Ralph Schonenbach: Envoy AG

How has networking changed during the past decade?

The way that we network has changed significantly. Prior to “connecting platforms” such as LinkedIn and Facebook, networking was about meeting people face-to-face, exchanging cards and investing time in relationships.

Today, one might argue that we are “over networked” – not knowing everyone that we are connected with across many platforms and having less time to develop our relationships.

The benefit of being connected to everyone we meet forever also creates a challenge. What do we do with all of our connections, followers, friends and contacts? How do we turn all of these relationships into a valuable asset?

If we are able to understand and mobilize our networks more efficiently, we can accomplish many goals ranging from fundraising to closing the next deal.

What impact does this have on companies?

Today, companies have a significant, yet dormant asset wrapped up in their employees’ networks. We refer to this as Relationship Capital and estimate that only 6% of this capital is being engaged today.

Imagine what could be achieved if organizations reach 30 or 40% utilization of their relationship capital.

What are the barriers limiting greater utilization of relationship capital?

There are 3 main barriers: trust, traditional CRM mindset and effort.

In most cases, people do not trust their organization with their contacts’ private details such as cell number, email and home information.

The traditional CRM mindset focuses primarily on sales and marketing people – excluding a significant part of the organization from engaging their networks.

As our networks are spread across different platforms, databases and within stacks of business cards, most people give up trying to get everything in order – and that is just the start. Maintaining this data becomes a full-time job.

How is Envoy addressing these barriers?

Envoy is able to produce robust analytics while masking private contact details. When an opportunity is identified, the owner of the contact is engaged.

Our focus extends across the organization. This provides a wealth of networks for sales and marketing teams while keeping the relationship with the contact owner.

Easy to use functionality imports contacts from many different sources and helps cleanup duplicate contacts. Users can focus on the relationships and insights that are relevant versus spending hours maintaining and cleaning up data.

About Ralph Schonenbach

Ralph Schonenbach has held senior positions with the firms Andersen and Ernst & Young. Afterwards, he co-founded Trestle Group and Trestle Group Foundation. In his role with Envoy, Ralph is able to pursue his passion to help people and organizations understand and engage their networks more effectively.  Ralph frequently speaks at events and has authored a variety of publications.  He earned a degree in Business Management from Goucher College.

About Envoy


Envoy is the only technology platform in the market that allows you to consolidate your network contacts in a single robust ecosystem that delivers enriching network analytics, visuals and insights, as well as the ability to compare and combine networks with others – all within seconds – while maintaining the privacy of individual contacts.



The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee, and not of their affiliated organizations or of High Performance Counsel.