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Jorge: What is StackLead and what does it focus on solving?
Gordon: StackLead automatically researches sales leads. Given a lead’s email address, we crawl the web and pull together a complete customer profile that includes information on the person, their business, and web domain.
The sales teams we work with contact 30% more leads everyday because they don’t manually research each one or waste time chasing down low-priority leads. This is particularly crucial for SaaS businesses, where a low-friction on-boarding process is key to letting customers get started. We automatically qualify and prioritize leads so that sales reps can focus on the most important ones.
Jorge: How did the founding team meet and what is your previous work experience?
Gordon: We met at MIT where we both studied computer science. Before StackLead, Ted worked in Business Intelligence at Google. I was an early engineer at CardSpring, an enterprise payments company that was recently acquired by Twitter.
Jorge: As a founder, was has been the most challenging aspect of the startup experience so far?
Gordon: One of the most challenging aspects is building a network that can help connect you to the right group of potential customers, investors, and employees.
We participated in the latest batch of Y Combinator, which provided a tremendous amount of mentorship and support when starting the company.
Jorge: What are StackLead’s “killer features”?
Gordon: We’re building a lead processing engine that works wherever a salesperson needs it. For example, growth hackers and marketers can quickly research a list of leads using our Google Spreadsheet Add-on.
Larger sales teams that live in Salesforce use our Salesforce integration to automatically qualify and assign leads in the CRM (and all of the research data can be plugged into existing reporting/analytics workflows).
Jorge: What are your favorite CRMs and sales tools? What do you like and dislike about them?
Gordon: Most of our selling happens inside Gmail and we’re big fans of Streak CRM, which lets you setup your sales pipeline inside the webmail client. You can also use our JSON API or Zapier integration to easily add relevant customer details to the CRM that lives inside of Gmail.
We of course also use Salesforce along with our SFDC integration. We’re also religious Yesware users. It’s an email productivity system that lets you track how templates perform based on how often your contacts open messages, click links, and reply to emails.
We’re offering a special in the Yesware Deal Room for Yesware customers who want to try out StackLead.
Another great tool that’s a bit less traditional is Customer.io. This app lets you create triggers based on how users interact with your website. For example, if someone signs up for StackLead and then doesn’t send us any emails to research in the first few days, they receive a quick note asking them if there’s anything we can do to help.
Jorge: How do you foresee sales software evolving moving forward?
Gordon: There’s been a lot of investment into marketing automation, but I think we’re only at the beginning of automating the entire stack. Tons of sales and BD folks still have to wrestle with boring, repetitive tasks instead of building more effective messages and developing successful customer relationships. We see our core lead intelligence system as the foundation for automating these manual tasks throughout the sales pipeline.
Further up the pipeline, sales people will have better tools to automatically identify new high quality leads, effectively turning outbound sales into inbound sales. Further down the pipeline, the data can be used to automatically segment and craft customized messaging to engage each potential customer. Once a customer converts, sales can be automatically alerted to customer changes that predict important events like churn or up-sell opportunities.
Jorge: Who do you consider to be your primary competitors?
Gordon: Our biggest competitor is companies using human power (either in-house or outsourced) to research their leads. We released a study showing that we outperform human researchers in coverage, accuracy, and cost.
We’re also sometimes compared to more traditional list buying companies. StackLead is different because all of our research is done in real-time, rather than relying on a static database of customer information. As a result, our results are always up to date and improve over time as we identify new details about a particular lead.
Jorge: What is StackLead’s ideal target customer?
Gordon: Our ideal customer is a growing SaaS business that cares about their inbound lead velocity. We help you prioritize the best leads and assign them to the right sales rep. If you fit this description (especially if you’re in the Bay Area), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can offer a free month of our paid plans for anyone who emails
us at sales4startups@stacklead.