Attendees regrouped March 8 on day two of the ProSales 100 Conference presentations to discuss how new technology, local market metrics, and home-buyer personality profiles can bolster decision making in LBM. Also: What's the best capital to grow and what traits make for the best sales reps? Here's what you need to know:

“They’re coming in and using insight to win in the sales process. It’s a fundamentally different conversation with the customers and in the process, they differentiate you as a company just by the conversations they’re having.” -- Ted McKenna, director of advisory services at global consulting firm CEB (formerly the Corporate Executive Board).

McKenna shared insight from his firm's research on traits shared among top sales reps. Those traits include industry knowledge, activity, geography, and level of sales experience. Among the resulting five personality profiles, one profile was more than two times as successful as the rest. That group targeted its message to the customer and wasn't afraid to press the customer to make a decision. Read More

Join your builder and contractor customers and their clients for a spin in the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise's (LITE) holodeck. The six-sided orb--akin to the virtual reality center of Star Trek lore--uses fiber-optic technology to simulate a structural scenario in 3-D. Project teams can use the platform to examine renderings for potential flaws or to train new workers in virtual environments before breaking ground, said Erin Ryan, communications coordinator at the state-funded non-profit. Ryan briefed attendees on how LITE is using its technology to help the region's business community.
Travis Gauthier Join your builder and contractor customers and their clients for a spin in the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise's (LITE) holodeck. The six-sided orb--akin to the virtual reality center of Star Trek lore--uses fiber-optic technology to simulate a structural scenario in 3-D. Project teams can use the platform to examine renderings for potential flaws or to train new workers in virtual environments before breaking ground, said Erin Ryan, communications coordinator at the state-funded non-profit. Ryan briefed attendees on how LITE is using its technology to help the region's business community.

"Our goal is to stay on these emerging trends. When we find something and see that it sticks, we push it out to our clients." -- Erin Ryan, who handles public relations and outreach for the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise Ryan explained how her organization is using fiber-optic technology to create virtual platforms that allow project stakeholders in fields ranging from home building to medicine to better evaluate the potential impacts of projects and procedures during their early planning stages.

"Local information can help us move the process very quickly compared to us having to travel to the local community to learn about it." -- Meredith Iler, Helping A Hero

Iler, whose non-profit group pairs wounded veterans with building material suppliers and contractors to help them build new or remodel—was joined by T.W. Perry's Michael Cassidy to promote the group's new partnership with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association and urge dealers at the conference to get involved. Read More

“Rebound in the housing and construction market will bring back more than the sequester will take away.”—Jonathan Smoke, chief economist, Hanley Wood

Last year was the first time in years that housing showed growth (12%), and that growth will continue in 2013, he told dealers at the ProSales 100 convention in New Orleans Friday. Nationwide, home prices are rising. “If we could have asked for any metric to increase to help our industry, it would have been for housing prices to increase,” he said.

“We are back into a scenario of home prices rising at least slightly above the inflation rate,” he added. Rising prices will also encourage remodeling activity as well, welcome news for dealers whose customers do a significant amount of remodeling.

Home sizes also look to be trending upward, though that larger home may be less of a McMansion for a couple than a more expansive home designed to house several generations of a family.

Download a copy of Smoke's presentation here .

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