Voice Is Sexy Again, with the Right Partners
Joe McFadden
VP Marketing-SalesPortal
Friday, November 30, 2012
Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, SalesPortal provides patented, cloud-based technologies to engage customers with end-of-call offers in sales. Founded in 2009, the company was recently funded $4.5 Million lead by ATA Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Point B Capital, LLC and TiE Angels.

With the growth in smartphones and mobile internet adoption, marketing and advertising applications for call-based advertising programs is staged for explosive growth. Research firm BIA Kelsey forecasts that local search interactions from mobile devices will surpass desktop search in 2015. Calls generated by mobile search will more than triple by 2016, while calls generated by desktop search will remain flat at less than 10 percent of mobile search calls.

These kinds of growth numbers are causing enterprises and agencies to take a fresh look at voice advertising options and ad networks for the customer voice channel. A recent survey by Forrester Research of agency professionals cited that more than 95 percent of respondents indicated that interest in digital and mobile advertising would likely or very likely increase over the next 12 months. 62 percent indicated they would increase marketing spend on advertising to drive phone calls, if call leads were shown to have a greater lead-to-sale conversion rate.

For all these reasons, renewed interest in advertising that drives higher value phone calls into companies is a trend that many companies are expecting will pay off.
Networks like AOL’s Advertising.com and Google AdSense target online advertising as a new opportunity for lead generation programs. With the advent of mobile internet, the customer voice channel is next to capitalized on the opportunity.

One unique development from this trend tightens the partnership between marketing and an age old customer engagement channel – the service and sales call center. It leverages a proven partnership marketing strategy that has successfully played out on the web for the past 10 years. These partnerships benefit customers by combining the power of product relevancy and decision trigger events: buy an airline ticket online; reserve a hotel room and automobile at the same time.

If the contact center agent handling the call does his job well, there exists a unique opportunity at the end of service and sales calls to offer a complementary product or service. The customer’s primary issue has been resolved, and she is now predisposed to make other purchases, particularly if the product or service offered is highly relevant and tailored to the customer’s intent and demographics. For example, when a household is relocating, the family is likely to need everything from a moving company and cable or satellite television to a security system.

One such company on the leading edge of this partnership marketing trend is SalesPortal. “We think of ourselves as the Google AdSense of the customer voice channel,” says Saurabh Khetrapal, Founder &CEO, SalesPortal. He describes the company’s platform as a cloud-based solution with the functionality to match up partner companies, create and manage campaigns, present relevant end-of-call offers to the agent desktop and transfer calls to partner contact centers.

Today, callers to contact centers are opting in for products and services at key moments in their decision-making processes because they receive relevant and personalized offers at the right time from contact center agents. This is creating an intended higher lead–to-sale success rate for companies in these voice commerce partner networks.

In fact, according to SalesPortal, up to 35 percent of all consumers who are presented with an offer through enterprise call centers on their partnership marketing network agree to be transferred to a marketing partner. In addition, advertisers using the partnership network to acquire qualified leads and new customers have reported 15-25 percent lead-to-sale conversions and more than 25 percent reduction in cost of customer acquisition compared to other media investments
In addition to the North America potential for partnership marketing in the voice channel, SalesPortal cites tremendous opportunity in India. “Voice is the primary communication channel for consumers in India,” Khetrapal said. “With nearly one billion mobile phone users and only 10 percent internet adoption amongst Indian consumers, it’s clear that call-focused marketing programs will thrive there.”
As more companies take advantage of the voice channel resurgence driven by mobile internet, the benefits of forging marketing partnerships that leverage the customer voice channel will become increasingly apparent.

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