Kyle Porter, the founder and CEO of Salesloft, started the company over ten years ago. The goal was to have sellers "loved by the customers" they serve.
An initial observation was that it was difficult to deliver a personalized customer engagement experience at scale, thus the catalyst for Saleloft and the Sales Engagement category.
The future of Sales Engagement? All professionals who are responsible for driving revenue will be able to log into a single system, have a pre-defined queue of activities that is populated and prioritized automatically by the platform, automation to assist in executing those activities and measure the success of those activities...all while using the activity success to learn over time.
The ultimate result, eliminate the subjective approach to prioritizing activities while increasing operational efficiency by automating a majority of those activities.
Why has Sales Engagement traditionally been a tool for Sales Development, and will its use be expanded to other Go-To-Market roles? Originally it was easier to "codify" the SDR role because is was such a new role. Going forward, using machine learning and AI, Sales Engagement utilization will quickly evolve in the Account Management and Customer Success functions.
One of the most significant challenges that Sales Engagement Platforms have addressed is the amount of time an outbound sales resource actually invests in outbound prospecting. Recent research says that Sales Development Representatives are currently only spending 49% of their time on outbound prospecting. Increased utilization + enhanced functionality in Sales Engagement Platforms will reduce the time invested in manual, internally facing tasks.
Can a Sales Engagement Platform impact the middle of an opportunity funnel? Kyle's vision highlighted a "post-loss" cadence as one example of how a Sales Engagement Platform is used at the bottom of the funnel to inform future opportunity management. Another example was a post won communication cadence from the CEO to new clients.
Customer Success is a critical, high-value function in the B2B SaaS industry - how can a Customer Success Manager use a Sales Engagement Platform? One example was using product analytics, such as an account engagement or usage, and using specific signals to launch an email to assist users in an automated sequence.
How to measure the return on investment on Sales Development? Kyle's perspective is that moving the goal beyond scheduling a single meeting as the primary objective, such as scheduling 10 meetings in a large strategic account to gather information that can be used by the strategic account AE to schedule a meeting with an executive based upon the discovery information the SDR gathered across multiple meetings.
One of the key benefits of a Sales Engagement Platform goes beyond a single user but to a team-based outreach program across two or more resources, such as the SDR + AE.
We closed the conversation with Kyle on the key challenges and obstacles that Salesloft faced in becoming a leader in the Sales Engagement Platform category. The one that Kyle focused on was the need to develop his leadership skills.
"Learn faster than the rate of my own experience" was a phrase Kyle used to become a continuous learner and not be limited by negative labels - such as "he's a $1M - $10M ARR CEO". Kyle uses 360-degree reviews as one strategy to learn from his company where he needs to grow. Other tactics Kyle uses to fuel his continuous learning are forums with other CEOs, having a CEO coach, and reading.
If you are using a Sales Engagement platform or want to learn from someone who has scaled to $100M ARR+, Kyle Porter is a great follow and listen!