How to identify your first leads? I Interview with Dawn Dickson from PopCom


On all major Podcasting platforms:


This time we are talking to Dawn Dickson who is the founder and CEO of PopCom. PopCom has developed software to make kiosks and vending machines intelligent through data and analytics at the point of purchase. It is an automated retail technology that helps to understand sales metrics, engage with customers by using facial recognition, A.I, and blockchain technology. We deep-dive today who to find the first leads for an innovative product approach.

Dawn created the company after her own struggles to find vending machines that could sell her roll-up flat products at high-traffic areas like airports. Also absent was the data she relied on to track and monitor traffic and conversion rates. As Dawn is building up the company, she shared her journey and how they are working on the first leads. Tune in…

See an abstract of the interview on how to win your first leads

Pathmonk: Are there  certain metrics that you as a business owner would care most about? Because we’ve been talking to a lot of business owners and usually a different set of metric turns out to be important. Like what is key for you when you look at the website, what metrics do you really care about?

Dawn Dickson: I’m really just looking at them completing the lead form. We get a lot of it depending on what’s going on with the business. We were heavily covered in the press and so obviously depending on what’s going on and certain press traction, you’ll get a lot of visitors, but visitors to the site don’t mean much because most of them are not actually customers (…). The metric that’s most important to us is actually filling out the form and creating a lead for us.

Pathmonk: You are increasing the conversions there of the amount of people that are coming to actually becoming a lead. That sounds interesting. Are there certain things that you’ve learned while improving conversion rate? Is there something that you’ve learned too that you did to the website to maybe increase the amount of signups? 

Dawn Dickson: (…) What we did do is modify the types of qualifying questions that we asked them in the lead generation form on the website so that we can properly segment the leads based on what they’re interested in.That we can understand the timeline and how we can serve those customers. For example, people will come to us, for wanting to buy our pop shop for a specific product (…).  We have customers that want to come and get a customized machine done all on their own. We have customers that want to come and get API integration from our software. Understanding what they want and we can put them in their appropriate buckets and then the appropriate messaging can go out to them. In the beginning when we started, we just had a general lead form. The leads were not organized in any way and so we really weren’t sure what was a hot lead in a warm lead or even a cold lead based on what we could actually provide to them because some of our products aren’t ready or takes a longer time over the sales cycle with longer. Being able to segment our pipeline by asking the right qualifying questions and the lead generation form has been very helpful for us.

Pathmonk:  That means then they travel through into HubSpot with a qualification question attached and then your team knows how to categorize them?

Dawn Dickson: Yes. What the send to them in response to their query.Yep.

Pathmonk: It’s very interesting you implemented that system – was there any challenges that you faced, on top of that when trying to win people from your websites. Any challenges that you come across in overcome to win more leads from your website?

Dawn Dickson: I mean I think for us we have our CRMs cycle in like we have it down pretty strong. I mean I have a now 19 year background in marketing so I’ve kind of figured it out. Challenges for us more in like not being able to serve the customers or even keeping them updated. Like for example, some of the customers that come to us, we can’t work with them right now, but we don’t want to completely lose them. So I think we need to better…I mean I know we need to get better about engaging with the customer that we can’t work with right away. Whether it’s just sending an important industry information, sending them updates, keeping them engaged and keeping us top of mind. (…) I mean obviously we’re trying to sell right now the product that we do have available, but we definitely don’t want to let anyone fall through the cracks.That’s something we have to get better with in the upcoming year of just managing our customer communication and engagement, just to keep them interested.

Pathmonk: Makes total sense. I would be curious too, because you mentioned that you have a couple of products are in the making some of them already ready.How did you get your first 10 customers? What was that like? Like where and how did you find them?

Dawn Dickson: You know, we’re very blessed. I would say fortunate, lucky, that we’ve never actually had to go out and get customers. I mean, we get a ton of press from myself as a founder and from the innovation that we have created and myself as a thought leader in this space. For me, going out and speaking at conferences, us doing booths at conferences, that’s being featured in media. As a female founder, I’m a black female founder, a Midwest founder, all these different, a mom and a founder, like all these different media categories, it draws a lot of interest to the business. Press has been very valuable for us. We’ve never had to do advertising or anything for customers