How One Man Used Artificial Intelligence to Generate Genuine Sales Leads A CRM startup gets the hookup to find leads via machine learning about its best customers.
If there's one thing software company Ebsta understands, it's customer relationship management. The San Diego- and London-based company sells a $10 per month per user Chrome browser extension that syncs customers' email accounts to the Salesforce database to streamline the onerous task of updating a CRM system. But finding new prospects for Ebsta is difficult and, as vice president of sales Bernhard Peters points out, expensive -- especially for a company with roughly $1 million in annual revenue. "We're still a tiny company," Peters says. "We have to be careful who we chase; we don't have a lot of money or manpower to spare. Buying lists never works; they're out of date. And data-mining companies charge at least $25,000 upfront, with no guarantee of ROI."
Peters was in a San Diego restaurant when he overheard Olin Hyde, co-founder and CEO of Englue, explaining how his artificial intelligence product LeadCrunch could mine the web to uncover leads based on names of a company's best customers. It's the same technology Englue developed for a Lockheed Martin contract with the U.S. Navy.