Earlier in 2023, Mediaweek announced the Sales Team of the Year, an initiative to highlight some of the high-quality work done in the industry.
Each month, a media sales team will be selected by a rotating panel of judges as the nominee for that particular month, culminating in 12 nominees by the end of the 12 months. The judges will be assessing each team on criteria such as proactivity, strategy and execution, and client and agency relationship management.
The 12 nominees will then all go into the running to be named Mediaweek’s Sales Team of the Year.
The winners for September are Acast’s sales team.
Mediaweek spoke with Henrik Isaksson, managing director of Acast, who said that “I am so appreciative of my team. We have the best audio sales team in Australia by far.”
Looking back at the last year, Isaksson said one of the things he’s most proud of is how the Acast team has continued to thrive despite the global economic conditions making things difficult.
“Despite going into a tougher economic climate, we exceeded targets by a country mile, which is great. I don’t think many media owners can say that in this day and age.
“Also, despite being quite a small team – there’s only 15 or so of us in the sales team in Australia – we’ve really over-delivered on our promises to our creators. That’s probably one of the biggest highlights.”
Driving these results, Isaksson said that the success of Acast comes down to a combination of the product and the standards that the brand’s work is delivered to.
“First and foremost, I think we have a brilliant product and we have brilliant technology – that’s definitely helping us in our mission to pay independent creators for what they do.
“Secondly, we have a very, very high-quality standard for the output of our work. Also, in an audio industry that is quite established, I think agencies and brands have welcomed a business like Acast. We think differently, and we provide excellent service.”
Attracting and retaining talent and clients is no small task, and keeping clients on board once they’ve joined Acast is of the utmost importance to Isaksson and the team.
When asked what it is that he thinks keeps people coming back, Isaksson points to a line that embodies the work of the entire sales team.
“We have this internal line: noise, energy, and colour – it’s a bit cheesy, but it really resonates with what we do. Every conversation that we have with a client needs to bring all three: noise, energy, and colour.
“We’re making sure that everyone – business directors, senior account managers, specialists in creative, analytics – is on the same team. We’re making sure that everyone understands the client and what their objectives are, and spending more time asking questions than providing solutions has been the winner for us. We want everyone to leave feeling like they’ve had a really good interaction with our team.”
Looking ahead, Isaksson said that he and the team will spend the next year or so focussing their attention on nailing the basics whilst making the most of the momentum of the business.
“Like many other businesses, we’re focussing on creating efficiencies and coming up with even better solutions for our clients. We’re investing a lot of money and resources into our technology as a business globally, and we’ve always been pushing the envelope in terms of ad solutions, targeting, measurement, etc.
“We also have been focusing on bigger partnerships – we’re getting invited to conversations now with large holding companies, and clients and advertisers that we weren’t really part of previously. So making sure that we have that locked down is taking up the majority of my time.”
Finally, asked to give an elevator pitch for brands who are considering working with Acast but haven’t made the leap yet, Isaksson laughs that “Brands come to us, I think we are the elevator pitch!”
“Brands come to us because we are specialists in the area of podcasting. You can buy podcasting from virtually any publisher in Australia today – be that radio, or traditional print, or anywhere really – but I think the reason brands turn to us is because this is what we do, and this is all we do. It’s what we do really well.
“On the creative side of things, every dollar that we make is getting shared with the creators, and I think that also resonates with brands and agencies in this day and age. It’s very fair and it’s transparent.”