New sheriff in town

CallSource, based in Westlake Village, Calif., and celebrating its 20th year in business, has a new president who not only knows the multifamily industry, but also brings to the position years of experience in technology, software development and sales and marketing.

185

Mark Sadosky took the helm in November as the company readies itself for its next stage of growth. CallSource, multifamily’s largest provider of call tracking, sales and marketing performance analytics, and learning management systems, has nearly doubled in size in the past four years.

“The company has experienced strong growth in the face of very tough economic conditions, and we anticipate that growth will only continue” said Sadosky.

And likely it will, as he comes to CallSource with a resume perfectly-minted for his newest challenge.

Sadosky joined Equity Residential in 2004 to direct their three call centers, and ended up creating and rolling out the $2 billion REIT’s field sales programs.

“I began by taking responsibility of our call centers in Minneapolis, Dallas, Scottsdale, and consolidated those locations into a larger center in Scottsdale, Ariz., rebranding the operation into the Equity Customer Service Center to better reflect the expansion of services provided.

“Once the consolidation was complete, we focused on developing a customized software platform based on MRI’s property management system–this new system, called MRICC, was designed exclusively for Equity’s Customer Service Center to process our sales and resident relations calls.

“After the center was staffed and the operating system in place, we quickly went into high-gear in processing our sales calls and leads. We processed over 200,000 inbound sales calls resulting in more than 12,000 leases annually for Equity’s communities,” said Sadosky.

After running Equity’s Customer Service Center for three and a half years, Sadosky turned his attention to Equity’s leasing operations. He and Equity’s team set out to devise a program that would optimize the performance of Equity’s more than 2,000 leasing consultants, as well as identify and improve the REIT’s sales processes, performance measurements, employee recognition, on-boarding and training programs.

The result was the creation of Equity’s Excellence in Sales and Customer Service program. Known within the organization as ESC, the program mastered the company’s sales and customer service needs into a system that measured and tracked team performance with ease. Key to the program, Sadosky created The 7 Sides of Sales and Customer Service, which identified the steps in the sales and service process, the role of the employee, and how they will be measured for success.

By implementing ESC, the company was able to bring a higher awareness and accountability to its sales positions. Basic sales ideas such as monthly quotas, tiered commissions, and ranking sales performance became standard operation, and naturally delivered a transparent environment perfectly suited for improved absorption rates.

“Three years ago, the word ‘sales’ was never uttered around the company. Then, at last year’s leadership conferences, sales was not only front and center, but the headline topic,” said Sadosky.

With the creation of Equity’s ESC program, Sadosky transitioned over to serve as the head of sales for the large REIT, a position he held until leaving Equity in November to take the helm at CallSource.

Sadosky was first introduced to CallSource several years ago when he met CallSource’s founder and CEO Jerry Feldman. “Our initial meeting was a casual encounter where we shared ideas around sales processes, performance measurements and how to provide employees with learning tools that were sustainable and could increase results. I was intrigued with what Jerry’s team was doing at CallSource. There were a lot of similarities in the way we approached leasing and sales,” said Sadosky.

Early in 2010, the two passionate sales and technology mavens got together again, and picked up their conversations, sharing thoughts about the direction of the multifamily industry, as well as the other CallSource market verticals.

Multifamily presents unique challenges in attracting and retaining top sales people and Sadosky was certain CallSource could leverage its position further.

It is a well-kept secret that CallSource provides its systems and services to nearly 300,000 companies, predominantly in multifamily, but also industries such as healthcare, automotive, home improvement and media, he said.

“Not only was I impressed with the depth of CallSource’s products and extent of its customer base, but I was excited to work with such a dedicated and talented group of people. The company’s intellectual property and long connection with the multifamily industry mean opportunities for growth and service to our customers on the highest level. The sound you hear is our engine revving,” said Sadosky.

“CallSource has an incredible platform that crosses multiple industries from multifamily to automotive and beyond. For example, we have 1,700 auto dealers using our products, as well as over 3,000 hearing aide stores in our healthcare vertical. There is plenty of room to expand inside our present verticals. Take healthcare. There are endless businesses, such as eyeglass stores, that could also take advantage of our products. We play an important role assisting these companies in the analysis of their advertising and marketing spend, phone sales processes, employee performance, and training needs.

“Home improvement is another example. We work with companies that provide heating and air conditioning products and services. We have had fantastic success in markets where we deal directly with business owners because they easily see immediate results when using our products,” said Sadosky.

CallSource clients also include thousands of apartment communities. In line with its long and on-going support of the multifamily industry, and its commitment to education, the company was just awarded the contract to power the National Apartment Association’s Education Institute (NAAEI) education platform.

“We can do so much more in multifamily. As a VP with Equity, I gained a great appreciation for how CallSource products can help apartment operators increase sales, optimize their advertising spend, and boost employee performance,” said Sadosky

Sadosky thinks the biggest challenge in the multifamily industry is tracking phone traffic. “We rely on humans to answer the phones. They then enter that traffic into the property management systems. On one side, you have your phone records, or ILS reports, that tell you that 100 phone calls were generated this month, yet you may only have 23 of those 100 calls entered into the property management system. What happened to the other 77 phone calls? There is a costly gap between the number of incoming calls, where it originates and where it goes. Therein lies the CallSource secret,” he said. “We close the gap and provide transparency to your staff’s ability to handle phones calls effectively without their lifting a finger.”

CallSource has become a true partner to its multifamily customers by devising plans that are mastered specifically to their needs. The company’s services include tracking and recording in-bound calls from specific ad sources; call monitoring, and performance improvements; sorting prospect calls from non-prospects; scoring calls based on a company’s unique expectations; tracking and ranking employee performance by property and/or company; recommending training classes to assist on-boarding and performance enhancement; providing training classes through the company’s Learning Management System and tracking the employee grades from online classes.

“These services and tools are provided through the CallSource cloud, so there is no intrusion to the communities’ existing systems,” said Sadosky.

Much of his first days at CallSource have been spent getting to know his new team and customers. “It’s imperative to build strong relationships with the people who ultimately run CallSource. They have a deep understanding of the business and our customers’ needs. We are very much a team operation, including continuously strategizing on the next product or service that will give our customers a competitive edge to maneuver any economic conditions. The industry is always moving and we must be ahead of that curve to be a good and dedicated partner to the customers we serve. They’d expect nothing less,” said Sadosky.

Sadosky’s goal for CallSource? “To be a change agent not only for the companies with whom we work, but the lives we touch in the process.”

“It’s an empowerment that I want to build within the team here at CallSource. And if we do it right, and we have just the team to make it happen, then it will naturally empower the customers we serve. And that’s just today’s to do list!”