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10 Things You Didn't Know about Olivier Severyns

Olivier Severyns is the CEO of Snapshift. This is a HR tool meant for managing deskless workers, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it has managed to find a niche for itself in the modern business environment. For proof, look no further than the fact that Snapshift has managed to raise $45 million in a Series A funding round.

1. Based in the Greater Paris Metropolitan Region

Currently, Severyns is based out of the Greater Paris Metropolitan Region. This makes sense because said city remains a center of culture, science, and economics in the present time, thus making it a natural location for an European tech start-up to operate out of.

2. Is Bilingual

Speaking of which, Severyns is bilingual. Of course, one of his languages is French. Meanwhile, the other is English. Severyns speaks both languages with great proficiency. Something that makes sense because his first "real" job was working for an English-speaking company situated close to San Francisco.

3. Started Out at a Management Consulting Firm

To be exact, Severyns started out at a small management consulting firm called Warm Decent Human Beings, Inc. in the early 1990s. There, his ability to speak French presumably proved to be very useful because the firm conducted learning expeditions during which French managers would meet up with their American counterparts. Besides that, Warm Decent Human Beings apparently specialized in subjects such as innovation, quality management, and organizational change.

4. Says that Entrepreneurs Don't Start Businesses for Fast, Easy Money

Severyns has said that entrepreneurs don't start businesses for fast, easy money. After all, entrepreneurship doesn't exactly guarantee fast, easy money. Most start-ups fail for one reason or another. Sometimes, they just weren't a good fit for their chosen market. Other times, they didn't have enough resources to see them through routine issues. Furthermore, even when start-ups are headed in the right direction, it can still take quite some time for that to pay off for the entrepreneurs. It is one thing for them to have an ownership stake in a promising prospect; it is another thing for them to be able to translate that ownership stake into something else.

5. Says that Entrepreneurs Start Businesses for the Vision and the Experience

Instead, Severyns says that entrepreneurs start businesses for a couple of reasons. One would be the vision, which is something that they want to bring about through their start-up.

Something that entrepreneurs often use as a way to motivate their employees, particularly since they have a hard time competing with their bigger and better-established counterparts when it comes to more conventional forms of compensation. The other would be the experience, which can be a mix of things.

For example, entrepreneurs tend to be more willing to take risks, so it should come as no surprise to learn that a lot of them feel a sense of excitement by running a start-up with an uncertain future. Similarly, it is very common for people to feel a sense of pride when they build something or grow something, which extends to cover start-ups. Of course, the joy of pursuing their personal passion is a major motivator as well.

6. Was In the Restaurant Business

It is common for entrepreneurs to offer solutions for problems that they have encountered themselves. Severyns is an excellent example. As mentioned earlier, Snapshift is a HR tool meant for managing deskless workers, which would be everyone whose job doesn't see them seated at a desk. This was relevant to Severyns because he was in the restaurant business, meaning that he would have overseen a lot of deskless workers.

7. Sales Has Changed

Severyns was already working in the early 1990s. As a result, he has a very good idea of just how much sales has changed because of the popularization of the Internet. On the other hand, this has been very beneficial for salespeople because the Internet makes it possible for them to reach more people with greater ease than ever before.

On the other hand, this has meant new challenges as well, with an excellent example being how the sheer number of leads generated means that salespeople can miss out by getting distracted by leads that won't result in paying customers. Due to this, new sales methods are needed for a new sales environment.

8. Has Compared New Sales Methods to Running a Restaurant

Curiously, Severyns has compared these new sales methods to running a restaurant. Essentially, he thinks that modern businesses need to make a reputation for themselves by focusing on excellence. After which, they can capitalize on that reputation by encouraging word-of-mouth marketing, seeking out media pickup, and other methods. He also talked about the importance of responsiveness, imbuing sales interactions with a human touch, and the ability to sort leads so that the right ones can receive the right responses.

9. Talked about Content Marketing

Severyns has talked about the potential usefulness of content marketing as well. Here, he had some interesting thoughts. For example, there is the idea of focusing on content that will prove to be useful for years and years to come rather than maximizing short-term interest. Similarly, there is the idea of being willing to share opinions, which is presumably meant to provide businesses with a more human feel by taking sides in certain matters rather than stay so consistently neutral that they come off as being excessively artificial.

10. His Tool Is Meant to Help Out with Talent Retention

One of the issues that Severyns's tool is meant to help out with would be talent retention. Some people with a low opinion of deskless employees might think that this is less of an issue with them than with their desked counterparts. However, that isn't the case.

Deskless employees with expertise and experience are just as valuable as their desked counterparts, which in turn, means that high turnover rates can hurt companies quite a bit. For that matter, high turnoever rates aren't exactly a good thing even for those who are just starting out. After all, that still means a need to replace them. Never mind the initial period of reduced productivity because of how even the eagerest and friendliest people still need time to integrate into existing teams.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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