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Q&A with Rich Helgeson, CRO

Recently, Laplink welcomed Rich Helgeson to the team as Chief Revenue Officer. We sat down with Rich to learn more about him and his vision for Laplink.

 

Laplink: Tell us, where are you from?

RH: Originally, I was born in Park Rapids, MN. My Dad was a Site Engineer for two-year projects, so I lived in eight different states as a child. During my career, I was transferred to Seattle in 1985 to assume the Global Sales directorship for Boeing. My wife and I purchased a lot in Tuscany, Woodinville, WA in 1991, and had our house built on the lot. We have now lived in Tuscany for more than 31 years!

 

What inspired you to choose your specific career path?

My degree is in English/Education. A fellow baseball teammate of mine, who was a year ahead of me, went to work for IBM when he graduated. He loved the company, his role, and the success that he saw exceedingly early on in his career. He shared his positive experience with me and subsequently introduced me to the IBM Team. I reviewed the job openings and took their “3rd Dimension Testing” for candidates who were not computer science majors. The purpose of the testing was to measure one’s ability to think in the third dimension, and it measured innovation, creativity, and the ability to envision specific items. I passed and went to work for IBM — a move that began my career in System Engineering. After just two years, I moved into IBM Field Sales. I enjoyed customer engagements, information gathering, presenting solutions, negotiating agreements, and successfully closing business. And as a result, I’ve stayed in the customer engagement sector for my entire career.

 

In your extensive experience, what are some of your favorite success stories? We’d love to hear the highlights!

One of my favorite success stories occurred when I was VP of Sales for the Americas at a large technology company based in Minneapolis. It was a publicly traded company, but their growth was flat. I discussed with my CEO the concept of finding more appropriate partners, with whom we could work hand in hand with on increased engagement with other large global enterprise companies. I selected a company to engage for whom our software solution would provide the most benefit for both our our partner and our prospects. Generally, once I engaged with a company, it typically took about three months to develop, evaluate, and derive value that would then allow for our company to work for a partner’s accounts. Each of our software solutions that we provided this large technology company was unique and applicable for our partner. As a result, we grew our company from $30 million in annual revenue to $135 million in annual revenue in only 16 months. Our stock rose quickly and ended with an acquisition.

One of my other favorite stories took place during my time with Adaptiva. We had engaged with Citi to better understand their requirements and were introduced to their testing scenario and proof of concept process. We installed our solution in their test lab and collaborated with them for eight weeks to complete the PoC. In the end, we won the business and began a five-year business relationship. We utilized the same steps with Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, AIG, Marsh & McLennan, MetLife, Vanguard Group, Manulife/John Hancock, Penske, Rexall, and more. These sales and others provided the beginning of our growth that made Adaptiva into a true industry leader.

 

What kind of challenges did you face in your career and how did you overcome them?

The challenges that always stood out to me in each of my assignments and sales leadership roles have been mastering the science of how people are influenced and understanding the complexity of the solutions that I represent and how I craft the messaging. I overcame these challenges by engaging with the appropriate team members to enhance my knowledge level, enhance my communications, and validate the solution.

 

How were you introduced to Laplink, and what attracted you to this role?

I was introduced to Laplink by one of my former CEOs. After the introduction, I researched Laplink and quickly saw that their PCmover product is the best in the industry. And understanding the perpetual need to upgrade and refresh PCs — for consumers, SMBs, and enterprises alike — led me to believe that Laplink’s solution has a very bright future!

 

What is your favorite way to inspire people?

My practice to inspire team members is to ensure that their knowledge level of our solution(s) is complete. The key to determining that knowledge is to collaborate with them in setting the sales process for each of their prospects and their customers.

 

Tell us about your leadership style.

I believe in the saying, “coach, teach, and motivate!” I work with teams to set the standard for customer engagements, to provide steps of education to ensure that the complexity of the solution is understood, and to provide the right system of motivation and rewards to keep the teams‘ undivided attention.

 

Can you share with us a little more about your vision for Laplink as CRO?

My vision for Laplink is to make the world aware of Laplink’s solutions and of the many benefits of using PCmover and the Laplink product family. I have every confidence that the more global enterprises understand how our solution can help them save precious IT time and resources, the greater their need will be for it.

 

If there were three pieces of advice you would share with the world, what would they be?

Conduct yourself with integrity. Prioritize open and honest communications. Listen to people and be the best you can be!

 

Tell us a little more about you! What hobbies and interests do you enjoy in your free time?

I enjoy all kinds of family activities: From hosting dinners and events, to long walks with our sons, daughter, and their dogs, or to playing golf — my favorite hobby. If it’s sunny, I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be outdoors!

 

Thank you so much for your time. We’re looking forward to a bright future working together at Laplink!

 

About Laplink Software, Inc.

For nearly 40 years, Laplink has been a global leader in consumer, SMB, and enterprise PC migration software, and has earned the loyalty and trust of millions of organizations and customers worldwide. The company’s PCmover software saves time and budget, reduces migration risks, and increases efficiency. Only PCmover’s proprietary technology includes full selectivity that transfers data, applications, and settings from an old PC to a new one, even if the two PCs run different versions of Windows. The privately held company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington.

 

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