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6sense by Minal Awasthi - 1w ago
What makes people want to work at 6sense?

Is it our unwavering commitment to delivering the most comprehensive ABM platform out there to B2B marketers? Our promise to provide top-of-the-line ‘always on’ customer service?

Our platform speaks for itself, but that alone doesn’t make someone want to work at a particular fast-paced, SF-based tech start-up over any other.

What excites people the most about joining 6sense is the people. It’s the team that makes you want to join, and here at 6sense, we’ve fortunate to have quite a stellar group of individuals. Solid camaraderie + spending time giving back to our community is our recipe for success.

What is GoodSense? 

GoodSense was launched in the fall of 2015, as a partnership between 6sense and San Francisco Community School. SF Community School is located in the Excelsior District and has been committed to representing San Francisco diversity since it was founded in 1972.

Over the past three years, 6sense has participated and volunteered in various community events – “Hour of Code”, “Back to School” set up days, “Open House” and beautification projects. This past year, in particular, one of the main highlights was our support in the school’s Project Open House, an event that takes place in the fall and spring. The school invites families and community members to an evening of their students showcasing and presenting their semester projects, and wraps the night up with sweets and – a personal favorite – root beer floats. This year, the theme for their semester projects was centered around staying prepared for natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, you name it. After the event, the GoodSense team shared their favorite natural disaster facts with the rest of the 6sense team, garnering even more interest among the team for future volunteering opportunities.

Nothing says “well-rounded” more than a team that can put their heads down when it’s crunch time, and also set aside volunteering time for our local schools and community. This year alone, the 6sense team volunteered 72.5 hours in total, and donated $995 worth of resources to the school.

Principal Zaia Vera of San Francisco Community School says,

“The support is so, so helpful! Our teachers work hard getting students ready for [Project Open House], so it’s great to have the volunteers help out. It frees us up with more time to do other things that need to be done. Thank you so much!” 

We at 6sense are always happy to lend a helping hand, and have many more GoodSense efforts lined up for the rest of the year. Come join our extraordinary team – we’re hiring!

A few of our team members at various GoodSense events:

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The topic of martech consolidation is hot right now, and we know because we’re doing it. It’s no longer about “we’ll stitch this point solution together with that point solution”, customers are done cobbling solutions together. What the people now want is something that synergistically combines these individual pieces and delivers one single, integrated platform.

Our Chief Commercial Officer, Srihari Kumar, sat down with Nick Ezzo, VP of Demand Gen at Sage Intacct, last week for an interactive webinar on this very topic – The Coming Wave of Martech Consolidation. With 17+ years in marketing – and prior to that, 10 years in IT – what better person to chat with about marketing technology than Nick Ezzo? Nick has seen the best (and worst) of both worlds, having been in the game long enough to have developed his own philosophy and methods for evaluating technology vendors. Needless to say, he knew what he was talking about.

The Good

Among the many words of wisdom he shared throughout the webinar, he shared his top seven tips to tech purchases:

  1. Always go SaaS. Limit your exposure
  2. Understand the time commitment involved with new tech
  3. Ownership: What happens when a team member leaves?
  4. Ensure your partner is with you for the long haul
  5. Look for mutual wins. How can I help you reach your goals?
  6. Maximize the value, or cut it.
  7. Don’t waste your time with proof of concepts (POCs) unless you have a ton of extra time on your hands.

We would love to go into each and every one of these, but Nick does a better job of it with his personal accounts for each tip — Listen to the webinar recording here.

The Bad

In his presentation, Nick mentioned the cost of bringing on one single vendor. Multiply that by how many tools you have in your stack, and you’re hit with a reality check. Not only is there hidden financial cost, but also added complexity, time, effort and resources that are compromised each time a new technology is evaluated (see below). Much of what Nick talks about all ties back to doing your due diligence with research beforehand and approaching the relationships as a two-way street – making sure your partner is with you for the long haul.

…And the Ugly

Nick delves into an unfortunate experience with ‘one of his favorite technologies becoming the bane of his existence’ as he mentions his history with Infer. It’s this very experience that brought him to exploring 6sense’s offering during his martech consolidation journey. While an experience like this is nothing short of disheartening, it is the very point that Nick stresses throughout the webinar –

Be careful about the vendors you work with. Although you love them today, they might be a different company tomorrow. Cover your bases.

With 6sense, for example, Nick talks about how he approached the beginning stages of the relationship. He mentioned what brought him to the decision of replacing the individual point solutions in his marketing tech stack with 6sense (more specifically, Terminus for display ads and Infer for scoring and routing). By now, he’s created a process to evaluate vendors that only comes with years of experience as well as trial & error. Nick’s secret sauce is checking references that the vendor both has and hasn’t provided. With this approach, he is able to obtain a more realistic perspective of the technology and unbiased use cases from a range of customers. Layered on top of this insight is his own research, calculations, background knowledge and – another tip – asking the hard questions in the product demos. He suggests getting all the nitty gritty details upfront before committing to signing on the dotted line, because you don’t want to be met with any surprises.

We highly recommend taking the time out to listen to Nick and Srihari’s webinar. Not only is there a great amount of value in each of these tips that Nick shares, but he also had an accompanying story for each one. These stories painted a clear picture for the audience to recognize the pain points of stitching several point solutions together — something they are probably experiencing a version of themselves – and why the move to a consolidated platform is more than just a trending topic, it’s a necessity.

With several point solutions comes several hurdles: juggling contracts, multiple points of contact, pricing structures, technologies that don’t seamlessly integrate with one another… just to name a few. There’s not enough time in the world to evaluate each and every point solution to see if it fits in your martech stack, and there’s not enough people on the team to support each and every tool. As the marketplace of vendors is starting to become more and more overwhelming, the next logical step is consolidation. One platform, end-to-end, to tackle all of your ABM efforts. Eliminate the noise, minimize the complexity, and clean up your technology stack.

If you’re starting to explore consolidating your marketing tech stack or you have no idea how to start, look no further! Get in touch with a 6sensor today.

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Imagine a world where your marketing technology stack consisted of one integrated ABM platform, from uncovering in-market accounts all the way to orchestrating multi-channel, multi-persona account plays. In this post, we look at five marketers who have made this dream a reality and presented their approach at the SiriusDecisions Summit last month.

Goodbye, Point Solutions. Hello, Consolidated Platform!

So, what exactly is a consolidated ABM platform? It has all the components of SiriusDecisions’ Demand Waterfall – determine target demand, identify and engage active demand, measure and improve engaged demand, focus and align with sales on prioritized and qualified demand – in one platform.

6sense unveiled this consolidated ABM platform, the 6sense Account Orchestration Platform, in May at SiriusDecisions Summit 2018. Our star customers did an excellent job of telling their stories – their ABM tales – of using 6sense’s consolidated ABM platform.

Dell EMC

Lindsay Lyons, Director of Global Brand Content and Kay Somers, Director of Audiences Strategy for NA Commercial Marketing from Dell EMC, spoke about Dell’s success story with 6sense. Dell EMC had been looking for real time insights into their broad-reach initiatives that are typically harder to track. They had overall traffic data, general insight into their target audiences and buying center models; what they wanted was a view of engagement at the account level and this is where 6sense stepped in. Combining their own data and insights with 6sense predictive intent modeling to map buyer stage (snapshot below), they assigned relevant marketing tactics to the different buyer journey stages, allowing Dell EMC to invest in the right accounts and contacts at the right time, with the best message. Dell EMC closed out the presentation with a brief mention about what’s next with 6sense. Hearing our customers’ excitement for what the future holds? Music to our ears!

Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct’s VP of Demand Generation, Nick Ezzo, delivered a compelling presentation that drew people back to the 6sense booth after, wanting to learn more about us! He broke down the story of Sage Intacct’s ABM planning to ABM activation to support Sage Intacct’s shift in go-to-market strategy.  ABM is at the heart of their transition from focusing exclusively on SMB accounts, to also targeting mid-market/strategic accounts. Sage Intacct built an ABM flow (snapshot below) by first identifying the right target accounts and then executing the campaign most appropriate for each account. In following this flow, Nick expressed the importance of not skimping on the data. Measuring is key when it comes to ABM, and Sage Intacct’s ABM reporting included details about their target account penetration, account engagement and opportunity progression. Seeing the enthusiasm in our customers inspires us to continue to better our product, so needless to say we’re eager to further strengthen our relationship with Sage Intacct!

Xactly

Hanne Venables, Director of Marketing Operations of Xactly, also told an interesting story at Summit. Xactly was in the process of re-examining their go-to-market strategy; their evaluation involved determining if they were in fact going after the right verticals, selling to the right personas, and targeting the right accounts. This involved a deep dive into their CRM to first determine what data they have and don’t have.  Then, as Hanne described their process, “prioritize, prioritize, prioritize,” referring to focusing campaigns and outreach on the right accounts and contacts, at the right time. They reached out to 6sense’s ZenIQ to help them with their ABM harmony. Xactly was able to succeed in account scoring, data enriching, expanding their target list, creating new content by persona and vertical, and building campaigns that delivered marketing generated pipeline (as shown below).

With their enhanced, hyper-targeted approach, they are excited to continue expanding their use of 6sense’s platform for additional capabilities. There’s no stopping them now!

Centrify

Special congratulations to Centrify – another star customer of 6sense – for winning the Program of the Year Award this year at SiriusDecisions Summit. Rhonda Shantz, CMO of Centrify, presented about Centrify’s notable success and referenced 6sense as a contributing factor, empowering her sales and marketing teams with valuable insights which resulted in a 5x increase in engagement!

Rhonda Shantz - Centrify @ SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 - Vimeo

She then elaborated on how her team was using 6sense to really delve deep into their in-market accounts and their triggers in order to personalize their interactions; this resulted in a 6x increase in engagement with in-market accounts. A win for Centrify is a win for 6sense!

Rhonda Shantz - Centrify @ SiriusDecisions Summit 2018 (2) - Vimeo

Consolidate and Crush It!

Consolidation is the logical next step in the marketing stack. In the coming months, we will bring you many more success stories of how marketers are crushing their pipeline goals with 6sense’s consolidated ABM platform. As one CMO put it nicely, “I was waiting for someone to do this and I am so glad to see 6sense blazing the trail in creating a consolidated ABM platform”.

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The Forrester New Wave report lists 14 ABM platforms that matter the most and how they stack up. But the more accurate number is… lucky number 13!

Forrester says: “6sense announced its acquisition of ZenIQ on April 11, 2018. This graphic does not reflect the positioning of the combined entity.” Naturally, this begs the question: What would this landscape look like if the companies were represented as a combined entity for this ABM Platform evaluation?

Two Worlds Converge: Predictive + ABM

6sense was recognized as a leader in the predictive space in the Forrester Wave: Predictive Analytics Platforms for B2B marketers, as seen below.

Box CMO Carrie Palin said, “6sense enables us to be more intelligent about everything we do based on an understanding of which customers are in-market and where they are in their journey.”

There is no other platform that provides the level of insights that 6sense can offer at an account and contact level. This is where our unique and patented differentiation was established in the predictive market – focusing on time-based in-market predictions, anonymous activity tracking in the buyers journey, and profile fit predictions to identify best prospects. Collecting, connecting, and activating insights using artificial intelligence (AI) continues to remain a core strength from all the technology we’ve developed to become the leader.

Now, expanding our capabilities into the realm of account-based marketing, we’ve taken our core strengths and combined it with the last mile in the ABM equation – orchestration. Combining 6sense’s market-leading predictive and AI capabilities with ZenIQ’s unmatched account-based marketing and sales orchestration smartplays, the new 6sense offering is a merging of two market leaders, joining forces to create the most comprehensive ABM platform.

Bringing together 6sense predictive intelligence with multi-system, multi-channel, and multi-persona orchestration workflows helps B2B marketing and sales teams achieve a unified and automated account strategy. 6sense is now the full technology enabler of your ABM strategy.

So where would the new 6sense rank on ABM? Here is where we believe the combined entity would land if you combined our best scores:

Forrester’s New Wave for ABM Platform included 10 areas of evaluation. They were:

a) Capability Focused Criteria:

  1. Account Selection
  2. Contact Selection
  3. Insights
  4. Personalization
  5. Programmatic Advertising
  6. Engagement Orchestration
  7. Performance assessment
b) Strategy Focused Criteria:
  1. Product Roadmap
  2. Product Vision
  3. Market Approach

The strategy focused criteria were measured for the two entities separately, and are subjective and less tangible, given all players are evolving in this new emerging market. So let’s focus on the objective capability focused criteria to represent the 6sense combined platform.

Overlaying the rankings for Vendor QuickCards overview for the combined 6sense + ZenIQ offering, you’ll see that the new 6sense Demand Orchestration Platform is differentiated in four of the criteria, and on par with the rest of the ABM market in two. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we? Take a look at the overlay:

6sense demonstrates a differentiated ranking in terms of contact selection, insights, engagement orchestration and performance assessment. We’re on par with the rest of the market with account selection and programmatic advertising capabilities. 6sense/ZenIQ combined features place it within the strong performers in the ABM solutions category.

To sum it all up, the 6sense Demand Orchestration Platform, which represents the combined capabilities of 6sense and ZenIQ, brings forth a whole new meaning to ABM Platform comprehensiveness. While traditional ABM solutions might offer you one or a few pieces of the puzzle, for which you then must stitch together multiple point solutions, 6sense is the only ABM platform that is able to provide a consolidated offering.

When unveiling the new 6sense ABM platform earlier this year to a handful of our customers and leading B2B companies considering ABM solutions, the feedback was unanimously positive. Our early adopters mentioned that they had been waiting for somebody to “put it all together”; rather than them having to stitch together several point solutions, 6sense had done the seemingly impossible.

Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at MongoDB: “This is a strategic move for the two companies and a great fit from my vantage point when it comes to team and product. With all the noise in the martech space and point solutions that need to be cobbled together to deliver on the promise of ABM, I can easily see a demand orchestration platform emerge as a standard alongside B2B CRM systems.”

Matt Garratt, Managing Partner at Salesforce Ventures: “The combination of 6sense and ZenIQ, two of our most promising investments, delivers a comprehensive ABM platform and the coordinated, top-line growth B2B companies need to achieve their long-term vision.”

Forrester wasn’t able to capture the full 6sense offering in the New Wave as the evaluation was conducted before the public announcement of the ZenIQ acquisition, but our goal here was to put forth an image that captures the reality of where we are as a company today versus months ago. But don’t just take our word for it, see it for yourself in action by speaking to one of our 6sensors today.

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As sales teams look to their marketing counterparts in an ABM world for enablement and insight, it’s getting increasingly important to have a centralized view of account engagement. No sales team operates the same way – with differences in structure, process, tools, personalities, values, selling strategies, go-to-market motions, etc. – there are innumerable permutations and combinations.

In this already complex world of sales and sales enablement, it’s great to have choices.

Posting this while in Chicago, at the Oracle Modern Customer Experience conference. The energy here is amazing, and I’ve already heard multiple conversations talking about empowering sales teams. We’re excited to announce that we are among the few launch partners of Oracle’s Sales Tools Extensions, available within Oracle Eloqua Profiler and designed to enable sales teams with relevant lead and account information. Being announced in beta, our integration is expected to become generally available when Oracle announces the general availability of the Sales Tools Extensions later during 2018.

With this integration, sales teams can get the following benefits of the 6sense Demand Orchestration Platform within Oracle Eloqua Profiler:

  1. In-market predictions at the product category level for every account, based on the full-funnel buyer intent journey and 6sense AI
  2. Third-party keywords researched such as competitor keywords, partner keywords, etc. that indicate interest and relevancy
  3. Actionable recommendations on the right contacts to engage based on their intent or their fit
  4. Unified timeline of all activity done by employees of the account, either known or anonymously

“We’re extremely excited to have 6sense be a part of our launch, as their vision lies at the intersection of account-based marketing, artificial intelligence, and providing buyer intelligence to sales,” said Pierre Custeau Vice President Product Management, Oracle Eloqua. “As Sales Tools Extensions gets into the hands of our B2B customers, this is one integration that many are going to be excited about.”

Here are some screenshots of what this looks like inside of Sales Tools Extensions for a 6sense prospect that is researching some of our competitors:

To use this integration, companies must be customers of both Oracle Eloqua and 6sense. 6sense customers looking to try this integration in beta are recommended to contact their 6sense customer success manager for further information.

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Back in 2016, the former SVP of Marketing at Dell, Gaurav Chand, made some interesting points at Dell EMC World 2016, regarding how data is changing the way companies think about content. Fast-forward to 2018, this remains a topic of discussion and a struggle for many enterprise companies.

Most companies are just getting started in how they grapple with such changes and prepare for an ABM-at-scale approach when identifying the right personas and selling to buying committees. For companies in this stage, it is imperative to understand the shift and how to adapt.

In the video, Gaurav makes the following key points:

“Think about the simple notion of a business user, technology marketing has never talked to a business user.” Stepping away from traditional marketing, ABM involves a deeper knowledge of your target audience and personalizing your content appropriately; this point is further supported in this article on MarketingProfs, which reinforces that it’s critical to match your marketing efforts to the intended audience in order to reap the benefits of ABM. Gaurav tackles the first step by identifying that very gap: we often reach out to the C-levels in tech organizations assuming they are the ones responsible for the final decision, without realizing that the actual business user might be sitting outside of IT in a different department altogether. How do you then go about finding that right person or group of people? This bleeds into his next point:

“Now, we’ve got to think about how to mine the right data, how to get the right contacts, how to work with the right companies that can get you that kind of information, and then go reach out to the direct business user.” With the vast amount of data unseen to the public eye, it would be unwise to ignore this untapped opportunity. The biggest hurdle in all of this, however, is obtaining this data and extracting insights from it. Knowing who is doing first or third-party research on your organization, which contacts that are currently not in your database are searching for your product, or who is searching for your competitors and not you; these are only a few instances in which you can uncover engagement and interest that lies beneath the surface level of your data. Unveiling this information is key to strengthening your ABM strategy, as you can now know which accounts of yours are building interest, find out who to reach, and then personalize your marketing approach accordingly.

Gaurav mentions that while we face these challenges, the technology around understanding and analyzing this data has advanced at a considerably rapid rate. “We’re getting a lot more sophisticated around tracking and people’s search patterns…We’re getting this rich information. The onus then comes specifically on us to produce the right set of content.” Having insight into this data opens a whole new portal for building an ABM strategy and focusing your efforts on the accounts with active interest and engagement. You are now able to segment your audience and enhance your current database with new, more involved contacts for whom you can create targeted content. Cutting past the surface level of your data and extracting key information is what will drive forward your ABM capabilities and enable you to rethink how and to whom you shape your content.

In an ABM world, personalization is the crux of the matter. It’s no secret that the right content will trigger the right response, generating far more interest, engagement and trust from prospects than even the creators realize. If you can figure out who to tailor your content to, then you are already halfway down the road to victory. The hard part, parsing through data and obtaining the key insights, has already been done. It’s now on your sales and marketing teams to bring it home and supercharge your ABM strategy!

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6sense by Amar Doshi - 4M ago

“Where’s my demand?”, said the VP of Marketing of a HR management software company at a prospect meeting last week. “And while you’re at it, can you tell me:

Which accounts are out there researching my competitors but not me?
How many accounts are engaging with my product and service pages anonymously?
Of the accounts engaging with my content this week, has sales reached out to them recently?
Looking at all the account’s activity, are they predicted to open an opportunity soon?
What are the firmographic and technographic profiles of these companies?”

That list could go on and on with different questions that account-based marketers generally want to ask. But at the heart of every one of these questions is another – the ‘why?’ For this prospect, and for most marketers, the ‘why’ for most of these questions to understand demand is typically:

  • To determine how to optimize a campaign, message, or tactic that is being used to drive account engagement or deal progression among a group of companies,
  • To measure effectiveness of a given campaign, message or tactic, or
  • To create a list of relevant accounts to target and engage in a new campaign.

When putting on the B2B marketing lens, all three of these become extremely important to align strategy and marketing effectiveness in a way which helps sales teams. As the ultimate beneficiaries of all the hard work put in by marketing to drive account engagement, sales teams want their marketing counterparts focused on the ‘why’ to ultimately help them create pipeline and grow revenue. The challenge, of course, is trying to get all the data required to answer such questions.

 

Ok, so where’s my data?

The simple answer is: not in one place.

When trying to connect data to understand demand, it’s a puzzle that involves behavioral data signals spread across multiple internal and external systems typically in the form of known or anonymous intent activities. Such data sets cannot be easily connected due to lack of compatible data structures and reliable data pipelines that are required to keep dynamically changing data sets up-to-date. Often, the data that is most difficult to obtain is from the dark funnel and is only available from third parties willing to share data. Unfortunately, those that do, normally don’t supply the granular data required to provide meaningful and specific signal.

We’ve met many companies that start internal projects to take a DIY approach for data collection and visualization for account-based marketing (ABM) purposes. Unfortunately, creating an IT project to centralize and connect data often doesn’t end up providing marketing with the desired outcome. Complexities in integration of systems, multiple project sponsors changing during a long implementation, lack of pristine data in various systems, etc. tend to set companies back a fair bit of investment and time.

Companies that manage to cobble together an ABM solution either through DIY, or by using multiple different point solutions to connect data, find that keeping their integrations updated and driving continuous use of analytical dashboards remains a constant challenge for IT and marketing due to lack of immediate and easy actionability.

But even if that were not the issue and a company managed to put together an extremely intuitive, constantly updating, and highly maintained system to understand demand using all available data resources, there is still a big issue with the three ‘whys’ to understand demand that we discussed above. Can you guess what it is?

Not really, where do you stop the build-up and tell me where’s my demand?!

Well, the big issue with the ‘why’ is that it’s naturally followed with the ‘now what?’

From our work with numerous customers and prospects, we’ve observed and heard that the biggest issue with analytics – predictive, behavioral, or even simple profile fit – is the lack of being able to take rapid action. Going to other systems for optimization of campaigns and tactics or creating manual, Excel-heavy account lists for targeting puts friction between the ability to have a central location to understand demand, analyze demand over time, and utilize the insights to make real-time campaign decisions in an ABM world. This journey digging into the ‘now what’ along with the ‘why’ is what we think will define the future of programmatic or automated ABM-at-scale. We expect many marketers that believe ABM is a synonym for B2B marketing will explore how to piece together the right solution and marketing technology stack in 2018.

Aligning ourselves to help marketers answer their key questions around demand intelligence, help marketers grapple with the ‘why’, and also expand our capabilities to solve the ‘now what’, we made a big product announcement earlier this week.

We’re extremely excited to unveil the 6sense Demand Platform for account-based marketers to the broader market! This new platform was created in collaboration with our customers to help uncover and analyze prospects expressing demand signals, accelerate ABM campaigns right from within the product as an integrated flow, and capture revenue from marketing-driven pipeline through sales enablement. You can read all about it in our press release here.

In short, this offering is designed to answer, “Where’s my demand?”, and all the other questions a marketer desires, and then provide the ability to use that insight to take immediate action. Some of the new features that went live on the platform with this launch announcement included:

  • Segment Analytics: Predictive, Behavioral, and Profile Analytics to analyze an account segment and create sub-segments
  • Technographic data: Used for segment creation, lookalike modeling, and Profile Analytics
  • Profile-based targeting: Reach people at targeted companies in a specific job level and job function within digital advertising campaigns
  • Single Sign-On: Integrations supported and tested with Okta, OneLogin, and Centrify
  • User Experience: New account-focused user interface for the 6sense web application

So, you do know where’s my demand! Now can you answer my other questions?

This is the shameless plug section for our Segment Analytics feature that does more than just help understand where there is demand within an account segment. As you can see in the demo videos below, it provides an interactive and graphical segment analyzer and list builder that aims to answer as many different questions as a marketer could have around an account segment to achieve the three ‘whys’ we covered earlier. To drive that point home, the videos answer the 5 example questions asked by our prospect at the start of this post.

  • Which accounts are out there researching my competitors but not me?

  • How many accounts are engaging with my product and service pages anonymously?

  • Of the accounts engaging with my content this week, has sales reached out to them recently?

  • Looking at all the account’s activity, are they predicted to open an opportunity soon?

  • What are the firmographic and technographic profiles of these companies?

Once satisfied with the result of the analytics and the resultant account list… ‘now what?’ Great question, you are catching on!

Well, the newly created sub-segment can be easily saved and activated in a digital advertising campaign in a matter of clicks, right within the same interface. We’ll cover this in a future post in more detail and talk about the many more activation features available and that are coming soon…

We hope this post gets you thinking about your own approach to demand intelligence in your ABM strategy and daily workflow. Tell us in the comments below what kind of interesting questions you want to answer with data, and how would you action the results.

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There’s no doubt that the marketing world is an ever-changing landscape, with new flashy technology at every turn, a trendy methodology released every other day and “magic bullets” left and right. But at the end of the day, all of those things mean nothing if they’re not accomplishing every marketers number one goal: driving demand.

While that may sound simple enough, what does it truly mean in practice? We sat down with SiriusDecisions’ senior research director Kerry Cunningham, who has more than 20 years of experience as a B2B marketing thought leader, to discuss demand and share where predictive fits in. From Kerry’s perspective, there are six tangible ways to truly achieve scalable and repeatable demand:

  1. Aligning on Demand Units
  2. Engineering a Target Demand Stage
  3. Seeing Group Behavior, Not Just Individuals
  4. Identifying the Buyer’s Journey with Intent
  5. Engaging Your Units of Demand
  6. Prioritizing Demand for Effective Outreach

At first glance, getting the whole organization on the same page about who their buyers are seems like a simple enough initial step. But according to Kerry, most marketing and sales team are typically aligned around target accounts, not target demand units – which is the real selling opportunity. SiriusDecisions urges teams to become focused on defining their targets as “buying centers with a need and the people assigned to address that need.” Determining these demand units is a cross-functional, collaborative exercise that may require initial heavy lifting, but answering the following questions is a manageable starting point:

  • What does a good-fit need look like?
  • What causes buying cycles to start and what influences their prioritization?
  • Who engages with sellers and influences purchases?
  • What resources must the group command to acquire the solution?

Once there’s consensus on what an ideal customer may look like in theory, it’s time for organizations to move onto what SiriusDecisions calls the Target Demand stage. Target demand helps teams understand which demand units are a good fit and have a need for their solutions. This is what most of you know as Total Addressable Market or TAM. While we agree that understanding TAM is important, at 6sense we take it a step further and uncover organizations’ TAMnow, to better understand the Active Demand stage and double down on the aspect of time.

At this stage, teams are focused on which demand units are not only a good fit, but have a need now and are demonstrating behavior indicative of being in an active buying cycle. SiriusDecisions defines this practice as “deriving signals from the behavioral noise to identify when your prospects are in market.” What do we mean by behavioral noise? While most people only think of third-party intent data, all forms of prospect data can be regarded as potential signs of buying intent. These include a combination of the following: first party (information generated by owned and operated systems), third party (information provided by an external source), identified (known, but not invited) and opt-in (given explicit permission to contact). SiriusDecisions dives even further into intent data here if you’re interested in learning more.

Signal v. Noise

At 6sense, our Intent Graph does the heavy lifting within the Target Stage to stitch together every internal system, from CRM to MAP to website, then marries it to third-party research data to deliver meaningful insight from across the full funnel, both known and anonymous. Once these dots are connected, teams can move into Kerry’s next stage and leverage past behavioral patterns to reveal the nature of their buyer’s journeys and better understand how engaged they are.

By reconstructing the journeys that led up to prior purchases, marketers have insight like never before into the patterns that are indicative of buying stages. With this, marketing can increase conversion rates for ABM campaigns with highly targeted, personalized messaging and even the sales team benefits! AEs and BDRs can reach out at the precise moment a buyer is ready to engage – never too early or too late.

Now that you know who to target and when, we move to Kerry’s fifth step and focus on what SiriusDecisions calls “engaged demand.” Since these prospects or demand units are already engaged, it’s time to accelerate them through the funnel and work to convert. For 6sense customer Vyze, having insight into its buyers throughout the funnel has been critical. “With 6sense, I can finally align my digital campaigns with actual account behavior and engagement. It’s a game changer for how we think about account-based marketing,” said Vyze marketing director Leila Nazari.

Turning Insight Into Action

From deploying digital ads based on buying stage to account-based engagement analytics, personalizing within “engaged demand” generates more pipeline and drives up ROI. SiriusDecisions even found that “audience-centric campaigns can increase conversion rates by 50 percent.”  But with increased pipeline comes another task – of the companies that are engaged, which ones should be prioritized for human interaction and how should sales target? For many sales organizations, the Fortune 500 has historically been their target account list. But now with statistical modeling and behavioral insight, teams can prioritize their selling time to reach out at exactly the right time and ultimately optimize conversions and increase efficiency.

Additionally, sales teams now have insight into every interaction a prospective account has taken, across every channel, both known and anonymous. For sales organizations like PGi, this has been a huge differentiator and they’ve witnessed 68 percent faster time-to-close, 9x lift in average deal sizes and 77 percent increases in win rates. PGi’s Vice President of Marketing Kerry Trivers said, “thanks to the unprecedented intelligence we’ve gained about our buyers and their behaviors, our sales efforts are focused, effective and smarter.” You can hear more about how PGi became hyper-targeted in their ABM efforts here.

If your team is ready to tackle the above stages and truly achieve scalable and repeatable demand, check out our on-demand webinar here for Kerry’s first-hand advice to working through every stage. If you’re already somewhere along your journey and looking to uncover buyers or hoping to accelerate them more quickly through the funnel, check out how full-funnel demand intelligence can help here.

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We’re thrilled to announce the expansion of our executive team with three key hires who will help lead our go-to-market strategy and further accelerate growth for 6sense!

We sat down with David Simon, our new Chief Revenue Officer and Sanjay Kini, our new Vice President of Sales Engineering to hear more about their plans to help 6sense transform marketing technology and empower sales and marketing teams with the power of big data and artificial intelligence.

Q: You’re both starting at a time of intense momentum and transformation for 6sense. Can you share a little about your journey to get here and what ultimately drove your decision to join the team?

Dave: Having formerly worked with Jason at Responsys, when he reached out and told me about his plans to spearhead a new era of intelligent marketing and sales at 6sense as CEO, I had to hear more. I’ve spent most of my career driving revenue for premium providers and the last decade has been with world-class martech companies. From my experience, while enterprise-grade companies are incredibly valuable, their specific value tends to be fairly nuanced. 6sense struck me instantly because of how clearly differentiated the product is. In a space that is undeniably crowded, with providers and buzzwords only adding to the confusion, 6sense has built the big data AI platform that allows it to stand on its own away from the noise. The Forrester Wave naming us the leader in the space completely validated my instincts. If the product itself weren’t already enough to convince me, the team put me over the edge. I’ve not only worked alongside Jason, Sanjay and Kyle Christensen, our new CMO, at Responsys, but I’ve also witnessed Viral and Amanda in action and knew they had the technical chops to sustain and extend the market momentum they had already achieved for 6sense.

Sanjay: My passion is to help customers drive business results and solve business problems through technology. We did that at Responsys and Oracle Marketing Cloud for B2C companies – typically ACV was in the $100 or so range – but with 6sense, every opportunity that we can help convert has the potential to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars for our customers. 6sense provides me with the chance to be part of something transformational. 6sense has incredible technology in a market that is still nascent. I saw Responsys grow from $15M to well over $200M and while interviewing at 6sense, I felt like I would get the opportunity to do this all over again.  We have the technology and team to help our customers find in-market buyers and drive them through to conversion to impact the business in a lasting way. With Fortune 5000 enterprises and fast-growing B2B companies like Box, Cisco and Dell as customers, we’re partnering with some of the smartest marketing and sales teams to no longer operate on static look-alike firmographics, but instead leverage behavioral data (both 1st party and 3rd party) across the full funnel that shines a light on buyer intent.

Q: Can you tell me about the market opportunity you see for 6sense?

Dave: The market opportunity we have is so large that it’s almost unquantifiable.  We help companies identify more deals, and get into them sooner, delivering ROI of up to 405%. We’re also solving problems for sales and marketing that have not only existed forever, but have shockingly gotten worse as the B2B buyer’s journey has continuously evolved and become more complex. Sales and marketing teams have become desperate to align themselves with the modern, cross-channel B2B buyer journey. With its big data technology and time-based modeling, 6sense leverages massive volumes of unstructured behavioral data from across the web then combines it with a customer’s first party data to provide unique visibility across the entire customer journey for both anonymous and known buyers. We’re shining a light onto our customers’ buyers and where they are. On top of that, we then give our customers the power to action on those insights – from optimizing their media spend to making every aspect of their ABM campaigns smarter – to reach their buyers and ultimately drive revenue.

SanjayOff of Dave’s point, the results that our customers are already seeing only foreshadow the future of this market. We’re working within an industry that until only recently, was reserved for the early adopters and innovators. The permeation of predictive past just enthusiasts and visionaries into new industries and verticals can be attributed to the real, measurable results that businesses are witnessing. Dell is the perfect example of a customer who chose to double down on predictive and is seeing incredible successes as a result. Using 6sense to uncover key opportunities, Dell achieved a 100x increase in attach rates in its email campaigns. The team additionally saw a 3x lift on MQL to SQL conversion, a 2x-6x lift in opportunity size, 50% higher deal sizes and a 12x return in media spend. These are the types of results that executives crave – true ROI that ultimately impacts the bottom line. So to answer your question, any B2B company with a considered purchase is our market opportunity. We can easily make an argument that we add equal or more value compared to products like Salesforce (CRM) and Eloqua or Marketo (MAP) as we’re driving pipeline and revenue by creating new opportunities.

Q: You both have backgrounds in sales and marketing, how do you feel 6sense’s technology impacts modern sales and marketing leaders?

Dave: When Jason and the team shared the powerful insights that 6sense could deliver, my wheels started turning on all the pain points this technology would solve for me as a sales leader. I began to think back to the deals that I had lost out on because I was either too late or I didn’t understand enough about my buyer and their journey. In the enterprise world, missing the window of opportunity when a prospect is in-market can mean a lost deal for years. There’s really nothing worse than having a great fit account and then losing them to another vendor who got to them first. With that in mind, I asked how our own team internally benefits from the insights of our product. I was thrilled to hear that not only were we regularly getting into sales conversations early, but we had just closed a $300K deal as a result. A prospect who had gone cold on us months prior, who we had completely counted out, then spiked in our 6sense instance and illustrated high levels of behavioral intent for predictive intelligence solutions. As it turns out, they had just begun a high-priority initiative for predictive and we were the first vendor to make it to the table. Because buyers’ needs and timing are constantly shifting, 6sense’s ability to provide daily updates as buying intent involves is crucial.

Sanjay: In the age of technology, information isn’t democratized. Long gone are the days where sales people had the first touch on a potential buyer. Today’s buyers are self-sufficient and self-educating with any and all content they can access – both across the web and within a company’s own website. Because marketers and sellers have lost visibility into their buyer’s pains and needs, technology like 6sense has the ability to shine a light back onto that journey and buying process. The toughest challenge here is being able to tell a comprehensive story. For 6sense, we can paint the most accurate picture because we actually measure and connect engagement across the full funnel – not just a slice of it. Through partnerships and with our own network, we capture 3rd party data, then stitch it to our customers’ website behavior (both known and anonymous) and finally bring it together with complete CRM and Marketing Automation behavior. With this web of data, our customers can now understand the complete journey of their buyers – from an initial search inquiry to anonymous research across their marketing content to an open opportunity. In the end, our solution helps not just the demand-gen team within marketing but also the individual sales reps and sales leaders.

Q: How does your experience lend itself to driving 6sense into its next chapter of growth?

 Dave: 6sense is at the point as a company where we’re poised for hyper-growth. Having led sales at Responsys, I’m thrilled to bring my experience building and scaling next-generation companies to the table. When I first joined Responsys, it was a company that was great at selling into the high-end enterprise but had difficulty capitalizing on opportunities in the mid-market. By implementing a GTM playbook that told our story and differentiators clearly to the market, we were able to expand with a 20% increase in win rates. Not only do I predict that we’ll do the same at 6sense, but I’m also confident we’ll successfully educate the market on what is truly time-based predictive intelligence and how companies can achieve real ROI. As we educate the industry, I’m excited to continue to partner with the sophisticated and aspirational marketing and sales leaders in companies of all sizes, that are ready to leverage timing to drive revenue and create lasting business impact.

Sanjay: For the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with industry-leading companies on everything from building and cultivating a team to expanding into international markets. With 6sense, I’m joining at a time where we already have the knowledgeable team, a highly differentiated product, proven customer results, a market ripe to be transformed and incredible momentum. As I mentioned earlier, I saw Responsys grow from $15M ARR to $200M+ARR and Rational from about $40M/yr to $750M per year during my tenure. I now have the opportunity to come in and put the processes and procedure in place to ensure success as we grow and expand. I have worked very closely with Jason, Dave and Kyle in the past, so we don’t have to waste time getting used to each other’s styles and can instead, start with guns blazing. I firmly believe that our success will be measured by the success of our customers so my absolute top priority will be to continuously drive impact and adoption for our customers even as we scale new heights.

What is something you’re looking forward to now that you’ve joined?

Dave: Now that I’ve joined, I can’t wait to harness the incredible energy and culture that 6sense already has in place and cultivate it even further. Sanjay and I both share the philosophy of building a high performance and fun sales culture by hiring incredibly bright, coachable people who enjoy collaborating, without ego. In order to rapidly scale our sales organization, we will continue to only hire people with high integrity who are incredibly passionate about what we are doing. Personally, I tend to look for people who can take on a much larger role within a few months with a little bit of on-the-job experience and some guidance and coaching. I also believe that attitude is equal or more important than aptitude. We only have room for passionate, positive individuals who are ready to make a huge impact on our customers and effectively influence the entire course of our company. I can’t wait to do all of that while ensuring everyone walks into a fun work environment, full of collaboration, accountability and mindfulness. If 6sense sounds like the place for you, let us know!

Read more about how the our new go-to-market executive team will accelerate our leadership position and further enable sales and marketing teams to drive revenue in unprecedented ways here

Learn more about our company culture and open job opportunities here or email us at jobs@6sense.com.  

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The whole world is going digital – and companies everywhere must adapt to compete. No industry is immune. And this digital transformation is happening fast.

Look at it this way:

  • Retail stores seem to be closing faster than the news can cover them – giving in to a meteoric rise in online shopping.
  • It was 2008 when small home-sharing start-up Airbnb came on the scene. In just nine years, it has become the billion-dollar behemoth turning the hospitality industry on its head.
  • Only about four years ago, the likes of Uber and Lyft really started to disrupt the taxi industry.

So it doesn’t take much time for an innovation to go from “What If” to “What’s Next.” And if companies today want to compete, they need to adapt. They need to adopt the technologies that will help them succeed in today’s digital world. And from what I’ve seen, the early adopters are often the biggest winners. Let me show you why.

My own journey from What If to What’s Next

Back in early 2012, I signed on as vice president of global customer success and services at Okta, a leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise. The company provides the foundation for secure connections between companies and their customers and partners worldwide. Thousands of organizations use Okta’s platform to work faster, boost revenue and stay secure.

In 2013, Forrester released a Forrester Wave report (aka Forrester’s evaluation of vendors in a software, hardware or services market) in the Identity and Access Management space for the cloud. The report named Okta as one of the top leaders in the space. At that time, only a few B2B companies subscribed to this kind of service in the cloud (hint: early adopters).

Managing identity in the cloud was simply not seen as a business necessity back then – so not many companies were willing to take the leap. But the few who did, saw the opportunity to better manage their growing portfolio of cloud or web apps. They saw the opportunity to leverage the latest innovation that could make them more productive, more agile. And they seized it. These same B2B companies were early adopters of the cloud itself (no surprise) – because they saw that the cloud was the future.

Just one year later…

In 2014, Okta secured a leader spot in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Identity and Access Management as a Service. It would repeat in 2015, 2016 and 2017. (This year, identity in the cloud was merged with access management, which includes all large IT vendors: Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and CA Technologies.)

Side note: Microsoft and Salesforce joined the space in 2015. A bit scary – but clear validation that this technology was moving from early adopters to early majority on the adoption curve. The early majority is the first sizable segment of a population to adopt an innovative technology – so for these types, think brands like Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. From where I sat, this was proof that Okta’s technology had moved from What If to What’s Next.

Present day

OK, so fast forward to the here and now. I joined 6sense as the chief customer officer five months ago and I am already seeing history repeat itself. I am already witnessing a movement from What If to What’s Next with 6sense’s intelligent marketing cloud.

Early signs, early adopters

Just last month, Forrester released The Forrester WaveTM: Predictive Marketing Analytics for B2B Marketers, Q2 2017. It was the first report of its kind for the predictive marketing analytics space – and it named 6sense a leader among predictive analytics providers.

The report was designed to help B2B marketers make the right decisions when choosing a partner to help them identify and reach ready-to-buy prospects. But it also revealed a growing demand for predictive analytics – because early adopters are seeing their efforts turn into “real, measurable results.” Forrester backs that up in its recent Total Economic Impact (TEI) study conducted on behalf of 6sense, which shows that the 6sense predictive intelligence platform delivered a 405% ROI. That sounds like “real, measurable results” to me.

One such early adopter is our customer Dell EMC who leverages 6sense to hyper-target their customers and stay on the cutting edge of competition. In a recent CMO article, Dell EMC SVP of Marketing Gaurav Chand describes the results of the partnership as “incredible.”

The article states that “whereas traditionally, Dell EMC might blast out a message to millions of customers and hope for an attach rate of 0.3 percent, using 6sense it can target a specific population and achieve results of 30 percent or greater.”

Still, here I go again…

Despite this evidence, predictive marketing analytics is still a premium service in the early-adopter phase. There are a handful of B2B companies using this technology today to gain full visibility into who their buyers are, what their needs are and precisely where they are in the buyer’s journey. Because they see how it can fuel lead generation and conversion. They see how it can drive productivity and growth. Perhaps they even see that this is the future of B2B sales and marketing success.

So, while I’m feeling a bit of déjà vu, I’m also feeling a ton of excitement. Because for the second time in just five years, I find myself standing on the edge of What’s Next. And if you’re on a B2B sales or marketing team, you are too. Because at a time when the whole world is going digital, the technology you need to reach and engage in-market buyers is right at your fingertips.

You just need to ask yourself, What If?

Want to go from What If to What’s Next?

Just give us a shout.

Want to know more?

Get the full Wave report to see how predictive analytics can help boost your B2B sales and marketing program results.

Follow us on Twitter @6senseInc and subscribe to our blog.

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