BTM Event Video: Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter – What are core values and why are they important?

Building the Sales Machine (BTM) Event Series: we post clips of the best questions that where answered during our live events, so you can take the best ideas back to your teams and companies for further discussion.

BTM: What are core values and why are they important to you?

Kyle Porter:

Think about what you value, think about what’s important to you.  What you want to teach your kids, what you want to be remembered by when you leave a company, or frankly when you pass from this earth.  Think about what’s core and deep to you, and if your’e a manager or CEO, work hard to inject that into the place where you work.

That’s where I was.  In year one of sales loft, and someone else was behaving in a way that I just don’t agree with.  And that was because I never stated my personal core values, or the core values of the business.  I never stated that I was choosing to hire someone based on those.

In version 2 of sales loft, we (me), I’m going core values, HARD CORE.  For me, the 3 things that mattered most where, positive , self starting, supportive.  I took these 3 words, and I permanently inked them into the fabric of the company. First person I went to hire, I knew I was trying to find out if they where positive, self starting, and supportive.  That’s the only thing I’m focusing on, but obviously they had to be able to do the job.

If you’re out there and you’re not running the whole company, you can do this at the team level. You can apply this when you’re hiring people for your team and you can get the others on board.  We went from 3 core values, to 2 years later adding another value.  My team came to me because they’d observed team members who met the 3 core values yet left something to be desired. The team also observed people doing things that weren’t posivie / suppotive / self staring and they really loved it.

So everyone sat down for dinner, and I asked them to write down a list of the top 7 people in the organization.  The ones that if we were able to clone them, it would lead to total market domination for Salesloft.  After everyone wrote out those names, I asked them to write out the top 10 traits of those 7 people.  Then I asked them to narrow it down to 5, and we put them in the middle of the table.

Sure enough, we found that positive / self starting / supportive, those where the top ones.  But there where other traits in there.  From that list, we mined out 3 additional core values; empathetic, transparent, exceptional.

Empathetic is the ability to understand what people are going through.  Whether it’s someone on your team or a client.  Transparent is about letting people see who you really are.  Exceptional, well that’s what it sounds like.  It’s about kicking ass and always improving.  Just being cream of the crop.

We added these values and now have 6.