— Interview by Emily Santos
Emily is a social producer and brand strategist. Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2018 she has been sharpening her craft in the digital space.
When it comes to securing a well-established job in a competitive field, one’s network has become more critical than ever. It is no longer just about what you have done, it is also about who you refer to speak on your behalf. I am sure many of us have been there, employer and employees alike, when the daunting task of submitting and following up with referrals are needed and many times, we allow this task to fall right under the cracks. Ricardo Ibarra, CEO, and Founder of Auctio has created a solution for this issue. A system of record dedicated to organizing and keeping track of referrals. Hear Ricardo as he shares the vision behind Auctio and how his identity has played a role in the development of his business.
ES: What does the value of multi-generational wealth mean to the Latino community and why is it so important?
RI: I understand the importance of this question, but I don’t think I’m the ideal person to answer this question because I’m currently torn by the concept of the “American Dream” and the sacrifices we wrestle with on a daily basis. I want my daughter to be passionate, curious, take risks, make informed decisions, adapt to a fast-paced world, but most importantly, I want her to be happy and live in the present.
ES: What are the benefits and challenges of being a Latinx entrepreneur?
RI: I do not have a well enough answer for this question because I see all entrepreneurs as one and the same. I don’t really think being Latinx is a factor because numbers speak volumes when it comes to your business. I am aware that there is data out there around fundraising that can be used to answer these questions, but I think this falls on the causation vs. correlation challenge.
ES: Why does your company have a high growth potential?
RI: Everyone agrees that referrals are the best leads, but most companies do not have a process in place to streamline and manage their referral process.
ES: What is the company’s 5-year vision?
RI: We want to become the system of record for ALL referrals.
ES: What inspired you to start your company?
RI: As a Business Development professional, I’ve always used a CRM, but I’ve always had the need for an excel spreadsheet as well. I thought there had to be a better way.
ES: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to take their startup to the next level?
RI: Be honest about your product-market fit and your addressable market. Numbers don’t lie.
ES: Tell us about unique challenges in B2B marketing
RI: Creating urgency in the sales process is very hard. Does your product/solution really solve a problem? If so, why now? This is key in order to build a repeatable sales process that is scalable.
ES: Tell us what referral marketing is and why it is important?
RI: Referral marketing is a marketing strategy that companies use to promote word of mouth. Most companies have 3 sources of referrals; employees, customers, and partners. Referrals have shorter sales cycles and higher average order values, so it is a great way for companies to increase revenue and impact their bottom line.