Last week I gave a “shout-out” to SalesLoft, a recent TAG Top 10 winner that benefited from the ecosystem surrounding Pardot, which is in turn a fast-growing Atlanta technology company. The ecosystem has provided SalesLoft with a “safety net” that helps mitigate the risks associated with a startup venture.
The businesses of the two companies are complementary but distinct. To summarize: Pardot analyzes prospect activity on your properties. SalesLoft finds intelligence about your prospects on the open web.
The founder of the ecosystem is David Cummings, an experienced and highly-regarded Atlanta entrepreneur. In describing his vision, David said: “Only recently, businesses have embraced marketing automation solutions to address prospects interested in your product or service. The next frontier will focus on sales intelligence solutions addressing which prospects you and your sales reps should be interested in.”
Since my last posting, I have had the opportunity to catch up with Kyle Porter and Jon Birdsong of SalesLoft, to discuss what they are up to and how the ecosystem offered by Pardot has benefited SalesLoft.
The TAG Top 10 competition focuses on how innovative a company is, so naturally, I asked Kyle how SalesLoft is innovative. He responded: “We are aggregating, analyzing, and distributing data so sales reps can close more deals. We’re doing this better than any other company in the market.” SalesLoft’s sales intelligence tools target each significant step in the sales process and complement existing CRM and/or marketing automation solutions. Their tools include: prospect rankings, job change alerts, technology scrapers, company spend prediction, keyword operators and company news tracking.
Kyle went on to say: “Imagine a world where you know all the relevant information on your prospects and their companies. Information such as: internal and external news, technology they’ve recently purchased, whether it’s a good time for them to buy, and much more…. We’re at the tip of the iceberg. All of this information better matches the prospect’s buying cycle with your sales cycle. Any company that sells can benefit from SalesLoft.”
SalesLoft is one of six companies comprising an “ecosystem” housed in the Buckhead penthouse of Pardot. Pardot is the biggest, with more than 50 employees. Pardot is a B2B marketing automation software provider that increases revenue and maximizes efficiency for companies with multi-touch sales cycles. Pardot is committed to helping small and medium sized business customers optimize their marketing programs while maximizing their lead generation and nurturing efforts.
We asked Kyle to describe the benefits of being part of the ecosystem. Kyle said: “It’s the best of both worlds. SalesLoft is a small, four-person company, but we offer our employees the benefits and perks of working in a larger company, such as free breakfast every morning, 401k match, and unlimited snacks/drinks.”
Jon Birdsong said: “One of the greatest benefits from a company standpoint is knowledge share. If one of our developers has a question or if I have a marketing/sales question, there are over 70 people around the office that you can walk over to and ask. The efficiency of knowledge transfer is very powerful.
“We also learn and experience “best practices” in marketing and sales tactics, as well as access to homegrown users and customers for each other’s products. Being part of a ‘David Cumming’s Enterprise’ really is an ‘unfair advantage’ for startups.”
So how did SalesLoft come about? Kyle and David came up with idea for the company together. Each of them individually owns equity in SalesLoft. Although Pardot owns no equity in SalesLoft, its ecosystem’s contributions to the success of SalesLoft are hard to ignore.