Jack Kosakowski has had a diverse career in sales over the last 11 years, spanning from working the front desk at a hotel to cold calling at a pay-per-click company to leveraging social in the selling process at Act-On Software.
He got a taste of revenue from social selling and it quickly became his passion. Now as the Global Head of Social Sales Execution at Creation Agency, he’s always looking for opportunities to incorporate social into the business. Employee advocacy has been a top priority, but brand advocacy and influencer programs have proven worthwhile to the bottom line as well. Learn more about Jack’s experiences and take his advice for your own initiatives.
What does your daily schedule look like?
Right now, I’m the CEO of the US division of Creation Agency and manage five team members. I’m essentially in charge of sales, marketing and execution in my role. Of course, sales is the number one priority, but retention is a close second. My day is chaotic and I kind of enjoy it that way. I spend my morning on the phone with the UK team most days, as we work together on a lot of projects. I also allocate time responding to all the interaction on my social channels. Early afternoons, I’m on sales calls or internal meetings in the US with my team and customers. Late afternoon, I’m usually doing social selling training with my current clients and working on our marketing and responding to emails. My day usually doesn’t end until 7 p.m. I’m super dedicated to the movement we are creating, which means not much free time.
How does social selling relate to advocacy?
Advocacy and social selling go hand-in-hand in the digital age. Buyers don’t want to do business with salespeople in today’s business landscape. Buyers want to do business with those that are advocates for their business outside of their product. I’m a firm believer that if you are going to ask for something, you had better give twice the value beforehand. Social offers visibility and new business to salespeople, who can then offer long-term value to their buyers. Anything that can assist your customers or prospects to have an edge should be a top priority for any salesperson in the digital age. Advocates win customers who want to give you their time and business.
What do your advocacy initiatives look like at Creation Agency?
We leverage our customers’ stories to help them gain more visibility. This is through webinars, content and social sharing using a “value vs. ask mentality.” If you want to land more business, it’s imperative that you help your customers expand their business first. Our entire organization is all in on creating a community that allows our customers and network to leverage each other in order to grow more opportunities as a whole.
What kind of impact have you seen from advocacy?
We just put on a conference with one of our customers and it was incredible to see how social played such a huge role in bringing everyone together. I haven’t tallied up the final numbers, but I can tell you that if it wasn’t for the social community, the conference wouldn’t have been half as successful as it was. When your customers want to spread the message and do the marketing for you, that is when advocacy is hitting on all cylinders and proving impact on the bottom line that you couldn’t create on your own.
What are some of the goals your agency sets out to achieve through advocacy?
We use advocacy in our sales process to create, strengthen and influence sales. We track how many new opportunities were created, velocity of the opportunities from online conversation to offline close, but most importantly how many existing opportunities grew because of advocacy.
What metrics are most important when measuring success for brand advocacy?
We are looking at engagement metrics (link clicks, traffic, social shares, video views, etc.) from a marketing perspective.
We are looking at conversion metrics (site traffic, form fills, opportunities, closed revenue, etc.) from a sales perspective.
What are some tips for getting buy in for an employee advocacy or influencer program?
You must sell your executive team on the results of the campaign that aren’t fluffy marketing metrics. To prove the power of the community as a key driver to creating more referrals and visibility, it has to lead to increased revenue over time. It’s always good to start small regarding employee advocacy or influencers. Track all attribution to SQLs and monitor the opportunity to close. A group as small as five to 10 active employees can prove the model quickly, especially if you have a short sales cycle.
Have you ever been a part of an advocacy or influencer program? If so, what was that experience like from your perspective?
Yes, I’m a part of a bunch of them, including the Sprout All Stars program! I’ve created one for my skillslab community as well. It’s powerful to see how the sales reps in my training course leverage one another to share content and create more opportunity on social.
Why is now a good time for brand advocacy?
Advocacy is the new experience that is value-driven for buyers. Your buyers deserve more than a bill and your product. They need top industry insights, help with visibility and most importantly a partner who will help them drive more business. An advocacy program is your competitive advantage in the digital age to scale your customers and then retain them long-term.
How will advocacy evolve in 2017?
Advocacy will evolve as new social channels are created. You have seen it with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and a ton more that are up-and-coming. You have to live where your buyers live, communicate with your buyers where they want to communicate and advocate for your buyers where they need your help. Communication channels will never stop evolving as it relates to digital. You have to adapt with your buyers and digital at a rapid pace, or eventually your business will die.