SalesLoft CEO, Kyle Porter on Sales, Atlanta, and Startups

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The sales automation space has really been heating up in the past few years. With companies like Insightsquared, Yesware, Datanyze, RelateIQ, and now SalesLoft crushing it, my toes are tingling with excitement to see how the sales software space will continue flourish.

I recently connected with SalesLoft CEO, Kyle Porter and am thrilled to see how excited he is about the topic of sales, Atlanta, and his cool new startup. Kyle met his co-founder David Cummings at the Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center. Together they launched the company in 2011 and quickly won a bunch of awards, including being a top 10 most innovative company in the state of Georgia. SalesLoft also participated in the TechStars accelerator. Recently they have executed back to back cash flow positive months.

Entrepreneurial Blood

When Kyle was about 6 years old, he would buy Gi Joes and Heman toys from the flea market, package them up and sell them to kids in his neighborhood. That’s really when his entrepreneurial tendencies began. His childhood enterprise ended up evolving into selling baseball cards, beanie babies, zippo lighters, Chinese throwing stars, magazines, and 1996 ATL Olympic pins all before he turned 16. As an adult, Kyle has been involved in multiple ventures. He’s done everything from being a partner at a recruiting company to a owning video game machines in 45 sports bars, to running sales for the manufacturer of the world’s lightest, most flexible LED displays.

Atlanta Startup Scene

Like Kyle, I actually lived in Atlanta or “ATL” and worked for a small medical software startup called Nuesoft now called NueMD. Atlanta is a great town with amazing fortune 500 companies and a booming startup ecosystem. The best companies have adapted to the capital situation and are more focused on cash flow, boot-strapping and B2B. The engineering talent is very strong with one of the top engineering schools in the world (Georgia Tech). The cost of living is ridiculously low, the people are awesome, and you can get anywhere via the largest airport in the world. It’s startup community has a good balance between engineering, but says that there are probably more business side founders.

Kyle’s been to every major US city and many around the world and he plans to live a large percentage of the rest of his life in ATL. Oh and by the way, he had a huge shout to Atlanta Tech Village and emphasized how BADASS it is.

Salesfoft and Sales

I asked Kyle what the motivation was behind launching SalesLoft and what is the longer term vision for the product. He suggested that he knew the internet had tons of value for sales but it was hidden. He and his team wanted to unlock that value. The long-term vision is to be the application of record for the sales development function.

Kyle believes that sales is about helping someone make a decision that is in their best interest. It’s “the transference of positive belief“. And one of the most important pieces of the sales process is the lead or prospect. SalesLoft offers the simplest way to build accurate and targeted lists of leads on the internet. Companies buy SalesLoft to empower their sales and marketing outreach campaigns and load more qualified opportunities into the sales funnel.

When I asked him about how he thought the profession of selling would evolve moving forward his answer was awesome; I quote “think about Tony Stark. As a human, he is a genius. He’s the world’s top mind in engineering disciplines, a billionaire businessman, charming playboy, etc. He’s almost the perfect human. But that’s not enough. He wants to do more. He wants to rid the world of evil. And fly. So he partners with machine. Sales professionals can be near perfect humans. They can ask the right questions, present well, negotiate, solve problems, etc. But if they want to be the best, they too must partner with machine (could be Chrome, could be mobile).”

With inside sales not going anywhere and outside sales further adapting mobile technologies, computing with continue to be a sales person’s machine for a very long. Kyle says that he see inside and outside as working symbiotically to have a powerful sales approach.

Almost everyone reading this can get value from what Kyle and his team have built. If you sign up for SalesLoft and mention this article, he’ll provide you with extra credits for a free account. And after he offered this deal, I quote: “I’m in sales…he had to do it :]” — referring to him plugging his company and providing the extra credits. I love this guy!


or check out SalesLoft Screenshots:

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