How Our Advocates Helped Us Hire Our Top VP Of Sales Candidate

Truman Tang

We want youFinding the right people to join your team can be a huge challenge – especially when it comes to leadership.

In February, we ran a search for a new VP of Sales. We had been looking for someone to fill the role for a while but couldn’t find the right person…until we met Emmanuelle Skala.

Emmanuelle is an award-winning sales superstar who has a proven process for training sales reps to quickly become top performers – just what we needed.

She had been the first salesperson at two B2B technology companies: Endeca, which was acquired by Oracle for more $1 billion, and Vertica, acquired by Hewlett-Packard Company. In both of these roles, she rapidly built the sales teams and processes that drove revenue growth and company expansion. Most recently, she was VP, Global Channel Sales at Sophos, where she built the company’s global channel organization.

We desperately wanted Emmanuelle to join our team, but unfortunately, she wasn’t so sure about us. Ouch.

Here’s why: She didn’t know if there was enough of a market for advocate marketing software and if our technology really worked. Totally understandable – advocate marketing is a whole new category that is not as established as other more traditional industries.

It was up to us to show her the power of our technology and that joining Influitive would boost her already incredibly successful sales career. Our founder and CEO, Mark Organ, decided that we needed to do something really big to sway Emmanuelle. So we decided to do something that isn’t part of the typical recruiting process. We brought in our top guns: our advocates.

We asked some of our customers – all executives – to help us convince Emmanuelle to join our team. We told them her story and outlined her top questions. We also gave them Emmanuelle’s personal email address and LinkedIn profile, so they could get in touch.

Here’s what the request looked like:

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Within 12 hours, four of our top advocates had emailed Emmanuelle to help us “sell” her on Influitive. After chatting with each of them, she was convinced and agreed to join our team in April! (You can read more about that here.)

“I was amazed when I started to receive emails from Influitive’s advocates,” Emmanuelle explains. “It’s so smart to have customers proactively reaching out to key recruits to help them learn about the company, market and product.  Hearing about Influitive and advocacy from the buyer’s perspective is important – but people reaching out proactively was just brilliant.”

This advocacy challenge not only helped convince Emmanuelle to join our team, but it also made clear to our advocates that they have a critical role to play in building our team. Their assistance on this very important hire has had a huge impact on Influitive: Emmanuelle has tripled the number of high-performers on our sales team and that team is killing it when it comes to hitting our revenue goals.

As you can see, while advocates most often contribute to sales and marketing initiatives, they can also help with recruitment. Some of our customers are doing this in other equally creative ways: they’re asking their advocates to refer candidates for specific roles and share job descriptions on social media. Remember, your advocates have a stake in your company’s success too.

Contact Influitive today to learn how to mobilize your advocates to recruit rock star employees, get more customer referrals and turbocharge your marketing.