentality will likely result in some minor success,  you will also be spending a lot of time demonstration your product to people who are not ready to buy, completely unqualified to make buying decisions or worst of all, people who don’t care or have no reason or interest in purchasing what you are selling in the first place. I can count on two hands how many web demos I’ve conducted online in 2016. I am fully capable of taking my prospect through a broad, basic demo or highly detailed demonstration of the amazing capabilities of  Lead Assign’s product offering but, it’s simply not always necessary.

I would prefer having a prospect spend 20 minutes with me on the phone far more than having them spend 20 minutes in an online demo or a one sided presentation every time. After all, I know how hard I had to work through my precious pipeline to get this guy on the phone and I also know that the longer I have the prospect on the phone, the more I learn and the more candid the prospect will become. After a 20 minute phone conversation with my prospect, I will definitely be able to determine whether or not it’s worth my time to recommend an online demo to assist getting me to a close. I’ve had lots of situations where I’ve entered into conversations with the single goal of getting a demo only to realize, after a good meaningful business discussion, that a demo to that particular prospect would simply be a waste of their time and mine.

The conversation is key and is usually conducted over the phone or in person. A well drafted email can do wonders to initiate a meaningful conversation but deals are rarely closed through email itself. If you can manage to get your prospect on the phone you are in prime selling territory. Break some ice, show your personality and slowly walk your prospect through a needs analysis. Get your customer talking about themselves and what troubles them, the more they talk, the more you’ll discover. Using the phone to clearly explain and explore how you and your product can can help your prospect achieve their business objectives should be your only priority. You will naturally arrive at a demo if it is warranted. If you conduct your needs analysis properly, you might be the party to bail on the demo, having determined that the prospect isn’t an ideal candidate for your product for any number of reasons, either way you’ve saved precious time that could be spent having more meaningful business conversations with new prospects on the phone.

M. Joe Steeves, Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com

Approach your CRM like a Rabid Dog. Your job depends on it.

Having worked in sales roles for most of my adult life I have seen a lot of things change over time. Of all of the things that have had a positive impact on the Salesperson’s role I think it would be a fair bet to say that technology has been a key factor in the way today’s Salespeople conduct business. With just a few keystrokes we can now, almost instantly, virtually search the globe for customers that were previously far beyond reach. We can use readily available applications to search out people or tools to help us get to the finish line quicker and of course we have social media to build our networks and reach new people every day.

For me personally, the tool that I have come to rely on most that wasn’t prevalent 20 years ago would be my CRM.  There are many CRM solutions available to sales people out there. CRM’s can vary in size and features. From the pricey behemoth Salesforce, to the smaller, often free applications. Across the board there is a lot of latitude between functionality and price. I have used many of them. Today’s CRM’s are vastly different and far more sophisticated then they were just 5 years ago let alone 20.

One thing that has remained constant since their inception however is this….If you don’t use your CRM like a rabid dog, as if your life depends on it, your output becomes meaningless. Think about it, are you walking into your sales meeting with all of the answers? Even the most basic CRM will allow you to print an instant summary of all of your activity by day, by week, fiscal quarter or year. Some CRM’s will utilize infographics, others will export everything to an detailed .xls or .csv file and others will beautifully format data into easy to read charts and summaries. The power of the CRM is almost endless when properly used by both the Salesperson and the person responsible for the sales team. I can assure you that every time I accept an incoming  phone call or make an outgoing call, send an email, reach an opportunity benchmark or meet someone new who may help me to my end goal, I immediately enter the relevant data into my CRM. Any excuse to do otherwise could only be based solely on laziness or the desire to sabotage what you are doing, there is no other answer. Using your CRM religiously is all upside. If you are committed to being in the 12% that I mentioned yesterday (anyone who follows up more than 3 times) you are already using your CRM quite effectively, you’d have to be. If you don’t know exactly how many current prospects you have in your funnel and how many times each has been contacted, along with where they are in the sales cycle, you are likely not making good use of the tools you have available to you.  Like I said, there are many free and inexpensive solutions available to you. I myself have been using a CRM called Pipeline for just over a year and so far it seems to suit my needs quite well. I believe its price is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $15.00 per month and as a small but growing startup it seems to provide me with all of the horsepower I currently need and has some nice basic features like Mailchimp integration and an exceptionally easy to use interface. Many larger corporations opt for Salesforce’s solution ($1000’s per month in most cases). Salesforce can be a beast and when configured and used properly. I imagine it’s quite effective for many however, I will mention that I have had used Salesforce with 2 different employers and I would call my experience in both cases less than spectacular. I don’t really blame that on the software itself. I believe that in both cases it was rolled out to users far too early and with completely inadequite training.  My opinion aside, I can still assure you that expensive or free, any CRM is only as good as the info that you put into it. Make the commitment to track it all, every call, every email, add activities that are date sensitive and stay on top of it like a rabid dog. Customize everything you can to make it relevant to your business. Once you have mastered your CRM, the benefits go beyond what you’re doing with it. The executive to which you report to will be able to use the CRM for forecasting based on probability metrics from sales team input. HR will see who’s taking their role seriously based on team activity vs. individual activity. A good CRM for your business will encourage transparency, identify gaps and issues, and get you to your goals as efficiently as possible. Be the rabid dog, you’re as rare as hen’s teeth