On the sixteenth installment of The Insiders Podcast, hosts Richard Lane and Simon Hazeldine sit down with sales and marketing expert Dirk Gauwberg, who is a Global Operational Marketing Director at AXA Partners. Dirk discusses the many factors that influence revenue growth and how to drive revenue generation at a rapid pace. 

Dirk has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, where he has occupied senior positions that combine his passion for both sales and marketing. From evoking emotion in your prospects, to asking the right questions and offering tailor-made solutions, Dirk covers all the components that accelerate revenue growth.  

Distribute meaningful content 

One of the first things Dirk highlights is the shift in the way customers prefer to purchase – this transition, he argues, should be matched by a transition into what he calls ‘modern’ or ‘buyer-first’ selling.  

Customers are now more informed than ever, and have access to resources that allow them to ‘self-serve.’ This means that, more often than not, they won’t require the assistance of a salesperson, which makes it harder for companies to win more customers if they don’t have a need 

Dirk likens customers and prospects to consumers: they engage with your content as part of their ‘pre-shopping’ process. To stand out and catch their attention at this stage, you need to be distributing content that is meaningful, evokes emotion, adds value and reflects where they are in their buyer journey.  

In fact, 90% of the most successful content marketing prioritises educating their audience over promoting a firm’s sales message. Dirk reinforces this insight: 

You have to have content that triggers the interest of the buyer, and it needs to add value. Buyers are looking for meaningful content when making their decision to purchase. There is a need for marketing to be closer to the buyer, because accelerating growth requires a combination of content marketing and good sales reps.”  

Ask the right questions 

Once marketing has triggered the interest of the prospect, it then falls on sales to pick up the lead and ask the right questions for this stage of the sales cycle. Dirk says that salespeople need to adapt their pitches to reflect the current behaviour of buyers, and highlights that in order to do this, they will need coaching. 

While a lot of buyers may be well informed, there will be some that require the assistance of a salesperson, as self-led research isn’t easy. In cases like this, identifying the right time and the right approach is key. When it comes to asking the right questions, marketing can come in to support sales by creating ad-hoc content. Providing sales with educational content to support prospects’ research will allow them to identify the different stages of a prospect’s buyer journey and the pain points they may be experiencing, enabling them to offer appropriate solutions in a timely manner: 

Sales aren’t struggling with pitches, but a lack of adequate content. There is a need for content marketing, as this will support them in the diverse stages of the sales funnel. There is also a need for the content be more digitally savvy to engage with prospects to open doors… Information and insight helps sales offer potential clients the right solution.” 

Collaborate with external providers 

Dirk strongly advocates for ‘strategic partnering’, especially when the landscape of sales and marketing is constantly evolving.  

Enlisting the help of experts outside of your business can positively impact revenue growth, as diverse ideas create diverse outcomes and can add value to every department of your company. This strategic approach has the added benefit to allow your company to offer tailor-made experiences and solutions to your prospects or existing clients: 

When bringing in consultants, I make sure I have head of product development, intelligence, innovation, sales, customer service, marketing and operations. By collaborating with these experts, you get great ideas, solutions, and that could bring more value to our prospect’s clients.” 

Listen to The Insiders podcast for more insights into the world of business-to-business sales and marketing. 

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