Acquiring industry veteran Steve Horvitz found that resolving one of his own business needs led to the creation of a new, low-cost, industry-specific lead-tracking system for small and midsize ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs). The product, Lead Tracking Systems, is sold by Horvitz's Las Vegas-based company, Lead Tracking Systems LLC.
Horvitz's 20-year career has included stints as an independent agent and as an executive for First Data Corp. and Bank of America Corp. At one point in his journey he found himself dealing with high-risk merchants and needed a lead-tracking tool that was up to the task.
The software that resulted from that situation became the basis for Lead Tracking Systems. "I took this concept and hired a programming team and told them what we needed," Horvitz said. He started his company late in 2014 and launched the product in April 2015.
Since then, Horvitz has been updating the programming to incorporate ideas from early users. "It improves the functionality without really increasing the cost," Horvitz said of the changes the company is making on the fly.
When a customer asks for a custom feature, for example, Lead Tracking Systems often incorporates the function into the overall system and provides it to all the users. "It can be something that makes the system more intuitive for the agent," Horvitz said.
Changes based on customer suggestions include enabling referral partners to upload statements and other documents that could affect acceptance. When the application is submitted, MLSs can also upload any information they feel the banks should review. "It's all contained in one place," Horvitz said of the data.
User suggestions also prompted the company to make some of the system's existing tools more robust. It updated calendars, tools for scheduling, and templates for sending email messages and making mass mailings.
Lead Tracking Systems charges ISOs a flat monthly fee ($99 at the time of this writing) for the system, no matter how many employees use it. That can include salespeople, sales administrators and referral partners, Horvitz said. "You can have five people or 50; we don't care," he noted.
One of the constituencies for the system – referral partners – gets special attention. "It gives them a window to see how well the ISO or the agent might be doing when it comes to follow up on leads," Horvitz said.
A referral partner who posts a lead to the system automatically receives an email message when the status of that account changes – after a salesperson contacts the merchant and notes the call in the system, for example.
Referral partners can print out lists of the accounts they've submitted and sort them according to their status. Pie charts and graphs show referral partners the percentage of their leads that have resulted in sales.
Meanwhile, ISOs and MLSs can use the system as a management tool by sorting sales data by rep and then sitting down with them to review results, Horvitz said. MLSs can have their say in the system, too, because they can enter leads that arise from their prospecting.
Besides offering the lead-tracking service, the company licenses its software to ISOs who want to customize the programming but prefer to avoid the cost of starting from scratch. "If you were to hire a company to write a brand new CRM from the ground up, the investment can be pretty substantial. It's in the multiple thousands of dollars," Horvitz said.
Licensees can pay a one-time fee for access to the coding that underlies the system so that they can integrate it with other tools the ISO uses to run the business. Having a license does not entitle the holder to resell the system, Horvitz noted. Subscribers to the system can white-label the dashboard and brand it with their logo as a marketing tool that makes a favorable impression on referral partners, he added.
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