OutboundSync selected for TinySeed Spring 2024 Batch

OutboundSync joins TinySeed Spring 2024 Batch, bridging gaps between sales engagement platforms and CRMs. Learn about our journey and product offerings.


OutboundSync spun out of my old consultancy, Kenny Consulting Group, LLC DBA Intro CRM. OutboundSync is now its own thing. With this announcement, I'm all in on it.

First, the news: I'm proud to share that OutboundSync has been selected to participate in TinySeed's Spring 2024 batch! 

I've been following Rob Walling and TinySeed for many years. I've worked with several TinySeed portfolio companies as a vendor and as a customer. It is surreal to now be participating in the program as a founder.

It's humbling to see that the TinySeed team agrees that we're onto something here. This will be an excellent opportunity to grow and better serve our customers. Looking at the other companies in the TinySeed Spring 2024 batch, I'm excited to learn from them too.

If you're new here, and chances are that you are given today's news, allow me to briefly introduce the product and the problem we're solving for our customers.

If you will indulge me, at the end I'll share some personal reflection on how we got here.

What is OutboundSync

OutboundSync is an integration between Smartlead, a sales engagement platform, and HubSpot, a CRM. We sit between the two platforms, standardizing how data is transferred between them.

Here are the main reasons why our customers are using OutboundSync:

  • Revenue attribution: Know exactly which deals were created, or influenced, by your outbound campaign efforts.
  • Lead routing: Get the right leads directed to the right people. Handle replies directly in your HubSpot portal.
  • Timeline events: Log every email sent, reply, open, click, unsubscribe, and even category update—at the contact-level.
  • Contact properties: Take advantage of over 20 custom contact properties to in your lists, workflows, and notifications.
  • Block lists: Block email addresses or entire domains—just off of a list in HubSpot. No more CSV exports.
  • Account-based selling: Associate emails with both contacts and companies to track campaigns at the company-level.
  • Native reporting: Create your own reports and dashboards in HubSpot to monitor your outbound results.
  • Custom alerts: Decide when and how to alert your sales reps. Send emails, create tasks, Slack messages, and more.

This is just for now, of course. We have a ton of engineering tickets in progress that we're about to start closing faster, thanks to TinySeed.

Why us

I ran a sales consultancy for the past five years. Three and a half of those included outbound services and one and a half of them included running a HubSpot agency about to hit platinum status as a solutions partner. In this unique position, it became clear where there were gaps between these major platforms.

And I don't think these gaps are because of any particular vendor.

Instead, because of structural gaps between the firms in this part of the market. Which is why I think there is room for a company to sit in the middle and bridge the gaps. 

I've developed close relationships with other outbound agencies. Learned a ton from them. And we've really worked together well since bringing OutboundSync to the market, helping them run campaigns for their customers and get the data into HubSpot. 

For all these reasons, we're in a good position to take a shot at solving this problem of silos between sales engagement platform (SEP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Starting with Smartlead and HubSpot. 

Why now

There is a major disruption happening in the market for outbound sales software and services. Companies are switching to multi-domain, omnichannel, and automation-assisted (including AI) outreach on a massive scale.

I believe this confluence events is creating room for something like OutboundSync. Seeing the increasingly noteworthy customers who are signing up for the product gives me a lot of confidence that others feel the same way. 

In the end, this company is a bet on a few things:

  1. The CRM is the single source of truth that companies want to invest in. And they will therefore invest in tools that support the primacy of their CRM.
  2. Sales engagement platforms will gain adoption when they're innovative, but this very innovation makes it harder for them to integrate with stable CRM platforms.
  3. More sophisticated go-to-market is coming. Things will get more complex, not simpler. Tools that enable complex loops and motions will win by empowering users.

I've spent the last year working on this product. And it is five years to the day since I first went out on my own, on May 1, 2019. My experience in the market over the last 12 months gives me strong conviction that we're helping people and I'm excited to see where this goes. If you want to see where we started, keep reading.

But before that, if I've piqued your curiosity, go here to learn more about OutboundSync.

A brief history of OutboundSync

Kenny Consulting Group era

OutboundSync has its roots in Kenny Consulting Group, LLC, a consultancy I started full-time on May 1, 2019. Here you can see the humble beginnings of my first office.

Harris Kenny first office (pictured May 1, 2019).

This was in the room of our first house. It would later be converted into a nursery. 

Soon after starting the company, I discovered Rob Walling and the Startups for the Rest of Us podcast. Another major source of inspiration in these early days was Justin Jackon's Build Your SaaS podcast.

I tried to build several SaaS products while doing sales consulting over the years. SaaS was the kind of business I wanted to grow into running. But with bills to pay, I kept working to hone my craft and get better at sales consulting along the way. 

The sales consultancy evolved. It went from me outsourcing large chunks of my time as a fractional resource, to an agency model. 

SaaS attempts along the way

Here are the SaaS ideas we tried along the way. And I say we because some exceptionally talented people help me build them over the years. All strategic errors around these products, positioning, and if they should have been built are on me.

  • Intro CRM: The first was an a simpler CRM called Intro CRM that would have productized services to help users get new leads, work their pipeline, and improve their sales process. It was built with Bubble and had integrations to Basecamp, Asana, and Trello, with the idea being that was where early stage founders were more likely to be working. The services had more demand, people just wanted help with sales.
  • Lead Rater: Next came Lead Rater, which was rooted in the outbound services we were providing. It was a relatively straightforward Glide app that took a process we'd been doing in spreadsheets, and moved to an app. The idea was to get feedback from customers about which leads were the best and why. It was too manual to work. But now, a similar approach can be taken to train GPT models and could actually work.
  • DraftStudio: Next from our agency work came DraftStudio. Another Glide app, it sought to streamline the process of creating spintax for cold email. It also included a re-write feature and a preview feature for spintax. This had the most success of the three but didn't have pull from the market. The people who use it still use it and love it. But it's essentially a ChatGPT wrapper and in-app ChatGPT renders it unnecessary. 

During this journey, I also experienced some major life events. From buying a new house and moving, to having our second child, and some major family medical issues. Navigating these challenges along with everything else was indescribably difficult. And I wouldn't be honest here unless I at least acknowledged this part of it.

Last but not least came OutboundSync—the reason why you're here today. 

Along came OutboundSync

We had a customer who wanted their Smartlead outbound campaigns synced to HubSpot. They really wanted it—and insisted. After taking a look at Smartlead's webhook and API documentation, I figured it was something I could build in Make.com. Which I started about one year ago (May 2023).

The first/alpha/MVP version of OutboundSync was completed in Make.com and it really stretched me. I spent many hours and late nights/early mornings working with ChatGPT to hone the API calls, create a HubSpot app, and get everything working the way I wanted.

outboundsync-make-com

Once we had our basic version off the ground and customers willing to pay, I posted about it on social media and shared it with agency customers. I started to do manual installs of the Make.com version of the app in customers' HubSpot portals. It was buggy but it had enough promise that people were patient and demand grew. This stage took about four months.

It got to the point where we build a full web application. Porting the lowcode app over to a full web application took about two months. Which brings us to October 2023, when we had our first paying customers for OutboundSync. As traction grew, and with some encouragement from others, we decided to throw our hats in the ring for TinySeed.

Things are steadily growing now. We've gotten huge support from patient customers who see what we're trying to build. The product keeps getting better. And we have so many ideas from users that we're excited to implement. 

Thank you

Thanks for reading this far and for your support. If you want to see how OutboundSync works, head over to the OutboundSync product page for more info.

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