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Josh Reznick founded Datalot in 2009 to eradicate the many, costly inefficiencies that plagued the online lead generation industry. Specifically, he wanted to make it much easier to transform someone who clicked on an online ad into a paying customer - especially for product categories where sales are typically done offline. According to research from Harvard Business School, the average time it takes companies to respond to online leads is 42 hours, and 23 percent of companies never respond at all. So, Datalot’s team of engineers began building DialDrive, a web-to-phone platform and cloud-based contact center designed specifically for web and mobile marketing. The goal: to make it dead simple for companies to respond to leads.
With DialDrive, Datalot set out to build a complex system of software and services that could fundamentally change the way that leads are generated, distributed and handled by inbound sales teams. For telephony, Datalot chose Twilio Client and the Twilio communications API platform because it was the most flexible, reliable and scalable IP telephony platform available.
Before DialDrive, there was no easy way for a click to smoothly turn into a phone lead. Businesses’ web-to-call infrastructure was typically a patchwork of un-integrated processes and technologies that did not “talk” to each other. Generally, if someone clicked on a banner ad for insurance, for example, they would fill out a form. A lead-generating company would then sell that lead to an insurance salesperson. Leads would, then, often need to be manually imported into another system such as sales force automation.
There was so much friction in this process of moving people who clicked on an ad successfully to the phone, that it could take hours, even days, before the original lead was called back. And much of the information that could have determined the value of the lead, such as what ad was clicked on or where the ad was displayed, was lost. Meanwhile, companies that bought leads had no easy way to control lead volume or quality. So, their sales reps were either overwhelmed with too many leads, or sat around with too few.
By seamlessly connecting a click with a call, DialDrive made it possible to pass that potential customer on to the appropriate sales agent or service provider, and for companies to immediately qualify these prospects. Instead of purchasing lists and importing the data, companies with a product or service to sell could bid for leads in real time and immediately engage that person on the phone, within minutes of their signaling their interest in additional information.
From the perspective of sales reps, DialDrive meant they could simply log into a web browser, plug in a headset and start bidding on calls whenever they needed new leads. If reps weren’t at a PC, DialDrive let them close deals using their mobile device of choice. Filters for lead characteristics like geography or age potentially increased the value of a lead, while the ability to specify the exact times leads should be delivered and to set concurrency caps on calls, increased a rep’s control over his or her working environment.
Reznick said building DialDrive on Twilio Client made it extremely easy to incorporate IP-based telephony into the service. So, instead of spending valuable time and money re-creating core telephony functionality, Reznick’s team could focus on developing innovative features and functionality. Today, DialDrive includes very advanced call center application features, such as the ability to handle complex interactive voice response scripts and sophisticated analytical tools that provide easy, real-time access to everything from call volume trending to the close rate per agent.
Another advantage Reznick reports about Twilio Client was that it made it a cinch to incorporate cutting-edge technologies into DialDrive - such as WebRTC, a set of open-source communications protocols - without having to overhaul the application.
“Twilio made it far easier for Datalot to build our vision of what tomorrow’s contact center looks like - one that is decentralized and perfectly optimized for web and mobile marketing,” Reznick said.
"Twilio is the standard-bearer among telecom IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) solutions, and their WebRTC-powered Twilio Client was a great fit for us to build the future of cloud-based contact centers, fully optimized for web and mobile marketing"
CEO and founder, Datalot
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