Why 6sense is an Account Engagement Platform (and How That’s Different From ABM Solutions)


Today we officially changed the name of our product to the 6sense Account Engagement Platform. Our platform continues to rapidly evolve with regular code releases, but this rebranding is more a reflection of four key trends we see in the account-based marketing (ABM) market — and how we see 6sense leading in the coming years. 

The ABM Landscape is Complex and Confusing

Our shift to account engagement began a few years ago as we surveyed the increasingly crowded and confusing landscape of ABM solutions and realized that 6sense delivers something different. Most ABM vendors offer point solutions for display ads, web and content experiences, direct mail, or orchestration. But as standalone solutions, they don’t help customers strategically shift to a comprehensive account-centric approach. 

As a result, many companies are forced to stitch together multiple point solutions to get value out of their initial ABM investments, but that adds cost and complexity, particularly as ABM programs scale. And the proof is in the numbers. According to Forrester, only 37% of companies that have adopted ABM consider it to have the highest ROI of any marketing approach. So while an account-based approach clearly has the potential to deliver ROI, we believe our mission as an industry should be to deliver substantially higher returns. 

Here at 6sense, we know that a successful account-based strategy is all about engaging the right buyers within the right accounts at the right time. This approach requires a unified platform that aligns sales and marketing on the best accounts to target — and that seamlessly delivers engaging experiences throughout the customer journey. In other words, ABM is an important step toward an account-first strategy, but going all-in requires a platform like 6sense that can truly orchestrate account engagement at scale.

Account-Based Data is Everything

Our second big aha! moment came when 6sense Sales Intelligence was released and we rolled it out for our own sales team. Sales Intelligence gives sales reps access to rich behavioral and predictive data on account records within CRM. As soon as we deployed it internally, we found that our sales and marketing teams truly aligned on our ideal customer profile (ICP), target account list (TAL), and current accounts in-market. We even began using 6sense’s predictive scores and account insights to dynamically drive sales territories.

With this shift (and the alignment between sales and marketing it created) came the realization that an account-based approach fundamentally requires accurate, real-time account data for both sales and marketing

It may sound obvious, but focusing on the best accounts for your business requires capturing massive amounts of account data, both static (like account firmographics) and behavioral (like which accounts are currently researching your solutions). This data is what powers effective, highly targeted engagement with accounts. And if your data is inaccurate, incomplete, or siloed within your organization, it’s nearly impossible for sales and marketing to effectively engage accounts, let alone select the right accounts to target.

Unlike other vendors in the ABM space, these big data capabilities are what 6sense was founded upon, and they remain core differentiators for us today. 6sense has a proprietary intent network of billions of websites, and we just received a patent on our Company Graph, which identifies anonymous accounts up to 80% better than anyone in the market. (put us to the test!) 6sense also includes an embedded customer data platform (CDP) to capture and normalize all this big data so sales and marketing can easily orchestrate engagement with the right accounts. 

With the right data, marketing teams can warm the right accounts for sales, and sales can understand exactly who to engage and when to begin outreach. Again, ABM is a positive step in this direction, but true account engagement is where this happens at scale.

Customers Control the Journey, and Our Job is to Help Along the Way

B2B sales and marketing isn’t for the timid or weak of heart. B2B transactions are significantly more complex than just about anything in the B2C world because the level of investment is greater, the buyers more sophisticated, and the stakes higher. On top of that, buyers are in control of the purchase journey more than ever before, so it’s gotten even harder for sellers and marketers in recent years. 

There are more people involved in B2B buying decisions today; they’re less likely than ever to raise their hand until late in the buying process; and the tools and tactics that worked in the past (like email-based journeys and nurture sequences) just aren’t as effective as they used to be. ABM point solutions have helped sales and marketing teams begin to address these challenges, but, again, the results have been inconsistent.

Our job as sellers and marketers is to meet buyers where they are on their journey and help them, and the only way to leverage massive quantities of account data and effectively engage accounts at scale is with AI. Just as 6sense was founded upon account-based data like buyer intent and company identification capabilities, AI-driven predictions have also been at the heart of our solution since day one. 

Our unique capabilities enable sellers and marketers to understand not only which accounts to engage, but when to time campaigns and outreach. We’re continuing to expand these AI-driven capabilities with new features like Next Best Actions. These capabilities truly differentiate 6sense from the landscape of ABM vendors and are what enable our customers to orchestrate engagement with the right accounts at scale. 

Results Matter

A few months ago as we finalized our $40M Series C investment with Insight Partners. The Insight team spent more than a year evaluating the ABM market, studying vendors like 6sense, and interviewing hundreds of customers. One of the primary reasons they chose to invest in 6sense is that our customers get a substantially higher ROI than companies using other ABM vendors. 

Ultimately, every company wants to achieve predictable revenue growth, and shifting from a lead-based strategy to an account-based strategy is all about getting there. As the Insight team discovered, 6sense customers are shortening their sales cycles, boosting conversion rates, aligning their sales and marketing teams, and growing pipeline and revenue. These results are simply unmatched by the rest of the ABM landscape.

Insight Partners uncovered many reasons why 6sense customers achieve these results, including better account-match rates, stronger predictive capabilities, outstanding customer service, and a seamless, unified platform for the entire revenue team. Jeff Lieberman, managing director at Insight Partners, summarized it by saying, “After an exhaustive review process, we were blown away by the data-focused sophistication of 6sense’s technology and firmly believe it is the best solution for B2B companies who need to scale their go-to-market efficiency and grow revenue.”

Our goal is simple: to continue driving these results for our customers, and we believe our new name — the 6sense Account Engagement Platform — conveys this focus on delivering a great experience for our customers and the buyers they work with day in and day out.

Learn more about what best-in-class organizations are circumventing to ultimately drive predictable revenue growth using 6sense here.

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