Our methods of communicating have transformed dramatically over the past twenty years. Phone calls are a thing of the past. People now greatly prefer the privacy and convenience of texting and instant messaging.
This is especially true for sales. But what may be a convenience for the average consumer can be a technological and managerial challenge for sales teams. The result is leads being answered too slowly—or not at all.
As the CEO of Verse.io, David Tal is offering a new solution that leverages the best of artificial intelligence and natural language processing and the authentic power of real people to produce the most authentic AI+ human-powered engagement with prospective customers.
More information: https://verse.io/
David Tal is CEO and co-founder of Verse.io, the leading 2-way conversational sales and marketing platform. Verse helps businesses engage and qualify leads at scale using AI+human guided SMS conversations for industry leading brands across real estate, mortgage, home services, financial services, solar, insurance, SaaS, healthcare and more.show more
David Tal has been a leading voice in the conversational marketing space, and has been featured in Forbes, Inman, Housingwire, the Real Deal, and speaks regularly at industry events on the changing consumer landscape and how businesses need to leverage the power of 2-way SMS conversations to attract, engage and convert the modern consumer.show less
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
David Tal 0:00
So a company doesn’t have to do anything. They just have to point their leads to us. We develop the scripts with them. And we do everything else. And we show them our platform showed them the conversations as are happening in real time, and so they don’t have to trust they can verify.
Alexander Ferguson 0:20
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our apply tech series UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video Teraleap.io. Today, I’m joined by my guest, David Tal, who’s based in San Diego, California. He’s the CEO at verse.io Welcome, David, good to have you on. Thank you for having me. Now, Verse io is a conversion platform that turns leads into sales ready opportunities. So we’re really in the marketing automation topic here. And you guys are focused on mid market enterprise companies? I got that correct. All right. So help me understand, let’s just look at the industry that you’re serving. What’s the problem? Like? What are they actually facing that your your aim at solving.
David Tal 1:01
So the biggest problem is that there’s been a huge shift in consumer behavior, and really how consumers want to communicate with businesses, which is more and more so over over text, you know, Gone are the days that you know, Where, where, you know, you just answer phone calls randomly from numbers you don’t know, emails go to junk. And and it’s just been, you know, your inbox is flooded with emails now, the consumer, like expecting to be able to just text with their, their, whoever they want to work with. Yeah, you know, if you’re a consumer and you’re going on Zillow, or any site looking for information, the last thing you want is just a bunch of phone calls. right afterwards, what you want is just to get a quick answer and get to the right person that can help you out the right agent, the right lender, the right, anyone at the company, the right person, you just kind of want to get there quickly and conveniently. And today, you know, the way most businesses operate is they generate high volumes of leads. But but a few things happen. One is is businesses who generate these high volumes of inbound leads, do a pretty terrible job of following up. They don’t respond quickly. They don’t respond to about 45% of all leads, they don’t respond at night or on weekends, most of the time when about 40% of leads today come after after hours. We’re in a 24 seven world where you’re not just looking at Zillow, between eight and five. You know, in fact, the homeowner,
Alexander Ferguson 2:28
while you’re watching TV, you’re like, yeah, that night,
David Tal 2:31
right. You know, so so so you know, and all of these things that people do when they fill out forms when they want services when they’re inquiring about different products or services. It’s all hours of the day. But businesses are not staffed 24 seven, and it’s all about speed to lead. We know that if you don’t respond to leads quickly, they move on they find a competitor or they forget and lose interest. We open up that
Alexander Ferguson 2:56
you’re particularly focused on the real estate industry, is that correct?
David Tal 3:00
We started in the real estate industry. Working with big with you know, we work with a lot of big brokerages, lead gen companies CRMs and platforms, search portals referral network
Alexander Ferguson 3:12
platform that you have is is translatable to other industries.
David Tal 3:15
Yeah, we started in real estate a couple years ago, we expanded involved into mortgage as well. And today we’re powering some of the largest mortgage companies in the country for purchase loans for refinance. And last year, early last year, we expanded into Home Services. And so all things adjacent kind of, you know, around the home. So now we’re working with solar huge solar companies, big Home Services companies, roofers, plumbers, her home remodel security, so so it’s been, you know, really fascinating to kind of see the evolution of Oregon but but the the problem that we’re solving just to go back to that the problem we’re solving is not a real estate problem or a mortgage or Home Services leads problem. It’s an internet leads problem. leads come in 24, seven around the clock for education companies for healthcare for insurance for any industry. And businesses don’t have a proper way to follow up automatically and consistently with these prospects 24 seven and nurture them long term and most importantly, to communicate with them on their time in their terms, how they prefer, which is over SMS over anything else. And so what verse does is we’re really enabling all those businesses, what we do is we become an extension of their team. And we become the outreach team who, who engages all of these prospects via SMS immediately and 24. Seven following up, nurturing automatically and allowing consumers to communicate quickly over SMS so that we can qualify the prospect and set up an appointment, book a demo, set up a callback time, etc, for the business.
Alexander Ferguson 4:53
So it’s this this lead management and follow up that you’re you’re saying that the Consumers have grown and adopted, their it’s changed. It’s not an email or phone call, it’s it’s text messages. And businesses aren’t keeping up with it, or rather, it’s they’re still overwhelmed aren’t responding in the way that consumers want.
David Tal 5:15
Yeah, you know, and businesses just aren’t set up that way, you know, today when when, when a business generates, you know, 1000 leads, they’re just sending, you know, they’re sending those to their team to reach out, right. And some of them have SDR teams, some of them just have a ees, or sales reps that are just reaching out, and chasing those leads down. But the biggest problem between marketing and sales is that, you know, marketing is tasked with generating all of these leads, they toss them over the fence to sales teams, and are frustrated that cell teams aren’t able to respond to those leads quickly, they’re doing other things are on demos are not working that day, they only work till five, whatever it is, they don’t tax they, you know, it’s very consistent. And if you send 1000 leads to, to 110, different, you know, self people to respond to, you’re going to get completely different kind of formats of engagement, or they’re going to respond in all different ways use different scripts, different cadences, some might follow up twice on my follow up one, some follow up none. It’s super inconsistent. And so by really bringing that and operationalizing that into a consistent efficient manner, with with with verse or company like us, we can really, you know, optimize that and create a consistent funnel conversion. So So marketing teams are frustrated that salespeople don’t respond quickly. They don’t follow up long term, they give up easily. But self people are equally frustrated that they’re being flooded with leads that they can’t get ahold of that they have to chase down. And sometimes when they finally get ahold of them, they realize they’re not even qualified or the right kind of prospect. And so that is why the lead qualification is such an important piece of the funnel. That is, that is where we focus is how do you actually engage in and qualified prospects to turn them into cells ready opportunities, it’s not just about I got a hold of them. Here we go salesperson. It’s I got a hold of them. I asked them a couple of questions to qualify them, make sure they meet the criteria. And now you’re you’re being teed up with a with a warm opportunity.
Alexander Ferguson 7:13
So it’s really moving that that lead qualification to the text SMS environment or medium? That’s what you’re suggesting needs to happen. Correct. Okay, now for you. How to Take me back like when did this all begin? Where did you just like wake up one day like, Alright, let’s create an SMS lead
David Tal 7:30
qualification platform. Every boy’s dream? Yeah. Come on. My friends wanted to be firemen and astronauts, and you want to be an SMS platform to help businesses engage with their prospects. Alright, take me back. Take me back. After graduating from UCLA I got really interested in in, in development and in real estate and I wanted to do big things in real estate I knew I wanted to and so to start, I got my license, and I became an agent to really learn from the ground up. And a couple years in, I became the top selling agent and the office that I was in at a boutique brokerage in San Diego. And I decided to become a broker myself and actually start to bring on agents into my own brokerage, which I did. But I launched my brokerage I had maybe about a dozen agents, I wasn’t, you know, huge broker, but you
Alexander Ferguson 8:18
feel good. You’re feeling progress,
David Tal 8:20
but about a dozen or so, kind of realtors that hung hung their license under my brokerage. And as most brokers do, or should I started generating leads for my team to feed them, right.
Alexander Ferguson 8:33
Where are you at this point? It must have been 20s seven or so. Okay, okay. Thanks, Devon.
David Tal 8:43
I shave just for this. So I know I look younger, but so so I started buying leads. I was paying a lot of money to Zillow to realtor.com to homes.com Trulia, I was spending money to drive traffic to my site and felt get form fill outs there. I was driving around generating hundreds of leads a month, sending them to my agents. And then I would follow up with with the agents and say, hey, how did it go with these 50 leads I gave it this week. And the responses were all over the place. As you can imagine it was oh, I I called and I left a voicemail. So we’ll see if they call me back. Oh, yeah, I have to call them. Oh, I sent him an email. Um, I faxed them. I don’t know if they actually faxed but I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s how ridiculous it was that that that basically, it was one attempt, maybe two, but it was totally consistent. And I realized that and then by the way, I started calling some beliefs myself just to see what was going on. Like are the leads junk, what’s going on? Leads Leads were good. They just weren’t getting contacted. And so they were getting in touch. And so if you’re a consumer and you’re getting phone calls from numbers, you don’t know you just Don’t answer them anymore. 87% 87% of consumers do not pick up the phone anymore from numbers they don’t know. And so you can’t expect to have great engagement as a strategy with phone calls anymore. But But check this out 90% of all text messages are read, within three minutes of receiving them 98% of text messages are read overall, compare that to 13% of phone calls, like it’s just seven times six, seven times higher with text, that doesn’t compare. Um, and so so the the problem was, was very clear to me, I was spending a lot of money on leads sending them to my realtors. And they had a really hard time getting hold of these leads. And so my, my brother and I, my brother was kind of a technologist and in the marketing world, and I was more in the real estate world, he was very heavy in marketing and marketing, tech and automation. And he said, What’s up, let’s solve this. And so our first crack at it was, hey, it’s, you know, let’s create our own lead gen service that generates the leads, just like anyone can by driving Google ads to a landing page and capturing information. But instead of people interested in buying a home, in Houston, and in Miami and everywhere, so we did that. But instead of just sending those leads cold, as soon as someone fills out a form, like here you go realtor, here’s, you know, $50 lead, instead of doing that, we would ourselves engage and qualify that prospect first. So we would do all the follow up multiple attempts, phone, text, email, all of it. And only once we got a hold of someone and qualify them and deem them, you know, a qualified opportunity, only then when we refer them and hand them off to the realtor. And so we really pioneered this concept of qualified appointments qualified leads, in one area did that like
Alexander Ferguson 11:55
for you to really iterate that and build that out?
David Tal 11:59
Quite a bit, you know, at first, we were just kind of making more phone calls than anyone, right. And, and by the way, our third brother, our youngest brother had just graduated from college from from Michigan, and started working with us, and he was our concierge, basically, you know, we were small operation at the time, it’s basically the three of us and like two salespeople, and, and it just like manually calling people like calling and texting, manually, manage, can handle that lead volume at the time, you know, with one person, not even 24 seven, you know, so that was the beginning of it. But we are the conversion rates tripled, tripled through you know, threefold. So, from from leads that we were sending to realtors, before, if they were closing 1% of them, they were actually selling a home to 1% of them, which is about the average in the industry with us, it was three to 5%, depending on the market, and it was a dramatically higher rate. And that’s because we got ahold of the warm prospects quicker before they found another realtor and we built trust earlier. Even though the journey was long to buy a home, and that’s really, really important is to be able to build trust, or you’re early in the customer journey, that’s when you’re going to build the loyalty where you like
Alexander Ferguson 13:16
what drove you to to just keep pushing on this? Is it just an innate curiosity of how can I increase these conversions that you’re just like a conversion? passion is like I just want to increase conversions. Like Is that what you are?
David Tal 13:31
I you know, I certainly always entrepreneurial and trying to think of the next big idea and I saw this as a huge opportunity because there’s you know, a million and a half realtors and they’re all buying leads spending $15 billion a year on leads and mostly it’s never even they can’t even get hold of it and so I knew this was a huge opportunity as a business and and that’s what we went to lead gen route but what we quickly realized was that you know our customers our own you know, realtor customers were saying to us, by the way that company was called my agent Finder. So that first iteration of what a manual manual way of finding the leads for you my agent find a way to find a right you go on Google you type in best realtors in Orlando, and our ad pops up you go to it you fill out a form on my agent finder calm, right and so and so over time, and we’re partnering with realtors in every market. And so over time these realtors they started saying to us, they said we we love the service. It’s amazing. I never get a lead that I have to chase down. I never get a lead saying why the hell are you calling me Who are you? I never get a lead that’s just renting or wasting my time. Everyone’s always ready to go and like friendly because they already had that qualification conversation. And they said this is amazing, but you’re just one small lead source. You know you’re you’re sending me five or 10 leads a month which are amazing. But I’m getting another 100 leads a month from Zillow and my site and my realtor.com and my other sources. And they said, Can we funnel all of our leads to you for you to engage in qualify all of our leads from any source. And so that’s one of the big lightbulb went off. And we realize, you know, instead of just being another lead source, in a jungle of, you know, kind of, you know, pillows out there, why not? Why not take the magic layer, the secret sauces, and how we engage in qualified prospects, you know, after lead is generated. So why don’t we create a platform that enables anyone to connect any lead source, no matter where, no matter the industry over time, and allow us to be the platform that really focuses on helping all realtors engage their leads from any lead source,
Alexander Ferguson 15:46
that’s when you start to think about, Hey, now I need to really emphasize or look more at technology, like the technology aspect versus
David Tal 15:52
people that when we became a real technology company, we rebranded we actually sold that lead gen company very successfully. Because it was it was it was a great business. It was generating a lot of money, and we sold it. And we use that to fuel the growth in agent technology.
Alexander Ferguson 16:08
What What year was this, that the transition happened? We 20 2018 or so 2017? Or 18? How long did you did you spend on that first portion, then you’d start to realize, hey, we got
Unknown Speaker 16:21
it. Yeah, it
David Tal 16:22
was about two, three years, we’ve run into lead gen, controlling it from one market to 70, eventually 70 big markets nationwide. And we became one of the bigger players there,
Alexander Ferguson 16:34
then you sell it, we sold
David Tal 16:35
it. We flipped it all into building out the technology hiring tons of engineers and product experts and people AI you know, experts and to come join our team and build out what became agent ology, which was the predecessor diverse, which was basically first budget for real estate, right? And so our thought was, hey, we’re doing really well with realtors. Let’s let’s create the service for the real estate industry start working with much bigger players in real estate and being the kind of the ology kind of the science of lead conversion, right for agents.
Alexander Ferguson 17:13
Now, now this this trajectory of Alright, let’s let’s just build a technology platform, this will be easy. Was it all smooth sailing? Course? No. No, what were some of the initial challenges and like hurdles you had to overcome?
David Tal 17:28
Well, anytime you have, it’s always easy to do something small. But to scale, it is tricky. And especially with technology and telephony, and texting and SMS. It’s a whole other world who, you know, text from one number as opposed to generating and provisioning 1000s of phone numbers and being able to operate that at scale, handling AI, to handle some of the conversation for you, so that you can run a efficient process, being able to stop 24 seven, you know, is tricky, it’s trickier when you’re small than when you’re big. Because when you’re big, there’s always leads coming in at two in the morning, when you’re small, you got someone there, but just in case a lead comes in at 2am, right?
Alexander Ferguson 18:12
Because if you handle that, there isn’t like a balance of cash flow there of like, Alright, having enough people, but when you’re too small, what did you do?
David Tal 18:20
Yeah, no. So it was very tricky, you know, and we had to really get good at workforce management, optimization and like, figure out shifts schedules, that, you know, we were heavy during the day, certain hours of the day are heavier than others, you know, 10am was busier than 8am Pacific. But we’re 24, seven, and all coasts. So we had to find the heavy spots and staff and like bulk, bulk the staff up, and then narrow it down. There were times when someone called in sick and my brother and I would hop on at 11pm to handle texts. You know, just when we were small, you know, we didn’t want to miss miss the beat. So, a while
Alexander Ferguson 19:00
Yeah, building that automation portion. You say bringing in folks that are our engineers that focus on AI was that was that pretty simple? Like, oh, hey, you know about AI, come on in here. And let’s start building something.
David Tal 19:11
You know, ai ai gets overused quite a bit. And you know, it, the way we look at it is we’ve built a lot of real conversational proprietary AI. But we also leverage a ton of just machine learning and regex and other forms of structuring data, which allow us to basically create, you know, response cadences and learn and allow the machine to kind of learn on its own to a degree without it being, you know, alien AI, right. So there’s a degree of all of it, where we leverage a lot of AI for example, is is not it’s not just in the conversations themselves, but in figuring out when is the best time to follow up with someone who’s unresponsive, what time of day, what day, what kind of messages to use to automatically be a be testing in Learning long term, what works. And one of the things that that we did with verse, what makes this really kind of unique and special is that, you know, we truly believe as a company, that it you know, humans alone won’t solve this technology alone won’t solve this. Humans alone, which is how businesses have been going about this for years, is very inconsistent process. It’s an expense, it’s expensive. It’s hard to do 24, seven, and takes a lot of training and a lot of management. Heck, alone is inauthentic. It’s limited. And what we believe is that to create the most authentic connections at scale between businesses and our consumers, is bridging the two, bridging the best of both. And so what agent ology did and evolved into verse was to really focus our technology on launching an authentic conversation and starting to carry that forward. But as soon as someone is engaging a prospect is engaging, and having a conversation back with us, being able to loop in real human from our team, to carry that conversation forward to fruition and get an appointment set. Because we really believe that a bot is a very inauthentic, disloyal experience, you don’t mind missing a demo that you booked on a bot. But when you talk to a human, and they talk to you, and they had a little empathy and they last with you or whatever, they thank you for your service, any you know, anything that makes it any more personal. The engagement rates shoot up, and go to the appointment, show rates, etc. You know, people show up. And if your company is there, that it cares for them, that’s a bigger company. And that and that there’s more toughness,
Alexander Ferguson 21:51
always, or is this through through discovery? Or did you just have this innate knowledge that this is how people operate, and we need to how we this is how we need to build?
David Tal 22:00
Well, we, I think, from our our DNA has always been from our mission from day one has been to create the most authentic, keyword authentic connections between businesses and their consumers. And we think the way to do that is, you know,
Alexander Ferguson 22:17
humans, humans, yeah, that combination of the two for you
David Tal 22:20
into connection with a bot, it should get some help. But you know, and not not to, you know, poopoo on bots, like they serve their purpose, and, and if your leads cost you 50 cents, maybe that’s a good way to go. Because you’re just like, churning through a million kind of junk leads, and you don’t want to spend the resources. But when you’re spending 50, or $100 per lead,
Unknown Speaker 22:46
David Tal 22:47
most real businesses do, you know, having a human in the loop is the most impactful way to drive results from those leads for you
Alexander Ferguson 22:57
to communicate the value of your product to your customers. Starting with realtors analysis, you rebranded got into brokers, and he said the ancillary services that surround real estate, has it been easy to communicate the value of it?
David Tal 23:15
Um, I think so, you know, everyone, everyone we speak to, just immediately recognizes a couple of things, you know, and and that every businesses recognizes that, that they don’t do a good job of following up with their leads, almost every businesses just admit that to us, which is why they like do a demo with us. And they we asked them, well, what why you’re interested in birds they go, our team sucks at following up with leads, we’re only getting a hold of 20% of our leads, you know, and I know it can be doing more, and I got this one guy, but it’s like, and, and and secondly, they all recognize it, we don’t have to argue this point. They all recognize that SMS is the way to go here. And they none of them have the tech or the people to man that
Alexander Ferguson 23:59
is not in trying to convince them of you need to be using SMS more like they just need to be choosing a platform. And they realize that they need help and follow up. So it’s more like alright, Can Can I afford you kit? Can Will this work in our business? Is that where the conversation is?
David Tal 24:15
Absolutely. And then the other really key thing that verse brings to the table is we do this for you. It’s not like we’re some platform and we go install this in your Salesforce. And now your sales people can log into Salesforce and text. That doesn’t solve the problem because there’s still people with schedules and other things that they’re doing. And they’re not going to automatically follow up with people over text for six months, just because like in Salesforce, there’s like a widget that they can text from. It just doesn’t it’s not practical. And so what we developed is proprietary, super AI powered, you know, content system that we can use at scale with our own people that are trained to use our own platform. And so a company doesn’t have to do anything. They just have to point leads to us, we develop the scripts with them. And we do everything else. And we show them our platform shows them the conversations as are happening in real time. And so they don’t have to trust they can verify. And it is transparency, really important to us to have transparency so that there’s trust that that will build the trust.
Alexander Ferguson 25:19
What would you say has contributed the most to your growth so far?
David Tal 25:24
for growth, I would say it’s moving more and more upstream to work with larger businesses. When we started we were working with with realtors, you know one realtor at a time. And overtime, we really evolved to work with larger, you know, brokerages that have hundreds of agents, platforms that have 1000s of agents, search portals that have millions of consumers that are searching every day. And and just the scale, it’s easier to work with these big companies in a way. Because the problems are even bigger for them. And much more of a business concern because that’s their entire business is selling leads. And so when we can help their biggest reason for customers turning a Zillow loses agents, because their agents don’t follow up with the leads very well. Right. And so if we can help Zillow engage the leads ahead of time before they ever come to a realtor, they solve that problem. And, and churn drops dramatically for those businesses.
Alexander Ferguson 26:29
Are you starting to then? would you use the word white labeled? Or are you part of the process of visible or not?
David Tal 26:35
But both both? So, you know, if a big solar company needs help, they just hire us, right? When we’re engaging their their their solar buyer that filled out a form on their site, we’re saying we’re a member of that solar company, not verse, right. They’ve never heard of verse. So it’s always kind of white label in that regard. But with a lot of platforms, we white label our service directly, and so that they can offer a follow up add on or service directly. So if you’re a big lead generator, now you can offer sponsored service, they can brand however you want. We power the entire thing. We have really robust integrations with all the all the serums and platforms, API docs, open API, robust Zapier,
Alexander Ferguson 27:20
accountabilities one of your main value points is is this combination, you’re talking about a bit earlier of technology using technology as well as people, you’re actually providing the people, the manpower, actual humans to do a lot of the work that human connection, managing people though, and scaling people that’s hard. As a tech company, how have you solved that challenge of scaling the people side, as well as the time?
David Tal 27:46
Yeah, that’s a great question. So we’ve hired really great people who ran huge call centers, kind of more old school traditional, which is what we need to staff correctly. But but but also that have a modern approach, because what’s really cool about our platform is, you know, we use AI to make our human superhuman. And so that you know, and so our contact system is very different than anything anyone’s ever seen. When a when a one on one, one of our first comes here, jizz is logged on and managing and responding to leads, or AI is even like suggesting what to say. And so it’s very different than kind of the burnout call center world, where their outbound calling all day long. And just Robo dialing, and just all that crazy stuff. That’s not our world. It’s similar. But what we do is we actually only respond to inquiries. And so our conversations, our conversations go much better. We’re not cold calling people, we’re responding to inquiries. And so people are very receptive. And they respond when you actually respond through SMS. You know, people respond very, very well. You don’t take those off, never call me again, take me off your list, right? They just fill out a form, right for you to call or contact them. So with what I’ll say is, and just to answer your question more directly. But But the reason I mentioned that is we have a very different culture. Our people are happy, happy contact center people. They’re happy. They’re having great conversations. They’re quick conversations. And they’re handed off a lot of over text. So there’s not kind of burnout with phone all day long. And so we’ve hired people who have been with us for years later are some of our managers and directors today that have come up. And so one of the biggest problems that you know, the call center world faces is a ton of attrition. In their workforce. We have people who are referring friends in because we have a happy workforce. We people, people, people, well, we have 100% of our employees receive stock options, health care, benefits, 401k, all this stuff, and we treat our people really, really well. On top of that, you know, we’ve been able to create really good incentives transparency and a culture Right after this, we have an all hands company meeting, we’re all of our team members, join, I have a bimonthly call, I give the update the State of the Union revenues, how we’re doing very transparent. So we have a very different culture here. That’s more like a tech company with that aspect. But we have just as many engineers and product people, as we have concierges
Alexander Ferguson 30:22
a bit, how big is the team overall? over 100 people now? Okay. And this this combination of views of people using the technology to actually assist them is interesting, your your prompting of what they even should say, using the technology that you the platform you have using AI? How conversations wise percentage of people are doing the text versus actually on a phone? What’s that ratio?
David Tal 30:47
So across the millions and millions of conversations that we launch every year, over 80% prefer to text? And it’s only about, you know, like 18, or 17%, who will respond to the text and say call me. Okay, like, but but because we texted them, they actually said call me they wouldn’t have picked up the phone necessarily, right? Because I didn’t know what it was. But you get a text and it says, I’m David here with blank blank solar, just got your inquiry is now a good time for for a quick call, or do you prefer to text that’s very typical opening SMS for us is engage your consumer give them context, and relevancy to what they just inquired about. So they know what it’s about. And then offer to call or text, it’s about giving the consumer choice. And so 80% Plus, say, text is better for me. Now I’m at work, I’m here, I’m there, every time. And then the few people who say call me they say call me over text and or they’ll say call me in an hour, or call me tomorrow at one. And we do and we’ll call him. So we also call, but but as a response to someone asking for that. And then check this out of the people who say Call me when we call them, they pick up the phone 94% of the time, which is just the flip of just cold calling, which only 13% of people answer. So 94 or 13, which was higher. So it’s a no brainer. But the best part about what we do is it’s measurable. You know, SEO and other services take a really long time to see results and you hope that’s what worked or that’s, it’s a little vague. With us, it’s night and day, like, you know, no pun intended, because, you know, night and day, they can see the results. As soon as they start sending leads our way, within days, they have enough leads in the system that they could just speed engagement rate and start to see all the conversations read the conversations that we’re having. And this beautiful interface that shows conversations that could sort them by qualified by all this stuff, like a Google Analytics for free lead conversion. And, and they just immediately see the leg up, they say our average customer, our average customer more than doubles, the lead volume that they send us just in their first year with with verse so they might start off sending us say 1000 leads a month. And they immediately see so much success that they start buying more leads to send her away, and double and double that.
Alexander Ferguson 33:26
The future. Let’s look at the future here. What First off, what do you see the future of the company? Where are you guys ahead? What can you share of the roadmap?
David Tal 33:35
So, you know, we’re really excited about about a few things. First off, you know, we’re just scratching the surface in the verticals that we’re in today. But really, the platform is a flexible framework that works for anything. And we’ve already started piloting insurance company customers, healthcare, SAS companies, other kinds of lenders, financial, financial advisor companies, other financial services, education companies. And so the the future is, is really unlimited. It’s a verse for x for anything, right? Any any business who has a lot of inbound leads, we can be a perfect partner to help engage in convert far more of them and turn them into more opportunities. So the future is going into dozens more industries lead to other use cases. So today, you know we’re working on converting marketing leads into sales, qualified leads right, effectively. But we look when we look at the customer service world, that’s a full other industry that we haven’t tapped into yet by design, by focus, but that’s another massive opportunity. You like calling Verizon and waiting for 40 minutes going through a million phone questions that you hope you answer correctly on the robot. Shouldn’t that be a text conversation and should Shouldn’t they just call you the moment you’re cute, you’re up in the queue, as opposed to just waiting. They’re like anxiously hoping the call doesn’t drop, and you can’t do anything else. And you can’t answer your mom’s phone call that’s coming in. It’s the most frustrating, infuriating thing in the world. I was on a train to change an airline ticket, which is awful, terrible experience. And they asked me to say my name. And they asked you to say the letter and then use the word that has that letter. So like, D is in dog, a is an apple V is in, you know, and I couldn’t think of V. And I said, Victor, and like, it wasn’t a word, it was a name. Anyway,
Unknown Speaker 35:33
I’m like, What the
David Tal 35:34
hell is going on? How is this 21? Why can’t I just type this in somewhere? Right? So it’s absurd. And
Alexander Ferguson 35:43
so I really see the future, across industry across vertical that, that everything is just gonna become this integration of still some phone calls where it makes sense, but it will be a connection to your mobile phone SMS, for every business.
David Tal 35:56
Yeah. And our mission is just create more authentic connections. And that’s about not just to improve ROI and conversion rate. But to improve that you do that by improving the consumer experience. This is all about solving for the consumer experience. If you do that, they’re gonna work with you, it’s gonna work. It’s not that hard. You just have to make the consumer experience better. And so really, anytime I’m on hold, all I think about is I can’t wait for versus Sophos versus virgin make hold obsolete. Why would you ever be on hold, you should just beginning a text like your third in line, call you in about five minutes. Like, imagine, if you ordered from Postmates. And you had to stay on the phone the entire time, while your driver picks up the food and brings it to you. Now you just get notifications along the way. Air picked up the food, it’s five minutes away, it’s arriving now meet your driver. Same thing should happen for like a hold experience, if you think about it. Um, and a lot of other, you know, experiences out there. You know, even in the e commerce world, we think there’s a lot of opportunity really everywhere.
Alexander Ferguson 36:59
What about the b2b side? Because you talk about b2c totally makes sense. I’m curious, do you think in the b2b world, we could see this?
David Tal 37:06
I do. And I think it’s not as urgent speak to lead in a lot of cases. So if you’re a CMO, and you’re looking, and you’re in between pardot and marchetto, it’s not who calls you first that you’re gonna work with. Like, necessarily, it does matter, though, right? It does matter. And as an incremental effect, the first person you build trust with you kind of get a rapport with and you’re more likely to use. But with with b2b to see which is what we do is we work with companies who work with a lot of consumers mainly, it really matters. Because if you don’t, you’re not the only lender online, you know, and you look no different than this lender online,
Alexander Ferguson 37:45
it is an absolutely essential of getting right to the right conversation right away at 88 88%
David Tal 37:52
of consumers will work with the first realtor or lender that they speak to. So it matters immensely in the consumer world. They don’t want to interview three realtors, they kind of understand that they all basically have about the same amount of access, they want to make sure they have some rapport and like the person but otherwise, just want to keep going. If you’re if you need a plumber, you’re not going to call five plumbers, you know, you just whoever the hell can get over and fix that leak. Now, that’s who you want to work with. Whatever plumber gets a hold of you first you’re gonna work with if that plumber isn’t getting a hold of you, you’re on Yelp, finding the next one like urgently trying to find someone to respond to you. So that’s where it matters the most. But we have big SAS companies and we think that the larger SAS b2b companies that have more inbound lead volume are going to be a great sweet spot for us for sure. David,
Alexander Ferguson 38:43
I really appreciate you taking us through both the the history of where you guys came from the problem that you’re set to solve. And this this world of conversion using what you call a real real conversation, authentic conversations, combining people and and tech for those that wants to learn more, definitely go check out verse.io that’s VERSE.IO. Thanks again for your time, David. That’s a great conversation.
David Tal 39:06
Thanks so much for having me, Alexander. Appreciate it.
Alexander Ferguson 39:09
Absolutely. And we’ll see you all on the next episode UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live, work and do business? Go to UpTech report.com. And let us know