How CEO Marc Benioff Turned Employees into Brand Ambassadors

December 11, 2012

Status update blitz drives 60 percent increase in sales team referrals

Many organizations recognize that their employees are a vital source of strong hires.  So when needed to hire hundreds of account executives and sales engineers, it made perfect sense for the company to turn inward and leverage its own employees.  CEO Marc Benioff emailed his sales team with a simple request - Get the word out via your networks.

The team rallied and went to work, sharing links via their LinkedIn status updates. Within 24 hours the reach was impressive.

  • 350 links were shared on LinkedIn by employees, more than twice the daily average of the prior 30 days
  • employees’ posts on LinkedIn were visible to around 159,000 professionals at over 40,000 companies. Employees who shared links were among the most connected to other sales professionals
  • The target audience was highly relevant for this campaign, with a potential reach of 38,000 sales professionals

Kate Israels, program manager, Talent Acquisition at, led the effort.   “Marc’s email got the ball rolling and the sales team’s efforts resulted in a 60 percent increase in sales employee referral submissions in week one," Kate said. "Referrals are a primary source of hire for In fact, employee referrals are 10 times more likely to be hired than other sources. Our recruiters are thrilled by the response. We have a world class sales team and great people tend to know great people.”

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