“Work quickly to find out what matters the most in the organization (for example, customer acquisition, pricing, product development, operational efficiency, M&A, et cetera) and make sure that you master this area of the business while also learning every other aspect of the organization.” –Jim Morgan, CFO, CallRail
It sounds counterintuitive, but the best big men in basketball succeed less on size than they do on finesse and footwork. NBA Hall of Famer Tim Duncan’s right-foot jab created the space that he needed to sink his patented bank shot or fire a pass to an open teammate. The same holds true for data-driven CFOs who partner with founder CEOs in technology start-ups.
CallRail CFO Jim Morgan began his professional career by pivoting from Goldman Sachs to a 100-employee, venture-backed start-up in early 2000. Once there, he immediately helped to pivot the marketing-technology company’s business model in response to the looming dotcom crash. Since then, Morgan—a former center who co-captained Stanford University’s hoops team in the early ’90s—has served as CFO at a succession of venture- and private equity–backed high-growth companies.Read More
“I love working with the entrepreneurs,” Morgan notes, “and I’ve learned that the CFO has a highly unique value prop to offer by facilitating the processes and scale needed to build a company from an idea.”
Besides scaling operations through detailed design and planning, Morgan’s facilitation takes the form of financial planning and analysis, M&A transactions, equity and debt fund-raising, board and investor relations, capital management, and more. He starts each day at marketing platform software developer CallRail by poring over revenue, product, and customer metrics on his morning dashboard, a tool that he continually finesses.
“There’s so much data in most organizations,” Morgan adds. “A huge part of the CFO’s role is to identify which data really matter so that you can elevate two or three next-level metrics.”
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CFOTL: Tell us about CallRail … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Morgan: We’re a business communications and analytics platform. We help small businesses and the marketing agencies that serve them to improve their customer experience and marketing performance. We’re a SaaS provider. We allow these small businesses to understand which marketing campaigns are driving the best leads and the best conversations. Their goal ultimately is to convert these conversations and leads into customers, and we allow them to connect the dots on these and really optimize their marketing spend, drive more leads, and ultimately acquire more customers. Our target customers are small and medium-size businesses, which as most folks know are really the backbone of the U.S. economy. Most of these business owners—think 1- to 500-person companies—didn’t start their business because they love customer journeys and marketing or integrating marketing software, but they need to understand this because it drives leads and drives revenue. We’ve created easy-to-buy, easy-to-use, affordable software that lets them do this, lets them measure this marketing effectiveness.Read More
We’ve grown extremely well over the past couple of years, and this year will be another record year for us. My role and what I’m really focused on is to support this revenue growth. We’ve increased our employees by 50% since the beginning of the year. This means a massive amount of growth and change going on within the organization, including in my own groups, who are pretty heavily involved with onboarding, training, data, and systems. We are making sure that the finance team and supporting teams do everything that they can to support this new talent growth. What we have planned for next year is important within this context, and certainly revenue growth for us is our top-line driver. What markets can we go into? What’s the best pricing? What are different ways that we can continue to deliver value for our customers? These are obviously revenue-focused and pretty clear top-line drivers.
At the same time, the trick is to focus on operations. We’ve got to keep everything going. We’ve got a lot of new people within the company. Onboarding them and sort of keeping everything in line and on track is something on which I am focused today and will be focused on for the next 12 months.
CallRail | www.callrail.com | Atlanta, GA