SalesFuel®, providing sales teams with the power to “Sell Smarter®,” is today announcing its 30th anniversary in operation. First opening his doors on this day in 1989, Founder and CEO C. Lee Smith, set out to help companies by providing technology solutions focused on database research, advertising and media sales, sales enablement, and sales management.
His objective was simple: Sales are the revenue engine of your company; we provide the fuel.
SalesFuel, known for its first 25 years as Sales Development Services (“SDS”), pioneered the use of data and analytics with regard to media and advertising. In 1989, Smith developed the AdTracker computer software for the cable television industry, which was first sold to Time Warner Cable in Lima, OH. That marked the beginning of a 30-year run that would inspire him to launch his new company, and have it lead and grow with the rapid innovations of media technology, advertising and sales. Among the notable milestones:
- 1989: First product launches. SDS launches its Lead & Data Service, featuring computerized co-op advertising database for newspapers
- 1994: Launch of PromoFax. The first of its kind weekly fax of local advertising sales leads with the ability to receive ad materials and details by return fax. The PromoFAX name was the company's first registered trademark.
- 1995: AdMall® is created. Initially called Advertiser Information Mall, AdMall launch as the first fully Internet-based new business development system for media sales. Today, AdMall has more than 15,000 subscribers across the US.
- 1997: SDS rolls out the Co-op Processor option for AdMall, the first web application for the media sales industry.
- 2002–2004: SDS becomes the official web host of the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, and later launches MatchNight — America's Independent Soccer News Network featuring independent journalists covering U.S. pro and college soccer. The network was used to help the company learn more about online advertising.
- 2005: AdMall for Agencies launches. Originally called Ad-ology, the platform was launched as a new business development tool for small advertising agencies, and evolved into a provider of primary market research in the U.S.
- 2008: AdMall becomes one of five American Advertising Federation research partners for the National Student Ad Competition. Ad-ology also provides a scholarship and an award to the college team with the Best Use of Marketing Research.
- 2010: Company Releases First Smartphone App — Marketing Forecast. One of the first-ever marketing apps for the iPhone, it had over 12,000 downloads in the first four months. The company released the Media Sales Mobile, their second smartphone app for media salespeople, in May 2010. The app ranked as high as 19th in downloaded business apps during its first two months.
- 2015: The company is rebranded as SalesFuel. The name fulfills its promise of turning its deep business intelligence databases into big insights for sales professionals who work in other types of businesses — such as medical sales, retail, insurance and B2B services — as well as sales managers
- 2018: Manage Smarter™ podcast launches, serving today's managers and emerging leaders. Frank, fast-paced and sometimes humorous, each episode provides smart discussion around the challenges facing managers — from the front lines to the C‑Suite.
- 2019: Adaptive sales coaching and microlearning platform, SalesFuel COACH, launches. Leveraging quick scientific assessments, SalesFuel COACH provides deeper insight into individual sales team members, identifies unique gaps in their skillsets, and enables managers to tailor their coaching approach with each of them.
“It’s been an amazing ride thus far,” says Lee Smith, SalesFuel founder & CEO, also an avid cyclist and active philanthropist with the community. “This milestone was achieved through constant reinvention, the dedication and hard work of our incredible team, and the winning culture we’ve been able to sustain over the past 30 years. To witness and be a part of the evolution of the media and sales industries has inspired the company to do great work over the years. While it’s fun and extremely rewarding to look back at how far we’ve come, it’s even more exciting to look ahead to future achievements, as my team never ceases to amaze me,” says Smith.