Kris Rudeegraap is the co-founder and CEO of Sendoso, the world’s first Sending Platform (SP). Kris has more than a decade of sales experience and has spent time at Talkdesk, Yapstone, and Piqora. During that time, he discovered that creating meaningful engagements through direct mail and gifting was an effective way to drive demand and increase sales—which helped inspire the idea for Sendoso. Kris is a California native and CSU-Chico alum currently residing in San Francisco.
Kris, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Sendoso?
Sendoso is the world’s first Sending Platform. Our fully integrated solution solves sourcing, physical warehouse storage, inventory tracking, and ROI attribution problems so that businesses can send anything and personalize at scale.
Consumers are experiencing this sense of digital overwhelm right now. And it’s all happening in the digital world, which is very abstract. But we live in the physical world. Research shows that people value something they can touch 24% more highly than something they can only see.
Marketing and sales teams spend so much time on email, on digital. But direct mail is easier to understand, it’s far more persuasive, it has better response rates than digital channels. People don’t enjoy checking their email. But data from the post office shows that more than 80% of them enjoy receiving packages in the mail.
And we’re seeing not just marketing and sales teams – but customer success, HR, and others finding ways to rise above the noise by connecting with their audiences in this very tangible way
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
We have a deep understanding of the pain point that our customers experience and because we felt it ourselves. That’s how the idea for Sendoso was born—we built a product that would help us rise above digital noise and connect with our own prospects and customers in a very real way. We realized that the product could help other companies do this at scale, as well.
We hit the market at the right time after the rise of account-based marketing, where companies are making strategic investments in more effective forms of communication to their most important potential customers. And pretty much everyone can relate to this feeling of digital overload.
We also know that we’re solving a real problem: Sending physical items is difficult to scale. It’s hard to source quality items, hard to ship and manage storage, hard to personalize the outreach for every recipient without spending hours. So we source, store, ship, and measure ROI for anything business wants to send.
Finally, we strive to hire rockstar employees and make them a core part of every decision at our company. This drives engagement and ownership.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Surround yourself with advisors. I have a dozen or so advisors/mentors that I constantly stay in touch with. Celebrate the small wins in the beginning to build a snowball of momentum. Momentum is key in the early years.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Focus on the bright side of things—remember why you’re doing this and how amazing it will be when you achieve it. Get coffee with other entrepreneurs to give you inspiration. (I’m always open to grabbing coffee with others!) And talk to customers: When they tell you they love your platform it makes all the challenges seem worth it.
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Sendoso, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
This is our number one priority. We give each customer a dedicated success manager and project manager. We have a customer marketing manager just dedicated to driving client satisfaction, success, and delight. We host quarterly breakfasts for customers and celebrate their personal milestones (like birthdays and other life events). I try to personally meet with at least one customer a week. Our client satisfaction is voiced in the hundreds of Sendoso reviews on G2.
6. In today’s fast-changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I use an app called Feedly which aggregates about 150 different blogs across various topics which I can scan through daily.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Sendoso?
I’m passionate and focused on building a company with an amazing company culture where people enjoy working and customers benefit and enjoy the product. Employees and customers are everything!
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
“Blink.” I really enjoy all books by Malcolm Gladwell.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Sendoso?
Whenever it comes to making a decision, I empower my team by sharing ideas that I have and then inviting them to share any ideas they have. Then I ask them to make final decisions and take remove roadblocks (everything from approving a budget to hiring another team member that will assist with the workload) so that they can take actions.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
To me, being a leader doesn’t mean giving out orders. It means being a team player and helping each of my employees reach their full potential and be the best they can be.
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only. Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
Lead by example.
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Love Technology & Outdoors
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Work & Play Hard
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Sendoso?
Lots of Learning
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
Inspired by Others
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Kris Rudeegraap, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Sendoso, nothing but the best.