CMO Talks: Kyle Porter of SalesLoft on Marketing with Empathy and More

Hear our talk with Kyle Porter, the CEO and Co-Founder of SalesLoft. SalesLoft is the world’s #1 prospecting and appointment setting software.

In 2015, SalesLoft was recognized for their organizational health receiving Atlanta’s #1 best place to work in a survey by Atlanta Business Chronicle. SalesLoft grew from 4 employees at the beginning of 2014 to over 85 in 2015.

Kyle has led SalesLoft to serve over 1200 clients and 30,000 business professionals while boosting revenue over 2000% in 2014. He is an avid writer and speaker on the topics of sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship and holds the top spot for the most popular blog post on

More about CMO Talks as well as the full transcript are below.

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Organizational Culture and Empathy in Marketing

* Brian: I’d like to welcome Kyle Porter this morning. Kyle is the CEO and co-founder of SalesLoft, the world’s number one prospecting and appointment setting software. In 2015 SalesLoft was recognized for their organizational health, receiving Atlanta’s number one best place to work in a survey by Atlanta Business Chronicle. Sales Loft grew from 4 employees at the beginning of 2014 to over 85 today. Kyle has led SalesLoft to serve over 1200 clients and 30,000 business professionals while boosting revenue over 2000% in 2014 alone. Welcome Kyle.

* Kyle Porter: Thanks, glad to be here Brian.

* Brian: I know you’re a writer and a speaker but I heard that you hold the top spot for most popular blog post on Can you tell us a little bit about that?

* Kyle Porter: I can. In 2013 Salesforce invited me to write on their blog. Our audience is their audience. Our customers are their customers. There’s a lot of mutual partnership there. I really dug deep down inside some of the lessons and things I wanted to teach the audience, and wrote a few blog posts. I realized that they were very, they were focusing a lot of attention on the ones that got the most shares. I looked at Upworthy and Huffington Post and I decided I was going to do a science experiment and create a post solely for the purpose of it getting shared. I went and I watched 5 Tony Robbins videos in a row on YouTube, and I mined out a title that was exactly, perfectly sharable. I don’t remember the exact, 7 tips that Tony Robbins wants to teach you about sales. Something like that.

On my white board at my house I wrote out 15 different titles, scratched through them, chose it, went in deep and wrote a post that I’m happy and proud of. It’s not my favorite post, but the minute after I hit publish I sent it to Tony Robbins, and Tony Robbins has like 200,000 fans on Facebook and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections, and he shared it on all 3 networks and it just exploded. I have to give Tony Robbins all the credit for my post, but it’s still the most shared post in Salesforce blog history.

* Brian: That’s fantastic. You were also part of TechStars Boulder.

* Kyle Porter: That’s right.

* Brian: In the last year things have started to really scale for you, what has made the biggest difference to help you achieve that scale?

* Kyle Porter: There’s a lot of things that go into a company’s growth. For us, some of it was locked, a lot of it was getting the right people on board. We have an amazing leadership staff, an amazing team of individual contributors, product market fit, obviously very important.

I would say the number one thing which is what you asked. The number one thing that’s contributed to our growth is our relentless focus on organizational health. We focus on the culture of the business, our core values, and making sure that we’re a well oiled machine where people can come to work with a smile on their face, with our intention for this to be the greatest job they’ve ever had.

* Brian: Awesome, that’s great. Some organizations have sales and marketing as frenemies. They don’t always work seamlessly together. Do you have any tips or things you’ve learned about bringing sales and marketing together so they work better together?

* Kyle Porter: Great question. At Sales Loft, 50% of our revenue is generating from leads that come inbound through marketing channels. The other 50% of our revenue is generated from a sales team that goes outbound with outreach to potential prospects.

When the leads come inbound through marketing we have a team called the inbound sales development team. This is the team that will look at all the leads that came in, qualify them, connect them, connect with them, and convert them over to opportunities. That team actually reports to my VP of demand, Jen, whose in our marketing organization.

We’ve actually got the inbound sales development role reporting to marketing. Because marketing owns inbound sales development they collaborate with sales development and outbound sales development run by the sales organization on a routine basis. We do trainings together, we do lunch and learns together, we do corporate wide meetings together, and a lot of things to get these two groups together. They use similar training manuals. We do that in order to connect the two groups together.

* Brian: Fantastic. Do you have any advice for the market who might struggle with connecting with their sales counterpart or vice versa? Do you have any quick tips or things you’d like to share? Maybe even ways that SalesLoft is helping bridge that gap?

* Kyle Porter: I think the one word here is empathy. If you’re in the marketing organization, think about the sales organization from their perspective. What are their challenges? What are their pains? What are their fears?

A lot of times markers see sales and think it’s flashy, they’re talking a lot, and they associate all of these perceptions with that. Sales may see marketing and think, they’re just giving an iPod away, or something like that.

* Brian: Right.

* Kyle Porter: I think it’s super important for them to really put themselves in each others shoes and feel their pains, feel their needs, and understand what they’re looking to do.

That’s really the purpose of the talk today for me is this empathy of understanding the people that you’re working with. That’s the number one most important thing, hands down. The next most important thing is that there’s collaborative communication.

Our sales organization is constantly communicating with marketing what types of content they would like to see. We even have an app, it’s a Chrome extension that the sales team uses that marketing created so they can deliver and sort through content while doing a demo or while communicating with prospects. There’s this real deep seated connection between the two groups where they’re working together and they’re understanding each other. That’s really the core of having great relationships.

* Brian: Sounds great. I appreciate your time today, thank you.

* Kyle Porter: Of course, thanks for having me.

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