Sales Leadership and Recruiting is Totally Social Now w/ Thomas Benning

Jason Brain

Creative Strategist

6 minute read

How many of your employees are already on social?

At what point did you decide to make social a professional priority?

Perhaps when you realize that your prospect or candidate is a human. And how important conversations are for building trust and generating mutual benefits through any social collaboration.

While at Twitter as the Global Program Manager of sales skills and sales social enablement, Thomas Benning knows a thing or two about storytelling, and how it empowers salespeople.

Now at HighSpot, Tommy continues to lead sales teams by social example, coaching SMB and Commercial Account Executives to optimize their revenue engine.

“Together we help organizations to centralize their content and information, standardize their go-to-market messaging, and measure the impact their teams and content have in the market.”

By providing a single unified platform, HighSpot allows you to measure the business outcomes of your strategic initiatives and foundational programs.

So when it comes to tying social initiatives to business outcomes, Tommy knows a thing or two about what works and how to succeed.

In this episode Tommy and Cameron explore:

  • From inside Twitter seeing how brands use social
  • Sales social enablement for recruiting and lead generation
  • Converse and collaborate with hashtag browsing
  • Some notes from Russ Laraway’s new book
  • How does social media mix with sales leadership?
  • What’s a good sales social routine or cadence?

Watch the full episode

Three pointers for sales social leadership:

Key takeaway 1: let your salespeople get creative on social

A common rift or tension between Sales and Marketing occurs on the topic of brand voice and messaging. 

Marketing often wants to stay in control of the company’s overall perception management, how customers, clients, and prospects see your brand.

But as many executives have pointed out, Sales and Marketing are increasingly converging. Either way, salespeople are incredibly creative on social media and are often itching to try their hand at some low-cost but potentially high-impact user generated content of their own.

Give your salespeople room to be creative and post company content in their own voice. For starters, amplifying colleagues and their UGC increases visibility for everyone in your company. 

Empowering salespeople on social media doesn’t have to start from a blank slate: reposting, sharing, and amplifying existing posts from within your team and company is a powerful way to gain momentum on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Key takeaway 2: going viral can only ever come from your people

Whether it’s Tommy’s experience from inside Twitter, or Cameron’s experience from inside Reddit, they both agree: what makes a splash is hard to predict.

“We could be the smartest people in the world and we wouldn’t be able to define what will go viral, it can come from anywhere and anyone!”

Of all the complex variables involved with social media, including algorithmic (platform-side) and creativity (human-side), one thing is for sure: viral hits come from authentic people.

Just keep this in mind: brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels (MSLGroup)

There are so many ways to speak to this, but in short: social media companies will always prioritize the individuals over a company page.

Look for yourself, company pages and official brand profiles typically have millions of followers, but often don’t reach even 1% of those followers with their posts.

Especially for sales recruitment, candidates want to interact with people who give them a view into the company, rather than an opaque billboard that keeps them on the outside.

Key takeaway 3: top reps and sales leaders are on social

If your company is unsure of how to best delineate or overlap Marketing and Sales on social, the simplest answer is: get involved. 

Just look at the social habits of your top reps and leaders, most likely they are already fostering valuable relationships on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Tommy sees this in action all the time with the VP of Marketing at HighSpot joining sales calls and helping to start and facilitate conversations that result in opportunities and hires.

“Social media is really an opportunity for individuals to open up channels for conversations that might not otherwise happen!”

Over the past few years, we’ve moved from Digital Transformation to the full on activation of leadership on social media. Especially for recruitment, when an executive goes off the brand script (tactfully) and shares something relatable, their content humanizes your company and gives candidates a feeling for what it might be like to work there. 

People relate to people, and your executives are only human.

If you’re ready to learn more about how to empower your salespeople for social enablement and recruiting, we’d love to talk more.

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