Cedar Rapids company added 161 jobs last year

By Sarah Binder

CEDAR RAPIDS—Don’t call them a call center.

“We don’t even like that word,” said Tom Leidigh, founder and CEO of Infinity Contact in Cedar Rapids. “We’re building go-to-market strategies for our clients.”

The company added 161 jobs in 2012, and recently announced that they plan to hire up to 100 more people this year. They are considering expanding their facilities to keep pace with the growth.

Infinity Contact provides data, technology, business-to-business sales and analytics services to its clients. All four are equally important, Mr. Leidigh said, and that is what makes them more than a call center. For example, in technology, they offer services such as online chats, social media and SMS messages. Data and analytics might include conducting market research for the client and providing statistics designed to enhance return on investment (ROI).

The company’s clients include large, national companies that sell products and services to small- and medium-sized businesses. There are 21 million businesses nationally in that size range that the large companies want to reach, Mr. Leidigh said.

“We’ve refined our business model and we’ve targeted Fortune 1000 companies,” he said.

Typically, a client will start with eight Infinity Contact staff members working for them and  increase the number as time goes on. For example, Infinity Contact maintains a second office in Ann Arbor, Mich., dedicated to a single client. By the end of the year that facility is expected to employ 100 people.

“Once you prove out the business model and ROI, they’re very interested,” he said. “Every client we bring on, the goal is to scale.”

Most of the growth expected for this year is due to existing clients going through this scaling process, though Mr. Leidigh said They are also always accepting new clients.

“You’re constantly going through different cycles with each client,” he said. “Any new relationship, it takes time to build a sales team and tweak your results.”

The company has around 300 employees in Cedar Rapids. They have expanded their facility three times in the past year, and are now looking to move their backoffice staff into a separate building to make more room in the main center for sales and management staff.

Sales employees need to have proven experience and ambition to grow their careers. While Mr. Leidigh said they have had luck finding talent in the Corridor so far, they don’t expect it to last forever.

“We realize there’s a cap to that, and there’s competition with other companies in the Corridor,” he said.

Other Corridor companies to announce major hiring efforts for similar positions in recent months include TMone, an Iowa City company that plans to hire 400; Sedgwick Claims Management, which plans to hire 200 and open a new office in Coralville in 2013; GEICO, adding 100 customer service and sales jobs in Coralville; and Alliance Claims Solutions, which plans to hire 200 and move to a new office in Hiawatha.

Because of this, Mr. Leidigh said Infinity Contact plans to open an office in another market in 2014.

For now, though, the Cedar Rapids native is happy to be building his company here.

“We’re proud to be a Cedar Rapids company,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to be part of something special, and bring that kind of client base to Cedar Rapids.”