LeadMD CEO, Justin Gray, joins SalesLoft CEO, Kyle Porter on this episode of the Catalyst Podcast. Kyle opens up about his path to becoming CEO of the Atlanta based, current #1 sales engagement platform. Focusing on stories of health-related issues early in his life along with struggling to find his path, Kyle’s hunger for prosperity proved to overcome all. Not afraid to reach out to those he had looked up to for guidance and advice along the way ultimately led him to his current success.
Subscribe to the Podcast to receive alerts as new episodes post fortnightly (every other Tuesday).
Time Stamped Show Notes:
0:53 – Tell us a little more about Salesloft!
03:08– What was a monumental moment of impact in your life?
05:55 – When did you decide to change your path in life?
12:18 – What led you to develop a Sales Engagement Software?
20:10 – How do you create those catalytic moments in your organization?
22:55 – How do you put forth the effort to engage with your growing employee base?
27:15 –What are the attributes that you look for in individuals on your team?
29:25 – What is up next for SalesLoft?
31:20 – Wrap-Up
4 Key Points:
- It is easy to go down the wrong path, but harder to get on the right one. At 18, it is not always easy to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. Resist getting sidetracked, by taking a step back and asking if your current actions will positively impact your future and your goals.
- Trial and error are crucial during the first few years of starting your business. People often aren’t exposed to the ugly side that comes before success. Keep going and learning from early failures.
- Do not be afraid to ask for advice from those you admire. It may force you to step outside your comfort zone, but those you look up to made a lot more mistakes than you think. Ask them what they wish someone would have shared with them along their path to get where they are today.
- The selling and buying process is always changing and evolving. While it is useful to stay in tune with these processes and technology, it will always be important to focus on your customer and their needs. Showing you care as an individual will go a lot farther than any other new strategy in the market.
Our favorite quote from the episode:
“I look around SalesLoft, we’ve got just shy of 400 people here, and I see so many unique talents and skills, and capabilities and my dream with this business is to create an environment where those things flourish. Where these people can come in and learn more, do more, become more. Take those talents and skills to serve others and find fulfillment in their lives and that’s what I realized that I was going to do, and I just made it a dedication for me after then.”
Looking for more episodes? Check out more of our best practice podcasts!
Justin: Hey, hello, welcome. Once again you are back on Catalyst, and today I’ve got an awesome guest, one of the guys down there really putting Atlanta on the map from a tech scene standpoint. I’m happy to welcome Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft, here with us today.
Kyle: Glad to be here Justin. Thanks for having me.
Tell us a little more about SalesLoft!
Justin: Hey, thanks for taking the time. So to set the stage here, why don’t we do a brief little overview and intro of who SalesLoft is, who you are, and probably a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you, if there’s such a thing?
Kyle: Yeah, sure. Well, thanks again for having me. I’m really excited about our conversation. I’m the founder and CEO of SalesLoft. I started the company nearly eight years ago, and we’re the number one sales engagement platform in the marketplace. What that means is we help companies codify their go-to-market and then we become the communications for reps in email, phone calls, social communications, holding the reps accountable to their activities and helping them to drive more pipeline effectiveness while delivering the customer with a better sales experience.
I think the most important thing for me is we’re real focused on organizational health, and I believe it’s the biggest differentiator a company can have. So my job as a CEO first and foremost is to make sure there’s lots of clarity in communications around our vision, our mission, our values, and then the objectives that we’re angling after over this period of time, as well as how we’re measuring ourselves for success. I spend a lot of time with the executive leadership team, making sure there’s cohesion there, and then taking these messages out to the rest of the organization.
Justin: Yeah, so you guys were recently voted number one place to work in Atlanta as well, so you guys must be doing something right around that mission over there. So number one, congratulations.
Kyle: Thank you.
Justin: This is really a difficult thing to achieve. We’re hearing awesome stories coming out of SalesLoft.
Kyle: One of my good friends, Adam Blitzer, who is the head of Sales Cloud for a product perspective at Saleforce.com was cofounder of Pardot. He said I was in the Pardot offices when I started SalesLoft, and I watched as Pardot would win the number one best place to work award in Atlanta, and Adam kept telling me, he said, “All the other awards don’t matter to me, this is the award that matters to me.” So I really influenced by him and inspired to go out and build a high-achieving, but also culturally strong organization.
Justin: Awesome. Along those lines, this show is all about moments of change, moments of impact, which I think certainly entrepreneurs tend to have more of those moments than I think anyone else. As you look back over your professional career, is there one moment that really stands out as something that really changed the direction or course of your life?
What was a monumental moment of impact in your life?
Kyle: Yeah, I think there is, and I don’t know, you might not classify it as professional career, but I think it’s all really blended together well. You know Justin, I grew up fast in college. I’ll make it short, but I had this childhood that was very rare. I was born with a rare blood disease and wasn’t expected to live past infancy. So my whole entire childhood was in and out of the ER, needles in veins and IV drips in my arm, and I was miraculously cured at age 10. The doctors couldn’t even describe what had happened, but when that happened to me, I got a little bold and took a little too much credit for that cure, and this sent me off on this selfish and self-serving life where I had all these talents and skills, but I was just looking out for the weekend, for the next party, for the fun, I was starting some companies along the way when I was young, but I got into college and I got into trouble, and good, old-fashioned college partying, but I had this one moment where my life changed and I got to this point where I said, hey, I’ve been given all these gifts and talents and this story of my childhood and overcoming these things, and I’m using them just for these short-term perspectives.
What I want to do is I want to take those talents and use them to serve others, make the world a better place. That was in January 2003, and since that day, I’ve woken up every day with that as my mission, so maybe not necessarily the professional side of the journey, but it set me up for everything that I’ve done since then.
Justin: Yeah, hold on. Literally, up until … so when were you diagnosed with the disease? Was is right at birth?
Kyle: I was born in ’82. I came home from the hospital and my parents rushed me back to the hospital with a 104-degree fever, and that’s when they found that my body wasn’t producing blood cells to fight off infection.
Justin: And so literally from the moment that you’re born until age 10, I’m sure you’re somewhat certainly affected but defined by this disease that you’re dealing with, and then suddenly … let’s dive into this a little bit deeper. You say miraculously you were cured one day. Literally-
Kyle: What happened, so since I had this issue with my immune system, these bags of fluid that they were dripping in my body were other people’s immunities, and this medicine, and what they think is that my body just started taking to it and started producing its own blood cells to fight off infection, but they couldn’t really explain it. And it just happened, miraculously. Like I said, I took credit for it. I was like, hey man, I’ve been fighting this thing. I won. I’m on top of the world, and I later realized that I wasn’t the one responsible for that.
Justin: Let’s talk a little bit more about that moment of presentation so from 10, a lot of years in there, lot of living, off to college, and then tell me a little bit more about that moment where you decided that this was not the right way forward.
When did you decide to change your path in life?
Kyle: I had been a champion partier, wasn’t going to a lot of school classes, and it just caught up to me. I got in some trouble and partying too much. My parents, my mom, my sister, my brother, they were all there to support me, and I got to this point where I was like, hey this lifestyle that I’m living right now is not taking me where I need to go. And I’m squandering all these gifts and talents. I look around SalesLoft, we’ve got just shy of 400 people here, and I see so many unique talents and skills, and capabilities and my dream with this business is to create an environment where those things flourish. Where these people can come in and learn more, do more, become more. Take those talents and skills to serve others and find fulfillment in their lives and that’s what I realized that I was going to do, and I just made it a dedication for me after then.
Justin: Let’s talk a little bit about the road to SalesLoft then. One of the interesting questions that I always love to ask people is, what were you going to school for, and what would you think you wanted to do at that point?
Kyle: Originally I was in engineering, and I quickly realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I went over the management school after this rebirth or revelation in my life, and I got 4.0 out the rest of school, which matched up with my 1.8 for the first two years of school, that got me middle of the road there, 3. But I had always been entrepreneurial and always sold stuff, so back as a child, I had a landscaping business, computer parts business, I sold Beanie Babies, baseball cards, old soda cans. I would sell anything, and so I always had this entrepreneurial streak in me, and after school, I realized … at first, I thought I wanted to be an investment banker, and I went into an investment bank and worked there for about six months and realized that wasn’t for me.
I joined up with this outfit in Atlanta called the Advanced Technology Development Center, and at the time, this was the epicenter of Atlanta technology, where a lot of the school’s technology would get commercialized and become businesses, and I just really got excited about the entrepreneurial scene and so I started meeting pretty much every founder that I could. Every investor that I could, service provider and adventure ecosystem, and I just started getting really excited about one day starting my own technology company. To, like it said earlier, create that environment where others could flourish.
Justin: That’s so interesting and that’s one of the things that I talk to a lot of founders and folks with aspirations to start a business is the, what I found to be, the willingness of really anyone to share their time. Certainly, folks that have been successful and have gone down the path and made their mistakes, and it just seems like those types of individuals are just really open to sharing their experiences and spending that mentorship time. Is that what you found as well, as you were reaching out to individuals for that insight?
Kyle: There’s a Dale Carnegie quote, and I’m going to butcher it, but it says something along the lines of “No better compliment was ever given than when you ask for someone’s advice and took it.” And I think about that all the time and so I have this formula for how I got to meet with all these people, and anybody can follow this formula. I found out when they were speaking at an event, I did some research on the person, I sent them over either a LinkedIn InMail or an email saying, “Hey, I’m coming to your session. I’d love to learn about these two things.” Then I’d sit in the very front row, go meet them before they come on stage, remind them that I’m the person who sent them the email, sit in the front row, listen to the session. Question time comes around, boom, my hand’s up first. By that time they know my name, Kyle in the front row. I ask the question, and then afterwards I approach them and say, “Hey, I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you. I’m working on this, this, I’d love your advice. Seems like you’ve got a lot of capabilities around this.”
And it’s a 99% hit rate of them saying yes. At that point in time, they wouldn’t have come there if they weren’t interested in that kind of thing, right? And so from there then, really dig in. Here’s the things I’m working on, what advice do you have? Go apply that advice, and then close the loop by telling them what worked, what didn’t, where you went from there and what’s next. And so I learned a ton from doing that.
Justin: Curating those relationships can just be so impactful. At some point here, you decide to start SalesLoft, and as you mentioned, you’re actually on someone else’s shingle at that point, and so tell me a little bit about the birth of SalesLoft, and a bit about those early days as well.
Kyle: There were two guys that I met doing what I just talked about, meeting them after events, that really impressed me. One was a guy named Charles Brewer, and Charles Brewer was the founder of a company called MindSpring, which was one of the early ISPs. Later he was the chairman of the board at Earthlink when they made an acquisition and what he said is they had the MindSpring core values and beliefs, the C, V, and Bs, and you can find these things on Wikipedia. They’re awesome. What he said was that these values are everything to my business, and it doesn’t matter what things I sell or build. If I run a company with these values, everything else will take care of itself. And then I met a guy named David Cummings, and I know you know David. David was the founder of Pardot, and later sold it to ExactTarget, and it became of course, Salesforce.com’s marketing automation product. And David said that as a founder, culture is the only thing that you have complete control over.
Think about the macroeconomic climate can change who the president is, can change what they do in China, right? Technologies exist, what your competitors are doing. You can’t control those things, but you can control what’s your vision, what’s your mission, what are your values? How do you hire, how do you praise, how do you reprimand? How do you let people go when necessary? How do you promote people? And you have complete control over that as a founder, and that will make the biggest difference in your business. But knew those things, and I said, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to be a founder,” and I had started some things that didn’t work out too well, and I went to David Cummings actually, and I sat down with him at lunch, and I said, “Hey David, I’d like to start a business, and I’d like you involved.” And he said, “Okay, let’s do it.” We didn’t even have a business idea yet. And so then we went to work together, and we started on a business idea and went from there.
Justin: What led to that idea? You hear these stories that are all over the board. Either it’s super passionate, or facing that challenge that then you went out to solve. What was that story for you guys?
What led you to develop a Sales Engagement Platform?
Kyle: I’ve been a salesperson my whole life, and I had really gotten ahead selling, by being authentic, relevant to the buyer, understanding their needs, providing insights, really getting close to them relationally, so that they trusted me and knew that I was there to solve their problem. I knew that worked, but it was hard to scale that, because I was spending so much energy and time per customer. And then I started looking at technologies that could help accelerate the way that I would do that. Some of them on the prospecting side, some of them on the insights gathering side, and as I looked at how the internet has grown, I realized buyers are changing, they’re demanding this type of authentic seller, but the seller can’t waste a bunch of time. They’ve got to do it in a repeatable and scalable fashion. So we said we’re going to bring technology to sales, in order to help elevate the profession of sales into one of sincerity.
That was the plan from day one, and really the vision of the company, some of the language has changed, but that idea that when a buyer comes up and a seller comes to them, we want that buyer to receive that sales approach warmly and know that that seller’s done everything they can to show the love to the customer. But then back home at the office, they’re able to do it in a repeatable and scalable way.
Justin: Speaking of those changes that SalesLoft has gone through, I know you’ve written a couple articles on this as well. But it certainly wasn’t simply a straight line. Talk to me a little bit about early days of the organization. I know you guys reached an inflection point to where there’s a pretty big decision to make, and I don’t know if you remember, but you and I actually spoke shortly around that timeline when you were making that decision, and I think obviously what’s happened is pretty dramatic, but I’d love to get a little bit of insight into where you … but your mindset, and what led to I guess would call a pivot.
Kyle: Yes, so round one we had a problem we knew we wanted to solve. Buyers were buying on their own in some ways, sellers were having a hard time reaching through to them. We wanted to solve that problem. And so I went off and tried to build products. It means iteration after iteration that really weren’t getting the right traction, but what I realized, I wasn’t even leading the team with those values at the center of what I was doing, even though David and Charles had coached me on this, so a year in I burned through about a quarter-million dollars in money, some of it was mine and my wife’s, and some of it was David’s, and I realized we didn’t have anything to show for it. My marketer and close friend at the time left the company on his own because I wasn’t getting traction. I had to let go the two engineers because I didn’t really jive with them and think that they … we didn’t feel the same way about how to treat customers, each other, employees, and so I had to start all over from scratch.
When I went back to David, I said, “Hey, this idea’s sound. We’re on track for something. We’re going to stumble upon the right product here. Let’s keep going.” He said, “All right, let’s do it.” So we built this product called SalesLoft Prospector right after that. And it was a data product that would help companies generate contact information for the people they wanted to connect with. My whole idea is if you can stop wasting time trying to get the list, you can spend more time being authentic and relevant to your customer. But we had some challenges with it. The big thing that we had was that companies would buy these giant lists, or they would generate these giant lists from us, and they’d throw them in the marketing automation spam can, and they just turned the wheel, and shoot those emails out like some would get revised, and some would get clicked, and then they’d try to hustle those down to sales. For me, that didn’t match up with this vision that I had for the company of bringing this authenticity and sincerity to sales.
And so we got from zero to seven million run rate in about 15 or so months, and I wasn’t happy with the product, it wasn’t the future. We had just built it as a way to keep going. It wasn’t the thing. And in the meantime we had started this product at the time called SalesLoft Cadence, and this is what would become the sales engagement platform and it just started taking off, and I realized I’ve got this product, it’s got double-digit growth, it’s got high customer satisfaction and NPS. It is code that we completely own, versus the data product was scraping various areas of the internet, and customers were staying loyal to it. Let’s just can the old product, $7 million ARR, and let’s go all into the new one because I know we won’t be successful unless we give all of our attention to the new product.
Justin: That’s something that you don’t hear a lot of folks talk about actually, is when you’re not failing, and still you have the balls to pivot in that type of an instance. There’s real revenue on the table, even going back to what you were mentioning around employees. When you’re hiring early on, it’s so easy just to try to get someone in that seat, and hey, I need code written, so let’s go find someone that has that skillset, put them in there and we’re able to sell the product, we’re getting revenue, but … this is really a super conscious decision by you guys at this point to move away from something that by a lot of definitions is successful, and move into a different arena because of the values of the organization. I think it’s something that we can talk about here, but unless someone’s been in that situation and you’d let $7 million go or whatever amount of money, it’s difficult to convey that pain, I think. What were you guys going through at that point in time?
Kyle: What made it easy is I’d already been through the reboot where I’d decided that even though I knew it before, I really know it now, we’re going to run this business based on our charter, and that means we’ve got a vision and mission here. We’ve got an outcome. We’ve got these desires right and this product is not matching up with those things. So it was clear and easy to say, “Hey, we’re here to do a job, and this isn’t doing it.” It’s paying the bills, and it’s growing fast, but it also had some longer-term challenges. I don’t think it could have gotten near as big as what we’re doing now, and so it was an easy decision to make. I think some of the sales reps did not like it, because they were selling the old product and making a ton of money. It did do a candlelight vigil and sing Dust in the Wind, and we still have that over in the corner of the office, but the go forward was just so exciting and it so meshed up and aligned with our charter for our business that it made sense. And the investors on our side that were 100% supportive. That was a big, big part of it too.
Justin: Right. So one of your charters as you mentioned, was really never to let sales and marketing outpace the product itself. Obviously, as you’re talking here, the product has to be almost a reflection of the values and the direction of the organization and so on, and that notion is somewhat contrarian to what a lot of founders, and you read these hustle porn-type books and so on to where, hey, you’ve got to fake it until you make it, and whatever you need to do to close the deal, and so on. Was that ever … did you ever have any doubts about that approach, or is that just really as you said, ingrained in everything that SalesLoft is supposed to be?
Kyle: That first year of the business where I mentioned my marketer left, and we had to let go of our engineers, that’s what it did. I didn’t do it right. I let marketing, sales, and the message be out here when the product was back here, and so we felt the blunt of that problem and I took it on myself as my weakness and a scenario that I needed to improve. So I wish I could say that I was insightful and knew about it before it happened, but it really just punched me in the face and I had to figure it out on my own.
Justin: What year was this?
Kyle: That was 2012.
How do you create those catalytic moments within your organization?
Justin: There’s a lot of SalesLoft in between 2012 and today, 2019 right, so I think one of the other areas that I want to explore is how you create those catalytic moments for other people within the organization? To make changes like that and decisions like that in terms of yeah, we’re going to let this revenue line go, we’re going to let go of these folks, or this particular effort isn’t adding up for us. You really have to get people indoctrinated into your mission. They have to feel that same inspiration that originally you felt at the start of the business, and obviously continue to feel to keep it going. How do you convey that and how do you create those catalytic moments for other folks within the organization?
Kyle: You know Justin, I just had a large, it was a skip-level meeting with a gentleman that runs one of our teams, and I’ve gotten to know him really well. We have a strong personal relationship. He knows that I believe in him and love him and support him, and I asked him a question, and he’s like, “Nobody’s ever asked me that question.” I said, “Hey, how have you excelled in your self-awareness to understand the things that happened to you in your childhood that make you who you are today, including some of the insecurities?” And he was like, “I’m working on it,” and we had a great conversation about it, and I was like, “You know I’m not asking that question because I sense that you had any insecurities from your childhood, I’m asking you that question because I notice that everybody does.” And when you’re aware, and this is just a random example.
When you’re aware of those things, when you’re completely aware of those things and comfortable with those things, and willing to bring them out into the light and even share them with others, then it makes it so easy for others on the team to drop their guards, jump in the foxhole with you, battle through problems and challenges. What we want to do here is we want to be vulnerable and authentic and real with each other, admitting our mistakes, our weaknesses, our challenges, so that we can dive into these nasty, hard, difficult problems with two A personalities, one saying go left and one saying go right and let them battle it out. Because if they’re not worried about politics and silos or what you’re thinking behind my back, and they can just go for it, and come to decisions more frequently and more readily, and when you make decision after decision after decision, then you can have a culture that holds each other accountable to those decisions. We feel that that’s the solution. This is a Patrick Lencioni.
I ripped the shred out of one of his books, but that leads to an environment where you get the most results. And you’re able to focus on results. So we use a lot of that in the office, and that was a weird example of it, but I wanted to use that as just like a non-traditional approach that you might find us talking about here.
Justin: So you’ve got 400 plus employees right now.
Kyle: Less than 400. Just shy of … I’m sorry, it’s 430. So lot of people. Important people.
How do you put forth the effort to engage with your growing employee base?
Justin: So how do you maintain those personal opportunities for connection? I’ve got 50 people and I find it difficult. How do you make time for that, and how do you ensure that you’re getting that alignment to your folks?
Kyle: We have a program we launched here called LEAD. It’s leadership and exploration and development. And this is something that Rob and I, my co-founder, we originally created this program for learning and continuous training. But we’ve since brought on a third party who facilitates it here. And what’s cool is we have new manager training, leadership trainings, international team trainings, remote worker trainings. We have all this programming and leadership curriculum, and it brings all these groups together in these intimate environments where they can have these types of communications and connect with each other. To me, that’s a really good example of it. I love to get outside the office. Last night I had dinner with our new UK team. So we have a dozen new members of SalesLoft’s London office.
They flew to Atlanta on Monday, and they’re here all week, and I took them to dinner and we had real talk about who they are, where they come from, my background experience, what I see for the vision, what they want to achieve in their careers, and it was really awesome, but I think we’ve reached a point where its really tough to get back with everyone. So I think one of the problems I’ve had, and just sharing personally, is when I see someone at the office and I don’t know their name. And I feel guilty for not knowing their name, and so then sometimes I’ll just shy away from interacting with them versus having to go into that situation where it might be found out that I don’t know their name. So I am trying really hard right now to just go up and say, “Hey, you know I’m sorry I forgot your name, but I just wanted to come by and say hi. I see you all the time and I just want to remember you for next time.” So that’s one of the things I’m working on right now.
It’s a little difficult, but we did get this cheat app. It’s called Pingboard, it’s really cool. It’s like the whole company, I can just open up my mobile phone and be like, okay, who’s in London? Boom, there’s all the people in London. Who’s on the sales team? Boom, here’s all the people on the sales team. What’s that guy Tom’s last name? Okay, here it is. So I’ve been playing with it a lot, and it’s got some fun matching games and things where you can do multiple choice, who’s this person, who is that person? But we’re working hard to keep that vibe alive. We’ve got a couple things we do. Lunch with the Lofter is an internal program that we run where you get randomly assigned to someone, Coffee with a Loftee, so we have some fun things that we do keep people connected.
Justin: Very cool. Even that interaction brings up an interesting dynamic I think, with executives, founders certainly, to where … it’s easy not to go up to that individual. You’re going to head into the office …
Kyle: Just nod and say, “Hey, what’s up?” And keep walking.
Justin: It’s difficult to always be on. I say that a lot, like I have to be on all the time. What do you use to inspire that second thought to where it’s like, this is going to be potentially inspirational for that individual or it’s going to challenge me to go in a space to where I’m uncomfortable and I know that always yields good things. Are there little hacks and tricks that you’ve developed to ensure that you’re challenging yourself along the way?
Kyle: Yeah, it’s like … remember that movie, Ghost with Whoopi Goldberg? She could take over his body and you saw the ghost going into the body? I imagine this scenario where I see people, and I try to just take myself out of me and into them, and be like, I’m looking at the CEO. Talk to me, or whatever it is. I want to see it through their eyes, and I wish I could say that I’m a master of this. That would be the ultimate. But I think that visualization if I just get in their mind, just get in their hearts, get in their body, and feel like you’re them, and what would you want to happen in this scenario?
What are the attributes you look for in individuals on your team?
Justin: That empathy is so key. I think one of the other areas that’s critical when you are trying to inspire, you’re trying to create this culture that changes people’s lives quite frankly, is you do have to be selective, or you have to have some sort of gate there in terms of what you look for in employees, right? Have you found certain traits that you know are just going to excel within the SalesLoft environment?
Kyle: Yeah, absolutely. We call them our core values. So the first one, in no particular order, is the ability to obsess over the customer. Someone who has this deep desire to serve, and knows when they’re serving that that’s the thing that’s most important, the person that they’re serving, and so the continuous focus on the customer, paying attention to their problems, their challenges, how they’re being solved, empathy for their needs. That’s number one for us. Number two for me is, I call it glass half full. We call it glass half full here. And the whole idea is it’s not like everythings… it’s not a BS thing like everything’s wine and roses and the sun always shines, there’s never any problems, or sweep them under the rug. It’s like this realistic understanding of everything that’s happening, but an intentional decision to select the positive path forward. And that’s what I mean by glass half full, and so people who can see things, and then pick the positive path. I love that.
Another one is team over self. I think about Michael Jordan trying to win the scoring championship before he really started to be a team player. And how they achieved with the six rings after that. So I love that attitude. Another one is buys to action, and that’s someone who just gets in and goes. I think especially as we grow, there’s more process, there’s more routine, there’s more red tape or even bureaucracy than ever before, and people that just break through from time to time, and get up and do something without being told, or without being asked, or have that kind of wherewithal to say, “Here’s what I’m going to do.” If I’ve got to figure out to fix it or clean it up on the backside, I will. Then the last one, I went through it with that mention of Patrick Lencioni is this. People who focus on results.
So we’ve taken all those values, and we’ve written a bank of 50 questions. And matched them up to the values, and then these are trained across our entire core values interview staff, so we have a staff of, I believe it’s 16 or 18 today, and it’s all coed, all from different departments, and they train on these questions and the answers, and every single interviewee goes through this part of the interview.
What is up next for SalesLoft?
Justin: Awesome. That’s a very methodical approach to something that I think a lot of organizations struggle with. I love that approach, and I love the bias to action. I love that phrasing. So Kyle, as we wind down here, lot of different moments, lot of different inflection points, both within your personal journey and within SalesLoft’s journey, what’s next for you guys?
Kyle: Every day I wake up and I want to serve my customers. I want to serve companies who have customer-facing reps, whether they’re sales development reps, account managers, account executives, field reps, customer success managers, AMs. Every day they’ve got this mission to connect with their buyers, whether it’s already customers or prospects out in the field, and they’re running these programs. They have these cadences of communications, whether it’s phone or email or social. And they want to connect, and they want to achieve that objective. And what sales engagement has done, in a world where CRM has been relegated to being the database of the enterprise, we sit on top of the popular CRMs. We give these companies one place to execute on all their campaigns, and it’s just a brand new way of selling. And so we’re so excited that the business has grown to where it is, over 100% growth each of the last three years. We’re serving bigger and bigger companies every day. So it’s starting to become this need to have inside the enterprise.
You see Forester, with their total economic impact study that they ran on us independent and came back and said, “Buying sales engagement from SalesLoft is a 370% ROI,” and we see things like G2 Crowd now, and happy to be in top right hand as number one in the G2 Crowd quadrant for the last four quarters. We’re just going to build a giant company that transforms the profession of selling and revenue, and leave our mark on the space and serve customers out there so that they can connect with their buyers in authentic, relevant ways, and do it at scale.
Justin: In a really intentional framework, in a really intentional company. Again, congratulations. It’s an awesome story and awesome growth as you mentioned as well. If people want to check out SalesLoft and certainly connect with you, where can they go?
Kyle: Salesloft.com, and of course, yeah, I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, so hit me up there, or just email me at email@example.com. I pretty much get to every email.
Justin: That’s awesome. All right man, well I really appreciate you sitting down with us to. It’s super insightful and thanks for your time.
Kyle: Likewise, thank you.
Justin: And I appreciate your time.
Kyle: My pleasure.
Justin: And again guys, thanks for joining us on the show today. For everyone listening, don’t forget to subscribe. Of course, you can see a video of today’s interview at leew.com/bestpractices. Until next time, never miss a chance to be inspired.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.