Marketing has always been a difficult task. In a world filled with all kinds of media and constant distractions, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to get the attention of the people who are most important to the future growth of their businesses. “Don’t call me, I’ll call you” is the prevailing attitude. Sales and marketing professionals who are fortunate enough to have leads to follow must face rejection 100 times before someone finally says “OK I’ll take a look at it.”

In 2016, I met Alyce CEO Greg Segall at an investor event in NYC. He delivered his pitch in a crowded noisy room. You could say I was distracted. I asked him “What is the product?” Greg then took out his laptop, put it on the dinner table, and demoed an A.I. powered “action gifting” platform designed to inform sales, marketing, and customer success folks what is the perfect item to send to a lead or customer and the optimal times to send it in order to drive actions on their side. In 5 minutes with Greg, I understood how corporate gifting could be used to create a much more authentic marketing experience, thus decreasing customer turnover, generating more 1st calls, upsells, and all around stronger business relationships. This was more than an idea—this was going to transform the way that B2B marketers thought of the first touch they have with their prospects. It was already a fully functional software product. Greg performed his magic on me that day. What I discovered after that is a company doing everything right.

Corporate gifting is symptomatic of a mega-trend toward 1-1 customer service and away from impersonal 1-many advertising. Why do we get our friends gifts that we know they will like but send our valued prospects or customers a generic item that they will likely throw away? B2C seems to be ahead of B2B selling on this. For instance, did you ever notice these days how often people extend a personal greeting as you walk into a retail shop or restaurant? Clearly, they are trying to personalize the experience for you. I believe Alyce action gifting is poised to do that for a slew of mid-market US Tech/SaaS sector companies that been mostly impersonal toward leads and customers in the past.

Even though I joke about the “magic” of Alyce, the pipeline generation results it’s getting are not smoke and mirrors—they are the stuff that gets people promoted. For its enterprise customers, Alyce automatically tracks the ROI of its action gifting campaigns by leveraging systems customers already use (i.e. SalesForce, Marketo and Salesloft), making the platform a strategic asset. Greg shared the example of Fuze generating a 10% accepted meeting rate and over $21M of pipeline being generated from a campaign that cost the customers less that $100k—a staggering ROI.

Alyce is my #1 because of its hyper focus on key metrics that are vital to maintaining financial control and benchmarking their success as the company sees to scale. Personally, my favorite KPIs are cash burn rate, LTV/CAC ratio, and MRR/ARR but that’s a topic for another blog post.