I recently had the great pleasure of speaking at Bold at Brunch, an event hosted by SalesLoft during the Salesforce annual conference, Dreamforce 2015.
In 2011, Kyle Porter and David Cummings founded SalesLoft, an Atlanta-based software company whose products automate list building and sync the information with the client’s CRM [customer relationship management]. Soon after its inception, technology architect Rob Forman joined Porter as SalesLoft’s Co-Founder and COO. Together they have grown the company exponentially, and taken the product to new heights.
The company’s values include promoting positivity, supporting one another, and encouraging employees to be self-starters. In 2012, the company was named one of the Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. SalesLoft was also named Best Place to Work in Atlanta for a mid-sized company by the Atlanta Business Chronicle — and for good reason. Here are a few lessons we can take away from their ingenuity.
Fill a need
SalesLoft has been successful largely because its product filled a gap in the market. By creating a product that makes the most of social networks and other tools, the company’s founders made it possible for sales development representatives to partially “semi-automate” aspects of their work, thereby enabling them to work more efficiently without losing personalization. Innovation is not always about creating something bright and flashy — often, it is simply about identifying a need and finding a more effective way to meet it.
Starting a business is always risky — particularly when you’re offering something that’s different from what’s currently on the market. The company’s founders clearly had the skills and knowledge to find secure positions at established technology companies. But they decided to take a chance on something different – and it paid off. There are certainly times when it is appropriate to be cautious — but the safest path is not always the most rewarding one. Knowing when to take a leap is a crucial aspect of success.
Rock the boat
SalesLoft started its journey in the Atlanta Tech Village, an office building that’s home to new startup companies developing disruptive technologies. The philosophy is that, in order to be truly innovative, one must not be afraid to do things differently. Those who bring about real advances are the ones who aren’t afraid to challenge conventions and propose new, more effective products, ideas, and processes.