AI is an enabler that could give small businesses an advantage over bigger businesses says Prospex CEO and co-founder Salvatore Minetti.

The London-based start-up has created an artificial intelligence solution that helps source relevant sales leads for SMEs.

The Prospex platform uses AI to map out a profile of the seller’s ideal buyer and the buyer’s ideal seller and matches the two together.

“AI allows small businesses to undertake complex and normally expensive tasks in a way that until recently would only have been available to large business,” Minetti told BusinessCloud.

“An SME with some smarts should be able to build some complex solutions and processes and compete in a way that means large businesses are at a disadvantage because smaller business can move and flex and change.

“Because of the transformative nature of small businesses they embrace change much better so they are more likely culturally to embrace disruption and transformation in a way large business can’t.

“If you’re small and smart and apply some AI to fundamentals you could outcompete the large business on almost every turn.

Minetti came up with the idea having been in sales since leaving school and finding that the single primary challenge is at the top of the sales funnel in lead generation.

“Logic dictates no lead, no sale,” he said.

“Where’s tomorrow’s sale coming from? To this day it’s the single hardest part of the entire sales process – where do you get more leads and how do you have some control over the process?

“How do you make it a smarter solution beyond just throwing more money, time and resource at it in the hope that one day you’ll get a sale out of it? It’s something that’s been with me literally decades.”

Three years after meeting his co-founder Nick at the conference launch of IBM’s Watson suite the young company has closed two funding rounds and is just under a month away from going live.

“The solution could be used by anyone wanting more sales - you could be a partner in a law firm wanting more clients,” he said.

“We’re hoping to democratise the sales process because at the moment typically it’s scaled by throwing more resource at it so small businesses are at a disadvantage. They have to be smarter and more resource effective.”

The platform has a fixed cost per month per user of 10 leads per day at £1 a day, which gives each sales person 300 leads a month for £30.

“The traditional methods that require investment in time and energy are all difficult to measure in output and to scale up, so we’re trying to achieve something far more clear measurable where you invest X and you get Y.

“We’re also liberating sales person who normally owns the lead generation process so they can get on with closing the deal.”