Sometimes, it’s not the big changes but incremental improvements that make all the difference when it comes to running an efficient business. We talked to Vincent O’Donoghue, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Social Talent, about how flexibility, a constant focus on improvement, and making the most of the available resources are all helping Social Talent to double the size of its business every year.


Tell us about Social Talent

Social Talent is a behavioural driven micro-learning platform designed to help professionals to up-skill as and when they need to. We came into being off the back of a recruitment agency that we started during the recession – arguably not the best time to launch a startup, but it proved to be perfect, necessity being the mother of invention and all that!

This change in the supply and demand of jobs and candidates coincided with the rise of social media, and we found that to source the best talent “in the market” and not just “on the market” required a very different approach to traditional recruiting, so we started to proactively source candidates online.

Soon, we began to attract attention from other recruitment agencies looking to learn from us, so we decided to step away from recruitment and into training. It wasn’t the path I was expecting to end up on, but now we’re helping people in the recruitment and sales industries to become more efficient, happier workers.


Being adaptable has clearly paid off for you! Do you have any advice on dealing with change?

Absolutely – getting a good idea of the resources available to you, and their potential, is key. When we were in recruiting, platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn had been around for a while, but weren’t being used to their potential. In our recruitment agency we started recruiting in the same way as everyone else at that time, but when faced with recession and a changed landscape we adapated and learned how to proactively source on social networks – hence our name, “Social Talent”.

Adversity and the need to change can be a huge opportunity to evolve and become more than you anticipated you could be. The same principle has continued to help us roll with changes that come our way, or that we self inflict – we have a saying in the company that if you don’t like change then go and work somewhere else!


Tell us more about how you’re driving efficiency?

Our motto is ‘work smarter, live happier’, and to work smart, we regularly stop and ask ourselves if our processes are really working for us. Salesforce has the flexibility to work pretty much any way you want to, but there’s no silver bullet when it comes to getting it right. We focus on how marginal gains can help the business overall – a bit like micro-learning itself!


Do you have an example you can share?

We found an AppExchange app that means we can dial out directly from Salesforce – there are many to choose from! Now, you might not think that’s a big deal, but if your job requires you to make calls all day, that’s saving you 10 seconds per call. Jump forward a week, a month, or a year, and that’s going to add up to a significant time saving. Times it by the number of reps, and that’s a lot of extra calls that our team will now be able to handle. We can improve customer service and increase our sales pipeline without adding to headcount. There are so many opportunities to make changes like this across the business thanks to Salesforce.


How important is flexibility to your business?

Flexibility is crucial. A lot of people will tell you the worst tech they use is at work. Traditional businesses are limited by their infrastructure – to be flexible, you have to be able to mimic consumer technology. If you have Salesforce and you hit a problem, you can find an add-on in minutes, and some of them are even free! But the real beauty is that if that solution isn’t working for you, you’re not stuck with it. You have so much choice, and because it looks like consumer tech, you don’t have to spend hours training people on how to use it.


What’s next on your Salesforce journey?

We’re in the process of building our API to integrate our platform directly with Salesforce. We already push customer usage data through Salesforce, but we want to be able to use the Salesforce infrastructure for customer reporting and analysis. We are also looking at becoming an AppExchange partner, and to build our behavioural micro-learning nudges into Salesforce.


As Social Talent has discovered, minor enhancements can quickly add up to significant gains. Read about how working smarter and thinking differently is helping Social Talent to win more business in thier full customer success story: Social Talent wins and retains more customers with better lead nurturing, online community, and insightful service.

Check out our e-book, Secrets of the Most Productive Sales People, for more expert tips on driving productivity in your teams. 

CRM Ebook