With YC Backing, PersistIQ Hopes To Remove Excel From The Outbound Sales Process

As with many companies, the two founders of PersistIQ, a YC-backed startup had a problem they saw needed fixing and they decided to build a product to take care of it. In this case, they found themselves coordinating their cold-call drip marketing campaigns in an Excel spreadsheet and they thought there had to be a better way. That’s how their new company PersistIQ was born — they hope to provide an automated solution focused solely on coordinating and automating outbound drip sales campaigns.

Outbound sales refers to the process of finding customers yourself. This might be simply cold calling or emailing from lists you have bought or other sources that could be founts of potential business for your company. You’re doing the hard work of contacting people, and tracking those who respond, those who don’t and when to respond again.

Co-founder Pouyan Salehi says inbound marketing is clearly all the rage these days, but trying to get the customer to come to you by generating content to attract them to your site takes a lot of hard work. Once you get them there, you can assign each one a score based on their actions such as reading a blog post, downloading a white paper or visiting a pricing page. Ultimately, the best scores will be tossed to sales where again, you have to coordinate contact with them and get them to respond.

Regardless of how you get the lead though, the challenge for every salesperson is getting to a first reply and that takes persistence and a little bit of help from technology. Salehi says sales statistics show that it often takes up to 7 interactions with a potential client before you get a response and most sales people don’t have that kind of patience. He says research suggests most give up after just two contacts without a positive response. Hard to blame them, but it would be a lot easier if you had a tool to do the reminding, follow ups and resending and then see the response in your inbox. That’s where PersistIQ comes in.

As Salehi says, “Once we get leads into our systems, there’s an immediate pain point we face. I need to be doing outbound sales, but I’m  not sure where to start, and the follow up part takes so long.”

Salehi  and his partner were simply trying to solve this pain point. While there are products like CRM tools, marketing automation platforms and other tools from companies like Salesforce.com, Marketo, Hubspot and many others that also provide a more automated way to track this kind of process, many busy salespeople ignore these because the tools are part of a much larger package. Salehi says instead of dealing with the complexity and trying to find it inside a larger tool (if they even know it’s there), they rely on the old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet, which as you can imagine can be pretty labor-intensive to keep updated.

It gets to the point where the tracking tool, the administrative part of the job, begins to take over the sales part and PersistIQ wants to simplify that process by providing a tool to import a list of potential clients, eliminate duplicates and document leads who have been contacted already automatically, allow you to segment the list, and then create campaigns. If the person doesn’t respond at point in the process, you can send another ping a set number of days later automatically. If they do respond, the response lands in your inbox where you’re probably doing a  lot of your work anyway and you can contact the lead in the usual fashion.

For now, the company is concentrating on email, but Salehi says he can see adding other tools for phone and social media leads down the road. And there is direct integration with Salesforce today, which automatically records each attempt to contact the lead in PersistIQ.

For now, the two-person company is being nurtured by Y Combinator and hopes to go into Beta in the fall and get some seed funding and continue their journey. You can go to the website today and sign up if you wish.