Social Selling Companies - Building Your Team and Culture

by Mark Newman


In this video, Mark Newman, Founder and CEO of HireVue shares with us his thoughts on building a team with a social selling mindset - on social selling companies. Specifically, you will learn:

  • Why building a team that supports and takes advantage of social selling is key in closing more sales
  • Why training your team members isn't enough and how to reinforce their training via video
  • Why social selling is just another way of connecting with others, with the express purpose of adding value

About Mark Newman

Mark Newman is the Founder and CEO of HireVue. As HireVue’s Founder and CEO, Mark Newman introduced the world to HireVue’s innovative Talent Interaction Platform™ and On Demand Interviews™, improving the job interview experience and helping businesses more efficiently identify, engage, and hire top talent. HireVue’s solutions have provided services in more than 150 countries to organizations ranging from emerging growth companies to 20 of the Fortune 100.

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Webinar Transcript

Chris: Welcome everybody. My name is Chris Cannon, business development director at HireVue. It is an honor to introduce you to our next speaker, my good friend Mark Newman of HireVue. Mark is the CEO and founder of HireVue. He has earned the 2013 Inc 30 under 30, which is a huge accomplishment, and one of the things that I love about Mark is he's very passionate about people and what they bring to our organization, their stories. With that being said, take it away Mark.

Mark: Yeah, thanks for having me. Like Chris mentioned, my name is Mark Newman. I'm founder and CEO of HireVue. I've been working on HireVue for ten years of my life and I'm absolutely just committed to helping organizations build and accelerate the greatest teams in the world. As part of this session, you can obviously ask any questions. You can send them to @markhirevue on Twitter or #socialselling. Kind of go through it all and get questions answered. 

What we're here to talk about today is building your social selling team and culture inside your organization. We know there is a tremendous amount of incredible content that's being shared today from all sorts of great speakers and all sorts of great methodologies and companies and whatever and where we look at HireVue's role is to help organizations figure out how you want to take it all together and build your team to actually be able to enable the skills. So you build your team and then accelerate your team's performance around all of that. We have a kind of driving force inside of our business in terms of what is this and what that is is how we focus on this idea that people aren't profiles or resumes or numbers or quotas or whatever it might be. 

It's actually that people are stories and experiences and ideas and from our perspective, the leading edge organizations are those that are going to bring people and their stories and experiences to life. Our core focus is on enabling people to tell their story and to demonstrate their ability to work. We're talking about that today in the context of building social selling culture into your organization. 

So to really do this effectively, you have to think about it first around what are the questions that we're gonna want to work through in the next few minutes as we talk through this because you want to do this effectively inside of your organization and it requires first a new mindset, second obviously there is the question around how you do it, and third how you are going to empower it inside of the organization because obviously you want a public facing element. From a social selling perspective, you want to be sharing, you want to be connecting people publicly. Well, how do you also do that internally? Well, that's what we're gonna be working through here.

So first let's talk about the new mindset that's necessary around training, coaching, and developing teams. The main factor that drives us, and this effects every organization in the world, specifically painful to have sales, CEOs, managers, founders, you name it. I mean to be totally candid when somebody doesn't talk about HireVue rights, like a knife to my stomach and I know that goes the same for all of our great partners as part of the social selling summit. And it comes down to this idea that 87% of sales training is forgotten within 30 days. That's product knowledge. That's intrinsic, not only in their head, but in their heart and their mind and in their ability to deliver the market. Product knowledge, positioning, objection handling, scenarios, value proposition, you name it. And it's just painful. So how do we do that today? Well, we've all been through it. Right?

We've been through it hundreds or thousands of times and it starts first with let's get everybody together for sales kickoff, Monday morning enabling the call. Whatever it might be. Let's teach the content and then hope that we can assess for it somehow. Maybe we assess, you know, maybe through a test, maybe through some sort of certification, who knows. But in 99% of the cases, it's generally well let's just assess to see did it work and the way that we're gonna assess did it work is sales results or conversion rates, whatever it might be. And then, oh it didn't so let's teach it again. This model is broken. It's for a different age and we're looking at new approaches, new technology, and support and different perspectives on that. We've been through this each 1,000 times. Mark goes for sales takeoff. Ben teaches the course on social selling. 

He might of even attended social selling event that we're doing here taking all this great content, going back to the team and saying, "I'm going to teach you guys how to socially sell." And the sales David said, "Great, fantastic. Mark went through this, let's put him to work." So then Ben teaches some more. Mark may or may not get it. It's this idea of learn, assess, learn. Because in this day and age it doesn't matter about age, it doesn't about skill, it doesn't matter about background or whatever in terms of capabilities, what we've found is that we want to take a different approach and flip the model on its head. So the new approach that we're working through here, and finding some very interesting insights inside the market in terms of effective, is this idea that it's assess, learn, assess. 

What we mean by assess, learn, assess is to first benchmark where is somebody at currently. From there, rather than giving a blanket teaching program or blanket education program to everybody, play to their strength of what somebody else understands and fill in the gaps. And then after that, assess again to figure out did it stick. This totally changes the traditional model of coaching, training, and developing building teams on its head, but it drives massive results inside of any organization. 

Here's how it ends up looking. So in the concept of social selling, for instance might be focused on leveraging LinkedIn and then going after the market using LinkedIn in various creative ways. If you just kind of have this presupposed hypothesis of what somebody knows, you go in and you go here's what we need to teach you about LinkedIn. The way that we see the new world happening though is that you first figure out, well what does Mark know to get started. It turns out he knows 50% of what he needs to know and we'll show you how that works. He might know obviously filling out profiles, emails, connections. He might just need some work around people discovery or spidering across different organizations to figure out who knows who or who knows what or various programs like that. The feedback here is that it gets driven right to the instructor who fills in the gaps rather than trying to deliver a blanket learning program. 

What we end up finding is that the rep, Mark in this case, ramps 2X faster and the head of sales wins. And our belief in that is the same as when you take it back to the software development cycles. A lot of people are familiar with waterfall software development where you've been treating [SP] your own companies. You plan on this big giant launch a year from now or two years from now or the big delivery of the code for your new product and you start building and you start building and you start building and you hope that you deliver what you actually end up needing. We kind of look at it as it needs to be actionable, it needs to agile.

So it isn't about doing the training and hoping for the best three to six months from now, checking a pipeline, seeing a conversion bundle and seeing if it worked. It's actually about saying on day zero you assess for a baseline, on day one you provide the pointed training for the gaps, and day two you already start driving success. And we see this happening time and time again, moving from learn, assess, learn to assess, learn, assess. The goal here is that no feedback loop from the effectiveness of your training programs, the effectiveness of your enablement programs or anything like that should be more than a 30 day turnaround cycle. You should be able to assess did it stick, did it work, and are we ready to rock and roll. 

So obviously understanding the concepts of...the mindset needs to change, how we do things needs to evolve. It's easy to buy into that, but then it kind of goes into this idea of what does this mean, how do I do it, and, frankly, why do we do it all. It goes back to what I first talked about here where 65% of sales leaders believe their sales reps lack the ability to correctly articulate the value proposition and I think we can all look ourselves in the mirror right now and laugh and say, "Is it only 65%?" It is absolutely painful for every sales leader, CEO, founder, you name it, somebody who is passionate about a brand or an experience to watch it just not get told or articulated or handled in the way that you actually believe it should be. 

In every performance curve of your organization, you always recognize the top performers, you always generally understand who the bottom performers are, you recognize the tops, you move the bottom out, but there's the forgotten middle that you have to worry about here. In this forgotten middle, the variance in performance between the top 10% and the bottom 10% is the variance in the customer experience that you have to go through each and every day. So how do you get this tighter and righter? First, tighter in terms of being much more aligned around how you're going to do things and then the righter in terms of how you improve it all. That's what we're going to be going through next here.

So in this new world where you can be leveraging video and digital interviewing and various mobile capabilities out there in the market from priors like HireVue or other organizations. First, the best analogy to think about all of this is just like an athlete working to get ready for a marathon or a race or whatever it might be. Gotta do the same thing for your pitch, for your value proposition, for your objection handling, and you name it. And in this day and age when you do have these tools at your fingertips, we posit that you should be looking at new ways of doing things. So first is the idea of not just come in and have your sales enabling person teach somebody, but how do you actually enable people to be able to practice. So how are their warm ups which are daily skills, talents, scenarios, and scavenger hunts. We're going to show ideas around that tied directly to social selling that you can implant in your organization immediately. 

So first let's start with warm ups. So warm ups obviously allow reps to get repetitions of what they're learning. Same analogy of when you're working out, when you're trying to get ready for a big race or whatever it might be, and you're kind of doing your first initial stretches. You gotta get muscle memory going here and the muscle memory has to happen from day in the life, real work in terms of what you're kind of going after. So it's a new topic so daily skills, challenges, it takes learning into the future, there's all sorts of programs around creative thinking and feedback. What we're seeing best in class organizations do is that this might be small, little, micro-assessments of, okay you just got this person on the phone. 

What's the value proposition that you deliver to them and record it through video, through a mobile device. It could be in the moment, here's an email from a customer, here's somebody pushing back and respond to it and you take the best answers and you share them with the team, you take the worst answers and you understand who you need to coach for, but you do this not in the big giant test format. You did this in this quick, fast, iterative program on a day-by-day basis or a week-by-week basis. What this ends up driving is creative thinking and abilities and, frankly, some competition around how to do it best and who gets praise and who gets kudos and we're really pulling this off.

Next phase of it is scenarios so tied right back to social selling here. It's one thing to say here's how you fill out your LinkedIn profile and here's somebody on LinkedIn and here's this and here's this and here's that and they have 500 connections. It looks like they have lots of connections on LinkedIn and we know how that goes. Unfortunately, it's kind of painful because what you generally do is you teach for the mean, not for the human, not for the individual. So you just kind of have to guess the wide variance of where everyone could possibly fit or, frankly, it’s not even the mean it's the lowest common denominator. From a scenarios perspective, as an example for social selling which provides everybody here post-recession is this idea of all right so let's kind of go through a scenario. A day in the life walk through that everyone kind of goes through and experiences. An exercise that you provide to your team citing this idea of who the VP of sales at X whatever company. 

What Presentations have they given that are published publicly. So on their LinkedIn profile, what are the slideshow presentations and watch and consume it? What do you think about it? Third, what do they use as a description for their wall? What does it tell you about the person? We've seen it. Inside of a profile there's people that actually take time to fill it out that you can understand that they're aspirational, you can understand that they're trying to get on to big things, that they're very career driven so guess what, when you approach them you want to teach them how to win. There's other people who don't engage in there, who don't want to be on there, who are on there because somebody invited them a long time ago and you know what that could actually be a representation of are they a bit more of a load there? Can you approach the same way or what have you? 

Next one. Crafting a tweet in an email that you would send this person to get their attention. How do you connect with them on LinkedIn? How do you send the right email? Is there different ways to approach them so that they're familiar as soon as they see the invite and then how do you follow up? Something around like, okay you found the contact information, let's call this person and record that voicemail and lastly you got them on the phone. "This is so and so." Now what? It's not about teaching rote here's what LinkedIn is about and here's what you can do with it and here's how it works. It's about setting real life scenarios that you go through, that you figure out. They're super easy to do and they're like warming up at the gym to get ready for your workout. 

Last idea here, and this is, frankly, my personal favorite, is the idea of the scavenger hunt. This kind of takes concepts from the scenario that essentially is like putting Easter eggs out there for somebody to go and find. So, go and find what the business initiative is of XYZ company. Okay, on this day they did a press release about a new product launch. What was it? Why is that important? How would you take that into the email to the head of sales to get in front of him? So and so just announced this. How do you want to address this problem? Take the time to build not only the scenarios, but then put the rep on a scavenger hunt. It's quick, it's easy, it can be engaging, it can be fun, and more importantly it can be empowering and helping people blueprint or whatever. 

You don't teach people how to blueprint. The thought of guidance of you know, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. The same thing when it comes to sales training. You don't just say, "Okay yeah, here's some protein and here's some calories and here's how you do it and here's how you life these weights." It's okay let's start working through it. Let’s go through this program and how we want to evolve this over time and get really into it. And this is how you can kind of be doing these types of things in this whole new world of social selling or any other kind of concept inside of your organization. 

The third and final piece around how this all gets pulled together, why is this relevant today, and why does this all make sense is really one of around empowerment because what you'll find is you don't everything, your sales enabling person doesn't know everything, a single rep doesn't know everything, and our organizations are more distributed, they're more virtual and so how is it that we actually have that person in New York learn from the person in L.A. and the person in Oklahoma and how do they approach it and how do they do this? Well, that's kind of what tools and solutions like HireVue and InsideSales and other organizations that are part of this program really help kind of drive and help pull together. 

As we see it, how do you ensure that people can engage on their own time? Guess what? They missed Monday calls. Guess what? A Monday morning training phone call isn't lasting, isn't memorable. How do you make it easily share-able? We've all tried going through mobile apps to record something to then be able to share it all out. How do we make it personalized and the best part when you talk about working together is how do you take the people that get it and share that information with the people that don't or the people that need coaching? 

In our world, from our perspective and how we see things end up happening, we look at it from this point of view of where you can build the scenarios, the scavenger hunts, or whatever it might be. People record their answers. There's an easy mechanism to do that. You take the answers. You share the best. You coach on the worst and you develop it over time. You figure out how people evaluate, how do people coach and measure even language analysis and predictive analytics around how is somebody feeling around motivation, engagement, distress, personality style, and how does that track over time. This is the perspective from HireVue and we're new to this market in the sales solution tools and team enablement for sales organizations, but we have a rich history in terms of how we've been going to market in terms of helping build the greatest teams in the world. 

But there's all sorts of new ways and new things and new approaches in the world to doing these types of programs. Leveraging Salesforce, leveraging Salesforce chatter, leveraging tools like InsideSales to connect people, recording calls and sharing them inside of your organization. Not just to say, oh yeah, this is how Dave did it or even worse, hey Chris would you stand up on Monday to talk about how you won this deal? And well I won based on relationship or I lost based on price. How do you take real actionable day in the life content, a real phone call, a real presentation, a real objection handling, as close to reality as you possibly can do it and show the best and coach on the worst and really drive an optimization side of your team. 

This all comes together in something just like social selling and just like how we're doing things today. For us as we go back to it all, we want to enable people to be able to tell their story, we want them to be able to demonstrate their ability to work. We come from a world where we say profiles don't matter, backgrounds don't matter, experiences are really what counts. The school of life. The school of hard knocks. That's how you kind of do it. And then it's on us to help people tell their story and demonstrate their ability to work. To even the playing fields. We think it's important, we think it's powerful, we think its empowering, we think it draws your attention inside of organizations, but more importantly in the realities of today, just like social selling, it's because there isn't just a single person and a single profile or a single type of person on your team that is that social selling expert. 

Two other speakers today as part of the social selling summit is Gabe Villamizar and David Bradford. They're about 40 years of age difference. They came from different backgrounds. One grew up in Montana, one grew up in Venezuela. One can barely rent a car and one has owned 20 of them. They have a core competency around connecting with people online through various social media mechanisms. They know how to create enduring, engaging relationships that drive business value and drive revenue. They have all sorts of the same types of attributes in types of these, but what it tells us as well is that you can't just think because David is a little older he has no idea what he's talking about and because Gabe's young, he does. 

And so that's where it really comes down to this. Typical training programs, typical learning programs aren't going to cut it anymore. As you think about your new world of building teams and building a culture of social selling and social learning and everything about the inside of your organization. First it takes a new mindset, evolving from learn, assess, learn to assess, learn, assess. If you go back to the example of Gabe and David. If you learn first, you'd say David's in his 60s, he probably knows nothing, let's teach him this course. But in fact if you assess first, you'd go wow! Gabe and David know a tremendous amount of content around this. Let's fill in the gaps doing X and then let's assess again to make sure did it stick. 

You see the problem, you see the solution from a different angle. You figure out what is that micro-learning that you need to be able to assess and do and then more importantly, if Gabe nails something or if David nails something, how do you take that content and share it with the rest of the organization to empower everybody. It's a new world around training and development and building the world's greatest teams. You see things constantly evolving, new methodologies, new approaches, new opportunities, new ways of connecting with customers and whatever. And it's okay to not know everything yourself. You just need a core competency on figuring out who does know it and how to share it with the rest of the organization to really build the best kickass teams in the world. So thank you for having me today and listening in. We're happy to help in any possible way, but there's all sorts of terrific resources out there. You can reach out to me at any time on LinkedIn or @markhirevue on Twitter and obviously for the benefit of all of us, let's make sure to use #socialselling. Thank you Chris.