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Kyle Henson Job Application - Enterprise Account Manager

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Cover Letter

Dear fellow Codan,

I am an avid, obsessive, daily Coda user with no plans to be applying for jobs right now. I’m a two-time startup founder and my plan for 2024 was to become a three-time startup founder, in large part due my growing affinity for Coda. I’m a naturally adventurous, outgoing, gregarious, people-person, and I’ve always found myself in client-facing roles. Whether it’s leading funding rounds for my startups, selling workflow automation software to hospitals, working with private equity funds and their transaction targets to create post-acquisition value creation strategies or get in touch with hard-to-reach industry leaders, or flying to Myanmar on two-days notice after a cyclone to try and get a groundbreaking new water filtration technology in the hands of aid organizations, I’ve always been in roles that require strong communication, and bold ideas.
But underneath my bubbly exterior lives a deep and burning passion for process improvement and efficiency gains and I always gravitated heavily towards improving the processes my job required me to execute in addition to performing my job duties. At Executive Nexus, I was instrumental in creating a searchable database of executives with experience in particular functions or industries for our private equity clients to speak with as advisors and I created a very complex Excel document that automatically created a plain english executive career summary from a Pitchbook CSV output.
In my last role, I was tasked with creating a sales practice from scratch for a healthcare software business that had only ever gone to market through a channel partner. I had no institutional history of successful tactics, no prospect list, and no sales enablement software. I made cold calls, snuck into hospitals through their loading docks, read books, and mailed handwritten letters to key decision makers, but I must’ve spent about 1/3rd of my time building out this document in Coda to intelligently track my efforts, create automations, and 10x the capabilities of my one-man sales team. The results were astounding.
I built a tool for running automated marketing campaigns and generated personalized, target-specific content. I created a that generated an invoice with all of the correct line items and pricing as well as contextual information and images in the invoice itself depending on the products selected in the deal. I even figured out a way to use the timeline feature to create s so that I could more easily tell who was making final decisions in target organizations. All of my contacts were color-coded by their department with darker shades for more senior employees. I had hit Coda nirvana and my one-man sales team was able to originate deals with some of the nation’s most well-known health systems, like Mount Sinai and Cleveland Clinic.
It was on a process walkthrough with a client at Mount Sinai that my next idea began to occur to me. My prior company primarily sells into hospital environmental services departments (essentially housekeepers, and EVS for short) but essentially has a highly configurable task management tool that worked very well in high-compliance environments, like hospitals. After seeing what my business did for the EVS department at Mount Sinai, other departments showed interest and I went on process walkthroughs with four different departments in one day. Our product offered about 80% of when they needed out of the box, and it was likely that we could provide the other 20% in the coming year with some effort from our development team.
For context, organizations with compliance burdens as high as hospitals are still relying on paper processes for the overwhelming majority of their task management outside of the actual provision of healthcare. These are departments like Linen, Security, Foodservices, EVS, Materials Management, Parking, etc. In my past year selling to hospitals, I have met with dozens of bright, capable, talented people who are passionate about digitizing their frustratingly manual processes but lack software capable of bringing their desires to fruition and do not have the time or capacity to create a Coda doc or adapt a template even though Coda is perfect for digitizing these processes.
By creating a professional services arm with a direct, technical sales force and team that customizes Coda to the specific workflows of enterprise clients in a few select niches, I believe that Coda is perfectly poised to fill the gap between Excel and Salesforce for both medium-sized businesses caught between making more money to scale faster and scaling faster to make more money, as well as the the forgotten departments of large organizations still languishing on pen and paper processes. Growth through a direct sales force supported by target contract values in the high thousands to tens of thousands of dollars will reinforce Coda’s natural growth, and targeting specific workflows in enterprise niches will expose Coda to a new and likely more senior audience that will have fresh ideas about how to continue to develop Coda into the all-encompassing, enterprise-enabling platform it is capable of being.
My plan in 2024 was to start this business by finding a niche of customers who need workflow automation software that is highly customized, but not particularly complex and are willing to pay an up-front customization fee before settling into a monthly subscription. I’ve spoken with several business owners who are dissatisfied with the ERP and CRM round pegs that they’re trying to fit into their square holes, and I firmly believe that this customer segment exists and is addressable with a tool like Coda, and can generate contract values with very high margins. I’ve spent the first few weeks of 2024 working with a machine shop owner who uses paper kanbans to trigger reorders for his shop’s supplies. I’ve generated a tool that allows him to print these Kanban cards from his now-defined supply database, and his exposure to the tool has completely changed the way he thinks about running his shop and handling eCommerce orders. We’re already ideating on four or five additional processes that Coda can handle for him and other machine shop owners that would greatly enhance his efficiency and ability to forecast. What we’ve built is here .
I don’t know if this vision and my passion for Coda make me a great fit exactly for the product manager position, as I’ve never explicitly had that title, despite essentially performing that function at various startups. However, I firmly believe that Coda’s growth into the enterprise can be fueled by a professional services arm with a direct sales force and I would love to have a further conversation about how I can be a part of making that vision happen.

Kyle Henson

(610) 710 - 6474

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