Q&A with François Rychlewski, V.P of Sales EMEA at SheerID

François Rychlewski, V.P of Sales EMEA at SheerID, is an experienced Regional Sales Director with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry in companies like Oracle, Adobe, Marketo. He is also skilled in Digital Strategy, Sales, Software Industry, Management, and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Be able to elevate people in a new position, partnering with them to raise their level of expertise by either coaching them or by working with them on sales methodology and strategy.



MEDIA 7: What inspired you to pursue a successful career in sales and development?
FRANCOIS RYCHLEWSKI:
Being in sales wasn’t the objective that I had in mind after graduating with an M.A in Marketing & Communication. Working within large organizations in the marketing department became a challenge as I couldn’t understand the support of the sales org. needed from us to succeed. I naturally decided to experience the other side to become a sales representative, in order to better understand the challenges, the issues, and the needs that the job would require.
From that moment, I did not come back to marketing and I evolved in sales org. since 1999.

My job today is different than 23 years ago and I’m now focused on helping companies to grow in EMEA, structure sales and business development organizations, and partner with existing and new customers in our joint sales success. The same thing is still there though. Helping customers to solve issues by bringing added value solutions. From my experiences at Oracle, Adobe, Marketo, or now SheerID, the common denominator is added value and it was always what made me move from one experience to another. Sharing the knowledge to a new generation of Sales Executive is the other trigger. Be able to elevate people in a new position, partnering with them to raise their level of expertise by either coaching them or by working with them on sales methodology and strategy.

Last but not least is to contribute to successfully kick-off the EMEA organization, sometimes from scratch. It’s exciting! I joined SheerID in November 2020 and we now have a team of 12 across sales, pre-sales, marketing, product, business development and we opened an office in London. We continue to grow to deliver the best service for our customers and partners which is motivating for me.


M7: How does SheerID help brands use identity marketing to drive leads?
FR:
We recognize that consumers are increasingly seeking authentic, and personalized experiences from brands that they trust. In fact, our research shows that 81% of consumers need to be able to trust a brand before they can buy from them. This is achieved by recognizing and celebrating a consumers’ identity. SheerID helps hundreds of leading brands, like Spotify, The Economist, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, use identity marketing to reach 2.5 billion consumers worldwide. With our identity marketing platform, brands can create personalized, exclusive shopping experiences, to engage and reward their most coveted consumer communities based on their identity, whether they are students, teachers, healthcare professionals, or other consumer communities.

Identity marketing empowers brands to acquire more customers by creating strong emotional connections, which lends itself to nurturing their loyalty with authentic experiences, whilst also protecting their margins as only eligible consumers can redeem the offers. Again, this increases the appeal of an offer and adds that extra layer of exclusivity to consumers. In a study by Forrester Consulting, 88% of marketers said if they could align campaigns with more meaningful attributes, it would make their companies more successful. Identity marketing presents growth opportunities for brands.


By improving digital experiences, organizations can see the positive impact on their bottom line in terms of increased conversions, loyalty, and ultimately, customer retention.



M7: What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
FR:
This really builds on the points raised earlier. In today’s digital world, it is vital to provide connected, personalized, and optimized experiences to consumers but not at the expense of their privacy. Our research indicates that 84% of the consumers want more control over how their data is being used.  Brands have an opportunity to build trust, gain real insight into their customers, build meaningful relationships, and really nurture their deeper brand loyalty. When brands do that they appeal to a consumers’ identity and emotions. By improving digital experiences, organizations can see the positive impact on their bottom line in terms of increased conversions, loyalty, and ultimately, customer retention.


M7: How do you generate leads? What is the process of lead generation at SheerID?
FR:
Lead generation is so important to get right, especially in the age of information overload. People are inundated with information, they are more connected and socially influential than ever, so it is critical to cut through the noise and find creative ways to reach potential customers. At SheerID, we see the lead generation process as a journey, from the initial stage when we educate prospects around our solutions, to nurturing their interest and converting them to actual customers. In fact, I’ll add one more step: we strive for reaching the stage of advocacy – this is really where our relationship with a customer we partner extends to the point where they are uniquely placed to directly influence the strategic direction of our product roadmap.

Let me walk you through our approach to lead generation. We recognize that people might be at different stages in their buying process so initially, we may contribute to articles or do an interview like this one, write a blog, seek speaking opportunities at industry events, and more, to introduce our brand and build connections with potential customers. This then opens up opportunities to educate further and dive deeper into the benefits that can be gained from identity marketing through whitepapers, webinars, or events. Ultimately, we want to meet our future buyers when they’re ready and demonstrate to them how our platform adds value, and how they can be successful in implementing identity marketing programs, backed by the powerful success stories of the 100’s of brands we help worldwide.

This is not necessarily a linear process, ultimately, lead generation is a 2-way process. I truly believe that today’s buyers are self-directed, they will engage when they are ready so it’s about recognizing the intent signals, offering them relevant content, and nurturing that relationship until they are ready to engage further.


Contribute to successfully kick-off the EMEA organization, sometimes from scratch. It’s exciting!



M7: How does SheerID ensure that sales teams understand and present their products in an engaging manner?
FR:
Having the same message shared by everyone is important to keep consistency. At SheerID we invest at an early stage of the onboarding process to be sure our sales will understand not just how the product works but more importantly, what value the solution could bring to solve a situation or replace a competitor. We do not sell features otherwise we compete at a low level of discussion which - most of the time - results in fighting only on price without discussing value at all.

What we try to achieve is to position our platform at a higher level on how we could help companies to deliver more revenue, reduce fraud, and increase conversation and customer lifetime value (CLTV). Sales tend to speak the same language as our customers. We trained them on challenges, vertical pains, and how to measure success. Following sales process and sales methodology in addition to a strong onboarding program are some of our keys to succeeding in a highly competitive environment.


M7: If you could, what would you advise aspiring sales and development professionals about the industry today?
FR:
There are no easy sales. You would need the same energy and most of the time, the same time to prove your value and sign a large or a small deal. There is no small deal in fact, outside of the value of the deal itself. Every deal is crucial for us because it’s a win on how we could help the company to achieve its goals. And if learning from success is important, learning from a loss is even more crucial. What can be done differently next time, what did we miss in the sales process, etc.

My advice would be to always look into the detail, always try to collect as many points of view as possible. It's easy to be single-threaded in a sales relationship but going out of the comfort zone by engaging more, discussing more, challenging the status quo more is what makes the difference between good sales and an A-Player.

ABOUT SHEERID

SheerID is the leader in identity marketing. With SheerID, brands identify and acquire consumer communities — such as the military, students, teachers, and more — with personalized offers, gated by instant verification from the largest set of authoritative data worldwide. SheerID verifies over 2.5 billion people via 9,000 authoritative data sources; provides global insights from hundreds of the world’s leading brands, and never shares or sells customer data. As a result, the world’s biggest brands — including Amazon, The Home Depot, Spotify, and T-Mobile — rely on SheerID as their identity marketing partner. Founded in 2011, SheerID is backed by Voyager Capital, Arnold Venture Group, Brighton Park Capital, Centana Growth Partners, and CVC Growth Partners.

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W. P. Carey School of Business, Televerde Foundation expand prison education program

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

The ASU W. P. Carey School of Business and Televerde Foundation have worked alongside community partners to offer a unique PATHS program for women as they transition out of prison. PATHS, an acronym for Prepare, Achieve, and Transform for Healthy Success, teaches skills in personal wellness, workplace readiness, employment strategies, mentoring, financial literacy, and lifelong learning. The program begins while the women are still incarcerated and continues through their reentry and transition back into society. "We are thrilled to expand our partnership with the ASU W. P. Carey School of Business, further empowering women through education," said Michelle Cirocco, executive director of Televerde Foundation. "Our PATHS program goes beyond just providing skills; it's about transforming lives. This expansion marks a significant step toward reducing recidivism and opening new opportunities for women from all walks of life to rewrite their narratives. It also underscores our belief in education as a crucial driver of personal growth and societal advancement. We are committed to helping these women become positive role models in their communities and building a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their families." Julia LaRosa, clinical associate professor, and Kostas Voutsas, assistant teaching professor, from the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, are two members of the W. P. Carey community who teach in the program. They focus on workplace readiness skills through college-level business fundamentals, business communication, and professional development courses. As of fall 2023, women who complete the Career PATHS coursework earning a C or better have the opportunity to turn their completed work into college credit through ASU's Universal Learner program. The associated fees are currently covered by Televerde Foundation, with future iterations also being funded by the generosity of donors through the ASU Foundation. "Turning time in prison into a college education experience is truly inspiring," says Voutsas, who teaches the Effective Communication for Career Success class. "It is a practical course that empowers students to communicate as leaders, embrace diversity and inclusion, build positive relationships, and maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. It explores both verbal and nonverbal communication, cross-cultural communication, customer service, the writing process, writing mechanics, interviewing and resume techniques, as well as delivering presentations with confidence." Since the program's inception in 2020, the results have been truly remarkable. Of the 161 students who have completed the program, the recidivism rate is zero compared with the expected 40% to 60% rate. According to the Televerde Foundation, graduates' salaries are also 61% to 75% higher than their less prepared counterparts. While the quantitative outcomes are extraordinary, the qualitative impacts are equally important. Mary Montemorra, a PATHS graduate, explains, "Televerde Foundation and PATHS have given me the ability to fit into a community that once felt so far away. Remember, being sent to prison means the society you once were part of decided to remove you from its communities physically. PATHS gave that community back to me." One benefit of the Universal Learner program is the connection it helps non-traditional students form with ASU. "At W. P. Carey, we are prioritizing access in the communities we serve," says Raghu Santanam, senior associate dean for Executive Education, Corporate Partnerships, and Lifelong Learning. "Connecting PATHS to ASU as a for-credit course legitimizes the hard work these women are undertaking and makes it easier for them to transition into college in the future." Higher education is indeed more within reach for individuals involved in the justice system. As of July 1, 2023, the FAFSA Simplification Act provisions make PELL grants available to all qualified incarcerated people to further pursue post-secondary education through approved Prison Education Programs (PEPs). "A mere vision has blossomed into a sustainable program," says LaRosa. PATHS is "dedicated to aiding incarcerated women in reshaping the course of their lives and those of their families. Witnessing the transformative impact of a college education unfolding within our community is truly remarkable and the high point of my career."

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Education Technology

D2L Highlights New D2L Brightspace Product Features to Help Enhance Accessibility and Ease of Use

PR Newswire | October 19, 2023

D2L, a global learning technology company, today highlighted enhanced Brightspace product features — developed over the past six months — that can help global learners and educators simplify the learning experience by bringing learning solutions together in one place. I'm thrilled to share that D2L continues to invest in its existing solutions and broaden its portfolio of products, partner solutions and services to assist educators, organizations, and learners in their readiness for the future, said Rajesh Talpade, Senior Vice President of Product Management at D2L. D2L's new and enhanced product features can make it easier than ever to offer effective learning in online and blended environments to help see that learners have the opportunity to succeed. New D2L Solution for Businesses Announced in September 2023, D2L introduced a new, all-in-one solution for businesses: D2L for Business. This integrated, easy-to-use corporate solution combines the benefits of an existing network of world-class education providers, skill development solutions, and expert consulting services as an learning experience platform (LXP). Empowering Learners, Educators and Administrators Brightspace functionalities and offerings that can provide customers with tools and resources to help enhance outcomes and save time. Brightspace now offers: Even more Creator+ tools for educators, including: new accessible layouts, expanded types of interactive elements, and a fully accessible hotspot practice question type. This can help enable educators to continue building beautiful and instructionally sound content using familiar Brightspace workflows. An AI-driven, first line of contexual help and support embedded within Brightspace Brightspace Virtual Assistant. More datasets and improved data dashboards to help make it easier for educators and businesses to gain insights and understand metrics in their organizations. Simplifying Workflows Recent Brightspace updates continue to make workflows more intuitive, efficient, effective and consistent. This includes: An improved Quiz experience that can offer support for high-stakes exams with strict time limits, support for synchronous quizzing windows, and other improvements. A familiar and upgraded Discussion experience with workflows to help bring new functionality to educators. New content authoring functionality to help make it easier to manage both the required and optional course materials. In addition, enhancements to the Media Library are now more user-friendly, with new time-saving indicators to track progress and surface common actions. And, new changes to course merging options that can empower educators and save administrative time. New self-enrollment enhancements for Brightspace customers that offer professional development opportunities and allow educators to see that learners are enrolling in the right courses. Uniting a Stronger Ecosystem D2L has also enhanced its robust learning ecosystem by simplifying access to Brightspace and encouraging new interactions among educators, administrators, and learners. These updates, features and tools include: An easier, course registration process through Course Merchant, a modern e-commerce experience, whose front-end course catalog and payment and enrollment system is now offered as a D2L product after more than nine years as a key integration partner. Visualized Brightspace Analytics within Ellucian Experience, help advisors to quickly identify at-risk learners by aggregating Brightspace data with external data to holistically determine appropriate intervention. Early access to D2L Link, which can connect Brightspace with the systems of record clients use every day. The integrations enabled through D2L Link can help minimize manual tasks and see that data is synchronized between systems. D2L's new IntegrationHub, built on LTI 1.3. and launched as a new catalog site that lists partner solutions that are available for integrations with Brightpsace. The IntegrationHub makes it easy for Brightspace users to browse D2L's extensive list of integrated technologies and solutions, such as accessibility tools, student information systems, secure proctoring assessment platforms, and many other partner solutions. For more information on the latest features and updates, please visit What's New at D2L. About D2L D2L is transforming the way the world learns—helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our growing global workforce is dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.

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