The 2017 CRM Market Influential Leaders: David Elkington, Founder and CEO, InsideSales.com
When it comes to sales acceleration, InsideSales.com’s CEO and founder, David Elkington, wrote the playbook, literally. Throughout his nearly two decades in the industry, he has made contributions in the areas of thought leadership and technological innovation.
The Utah-based technology provider that he founded in 2004 was quiet for a few years, but InsideSales.com began making all sorts of noise again this year with solid investments in technology to help sales reps from organizations of all sizes meet and exceed quotas.
A year ago, the company launched InsideSales Essentials, which gives small and midsize businesses (SMBs) access to the same functionality that has powered the sales reps of corporate giants like Microsoft and Groupon, and at the affordable price of $5,000 a year for up to five users. With the solution, salespeople can optimize all of the steps in their pipelines. In addition to providing click-to-call and local number functions, the technology allows users to track email engagement to see which interactions or subject lines are most effective in reaching customers and eliciting responses.
“With this new package, we’re taking what’s proven to work for some of the biggest brands and tailoring it for small-business needs,” Gabe Larsen, director of InsideSales.com Labs, said in a statement at the time of the announcement. “Essentials gives small and medium-size businesses the power to sell smarter and help expand their company through strategic sales plays.”
Later that same month, the vendor launched InsideSales Playbooks, an artificial intelligence–fueled solution dedicated to helping reps prospect, prioritize, and contact leads, while automatically syncing sales activities to their CRM systems and minimizing manual data entry. The tool reminds users when they should be following up with opportunities, through which channels, and how often.
In June, InsideSales further strengthened the Playbooks platform with a feature called Predictive Contactability, which sifts through contact data to select the most predictably reliable contact route, ranking phone numbers and email addresses and informing users about the quality of contact data they have for any prospect.
“Predictive Contactability is the latest of many Playbooks features underscoring our unrivaled capacity to solve the biggest problem in business—namely, how to sell more and do it faster,” Elkington said at the time. “Playbooks clears the way for sales teams to get the best-qualified prospects on the other end of the line and into the sales funnel.”
This access to prospect information via Playbooks was made richer by the vendor’s partnership with Owler, which gives users access to company information, including revenue, employee counts, industry verticals, social profiles, logos, and more, for the accounts they are targeting.
InsideSales’ innovation in this area isn’t over. Elkington and his team continue to evolve the platform, leveraging InsideSales’ Neuralytics engine, which taps into information gleaned from billions of historical sales interactions and data points to power predictive technologies with machine learning and Big Data to help reps figure out their next steps.
Elkington’s influence on the sales industry extends beyond the work he’s done in the technology sphere—first with Integr8ted Technology Solutions, a consulting and app development firm, and then with InsideSales. His influence is felt, for instance, as a prolific writer and speaker; he also serves on the advisory board of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals.