CEO and Founder
Location: St. Louis, MO
Industry: Technology - SaaS
It takes skill and tenacity, but Marc Bernstein thrives on balance.
“My greatest leadership lesson has been developing the balance between pushing through my vision and allowing my team to help mold and perfect that vision,” said Bernstein, founder and CEO. Balto, a Real-Time Guidance Platform for contact centers. “By nature, I enjoy healthy debate and tending to the minutiae to ultimately arrive at the best plan or outcome. I think that translates to the rest of how Balto operates as a whole.”
Bernstein explained that Balto is centered around a simple truth: Better conversations make more money. Powered by AI, Balto scales best practices to agents with the push of a button and gives immediate insight into what’s working and what’s not.
Prior to Balto, Bernstein worked at TopOPPs, and during his tenure came across a common challenge — forgetting the right thing to say. He built a spreadsheet that would enable him to pull up talking points and resources based on keywords, yet found that searching a spreadsheet during calls was too distracting. After enlisting the help of a few friends and coworkers, they were able to come up with the very first prototype for Balto. In January 2017, Balto was founded and has since guided over 75 million conversations around the world. Revenue has grown by over three times in the last year, and the company recently announced the completion of a $37.5 million series B funding round led by Stripes.
Tireless in pursuing his vision and fearless in battling the status quo, Bernstein said he believes deeply in the far-reaching impact that transforming contact centers can have on society more broadly.
“Automation is displacing workers faster than ever before and millions of jobs in manufacturing, labor, and agriculture have disappeared over the past two decades,” he said. “The contact center is one of the only industries on Earth where anyone can find an entry-level job, anyone can transition from labor work to services work, and anyone can rise through the ranks and pursue a career.”
A featured speaker in leading industry events such as Customer Contact Week, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, RingCentral Connect, as well as on podcasts such as the Contact Center Gurus, Bernstein is known for his dedication to helping every team member reach their potential.
“At Balto, we are transforming how people and machines work together,” Bernstein said. “Providing A.I. on the principles that we stand for — augmenting people, not replacing them — develops people into their best selves.”
Most importantly, as a leader, Bernstein said you have to trust your team and empower them to get things over the finish line.
“That’s why I’ve learned to hire team members who are much smarter than me but share my passion,” Bernstein said. “The beauty is, they will be able to do it better than me and in ways that I can’t or wouldn’t even have thought of.”
Marc has been "trying" to grow pumpkins on his balcony for the last 2 years...