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The MassChallenge Perk They Don’t Talk About

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap

(Pictured, CEO Dave McLaughlin in our first cube at MassChallenge. Back when we were working with Grails and wore sandwich signs with job postings instead of writing a blog post like this)

This year’s MassChallenge deadline, April 2nd, also marks an important moment for Vsnap: We’re moving into our very own office in downtown Boston! And while I’m incredibly excited about this move, it is bittersweet.

When Vsnap was accepted into the MassChallenge accelerator in 2011, the team was composed of myself, CEO Dave, and our part-time intern Brian. In the early days, I spent a good amount of time by myself while Dave was off in meetings laying down some of the important groundwork for the business. What helped immensely as I was navigating my way through the startup world, was 1) the community of entrepreneurs in the accelerator and 2) the amazing MassChallenge team. When I look back on Vsnap’s time at MC, both in the accelerator and as alumni-in-residence, the absolute highlight for me is the staff. People like…

  • Scott Bailey (Senior Director of Partnerships), whose passion for startups got me revved up even before I formally joined the Vsnap team

  • Erica Rife (former Program Director) and Ayla Walker (Event Manager), who were great resources helping us with the logistics for events (meetups and even two conferences) using the MC accelerator space

  • Robby Bitting (Director of Marketing), who’s helped us find great media opportunities to spread the word about Vsnap

  • Joanna Meiseles (Senior Director of Operations), who helped me, Jacqui from UbiqiHealth, Sarah from Capital Market Exchange, and Tish from GRIT, start the Women in MassChallenge group last year

  • Ryan Walsh (Operations Manager), who was always around to help with logistics and general support

  • Kara Shurmantine (Partnerships Manager), who got us seats on panels and helped us take advantage of sponsorship opportunities

  • Jibran Malek (Social Media Coordinator), who used MassChallenge’s social media channels to share good news, job postings, and funding announcements with the universe

  • Fhiwa Ndou and Cory Bolotsky (Fhiwa is the current Startup Concierge and Cory is the former), who helped us as, both finalists and alumni, in navigating the MassChallenge space

And of course we’ve had amazing support from the MC executive staff. From mentorship to introductions, John Harthorne (CEO), Akhil Nigam (President), and Karl Büttner (Chief Mentorship Officer), have been such great advocates for us. MassChallenge has also hired a whole slew of new team members, and I can’t wait to see what they bring to this already fantastic team.

So yes, MassChallenge boasts $1MM in cash prizes, free office space, $10MM in in-kind support, and more. But being in the trenches alongside these people who are just as passionate about changing the world as we are, has been a true honor. I’ll always consider them an extension of the Vsnap team.

I hope you readers have a chance to get to know these wonderful people, either in the global startup scene or as a MassChallenge finalist. If you’re interested in applying and need a refund code (discount on the application fee), please vsnap your pitch to trish@vsnap.com. Good luck! We’re excited to welcome you to the MassChallenge family.

Filed under masschallenge vsnap startups mcrefunds trish blogs bittersweet moments accelerators

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Vsnap is hiring a Front End Developer!

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At Vsnap, we built our product for businesspeople who want to make sure their customers feel loved. Now we’re making our product more awesome and easier to use - and we need an amazing Front End Developer to help us do that!

We are looking for a hard working, motivated, deadline driven individual to develop interactive web sites. Applicants should have multiple years of experience writing custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Expertise writing semantic, modular front end code using HTML5, CSS3, and W3C coding practices a must. Understanding of the concepts of progressive enhancement, responsive design, mobile first and future friendly design highly encouraged. Experience with Sass, LESS framework and HTML5 Boilerplate a plus.

Additional requirements include:

  • Must be local (Greater Boston Area)
  • Familiarity with browser testing and debugging

  • Familiarity with front end javascript frameworks (Flight, Backbone, Angular, etc.)

  • Expertise in performance optimization using tools such as YSlow or PageSpeed

  • Ample experience navigating Photoshop and saving images for the web.

  • Basic understanding of NodeJS a plus

  • Uses of custom written JavaScript

  • Understanding of OOP

  • Contributions to OpenSource projects on GitHub a plus

  • A firm grasp of SEO / SEM best practices

One more thing - and this is critical. We’re building a movement around a simple set of values. If you don’t share these values, you won’t be the right fit. If you do share them, then let’s talk. Take a look at this short video, then send a vsnap to Chris Swenor (chris@vsnap.com), our VP of Product & Technology, telling him which of these values resonates most for you. (There’s no right or wrong answer, by the way). You can also use Vsnap’s “attachment” feature to link to your portfolio or an example of related work.

We’re excited to meet you!

PS - No recruiters, please. 

Filed under vsnap boston jobs developer

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Vsnap is hiring a Customer Success Manager

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(Pictured above is our Junior Developer, Ryan McDonald, enjoying his first day pie!)

Your job is to help Vsnappers be more awesome by using our product. To help them look great. This means providing support and sharing learning. It also means some hand-holding and problem-solving. Why? Once a Vsnapper is empowered with best use cases and how to use all the features of the platform, they’ll be more comfortable using the product daily, they’ll send higher quality vsnaps, and they’ll get more awesome results and responses. Because of the large number of responses to this post, we do want to clarify that this position will sit on the customer service side of the house, not sales. 

At Vsnap, we live and breathe a set of six simple beliefs. Seriously, these statements are the foundation for our company. Here they are:

Be human. Smile, breathe, say what you love.

Be a doer. Action is character.

Only help.Never just add noise.

Protect simplicity. And it will protect you.

Make people feel special. People never forget how you make them feel.

Celebrate questions. They are the doorways to discovery.

If those statements speak to you, then you should speak to us! But first, let’s tell you more about the job…

Core Responsibilities

- Provide customer support. Act as a first line of response to customer inquiries online (via email, possibly social) and over the phone.

- Help to onboard premium customers.

- Make sure our FAQs / best practice documents are updated. 

- Work on monthly webinars / blog posts. 

- Help investigate bugs. 

- Document customer stories and collect feedback. 

- And because this is a startup, you’ll probably be asked to do other stuff too, working closely with our VP of Community & Customer Experience.

Requirements

This is a junior position, and it’s all about attitude and work ethic. You have to be a believer and you have to love the idea of helping us create a movement around those six values. You don’t need to be an engineer but you need to be technically savvy to the point that you can learn how our product works and explain that to customers. Mostly though, this is a culture fit. So if you’re interested, send a vsnap to trish@vsnap.com and tell us what your favorite value is.  

Comp

Salary + stock options of course, plus health & dental. Oh and we have an open vacation policy. 

Filed under job postings vsnap boston customer success customer service

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Why I Joined Vsnap

By Bill Harris, VP of Sales at Vsnap

At a previous employer, my top sales rep sat in front of me explaining that 80% of his revenue was going to come from his top 10 accounts. The remaining 20% was going to come from his next 20 accounts. Sounds straightforward, right?

The problem was that he had 40 accounts!  

I asked his plan around the remaining 10 accounts. Silence followed by a shoulder shrug and a smirk. “Those are small deals,” he said. “I can make up that revenue by focusing on growth in the top 30.”  

He was my number 1 rep with a 15% growth performance, so I wasn’t too worried. Until I found out that all my other reps were doing the same thing — meaning that 25% of our existing business was for all intents and purposes abandoned.  

Think about that.

I am sure that pattern is not unique to the team I was managing.

But it’s actually a tricky problem to solve. Reps will provide plausible rationales for their approach. They’ll talk about the costs of getting face to face, about overflowing schedules, about emails getting buried. And all that is true.

But so is the need to not give away a quarter of existing business. We had long time clients that lost the “relationship” with our company. Turnover on both teams exacerbated that. We had lost the “face” of our company, and all I could think was my 8th grade science teacher telling me that nature abhors a vacuum. Our competitors were creating connections with the clients we weren’t getting to.

Around that time I became an executive advisor to Vsnap. I began to vsnap project updates to various stakeholders. I vsnapped thank yous and happy birthdays. I vsnapped delighted clients and clients that had felt overlooked. I vsnapped when I wanted to share my excitement of won deals — something we all know can be so contagious!

The results were eye opening. Responses were different. Clients came back to me with enthusiasm and gratitude.

Customers were now engaged with me in new ways. They saw me in other cities sending vsnaps while I was on the road. They felt great knowing I was thinking about them outside of my office. Vsnap helped build relationships in new ways. It acted as a sales accelerant.  My relationships with the client was growing.  

And that’s why I joined Vsnap. It’s about that simple. I saw over and over how sales teams were struggling to stay close to the customer, and I see how this tool makes that easy, warm, efficient and trackable. I couldn’t be more excited!

Filed under bill blogs vsnap sales

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Why Top Sales Organizations Succeed In Highly Competitive Markets

By Guillaume Delloue, Director of Marketing at Vsnap

As any athlete will tell you, competitions breeds excellence. It’s only when the best practitioners compete against each other that records get broken and standards are elevated.

A similar phenomenon happens in highly competitive economies — it’s during those times that merely good companies are separated from the truly great. And according to the latest research from sales performance experts Miller Heiman, the gap between the two is steadily growing,

Called “World-Class Sales Organizations”, these companies are the cream of the crop, outperforming their peers by an average of 20% in key sales performance metrics. So why are they thriving when everyone else seems to be struggling?

It’s not a one-word answer, but according to Miller Heiman’s latest research, it has much to do with how companies manage and communicate with customers. Their 2013 report “The Growing Gap Between Good and Great” (you can download the executive summary here) identifies a distinct set of behaviors top sales organizations have in common, including:

  • Having a formal value proposition that’s compelling to potential customers

  • Aligning sales and marketing in what customers want/need

  • Clearly understanding customers’ issues before offering a solution

  • Consistently reviewing the results of the solution with strategic accounts

  • Spending sufficient time each week talking with customers

Taken together, these attributes form the foundation of a customer-first culture that’s becoming increasingly necessary to stay competitive in today’s economy. Miller Heiman are hardly the only ones to believe this either — just listen to Microsoft’s head of Business Solutions, who recently called on businesses to adopt a customer-centric view if they wished to remain relevant. Yet the sad truth is that most companies continue to underperform in that department.

One possible solution may be the promise of technology. Used correctly it has the potential to foster more meaningful relationships with customers while also measuring the success of such efforts (especially important for larger companies). And given the enormous sums companies spent in 2013 on those emerging sales technologies (at an average of over $2,000 per person), the future may be right around the corner.

What do you think? Will the tech revolution engender a sea change in how we engage customers or will it further alienate us from their true needs? Let us know in the comments!

 

Filed under guillaume blogs vsnap sales