Founder: Saurabh Khetrapal
ATA Involvement:

SalesPortal is the first partnership marketing network for enterprises with contact centers. The patented cloud-based technology enables companies to engage customers with relevant end-of-call offers in sales and service contact centers.

Why ATA?

“Attracting talented executives is a difficult challenge for an early stage startup. Working with ATA, we’ve assembled a premier management team for the growth ahead.”

For every “first” private equity financing, a promising venture-backed company is quickly faced with the risky decision of where to invest capital, and typically, the investment begins with building the team. In the case of SalesPortal, out of a crowded field of interested investors, CEO Saurabh Khetrapal selected ATA Ventures to lead the company’s first round, in large part to rely on ATA’s proven experience in the development of startups, including team building.

Touted as the next BIG innovation in contact centers, SalesPortal was introducing the world’s first partnership marketing network for enterprises with contact centers.

“SalesPortal’s breakthrough bidding-engine connects large-scale contact centers and relevant products from pre-approved marketers and advertisers in real-time.” Saurabh Khetrapal, CEO

SalesPortal would need exceptional executives that could convince massive contact centers to forego legacy methods and adopt a new revenue application from a start-up — a daunting task, but a potential block-buster if successful. Saurabh understood the vulnerability of being a “first-time CEO” and relied on ATA’s Hatch Graham for guidance to assemble a team that could withstand scrutiny from any client perspective.

“Together, we started at the top. I offered to make my CEO position available, but instead, Hatch guided us to recruit Carol Snell, our independent Board member, to enter the operations as Executive Director and work on-site, providing hands-on mentorship.”Saurabh Khetrapal

A quick review of Carol’s background revealed Hatch’s motive — Carol was formerly the co-founder and SVP of Worldwide Operations of Aspect Communications, a leading provider of call distribution systems and services. She also managed Aspect’s entry into international markets then later spent two years as SVP at Lucent Technologies where she led the Octel Messaging division to profitability and global leadership. Having also been CEO of two early-stage contact management software companies, Carol offered SalesPortal a broad range of experience in venture financing, refining market direction, building management teams, and establishing strategic alliances.

Upon Carol’s acceptance, the strategy proved to be an important step toward rapid creation of a formidable executive team. Together, Saurabh and Carol attracted tremendous executives to lead sales, client services, operations, and marketing, and within its first two years, SalesPortal’s solutions have received powerful market acclaim including selection as the winner of the Direct Marketing Association’s Innovation Award, Red Herring Top 100 winner, and American Teleservices Association Finalist Award. More importantly, the company has assembled a diverse array of clients with membership growing to over 600 companies within the first year of full production.