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Meet Ryan Sorley of DoubleCheck Research

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Sorley.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ryan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Before I launched DoubleCheck, I spent over fifteen years working at large companies like Gartner and Forrester, where I sold and managed client relationships. But even then, I had ideas about potential businesses to start. I have one of those minds that is always asking, “What if we went down this path or that path?” I’d go through the process of discovery, even writing up business plans at times, before throwing them out when I found the holes in them.

Once I was in a senior leadership position at Gartner, a large research analysis firm, I began to see an opportunity that I just couldn’t throw out. As advisors, we were helping our clients to make technology decisions that demanded they work with certain organizations or vendors. But our clients always complained about these vendors, saying they were too aggressive, or didn’t listen to their needs, or didn’t understand their industry, or were lacking in their sales evaluation process. And while we were able to listen and guide our clients, non-disclosure agreements prevented us from passing this vital feedback on to the vendors.

So, I thought, what if we could form a bridge? By stepping out as an independent company that did research on behalf of the vendors, we could interview the buyers with full disclosure that the information they gave us would go back to our clients. This would create a whole new paradigm shift. We could help the vendors, our clients, to improve, telling them what they did and didn’t do well, where the low-hanging fruit existed and where the greatest opportunities were.

Immediately, I saw the value of this idea. After all, I was in a unique position. I knew the buyers, I knew the vendors. There was clearly a powerful need. And I believed so strongly in this vision that I knew it was a winner. When I started connecting with those who would ultimately be our clients, it was clear that they’d find budgets for it.

That’s how I wrote the business plan I couldn’t throw out. And on the strength of that conviction, we’ve built the business into what it is today.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
At the start, the challenge was to sign the first client and then work with them long enough that they saw value. Then we could speak to that value with the next client. From there, the news spread. So, for us, I wouldn’t say it was a struggle, but there were things to work out. When starting a business, you need to find a process that is seamless, as well as the right people to have on the bus. That was vital for us. We needed a deeply professional team that believed in our mission, wanted passionately to be part of the effort and was really strong at what it did. Plus we had to make sure we had the right technology to support what we were doing.

But we’ve been scaling as business comes, adding people and resources as we grow, rather than investing ahead of time. This has allowed us to grow in a smart, conservative way, from a strong foundation, which is vital. And while I wouldn’t say we’ve had struggles, as such, we are all about the value of improvement. We always focus on how we can do things better, and we view that as a powerful part of our success.

Please tell us about DoubleCheck Research.
DoubleCheck is a win/loss analysis provider. We create customized and flexible research programs that reveal why people really buy from a company and why they don’t. This helps our client companies to understand what’s most important to their target buyers, so they can invest in areas that will really make a difference, including products, marketing, and sales. We’re known for being passionate about what we do and for being extremely flexible—each program is customized to our clients’ specific needs. We work very collaboratively with our clients, who tend to look at us as an extension of their own team, which is amazing. We’re a partner, not a machine.

In terms of what I’m most proud of, I’d say the feedback from our clients. It is an honor to hear that what we’re doing is of such great value. I’m also extremely proud of the team we’ve put together. Our people don’t have to be as committed or passionate as they are, and everyone works so well with the rest of the team. DoubleCheck team members are deeply committed and enjoy what they are doing. Thanks to them, we’ve made a real impact in the marketplace and are continuing to build momentum. This passion and commitment are of vital importance for us.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
The most important thing is conviction. You have to believe in yourself and the value of your idea. I don’t have any doubts that DoubleCheck is an amazing business, that people will continue to see value in it, and that we have the opportunity to grow. I believe passionately in every part of this business—in our team, our clients, and the value that we’re bringing. Conviction is, without a doubt, the most important characteristic of our success.

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