By Dr Thomas Brown | October 29, 2018 at 1:55 PM
On 18th October, over 100 business professionals, marketers, and salespeople gathered at Oxford's prestigious Town Hall to discover how to grow better.
The Revenue Growth Summit featured inspiring keynotes from industry-leading experts including HubSpot Director Dan Tyre and HubSpot Channel Account Manager Olivia Kirwan, CEO and founder of Vidyard Michael Litt, founder of boutique marketing agency Verballistics Gina Balarin, and BabelQuest’s very own sales enablement consultant Chris Grant and co-founder Eric Murphy.
With news spreading of the demise of the traditional sales and marketing funnel, the event’s high-energy atmosphere and insightful takeaways left attendees feeling empowered and equipped to evaluate their business strategies with immediate effect.
In case you weren’t able to make the event this year, here are five key takeaways:
Dan Tyre and Olivia Kirwan kicked off The Revenue Growth Summit with their talk on the inbound revolution, which centred around the need to create a seamless customer experience. The core of this session was summed up perfectly by Dan when he revealed that ‘the way to win in 2019 is to make sure you’re helping people'.
In the old days, there was a complete separation between sales and marketing. Today, marketing is between 65-85% of the buying process. Dan Tyre, HubSpot Director
The session also introduced the flywheel concept as a way of your aligning your sales, marketing, and service operations to achieve this. ‘Today you don’t close deals, you start relationships’, said Dan, describing how these traditionally disparate business areas feed into one another to grow your business around your customers’ success.
The sentiment was reiterated by Olivia when she stressed how ‘you need to put your customer at the forefront, no matter what. That is how you will grow your business going forward’. She then explained in more practical terms how you can use HubSpot to achieve this, for example, ‘receiving real-time notifications when a contact revisits your website so you can engage in more meaningful communications based around the precise pages they’ve been hitting.’
Whether you’re responsible for sales, marketing, or wider business decisions, leveraging customer insights will equip you with the tools needed to deliver a customer centric strategy in the coming years.
In our experience, the first step to adopting the flywheel approach is identifying where the gaps are between your sales, marketing, and service operations. ‘You’re playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order’, explained Eric. The friction this causes has repercussions across business processes. ‘Can you believe some businesses are still spending upwards of two weeks every month pulling together sales and marketing reports?'
Today, marketing is the custodian of the brand. Eric Murphy, BabelQuest
After digging a little deeper into the relationship between sales, marketing, and customer service, Eric went on to offer a series of practical tips for identifying these gaps in your business:
Junior consultant at Libreea Ltd Jessica Homan was one of several attendees to take to social afterwards, saying: ‘An insightful presentation from Eric Murphy on finding the gaps in your business processes.’
Michael Litt ran an engaging session on why we should all be using video in business today. ‘We’re hardwired to engage with stories’, Vidyard’s CEO emphasised. ‘We process video faster and retain it longer.’ Unsurprisingly, ‘90 percent of customers say video helps them make buying decisions.’
Cisco predicts that by 2021, 80% of all internet traffic will be video. Michael Litt, Vidyard CEO
Michael also raised the subject of adapting now to engage with Millennials and Generation Z or else get left behind. ‘They communicate in a very different way to how you or I are used to communicating’, he said. ‘As it stands, we have to teach many of our employees born post-1995 how to use email. In the near future, email is going to look and feel like the fax machine does today.’
While statements such as this one proved especially thought-provoking, the key takeaway from Michael’s session was personalisation. ‘Personalising videos for your prospects and clients is the most powerful way to trigger a response’, maximising your click-through rate and leading to much higher engagement than that typically generated from written content.
Author of The Secret Army: Leadership, Marketing and the Power of People Gina Balarin led an equally engaging session on the art of business storytelling. ‘The human connection comes down to building trust’, she began. ‘That’s what stories do so brilliantly.’ She detailed the psychological aspect of storytelling, emphasising how ‘people buy with emotion but justify with logic’, before offering a wealth of tips for getting content ideas that your prospects and customers will love.
Your customers are your biggest source of stories. Gina Balarin, Verballistics founder
‘Look for stories that are interesting, relevant, appropriate, timely, and entertaining. Talk to your salespeople and your customers’, she said. ‘Your customers are your stories. Make sure they’re happy ones’, highlighting the importance of generating more customer referrals and leveraging customer advocacy in your content.
Gina’s talk stressed the significance of consulting your salespeople when planning content while demonstrating how implementing brand stories into your content strategy can be invaluable in supporting the wider business to achieve its revenue goals.
Contributing his voice to the discussion around full business alignment, Chris Grant dug deeper into the pillars upholding seamless business operations: people alignment, process alignment, messaging and content alignment, and technology.
Your number one process? Finding and keeping customers. Chris Grant, BabelQuest
‘People alignment — it’s not that complicated’, Chris revealed. ‘To address the rivalry between sales and marketing, focus individual and team efforts on your company's most important goals. Help everyone understand more clearly all responsibilities associated with specific goals. Strengthen accountability by assigning measurable, articulated goals that are visible company-wide.'
He offered the following practical tips to get on board with this:
According to Chris, ‘Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate. Those with poor alignment see a 4% revenue decline.’ Make a start tomorrow, both internally and by aligning your processes around your customers.
Learn more about how to improve sales performance and sell more.
The Revenue Growth Summit provided attendees with a mixture of actionable tips they could implement immediately and longer-term strategic direction for those looking to generate predictable, repeatable, scalable business growth going into 2019 and beyond.
The feedback we’ve received so far has been outstanding: Tarandeep Rayat, digital producer at Market Mettle said ‘Thank you to everyone at BabelQuest for organising such a successful marketing conference’.
I had a great time at BabelQuest’s’ Revenue Growth Summit. Well organised and with some fantastic guest speakers. I will definitely be going again! James Potter, BPS World
Once an expense, marketing today performs a key role in attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers from their first experience of your brand to loyal advocate.
‘Marketing is everything’, said marketing and branding professional Maria del Amor Zapata Diez, quoting Dan Tyre from the first session of the day while touching on a theme running like a thread across the sessions. ‘Great speakers at The Revenue Growth Summit. Is the future now?’
If you weren’t able to make the event, don’t worry. Take away all the speakers’ slides by downloading them below and action their advice across your business in your own time.
Topics: Inbound Marketing
Head of Content at BabelQuest responsible for steering and implementing the content roadmap. PhD Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and novelist with Sparkling Books.
Get notified about upcoming articles, resources and videos