How it all started

Hi, I’m Sammy James, founder at Speak2Leads, and this is our origin story.

In 2007, we were in full swing, running two award-winning marketing agencies, MarketingAnd and GetStarts.

At the time, our clients started getting more and more leads via web forms (a new channel back then) and watched in frustration how their sales and admission reps wasted new inbound lead opportunities.

Some leads were literally thrown in the trash or just ignored. None were called with any sense of urgency.

This blew my mind. But I realized that the sales teams lacked the process to respond to inbound leads arriving via email or posted to their CRM, if they had one. Administrative tasks drained their energy and took time away from what excited them most—speaking to prospects.

How the idea was formed

In San Francisco, VC-backed companies often hired me as the VP of Biz Dev to help monetize their software products and gizmos.

One start-up was a song recognition application. With no smartphones back then (yes, I know—I’m old), you dialed an 800 number to find out the name of a song played on the radio.

So when I heard about those inbound web form leads being ignored, my mind went right to; "What about turning a web form into a phone call?"

We could use text to speech to announce the lead’s name and prompt them to call immediately by just pressing 1 or 2. It would take the tedious manual follow-up off the rep’s plate, remove the bottelnecks of pre-assigning leads and automate lead response.

We hired a freelance programmer and coded an app to fire off a call once the form data was submitted. I was beyond excited!

How we discovered our secret sauce

Graduating from the minimum viable product, we hired a development team to go world-class. Meanwhile, the original freelancer stole our code, copied our website verbatim, and tried to compete against us. He failed miserably.

It helped me discover our ‘secret sauce.’ We had a product-founder fit. My background in sales and marketing and obsession with optimization was the DNA behind our ideas. I appreciated value of an inbound lead having grown up in sales doing cold calling.

The challenge was to figure out how to tailor the application to the business processes of each client, integrate various lead sources, and turn the call results and business intelligence. Then turn that data into meaningful and actionable reports. We also had to automate persistent reattempts and queue up leads that arrived after hours for a call the next business day.

This meant transforming traditional lead distribution. Instead of pre-assigning leads to reps, we engaged the entire sales staff to connect with leads. A lead has little value unless it results in a conversation with a rep. Speedy response and optimum persistence was essential to accomplish our goal.

The future we invision

In 12 years of continuous improvement, we addressed many use cases and lead flow rules and integrations with over 1200 product updates.

In 2022, we took a giant leap forward with a simplified onboarding and integration process, new account settings features, and reporting dashboards to empower business intelligence.

Deeper AI integration is our next milestone. We’ll use the content and sentiment of the initial conversation to automatically disposition the lead, summarize the calls, and schedule tasks and follow-up calls. The AI-driven conversation intelligence add-ons work with all sales-related calls. A comprehensive sales optimization tool covers inbound and outbound calls not automated by S2L.

Our mission is to propel the sales conversation and convert leads into prospects. This promises a substantially higher return on the inbound lead investment.

We make every call 100% productive by giving superpowers to every seller to win more sales.

Any sales team using Speak2Leads will always outsell its old-fashioned competition. We can’t wait to have a chance to work with you and your team!

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