3 Apr 2013
How 3 recent hires defined us as a company
Of particular importance to me are our Sales and Client Services teams. These individuals are our brand; the whole experience a lot of our clients have with us as a company is with these people. Not only must they be nothing short of outstanding at what they do, they must also share our core beliefs, and embody those when they meet prospects and clients.
That is an undefinable 'X', nothing that you can communicate to a recruiter, yet is something you know within 60 seconds of meeting anyone. But none of us are perfect, particularly when picking sales people who are trained to convince, and so we back each other up and have multiple interviews before making the decision.
I had a candidate recently ask a lot of questions about our culture and beliefs. I explained our core beliefs, and they then asked a GREAT question:
"Would you let your mum buy a solution from Chango?"
Now my mum doesn't work in marketing, and doesn't really understand what I do, but I understand his point immediately. He was shocked that my resounding and immediate response was 'yes'! With equal passion he said he would not have let his mother buy what they sold at his previous employer, that it was riddled with problems and much, much worse.
This question defines our integrity, and is an example I will use time and time again in interviews to come.
Another recent hire came in to help support our Platform Sales team. I had naturally explained our systems during the interview process, (although I didn't lift the skirt completely until they were onboard and signed of course).
So in a demo yesterday I was surprised to hear him exclaim that we actually have a real system! This is an individual though who has been a part of many younger companies, and has been tricked more than once. He explained that he assumed we had 75% of what was described, and if it was more it would have been a bonus, but he assumed everything else was vaporware.
After the demo he was shocked. Having looked at the other major DSPs and DMPs in the industry, he wasn't aware that he was joining a company that has quietly built something that in many areas is more than 12 months ahead of all them. This wasn't a bullshit system, this was really real, and really solving real marketing problems, really :)
Knocking down his 75% thinking defines our attitudes to honesty and innovation.
Finally, another recent hire invited me in to meet with a particular advertiser with whom he had a major, long-standing relationship. She asked us to go in with her and deliver an educational session about view-through, agency< > vendor relationships, and more. There was to be no pitch.
After we left, her reaction was that we really knew what we were talking about, that we had lots of smart people and that we had this great, open attitude to training and teaching - to our clients and to the industry.
This was cemented for me when I spoke at SES NY last week and 3 marketers came up to me with printed versions of our white papers and articles, each saying they had learnt something from our work.
Ensuring we have smart people is fundamental to our success.
So within 3 weeks, these 3 new hires came in, looked around, and helped remind us all that no matter how we grow (700% YOY), no matter how many people come join us, we believe what we believe, and we don't compromise on what defines us - honesty, integrity, innovation, raw smarts,