Ladders recently spoke with Jack Kosakowski, CEO of Creation Agency U.S. and leading expert on social selling and sales innovation, on what attracted him to the industry, key steps for salespeople when it comes to cold contacting, sales and marketing convergence, and more. Read on below.
What initially attracted you to the field of sales?
Growing up I had the honor to travel around with my grandfather and watch him light a sales room on fire. He was in charge of the #1 sales organization at a company called Masterguard. Essentially, I was raised to be a salesman by what I regard as the best salesman that ever lived. My goal is to carry on his legacy in the field of sales.
How important of a role does technology play in the sales field and specifically in your work?
Technology is going to make or break your sales team in the digital age. It is the key driver for productivity and helping turn targeted insights into targeted sales conversations. It is the only way to identify the right people, to have the right conversation at the right time.
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Please tell me a little about your role at Creation Agency and what makes it unique.
Creation Agency is unique in the fact that we are true marketing and sales practitioners who come and help high-growth companies design and execute innovative demand generation strategies from real-time experience. We follow a model called “Your Marketing Team As A Service.” We don’t just tell you what you should be doing, we actually do it for you.
What technology/innovation/platform has had the most profound effect on the field of sales and marketing in the past year or two, and why?
Marketing automation platforms like Hubspot and Marketo are game changers in my opinion. Very few companies understand how to set them up in a way that actually helps them move the needle, but the ones who do are going to win long-term. These platforms can help align sales and marketing activities and help fill the gap which is huge for capitalizing on real opportunities.
What are the biggest challenges, from a technical and/or business standpoint, that those in sales face nowadays?
Most sales teams are not equipped to utilize social channels as their competitive advantage for communication. Buyers want to control where and how they communicate. Very few salespeople understand how to give them the communication experience that leads to the sale.
What are your thoughts on content marketing? Does it play a prevalent role in your work at Creation Agency?
Content marketing is a tricky one. Most companies are not creating content that actually helps the business move the needle. 80% of Creation Agency’s new business comes through referrals and content. We are very strategic about who creates content and even more strategic about how that content is distributed. Delivering content from an executive inside your organization is the new way of communicating that leads to the highest conversions. Most companies still don’t get that.
Do you feel the worlds of sales and marketing are converging, and if so, is this a good thing? Or should they remain their own distinct fields? Please explain.
Yes, they are essentially becoming one in the same. What is the difference between prospecting and lead generation? That is a question you should be asking yourself? Is there one? Not really.
What are the key steps that salespeople should take when it comes to cold calling/emailing?
There is so much semantics around the argument of cold calling in the digital age. It is just that… Semantics. Cold calling isn’t dead. It is being reinvented by the amount of information that salespeople now have access to. The phone is still alive. It is how you get someone on the phone and how you start the conversation that is the key using digital channels as your touch points.
What has been the most satisfying moment of your career/proudest career achievement, and why?
Building a team and watching the agency grow is my proudest career achievement. 3.5 years ago it was just me by a computer trying to figure out how to get my first client. Now, I have a team of 13 people and we help some of the fastest growing saas companies scale. It puts a smile on my face every day. I love our clients, employees, and the challenge of the work we do. It doesn’t get any better than that.