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If firms want to find new business customers, they can always look in the local commercial register. But this will turn up thousands of possible leads, with sales reps ultimately having to contact each and every one. The result: Most of those leads will be dead ends. Maybe the contacted companies don’t have a need for such services at the moment, or they really don’t belong to the right target group. This is information a commercial register simply can’t provide. In order to avoid such wasted effort, sale reps have to know from the outset which companies might have a real interest in the services or products they are offering.
The start-up DATAlovers from the western German city of Mainz recognized an opportunity – and developed artificial intelligence (AI) giving companies the ability to generate precise and targeted leads. “Anyone can find stuff on the Internet,” says Andreas Kulpa, CEO and one of the founders of DATAlovers. “The key is being able to filter highly relevant information from the flood of data.” And that’s exactly what the start-up’s AI can do.
The concept: First the algorithm receives information about a company’s current customer base. This includes criteria such as the size of the business, number of employees, sector and where its clients are located. The artificial intelligence uses this information to create a statistical twin, a type of digital customer profile that the algorithm can turn into a template for its searches. The AI then sifts through the Internet looking for target firms that fit the template – and finding new customer leads for the contracting company.
The result is a precise target customer list. Instead of working through thousands of search results from a commercial register, sales reps can concentrate on a few promising leads. “We save our customers a lot of work with it,” says Kulpa. “They have fewer firms to contact and the conversion rate is still considerably higher.”
Founded in 2015, the start-up relies on IT resources from the Open Telekom Cloud for its business model. “We have tried other providers, but we weren’t really satisfied,” says Kulpa. “We often need enormous IT resources on very short notice. But only when a customer initiates some analysis. The Open Telekom Cloud is ideal for that.”
Currently, the start-up uses around 60 virtual machines from the Open Telekom Cloud for its solution. Depending on demand, that figure can climb up to 120 – for example, when the artificial intelligence undertakes some deep crawling of a database to search for potential customers. DATAlovers relies on the Open Telekom Cloud’s Object Storage, an affordable long-term storage solution for large amounts of data, as the backbone of this database.
“The Open Telekom Cloud also means we are always immediately able to deliver for our customers. That is a huge additional benefit for us,” says Kulpa. “Another advantage is that we can experiment a lot without financial commitments. We only ever pay for what we actually use. And we expect this cloud solution will help us boost our profitability.”
That the solution is effective and the start-up’s concept is working is backed up by the numbers: On average, DATAlovers is gaining two to five customers per week – and that’s only set to increase, as Kulpa and his team are planning to launch their solution in both Poland and France.