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Calgary’s Next Economy: Better lead generation with ConverifAI

Josh West and Mike Flewitt wanted to answer a simple question in the sales and marketing world: What leads turn into actual revenue?

That fundamental question percolated over the years before the duo teamed up to create Calgary-based ConverifAI – a system that combines analytics, advertising and accounting to show which specific leads turn into revenue.

West and Flewitt joined forces after Flewitt had been doing work for West’s dad’s marketing firm more than 10 years ago. The pair met then, and West eventually took over the firm and they continued to work together.

“We seem to get along as well as (dad) David and I got along,” said Flewitt.

“So, it just was a natural fit that we should do a project.”

West said the idea started trying to solve a pain point for the agency: The sales versus marketing debate.

“The finalization of determining what is and is not working when there are humans involved on both ends of the scale,” West said.

“There’s a natural muddiness, a darkness that can occur at that handoff between advertising, marketing, and sales lead quality and the close rate solidness.”

The clients they’ve worked with over the years have all experienced these kinds of challenges in one form or another. West said they’ve implemented all sorts of different techniques to track and solve the problem.

It was the loss of a large project that really made them drill down into how they could go above and beyond the industry standard in tracking the truth around quality lead generation.

Essentially, their proprietary system cuts through the client-specific sales process and the tech stack of companies to simply determine if a lead generates income.

“Just making it super quick to give that feedback to complete the chain of custody of, yes, there was revenue there, or no there wasn’t,” said West.

Digestible format for sales teams

Once the data is compiled, the ConverifAI system provides an easy-to-read digest format that deciphers the lead submissions that have come in.

“We can let them zip through those and just get straight to the heart of the ones that might turn into a sale better than all the others,” said Flewitt.

The next step in evolution is the use of AI to, based on a series of factors identified by the software, to analyze campaigns, locations and then probabilities for successful leads.

The connection to dollars and cents is key. After all, the goal of a campaign is to generate sales and revenue. That’s where the accounting data fits into the mix.

“We see an opportunity to get the ground truth data from the accounting system,” said West.

The Alberta Catalyzer – Velocity program has helped the pair recognize where they can improve. West said they realized they had “a lot of trimming of branches” to do.

“The Velocity programs allowed us to really focus in on the key challenges that are most tangibly felt by our audiences,” he said.

Flewitt said it helped them clean up a lot of assumptions they had about their ideal customer.

The near-term goal is to use the ConverifAI system to help more companies increase the overall performance of their advertising campaigns.  

“We’ve seen explosive growth in our agency from a number of perspectives – to the tune of hundreds of percent year-over-year growth because we can make the business case for continued investment,” West said.

After that, they hope to offer their system as a Software as a Service to other organizations to use in their own in-house marketing departments.

“We absolutely see both ends, agencies as well as organizations, benefiting through these,” West said.