Interview With Author Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar is a Director & Master Growth Architect at Origin Growth, a boutique growth marketing agency in Royal Leamington Spa. Having worked in sales and marketing for over 15 years, Sud has a passion for making a scalable difference in an organisation’s sales – and has the statistics to prove it.
With an approach that gets under the skin of clients to develop thoughtful creative, consistent branding and messages to position them in a way that resonates with and reaches their target audience, Sud’s technique is hands-on as a member of the team.
Having been fortunate enough to have worked across a wide variety of B2B and B2C clients from sectors including technology, automotive, utilities and finance, spanning Europe, USA, Asia and the UK; Sud is an established professional with a wealth of experience, both agency- and client-side.
Over the last 5 years, he’s generated millions of pounds in sales revenue directly from implementing tailored Account-Based Marketing and Social Selling Strategies. Sud’s debut book, Being Human: Marketing & Social Selling in a Digital World will be released in 2021.
Why “Being Human”, what sparked you to write this book?
Originally I decided to write the book on boxing day 2019. It was one of my goals on my vision board and the thinking behind it was to give something back. They do say when you find you calling, your purpose you should use it to give something back, this was my thinking behind the book.
Based on my experiences as a marketer I’m always learning, testing and practicing what I preach. I’m very fortunate, I love what I do and worked with some amazing clients and brands all over the world, from the UK to the USA, India and Europe. Based upon these experiences I’ve always been creating and sharing my content, be it blogs, vlogs, guides, etc. and I’ve always had a good response. So I thought why not create something heavyweight like a book which can help my audience at various levels and what’s more, why not give all the proceeds to charity, that’s a win-win.
Have you written this book specifically for marketers?
This book isn’t just for fellow marketers and sales professionals. It’s for anyone who wants to cut through the noise and have a true relationship with their audience.
There are various layers of information that will appeal to everyone. My in-depth approach and strategy on ABM to marketing professionals, LinkedIn usage and best practice for any professional and key social selling tactics for sales professionals, plus much more.
I’ve written this from my perspective and if you’ve consumed any of my content before you will it’s not full of buzzwords and easy to digest.
The books title “Being Human” is timely, especially with the pandemic. What are your thoughts on digital marketing in today world?
For me, I think the pandemic has shown us that as individuals and businesses, we have to adapt, change our mindset and approach, something which I also cover in the book, and if you look all around us, we have done exactly that.
It’s safe to say that we now live in a world where we need to match the digital expectations that are upon us, that goes for marketing, business operations and in our personal lives.
Now more than ever, to stay relevant, front of mind, businesses must connect with their customers and audiences to provide them with the experience they are now expecting, they are now the modern digital consumer/audience. To do this businesses must in tune with their audience on a human-to-human level and have the right resources at hand to deliver these services and experiences. This is where agencies like Origin Growth come into play. We become an integral part of a business’s team and take an agile approach to offer the right amount of support and skillset towards the collective effort of reaching the end goal.
In our digital world being human is key.
How did you come up with the title?
Great question. Well firstly, I didn’t copy Salman Khan and his fantastic charity and work.
The book is based upon my experiences of working with professionals all over the world. The one thing that remained consistent was the need to be human. The mindset and approach of treating people as numbers and as leads has stuck for too long. Sending people template messages with no personalisation or effort to get to know them. Using diallers and automation to open doors and nurture relationships because we are too busy.
That doesn’t cut it anymore. The world and we as humans have evolved and so too does our approach need to evolve.
In today’s world, it’s about understanding each other, building relationships, offering value, having conversations, building trust, it’s about being human!
That’s why I felt the title was right as it’s a key element that’s missing.
The book covers a lot of key topics, one being ABM. What is it about ABM that you love? Can you elaborate?
We as marketers need to lead the way when it comes to mindset. We live in a digital era and customer interactions and expectations have evolved.
The role of the salesperson has changed, and successful sales- people should not consider themselves as hunters but more like gardeners, because it’s all about nurturing, being patient and thinking about the long term. Big sales and high value orders take time, especially in the B2B world, in which it could take 12 to 18 months. It’s about growing relationships and having a number of opportunities built over time.
In order to service the digital savvy customer, we as marketers must lead the way to break down the barriers and established beliefs when it comes to sales and marketing teams. Both teams need to work as one, and truly align.
Why? Because consumers take in a lot of content in various formats before sales get involved, which is where marketing steps in. Consumers want to have content that is informative, offers value and in a range of formats they prefer, and they want to see it on their chosen channel. Sales and marketing teams need to align, so together they can go to market with the same end goal.
Conversion rates improve when sales and marketing align and share ownership of leads when it comes to nurturing. Marketo reported that businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams experience 36% higher customer retention rates, and 38% higher win rates. Plus, leads are 67% more likely to become clients when teams are aligned.
This is where ABM comes in.
Instead of targeting everyone in a segment, ABM allows you to market to specific accounts, so you could say you are treating an individual account as a market in itself. You are tailoring your content, outreach and touchpoints to the needs of that particular business and the key decision makers within it. This is one-to-one marketing, which is simply marketing on a human level, and is what I love about the whole ABM approach.
Unlike mass messaging tactics, you are actually investing the time to get to know your customer. You are treating them as a human, not a number, not an MQL or SQL, but a human. Building this type of relationship takes time, and on your part, a lot of effort – after all, you want to get inside their heads, you want to know about their likes and dislikes. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s kind of like dating, so you need to show them some love!
For this to work, you need the right mindset and to be obsessed by the details – because it’s this approach that will get you results. For me, there is nothing better than this approach. You are learning as you progress through your ABM campaign, you are truly tailoring your touchpoints for them, with no copy and paste or anything generic.
This is just a snippet on ABM, but hopefully it’s enough to show you why I love it and the amount of effort needed, but at the same time why its key in today’s world.
In the book you talk a lot about stop selling and add value, what do you mean buy this?
Businesses are built upon relationships, and relationships are all about establishing trust, rapport and value.
Let’s be honest, no one really wants to be sold to – not even me or you. We are all busy people, we are selfish, and we only really want to communicate with someone we consider an expert, who can help to solve our problems.
In 2013, Gary Vaynerchuk wrote the book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook: How to tell your story in a noisy social world. The analogy is that the jab is giving value, and the right hook is when you go to extract value. It’s a great book and if you haven’t read it, I recommend you do.
In today’s world, I think it’s more jabs and no hooks. If you’re truly giving value, you don’t need the sales pitch or message. If you truly resonate with your audience, have built that rapport, trust and confidence, prospects will naturally want to do business with you.
See the difference? If ever in doubt, put yourself in your audience’s shoes – after all, they are humans too.
This leads me nicely to my next point: we are all human beings, so this means we can spot a sales strategy and pitch a mile off. If you’re using the same methods and techniques from 10, 20, 30 years ago, it won’t resonate anymore. You’re not only wasting your time, but you’re also annoying your potential customers.
Today’s buyer is savvy – we all are – but why? Because we have the IoT. Today’s buyer does their homework before making purchasing decisions.
In truth, the vast majority of the buying journey and decisions begin and often conclude on the internet, so you need to be visible. Yes, search engine optimisation (SEO), adverts, and content all have a part to play, but for me this is where you should leverage social selling.
By simply having a presence on the right channels for your audience, be it YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you are opening up new communication channels, making yourself visible to those looking to find out what you have to offer.
Which are your favourite books and why?
Wow, ok tough one, very hard to narrow down. I’ll list a few that I really resonate with the author and the context within the books.
1. Green Lights – Matthew McConaughey
2. Think Like A Monk – Jay Shetty
3. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be
– Paul Arden
4. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
5. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
6. The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
7. The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari – Robin Sharma
8. The Purple Cow – Seth Godin
9. Failing Forward – John C Maxwell
10. Start With Why – Simon Sinek
To know to more Author Sudhir Kumar visit: www.origingrowth.com and you can connect with him on:
Book Page: www.sudkumar.co.uk