Six-year veteran of Outsell has played key role in broadening Outsell’s capabilities

Outsell announced today that CTO Bryan Harwood has been elevated to President of the company, in recognition for the important role he has played in driving Outsell’s growth and success in recent years.

In addition, Outsell has rounded out its senior management team with the addition of two new executives: Litded Davis has been promoted to Vice President, Product and Program Management, and Chris Johnson has been promoted to Vice President, Development. Both have made significant contributions to the organization during their tenure with Outsell.

Outsell achieved record-breaking sales in Q1, after closing out a very strong 2016. Direct sales now comprise a significant percentage of revenue, and the company maintains strong channel sales as well from agency partners such as Agency 720 and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Mike Wethington, CEO and Founder of Outsell, said:

“While serving as CTO, Bryan frequently contributed to operational discussions and decisions that demonstrated to me and the Board that he was capable of taking on more responsibility. He’s played an important part in not only helping to expand Outsell’s capabilities over the past six years, but also in working with our internal team, customers and partners to make sure our new products were widely adopted by auto dealers. I’m very pleased to see him take a more active role in managing the company’s strategy and growth.”

“Analytics are essential in auto sales, and Outsell helps dealers leverage technology to forge closer relationships with consumers,” said Harwood, now President. “There is so much opportunity in this market, and Outsell has built a fantastic marketing platform that can grow in many ways. I’m looking forward to working closely with Mike and the rest of the Outsell team to make it happen.”

About Harwood, Johnson and Davis
Bryan Harwood joined Outsell in 2011 as CTO. He is an innovative technology leader with a depth of experience building out data and transaction processing systems on a massive scale for global enterprises. Harwood began his career as an IT Architect at IBM Global Services working with clients on large implementation projects. Following IBM, he was Lead Architect at Sun Microsystems, architecting a global e-commerce and content management solution for a top e-learning company. He then moved to the role of Fellow & Chief Architect at Galileo/Travelport, building out the first web services platform for the travel industry, which allowed travel sites like Orbitz, Cheaptickets and Expedia to integrate their systems seamlessly. This next-generation Global Distribution System (GDS) was a revolutionary project in the travel industry. He holds a BS in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine.

Litded Davis is a results-driven individual with more than 15 years of product and project management experience leading strategic initiatives and delivering innovative products in the healthcare, insurance, banking, incentive and automotive industries. As Vice President, Product and Program Management, Davis implements PMO and product management practices. She leads a talented group of product strategists, product managers, project managers and business systems analysts driving the next generation of the Outsell platform. Previously, Davis was director of the project management organization at Outsell.  She has also held program and product development positions at Hallmark Business Connections, United Healthcare, TCF Bank, Baker Hill (acquired by Experian) and One America (formerly American United Life Insurance).  Davis holds a BS in Finance from Indiana University Kelly School of Business and Certificate of Programming from the University of Minnesota.

Chris Johnson brings more than two decades of leadership experience to Outsell, with the majority focused on scaling smaller development shops up to enable high growth through the professionalization of software delivery practices. At Outsell, Johnson has managed the Development and Infrastructure teams, helping guide the technology practices through the transitions to Amazon Web Services (AWS), .NET development platforms and ecosystems, and Agile development methodologies. Prior to joining Outsell, Johnson managed the development and delivery of the first Web-enabled Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application suite at Lawson Software, and served as the Director of the Development organization for the Governance, Risk, and Compliance business of Thomson Reuters. He holds BS degrees from the University of Minnesota in both Astrophysics and Physical Science Education, as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Saint Thomas.

“Bryan, Litded and Chris have all contributed to Outsell’s past success in measurable ways,” said Wethington. “These promotions are well deserved and help position Outsell for future success and growth.”

Learn more about the Outsell Team.

#NADA100 was an event to remember for Outsell

Outsell attended the New Orleans convention with a brand new booth to greet dealers and received remarkable reception on the design. Several convention-goers stopped by just so they could take photos of the booth.

We couldn’t be more pleased with how the booth represents Outsell and how we engage customers, being inviting from all sides for continual traffic that helped build some fantastic relationships for the new year.

It was especially rewarding to have dealers and other vendors come up to us, remembering when we were a smaller presence with a more subdued booth along the back wall, and remark on how clear it is that we’ve grown as a successful solution for dealers and have become a major player in their digital marketing efforts.

old versus new outsell nada booth

NADA 2016 vs NADA 2017

We convened our first-ever Customer Advisory Board (CAB) the Thursday of the convention to start the event on a high note, gaining great feedback on the Outsell platform, guidance on product direction, and how we can better serve our clients.

One CAB participant, Kristy Elliott, Executive Manager at Sunshine Chevrolet, said:

“The Outsell platform has become an integral part of our overall marketing process. I welcomed the opportunity to participate in Outsell’s Customer Advisory Board, because it gives me a chance to network with peers from other dealerships, and to have an impact on Outsell’s product direction.”

outsell customer advisory board

NADA continued to be a win for Outsell when we were announced as a top marketing solution for auto dealers at the Automotive Website Awards, created by PCG Companies. The AWAs provide car dealers with an independent review of automotive technology, and we were honored to be counted among the select few recognized.

“Winning products in the marketing solutions category are those that we believe can help dealers to sell more cars in a digital age, as they are designed to increase the sales opportunities that dealers can have with in-market shoppers,” said Brian Pasch, Founder, PCG Companies.

awa award with pcg companies

We’ve also seen some great momentum surrounding the new features and products launched at NADA.

Outsell Social Ads integrates with a dealer’s campaigns to:

  • Reach the unreachable in their database
  • Keep active shoppers engaged
  • Acquire and engage net-new prospects
  • Entice lapsed service customers back to their service bays

Additionally, Outsell launched:

  • Single Consumer View: for dealers to view everything they know about a customer in one place including current vehicle, service and sales history, and engagement with past marketing campaigns.
  • Automated Review Solicitation: giving dealers the ability to automatically request reviews from customers and guide them through the process of posting those reviews.
  • CDK Integration: as a CDK integration partner working toward certification to ensure quick, simple and secure connections and data sharing.

“All these new enhancements are designed to help simplify the process of engaging consumers across channels and individualizing offers and content for auto dealers’ customers, including reaching customers via their preferred channel,” said Bryan Harwood, Outsell’s CTO.

It was an exciting way to kick off 2017 and we are carrying the momentum from the show throughout the organization.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth! We hope you enjoyed learning more about Outsell and how automating your marketing efforts utilizing technology featuring artificial intelligence increases consumer engagement.

We’re also happy to see that our Outsell branded socks were a huge hit. We’re a fan of them too.

outsell socks

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New Outsell VPs for People & Marketing

Outsell announced today that it has promoted Catherine Decker to Vice President of People and Valerie Vallancourt to Vice President, Marketing.

Decker was formerly Director, Human Resources at Outsell. Human Resources Magazine recently named her as one of five 2016 HR Rising Stars. At Outsell, she has launched several new HR programs and processes that have contributed to the company’s positive team culture and improved its bottom line, including Stay Interviews to increase retention and an Unlimited PTO policy.

Vallancourt was formerly Director, Marketing at Outsell. Since joining the company just over a year and a half ago, Vallancourt has transformed marketing, developing a demand generation engine and implementing new processes for lead generation and tracking, and more than doubling inbound lead flow while improving quality – helping the company exceed its sales goals.

“Both Catherine and Valerie have had a big impact on Outsell’s success, and we’re recognizing that today with their promotions,” said Mike Wethington, founder and CEO of Outsell. “They’ve stepped up with big ideas, have demonstrated great leadership abilities and are making contributions to our growth every day. I’m so pleased to make them a part of our senior management team.”

Last week, Outsell’s Chief Technology Officer, Bryan Harwood, spoke as part of a panel of experts on enforcement of intellectual property rights for a delegation from Pakistan.

Under the auspices of the Pakistan-U.S. Cooperation, representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan; Federal Judicial Academy, Pakistan; Commercial Law Development Program; and U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, came together with an international mission. Learning about the enforcement of IP laws in the Unites States, the delegates from Pakistan hoped to return home better informed to build out their own newly establishing practices.

Harwood was joined on the panel by The Honorable James D. Smith, Chief IP Counsel for Ecolab, and Kevin Rhodes, Chief IP Counsel for 3M. Harwood was asked to participate to offer a small business perspective. Smaller companies tend to be less concerned with patents and focus more on the protection of trade secrets.

“It was an exciting opportunity to share the stage with such esteemed colleagues, providing our peers in Pakistan what expertise we could share about topics they are only just beginning to explore,” Harwood said.

pakistan deligates

As part of the American Inns of Court, which “inspire the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education and mentoring,” this event was a prime example of international cooperation in the technology community.

Honored for a second time as a progressive company in Minnesota

Outsell announced today that the Star Tribune has named Outsell one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota. The 2016 Top Workplaces special section was published in the Star Tribune on Sunday, June 26. The report can also be found at www.StarTribune.com/topworkplaces2016.

Produced by the same team that compiles the 25-year-old Star Tribune 100 report of the best-performing public companies in Minnesota, Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. The analysis included responses from over 73,870 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.

The results of the Star Tribune 2016 Top Workplaces are based on survey information collected by WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention.

“This recognition is an honor and a testament to the talented group of employees at Outsell. We are extremely pleased to be listed among the other top workplaces in Minnesota,” said Mike Wethington, President and CEO, Outsell. “Our goal is to create a culture that brings out the best in our employees that continue to develop the best customer engagement solution for our customers in the automotive industry.”

Star Tribune Publisher Michael J. Klingensmith said, “The companies in the Star Tribune Top Workplaces deserve high praise for creating the very best work environments in the state of Minnesota. My congratulations to each of these exceptional companies.”

About 2016 Top Workplaces Award
To qualify for the Star Tribune Top Workplaces, a company must have more than 50 employees in Minnesota. Over 1,555 companies were invited to participate. Rankings were composite scores calculated purely on the basis of employee responses.

Learn how offense is the best defense for dealerships to stay competitive

Outsell will sponsor a free one-hour power training webinar hosted by Automotive News on the topic, “Offense Is The Best Defense: Keep Your Customers From Shopping Elsewhere” on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm Eastern.

Did you know that on average over 46% of customers choose not to come back to a dealership for their next purchase? And 13% of them are buying the same brand sold from another dealership. So what can dealers do to address this? Dealers have the power to prevent their customers from making a purchase elsewhere. And furthermore, some dealers aren’t aware that they already have all the inside data they need to attract additional active shoppers in their area.

Join automotive industry thought leaders Jon Petron and Craig Vore from Outsell as they discuss with Dave Versical of Automotive News how easy it is for dealers to use the treasure trove of behavioral data they currently have to:

  • Predict who’s ready to buy so they can reach out to them before the competition does.
  • Figure out when old leads from years ago begin shopping again.
  • Track a previous customer’s shopping habits to figure out which vehicles, products, and services are most relevant to them.
  • Continuously stay top-of-mind with customers throughout their vehicle’s life cycle.

Who:
Speakers: Jon Petron, Vice President of Advanced Services, Outsell and Craig Vore, Insights Manager – Strategy & Optimization, Outsell. Moderator: Dave Versical, Director of Editorial Operations, Automotive News

What:
“Offense Is The Best Defense: Keep Your Customers From Shopping Elsewhere”

Where:
Your computer

When:
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern

How:
To register for the free event or if you have questions, please visit: http://www.outsell.com/outsell-events/

Webinar Registration Link
Email powerTRAINING@autonews.com

Outsell featured sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s high level dealer marketing event

Outsell is showcasing its solutions at the upcoming 6th annual 2016 Dealer Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC), taking place in Napa Valley, California from May 22 – May 24, 2016.

At booth #106, Outsell will feature:

  • Outsell Fuel, a multi-channel customer engagement platform that enables automotive dealers to engage with customers wherever they are in their lifecycle, track behaviors to identify in-market buyers, and understand shopper intensity.
  • BuyerScout®, the only buyer detection product that predicts who’s going to buy and provides dealers with a scored list and information into what consumers are doing, identifying hot prospects before your competition.
  • New Service Campaigns, that boost traffic to dealer service bays.
  • A new integration with Google Analytics that gives auto dealers enhanced web analytics tracking.

The Digital Marketing Strategies Conference, a PCG event, is a high-level executive planning event designed to assist automotive dealers with creating a highly effective digital marketing strategy for the year ahead. The workshops are hands-on, intimate, highly engaging, and rich in content designed for dealers, managers, and Internet sales professionals who want to stay ahead of their local competition.

“We’re looking forward to this event and sharing our solutions and ideas with the dealer community. Auto dealers know they need to create more advanced digital marketing strategies and move from sporadic, generic email blasts to a more structured, automated, and individualized communications process – but they struggle with how to do it,” said Bryan Harwood, Chief Technology Officer of Outsell. “Outsell’s platform outperforms other solutions because it adapts to individual consumers’ lifecycles and engages with them in a way that is individually effective. The feedback we receive from our dealer customers is extremely positive – they’re experiencing returns that range from 9-30x on their Outsell investment.”

Outsell’s multi-channel customer engagement platform manages millions of interactions every month for dealers all major automotive brands. To learn more about Outsell, visit the company at booth #106 at the DMSC, or visit www.outsell.com. DMSC will be located at the Napa Valley Marriott Resort & Spa. To register at this event, please visit http://digitalmarketingstrategies.org/register/

Award honors top human resource executives across the country

Outsell announced today that Human Resource Executive magazine has selected Outsell Director of Human Resources Catherine Decker as one of its five 2016 HR Rising Stars. This is the magazine’s 11th year presenting this award, which honors the country’s top human resource professionals leading change and innovation across various industries. Winners were featured in the May issue of the magazine “HR’s Rising Stars.”

This award recognizes senior HR professionals who have demonstrated leadership, the ability to successfully launch significant HR initiatives and programs, and the ability to manage major HR-related tasks.

At Outsell, Catherine launched several new HR programs and processes that contributed to Outsell’s positive team culture and improved the company’s bottom line. Catherine instituted Stay Interviews, to not only increase retention but to help employee’s problem solve and create another method for employee feedback to reach senior management. She also replaced a generous PTO policy with an innovative Unlimited PTO policy which further acknowledged the high regard, appreciation, and trust the company places in its associates. Catherine brought recruiting in-house and rolled out a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) across the organization which is making HR processes more efficient for all associates. Lastly, Catherine lends her expertise to the Outsell Leadership Team, the Compensation Sub-Committee with Outsell’s board members and the Outsell Caring Committee. Outsell has doubled its number of associates and expanded from having associates in one state to as many as 10 states during her tenure. Outsell is actively recruiting new associates across the organization. A full list of open positions may be found here http://www.outsell.com/careers/.

“On behalf of all the associates at Outsell, I would like to congratulate Catherine on this award and acknowledge her outstanding leadership in this role,” said Matt Hanley, CFO of Outsell. “Catherine believes in a progressive HR environment and developed many new programs that have proven to be very well received among Outsell employees and management.”

“As a growing company with a maturing workforce at Outsell, I am committed to working closely with senior management and associates to develop programs that support our culture and business goals,” said Decker. “I am honored to receive this award from Human Resource Executive magazine and thrilled to be recognized among the other inspiring HR professionals.”

About HR 2016 Rising Stars
Judges for this year’s contest include Charlie Tharp, chief executive officer for the Center on Executive Compensation, a division of the HR Policy Association, and former senior vice president of human resources for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; Michele Darling, president of Michele Darling and Associates in Mississauga, Ontario, and former executive vice president of corporate governance and human resources for Prudential Insurance Co.; Gregory Hessel, senior client partner with the human resources practice and managing director of global client development at Korn/Ferry International’s Dallas offices; and Kristen B. Frasch, managing editor of Human Resource Executive® magazine. To read stories on past winners and learn more about the award, please visit HREOnline™ HR’s Rising Stars.

Brings Years of Automotive Sales and Marketing Experience to Promote Outsell Fuel Platform

Outsell announced today that sales executive Guy Super has been promoted to Outsell’s management team as Vice President of Sales.

As Vice President of Sales, Super is focused on driving sales nationwide for the company’s powerful Outsell Fuel platform; a proprietary multi-channel customer engagement solution that makes dealers lives easier. Dealers using Outsell’s proprietary technology are tipped off when customers are most ready to engage, buy, or service. Super will manage, develop and lead the Outsell Direct to Dealer sales and business development teams and the ongoing adoption of Outsell’s solutions by dealers who rely upon Outsell’s easy to use platform to engage consumers on a consistent, individualized basis and drive more sales.

Most recently, Super was Outsell’s director of territory sales and prior to joining Outsell, Super was an award-winning sales director with Dominion Enterprises where he significantly increased sales and the company’s overall customer base. Super is a proven leader in building, managing and developing strategic sales teams and go-to-market strategies. He has also held senior management roles with Autobase, Inc. and Village Automotive Group. Super holds a Bachelor of Science in History from Lawrence University.

“Guy Super has been an essential part of the Outsell sales team and we are thrilled to have him join our management team as vice president of sales,” said Mike Wethington, president and CEO of Outsell. “Guy has an impressive track record of driving sales in the automotive industry and will be instrumental as we continue to promote the Outsell Fuel platform to dealers nationwide. Guy is a strategic sales and marketing expert, and I am thoroughly impressed with his ability to lead as well his knack for reaching out and connecting with the dealer community.”

“I’m excited about this new opportunity and continuing to work closely with the marketing, and product and development teams at Outsell to promote the Outsell Fuel platform,” said Guy Super. “I’m looking forward to building on Outsell’s current sales momentum to ensure a successful year.”

Learn how to sell smarter, not harder: Customer engagement strategies for every stage of the customer lifecycle

Outsell announced today that it has been invited to host a panel with Brian Pasch, principal of PCG Companies and dealer customer Sunshine Chevrolet at the Digital Dealer Workshop on the topic, “Selling smarter, not harder: Customer engagement strategies for every stage of the customer lifecycle” on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 1:30 pm ET.

Automotive dealers are great at developing relationships once a customer is in the store – but what are dealers doing to get them and keep them there? With more channels and higher expectations, dealerships want to better engage with customers and compete for their business. Dealers know they need to move from sporadic, generic email blasts to a more automated, structured and individualized communications process to stay ahead of the competition – but they struggle with how to do it.

Fortunately, there are new customer engagement tools and strategies that can transform how dealers communicate with customers and prospects throughout their lifecycle – from buyer detection to purchasing to service. Auto dealers shouldn’t treat an auto purchase as a one-and-done transaction. To stay competitive, dealers require the right arsenal of tools that will help them stay in front of the customers on a consistent and individualized basis.

Join automotive industry experts, Brian Pasch, principal at PCG Companies, Guy Super, vice president of sales, Outsell and Kristy Elliott, executive manager, Sunshine Chevrolet and part of the SunStar Network who will weigh-in on how the customer engagement process can be optimized at the dealer level. They will discuss tools and tactics as well as share first hand experiences so that dealers can better understand how they can improve their marketing effectiveness, increase engagement with leads and customers to ultimately sell more cars.

Who:
Speakers: Brian Pasch, Principal, PCG Companies, Kristy Elliott, Executive Manager, Sunshine Chevrolet and part of the SunStar Network and Guy Super, Vice President of Sales, Outsell

What:
“Selling smarter, not harder: Customer engagement strategies for every stage of the customer lifecycle”

Where:
Crowne Plaza Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

When:
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 1:30 – 2:20 pm EDT

How:
To register for the event or for more information, please visit: http://www.digitaldealer.com/workshops/register/