Clinical Empathy Can Be Your Superpower

Sep 25, 2020 Elizabeth Basile

Clinical empathy is key to survival in 2020. When sellers understand the human experience of decision-making, they win, according to advisor and best selling author of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results, Todd Caponi. Buyers are in a completely different mindset than they were in January. They need sellers who understand what problems they are managing and what goals they are trying to reach. Beyond that, they need to feel that sellers can empathize with their experience. Clinical empathy consciously centers the buyer’s emotional response in the sales process, and according to Caponi, it’s the difference between effective selling now versus six months ago. When a business’ very survival is on the line, real empathy and honesty are more imperative than ever before.    Understanding every company’s three basic survival instincts.  Caponi argues every company is focused on three basic survival instincts, right now. This puts them in the mindset of scarcity, and it’s going to impact their willingness to do business. Using a little behavioral science combined with practical application, sellers can actually read the buyer’s mind, allowing them to more easily connect to their experience and anticipate how to help them.  To understand the human decision making process in business decisions we need only look to ourselves for insight. Our basic response to financial insecurity is threefold:   Eliminate discretionary spending Extend runway while reducing costs on the essentials Avoid downside risks   In times of scarcity, both personally and professionally, our lizard brain kicks in and we start to think about survival over everything else. The same instincts driving personal security are motivating global business decisions. This is because your prospects are, in fact, human beings.   When done right, customers stay, buy more, and advocate on your behalf. The old adage of under-promising and over-delivering creates expectation inflation that works against our natural instincts in stressful situations. When everything is on the line, what we really want is the path of least resistance that fits within the new paradigm. Effective sales reps and marketers create empathic routes for their prospects and customers by anticipating and removing friction from the purchase before they encounter it on their own. A successful sale meets the customer where they are now, under stress, and grows with them when they are ready to scale up. For instance, reduced spending may have included the difficult decision to reduce workforce, but the work still needs to get done. By hiring a certified freelancer, companies can save money and keep their projects on track. Visit Torchlite.com to learn more.    Todd Caponi Author, Speaker, Workshop Leader Todd Caponi is the author of the best-selling and 3x award-winning book, The Transparency Sale, a speaker & workshop leader as CEO & Founder of Sales Melon LLC, and Managing Director of Chicago’s VentureSCALE. Previously, he had spent almost 4 years building the revenue capacity of Chicago’s PowerReviews from the ground up as their Chief Revenue Officer...turning it into Illinois’ fastest-growing tech company. Prior to that, he's held sales leadership roles with 3 other tech companies, including ExactTarget, where he helped drive the organization to a successful IPO and a $2.7B exit through the acquisition by Salesforce.com. He's a former American Business "Stevie" Award winner for VP of WW Sales of the Year, and also once owned & operated a sales training company.   Learn How Transparency & Clinical Empathy Can Be Your Superpower Salesforce Sales Reps are invited to learn how to drive more sales in an uncertain market. Join Todd Caponi and Torchlite Founder and CEO Susan Marshall on October 15 for an hour long webinar combining behavioral science with specific actions to drive immediate results.    Register now and join us live on Thursday, October 15th, 12pm EDT

Read More

Press Release: Torchlite Promotes Robert Harris to Chief Operating Officer

Sep 18, 2020 Torchlite

INDIANAPOLIS (September 14, 2020) – Torchlite, the freelance marketplace for all your Salesforce needs, today announces it has promoted Robert Harris to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Previously, Harris served as the Vice President of Product and Customer Success for Torchlite. Harris brings more than 25 years of experience in technology, e-commerce, and organizational leadership.  In the new role, Harris will lead all operations, including product development and engineering, and help establish the company’s strategic vision while facilitating the execution of critical projects. He will also work closely with Torchlite CEO and Founder Susan Marshall and its leadership team to help grow, scale, and operate Torchlite’s platform and services effectively. “With the launch of our new Marketplace for Salesforce, we are helping businesses implement the tools they need and provide highly-trained freelancers with meaningful work during this difficult time,” said Marshall. “Robert’s leadership skills, passion and proven track record in consulting and e-commerce make him the perfect candidate to take our new Torchlite Marketplace to the next level and further scale our services.” Harris is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience building teams, products, and solutions that deliver compelling value to customers. In his previous roles, he’s demonstrated how to effectively drive cross-functional, organization-wide impact and work collaboratively with key internal and external stakeholders. Prior to working with Torchlite, Harris served as the Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at MVP Launch Partners and VP of Product and Engineering at Sigstr. He also served in numerous leadership roles at Loxa Beauty and its parent company Beauty Systems Group. “It has been an honor to be part of Torchlite’s journey by helping build the category-leading freelance marketplace for Salesforce and filling a much-needed gap in today’s business ecosystem,” said Harris. “With the accelerating growth of freelancers, per a recent Payoneer report, this is just the beginning for Torchlite. We look forward to continuing to support businesses nationwide by giving them access to the talent they need to run and grow their business.” Recently, Torchlite launched its new Marketplace for Salesforce Essentials, offering a new way for small businesses to access certified Salesforce Essentials Advisors on-demand with no long-term contracts, minimums or limits. The new Marketplace allows small businesses who adopt the world’s #1 CRM platform to access highly-certified freelancers who empower them to sell smarter, deliver faster support, and get started in minutes. About Torchlite Founded in 2015, Torchlite enables companies of any size to access and manage highly sought-after freelance talent from anywhere in the world. With Torchlite’s 3.0 platform, organizations can now take advantage of the growing freelance economy and create their own private marketplaces of experts who help customers take advantage of powerful technologies - on-demand. For more information, visit torchlite.com.

Read More

The Freelance Revolution: Working In A Post-COVID World

Apr 22, 2020 Susan Marshall

It Has To Be the Right Partnership At Torchlite, we're obviously fans of independent contractors and freelancers. Over the years, we've grown to love these problem solving, creative entrepreneurs and do everything we can to support their careers. In fact, we are a catalyst to matching professional freelancers with the brands that need their skills on demand. But you can’t just add anyone to your roster — it has to be the right partnership. So naturally, we are concerned about the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic and  consequences for freelancers and independent professionals. According to the New York Times at least 316 million people in the US, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are being urged to stay home. Many of those people will be forced to reconsider how and where they work, some jumping into the independent contract business full time. We at Torchlite are here to help with that transition.   Implications For The Freelance Revolution PwC has helpfully published two interesting reports. The first is PwC’s 2020 CEO survey, published at the end of March, and involving chief executives from a variety of industries and geographies. The second is a survey of corporate CFO executives, also recently published.  This month, Forbes provided a summary of the CEO study main findings, followed by some interesting implications for the freelance revolution.  Worth a read, but here are the highlights. It's good news for our freelancers: Finance talent transformation is a key emphasis.  Half (50%) of CFOs describe their team as lacking the right skills mix to meet future business needs. Moreover, 60% believe that stable, long-term employment, is less likely in the future. Taken together, it’s fairly evident from the PwC and BCG reports that freelance and independent management consulting opportunity is likely to increase and broaden as a result of COVID 19. What might we expect: More companies are likely to access freelancers both for cost efficiency and to supplement critical skill sets. Without doubt, freelancing enables a more cost and time efficient approach to supplementing or adding critical technical skills. But, beyond cost efficiency, freelancing makes it possible to attract world-class talent that would be unavailable to most organizations on a full-time basis.  Perhaps the expert wouldn’t be interested in full-time work, or his or her full-time cost would blow up the staffing budget. But, she or he would be available on a project basis, or as a consulting advisor.   4IR offers interesting and important freelance work and lots of it.  Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum described the fourth industrial revolution this way: “The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.”  These are seen as critical investment areas, and no organization has the internal staff to independently realize the potential of 4IR. Remember, companies like Alphabet, Apple and Facebook - able to access tremendous resources - continues to depend on freelancers to fill out their teams. Freelancing, on a global scale, will grow significantly to meet the 4IR challenge. Freelancers are a critical resource to more industries. As BCG points out, freelancing is undeterred by industrial boundaries. Whether in agriculture, finance or education, most organizations lack the full set of skills and experiences they will need to take full advantage of future global and regional growth opportunities.  More areas of freelancing will grow in importance. The data sends a very clear message: freelancing will grow in a widening range of professional areas. We’ve already seen the rise of independent management consulting platforms, and the growth of new platforms in an ever growing set of professions. More companies are partnering with freelance platforms to build a more flexible, blended workforce. A Changed Economy As the danger of COVID 19 passes, and executives rework their businesses, reinventing in the context of broken supply chains, skill gaps, and digital transformational requirements, freelancing  has an exciting and attractive future. At Torchlite we have the tools and expertise to help freelancers and independent contractors thrive in our changed economy. For many companies, the work doesn’t stop even if the workers can’t be onsite. The expert freelancers who have the talents and skills that are in high demand can define where and how they work, compensation, and many other specifications around how they do their work. Join Torchlite’s network of freelancers today. Vive la Revolution!

Read More

Torchlite Secures Funding to Scale Marketplace of Certified Digital Marketing Experts

Oct 03, 2018 Susan Marshall

Today, we are pleased to announce a $3M strategic funding round that includes new investor Salesforce Ventures. In 2017, Torchlite doubled revenue, demonstrating a massive need in the market for certified digital marketing experts. In the past year, we've transformed Torchlite into an enterprise platform that helps customers access and manage a private marketplace of on-demand experts so they can dramatically improve the performance of their digital marketing campaigns. With this new platform, customers can also make those resources available to their entire enterprise, across business units and franchisees. Marketing departments who were once overwhelmed and understaffed can now tap into their own bench of experts to improve their performance of online ads, email, social campaigns, and customer journeys. Our platform is squarely focused on unlocking the value of Marketing Clouds with certified experts and data-driven playbooks that are focused on results. With this funding, we're excited to make it even better and can't thank our community of customers, investors, and supporters enough! Here's to an even bigger and better Torchlite. Press Release

Read More

Press Release: Torchlite Raises $3M to Expand Marketplace of Certified Digital Marketing Experts

Oct 02, 2018 Torchlite

INDIANAPOLIS (October 2, 2018) -- Torchlite, the platform for finding and managing on-demand digital marketing talent, announced today it attracted $3 million in funding to expand its tech-enabled network of digital marketing freelancers. The funding round includes funding from existing investors, including Scott McCorkle, a technology investor and advisor, and new investor Salesforce Ventures. “Torchlite was created to enable every company to unlock the value of its marketing technology by making it simple to manage highly sought after certified freelance digital marketing experts.” said Susan Marshall, Torchlite’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to welcome Salesforce Ventures as an investor.” Torchlite’s platform provides large organizations with a private marketplace of pre-approved, on-demand experts, from technical architects to content creators and writers - assembled to meet the needs of the enterprise. By accessing their own network of specialists, businesses can extend their marketing teams, fill critical gaps and transform their digital marketing. “Torchlite’s on-demand freelance approach empowers us to swiftly flex to meet the demands in our marketplace,” said Carole Casto, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Cummins Inc. "The ability to access a pre-approved roster of creative experts provides tremendous value as we plan and execute our digital marketing strategy.” According to Forrester Consulting, 66% of business leaders say that the primary barrier to long term success is talent, and only 3% of marketers feel that they are getting the full value of their marketing technology*. “As digital marketing becomes increasingly specialized, many companies are turning to on-demand, independent consultants to fill gaps on their teams,” Marshall said. Edelman Research reports that over half of the workforce is expected to be freelance in the next ten years, and 57% of companies are using freelancers regularly. Since its launch in late 2015, Torchlite has raised a total of $5.5M, doubled revenue from 2016 to 2017, demonstrating a massive need in the market for certified experts and a more effective way to manage those resources to build complex digital marketing campaigns. About Torchlite Founded in 2015, Torchlite provides businesses with access to a private marketplace of certified, on-demand digital marketing experts. Torchlite helps enterprise companies fill in critical gaps and transform their digital marketing. With Torchlite's platform, organizations can easily manage highly sought after freelance experts with a variety of skill sets, from writers to designers to digital strategists and more. Check us out at torchlite.com. Salesforce Ventures Salesforce is the fastest growing top five enterprise software company and the #1 CRM provider globally. Salesforce Ventures—the company’s corporate investment group—invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform, helping companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding as well as access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of Salesforce’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage Salesforce's expertise in corporate philanthropy by joining Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 275 enterprise cloud startups in 17 different countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures. *Source: A commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting July, 2017. ** Source: Freelancing in America Survey, 2017

Read More

Behind the Scenes: Our Freelancer Vetting Process

Jul 11, 2018 Maria Rummel

We know that adding a new person to your team, whether full-time or freelance, takes both time and effort. In other words; money. This is why freelance marketplaces like Torchlite develop rigorous screening processes for their freelancers. The goal is to ensure clients are matched with the perfect person or team for their project, but not all talent pools are created equal. Some platforms allow anyone to fill out a profile making businesses do the work of wading through resumes and portfolios, trying to balance budget with professional talent. This is a great way for freelancers to get their start, but it's not always the best way to find the exact right person for the job. Increasingly, freelancer marketplaces are choosing to scale down the number of profiles, instead focusing on proven track records, strong portfolios, and excellent reviews. We wanted to give you an insider look at how we select our Flexperts, so you have a better understanding of the difference. 1. Profile Check All potential Flexperts are asked a series of questions before moving onto the application process. This serves as a "weed out" right off the bat. Our goal isn't to serve a million clients at a time. We want the very best for you, so we only accept the very best. And, while this makes our talent pool a little smaller than some of the big guys, we've found our clients consistently rave about the performance of our freelancers, and our retention rates for both clients and freelancers is enviable. 2. Application Next up, we get down to what really matters — proof. All potential Flexperts submit an application including a resume, multiple work samples, and references. The truth is, anyone can apply, but what sets a true professional apart is several examples of their work, including metrics, if applicable. 3. Review All applicants are reviewed by our team of industry experts, including our CEO. If we put our name behind someone, we want to make sure they pass muster up to the very top. After receiving an  application, our resourcing team reviews and considers any attached work samples, recommendations, and the applicant’s resume. And, we're not just interested in the work- we want to know about the person, too. We're looking for those soft skills that will make their addition to your team seamless. 4. Phone or video interview Call us old-school, but in today’s marketing age it’s important that teams know they’re working with a real person. We also want to know that our freelancers will be are available, responsive, and able to effectively communicate with our clients. We attract talent from all over the world, but only a handful make it through to the next round after speaking with us. 5. Availability and hours In order to help us match clients and freelancers for optimal working conditions, we will ask all applicants about their availability and hours. Torchlite does not require our Torchliters to be available at specific times of the day, or for certain amounts of time. However, we do take availability into consideration when resourcing accounts to fit our clients' needs. 6. Acceptance The final step of our vetting process ensures that each freelancer understands what it means to be part of the Torchliter community and work for Torchlite’s clients. This is an essential step of transparency and agreement between Torchlite and all of our freelancers that helps us both decrease the amount of time it takes to resource accounts and cultivate a community of top-notch digital marketing freelancers. If you’re a marketer looking to add our vetted talent to your bench, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!

Read More