DRMA Spotlight: Sales Portal — Providing Innovative Revenue Enhancement and Phone Lead Generation1 May, 2011 By: Jackie Jones Response
Sales Portal offers call centers and marketers a buffet of performance-based options to maximize their cross-marketing capabilities.
A highly qualified lead from a guaranteed interested customer is every direct response marketer’s holy grail, and monetizing existing call traffic is the goal of any successful call center. With the launch of Sales Portal in 2009, co-founders Saurabh Khetrapal and Kevin Sandhu have provided the DR industry with a platform to find both.
Sales Portal, based in Mountain View, Calif., gives those in the direct response industry an unprecedented marketplace for buying and selling warm-transfer phone leads.
“Sales Portal is the first of its kind where call centers and direct marketers can meet and discover the synergies, relevancies and complementary nature of the products and services that they sell to the demographics they serve, and connect for the purposes of cross-marketing,” says Khetrapal, the company’s CEO. “There has never been an online, open-option platform like Sales Portal. To have a platform where call centers have a ‘buffet’ of offers they can present at the end of a call, and marketers have multiple call centers from which they can generate qualified warm transfers — that has never happened until Sales Portal came into the picture.”
Sales Portal was founded after both Khetrapal and Sandhu spent years in the direct response industry, experiencing firsthand the challenges in generating qualified leads and the pain points of traditional cross-selling and upselling campaigns. After beta-testing in March 2010, Sales Portal went public in September 2010, and has since had numerous customers reap profits from its technology, Khetrapal says.
Sales Portal allows call centers, or lead sellers, to monetize call traffic by offering consumers a product pitch at the end of calls. From a range of pre-approved product marketers, Sales Portal’s auction engine automatically determines the highest paying and most-relevant marketer (lead buyer).
When the consumer (caller) is interested in the “winning” lead buyer’s product offer, they are seamlessly warm transferred to the lead buyer. The “secret sauce” is in Sales Portal’s technology that calculates the relevance score for each bidding lead buyer, and net results show warm transfers occurring at the impressive rate of up to 51 percent of the time depending on the offer, according to Sales Portal.
“There is no data pass, no negative-option marketing like other revenue-enhancement products and — most importantly — our clients can be set up in literally minutes. And of course, it is FTC (Federal Trade Commission) compliant,” says Sandhu, the company’s vice president of product management, who adds that registration on Sales Portal is free and each lead generated is 100-percent exclusive. “The lead buyer never has to pay for any call that is connected less than 20 seconds, and we’re actually finding that the average call time is 5 minutes or longer for several campaigns. It really is risk-free phone lead generation on a pay-per-inquiry basis at a price that’s determined by the lead buyer.”
Sales Portal currently works with a variety of DR clients, including those in the health, beauty, fitness and diet space; those targeting the senior and boomer demographics; those in the insurance and financial services verticals; and those offering home and garden products and services, according to Sandhu. In fact, integrating Sales Portal into an existing system is seamless for any type of DR company, and gives both the marketers and the call centers more control of their business.
Lead buyers in Sales Portal’s system can bid for warm-transfer leads from lead sellers in real time, as well as start, stop or pause any campaign at any time; lead sellers in turn have the power to invite or remove lead buyers from bidding on leads, as well as increase or decrease their reserve price.
“In essence, the end of a call — that post-transaction real estate — is monetized by the highest-paying, most-relevant pre-approved marketer,” Khetrapal says. “So you’re looking at a very consumer-friendly environment that generates the maximum amount of incremental revenue for call centers and qualified pay-per-call phone leads for marketers. That’s unprecedented.”
Continuing to improve the platform for the benefit of those on both sides of the equation is the top priority for Sales Portal, according to Khetrapal and Sandhu. The co-founders’ goals for the upcoming year include listening carefully to clients on how to keep the system easy and seamless to adopt, as well as providing actionable reports and analytics to help both parties make intelligent and impactful decisions that maximize the bottom line.
“When it comes down to it, we are a performance-based platform,” Khetrapal says. “By virtue of being performance-based, our clients’ success is our success. That’s a cliché that all companies would say, but it really rings true in our house.”