Episode 42: Kyle Morris

Bootstrapping your own company sure has the ups and the downs, but one thing to note is that it takes more effort you need to put into work to make it successful. In this episode, David interviews Kyle Morris, the founder and CEO ofSifData, a software that integrates LinkedIn and Salesforce to help business development in businesses. Kyle shares his experience from being an employee to founding his own business through solving a pain point he struggled with when he was leading his SDR team.

3 Key Points:                                       
1.The problem you solve today can be the gateway to new possibilities.
2.It’s important to take on different roles and to understand what issues these roles face to better understand the business and to come up with a possible solution.
3.Talk to people in the language they speak and in the KPIs that matter to them.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:00 – Talk to the experts at Inside Sales Team for all your sales development needs
  • 01:06 – David introduces Kyle to the show
  • 02:31 – Kyle grew up in a little town in Oregon where he set out for the military and into the rangers
    • 02:48 – He spent 4 years in ranger school and finished in 2007
    • 03:00 – He went to University of Oregon to study entrepreneurship
  • 03:15 – Kyle took a job at Cintas, a Fortune 500 company, as a management trainee and left in 2 weeks
  • 03:32 – His 2nd job was with Gigya, a customer identity and access management platform
    • 04:22 – His job was to set meetings for AEs (Account Executives)
    • 05:00 – His wife, who works in tech, taught him how to get people’s emails, information, and some tools that Kyle brought into his team
    • 05:20 – In 6-7 months, he took over to manage the team they had
    • 05:37 – When Gigya received funding, his team grew from 7 to 75
    • 05:51 – He worked for Gigya for a few years until he took a leave to figure out what he really wanted to do
    • 06:00 – He took the leap to finally start SifData
  • 06:43 – Kyle started SifData because the research portion of being an SDR (Sales Development Representative) just “sucks”
    • 06:57 – He wanted to automate things for SDRs as this took most of their time
    • 07:07 – One frustration Kyle had as manager was his SDRs spending days for manual research
    • 07:40 – One key is to look at the problem perspective and figure how many people have that problem
    • 08:24 – Struggling yourself and hearing people complain about the same problem becomes the idea to start a business
  • 09:58 – In middle management, it’s easy to focus on your own problems and not realize how many other issues your team is experiencing
  • 10:10 – Kyle believes that Fight Club Mastermind gave him a fantastic experience where he and other entrepreneurs were able to group think about similar problems they face
    • 10:46 – Networking is one of the best ways to talk to other peers
  • 12:42 – Inside Sales Team Commercial
    • 13:04 – Networking and masterminds help people make friends as well
    • 15:10 – There’s a small group of entrepreneurs in Bend, Oregon that Kyle meets every month
  • 16:17 – Being the SDR manager also has an egotistical side that may resist changes for the team
    • 17:12 – Kyle shares a challenge they had in Gigya when they opened a Phoenix office
    • 17:49 – Managers face the trap of wanting to more responsibility that’s already out of their hands
    • 18:22 – “Different people have different ways of processing information and strategic changes”
    • 19:28 – Misaligned expectations bring frustration
    • 20:32 – People tend to assume the other person understands the expectations
    • 21:11 –  Over communicate your expectations
  • 21:53 – Kyle doesn’t see himself as a particularly disciplined person
    • 22:27 – Working hard and putting in the effort every day so it works out in the end is one thing that Kyle strongly believes in
    • 22:55 – Internal pressure to work hard is Kyle’s boss
    • 23:17 – As a founder, having no boss gives you the freedom to be flexible
    • 24:14 – Give yourself time to take a break
    • 25:29 – Being a founder is scary but liberating at the same time
    • 25:34 – “There’s no excuses to blame anyone else…it’s either you did it or didn’t”
    • 26:11 – Sometimes it’s desperation when entrepreneurs do the extra grind, especially when first starting out a business
    • 27:03 – Do what’s right for you
  • 27:34 – David mentions LinkedIn is integrating with Cadence products
  • 28:13 – Kyle’s reps spend 50% of their time on research before
    • 28:32 – Reaching out to former customers was a shortcut Kyle did as an SDR manager
    • 29:07 – He found out that the #1 reason for churn was their champions were leaving
    • 29:33 – SifData could be a way to integrate LinkedIn and Salesforce
  • 30:22 – The problem stemmed from Kyle being an SDR looking for shortcuts
    • 31:23 – It’s important for people to be in a role and understand what the problems are there
    • 31:58 – Productivity is a huge driver for companies to acknowledge you
    • 32:49 – Learn the other skill that’s needed in your work and it will open more possibilities for you
  • 33:47 – Kyle shares a problem he was facing just last week
  • 34:45 – A lot of times, SDRs trainings revolve only on the product that they’re selling
    • 35:24 – It’s important for SDRs to know the different personas they’ll be talking to and what their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are
    • 36:09 – Speak to people in the language they use and in their KPIs
    • 36:36 – “Understand what people care about”
    • 37:49 – Talk to the right person with the right message
    • 39:00 – It can be frustrating when a person declines an offer when you have the right solution that they need
    • 40:12 – As an SDR, believe that you can really help the person you’re calling
    • 41:09 – “Push people a little bit more than you should”
  • 42:17 – There will definitely be downs at times
  • 43:38 – Connect with Kyle thru his email or just go to SifData
  • 44:11– Subscribe to our show on YouTube and review us on iTunes
  • 44:19 – Contact us to discuss your sales development needs

Resources Mentioned:

  • SifData – Business that Kyle founded
  • Cintas – Company where Kyle first worked in
  • Gigya – Company where Kyle worked in until he founded his own business

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