In my time in legal technology, I have seen people go wild over ‘new’ approaches, which turn out to be old approaches, just re-named. Enter Latane Conant, CMO of 6sense, based in San Francisco. 6sense is an Account Based Marketing (ABM) company using artificial intelligence (AI) that is calling out ABM because the principles aren’t revolutionary; ABM is just today’s buzzword for good marketing.
Mary Juetten: What problem are you solving?
Latane Conant: The old methods - especially in the business to business (B2B) space - simply don’t work any longer. Gated content requiring form-fills, spam emails, cold calls are a waste of our time and money, and all have created a horrible prospect experience. Today, buyers want to do their research anonymously. And it sounds counter-intuitive as a marketer, but modern marketing organizations need to enable that, not try to subvert it.
This means we have to re-imagine how we engage prospects and become much more sophisticated in our approach. Our gospel: Uncover, prioritize, engage.
Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?
Conant: Our customers are B2B revenue teams (sales, marketing, customer success, sales development) at enterprise and mid-market companies around the world. Companies like Cumulus, Aprimo, Motorola, Dell, and Quorum use our AI-Powered Account Based Orchestration Platform to effectively target and engage ideal accounts, to increase pipeline and conversion quality plus accelerate sales cycles.
And we drink our own champagne. Our sales and marketing teams use our own product to identify the best accounts to target, prioritize our resources to focus on accounts in-market aka” ready to buy” and surround
Juetten: How did past projects and/or experience help with this new project?
Conant: You tend to learn more from your failures than your successes and I had a lackluster ABM pilot at Appirio. I did not have a clear enough ideal customer profile (ICP) and I found creating personalized cross channel experiences way too arduous. Honestly, we were just guessing about what accounts cared about - we didn’t really know. When I saw 6sense, I had a huge A-ha moment. There was finally a platform to allow us to actually execute ABM at scale!
Simply, it’s a single platform to engage an entire buying team across ads, email, events, social, and real-time behavioral information telling us exactly what prospects really care about so we can create a message that resonates.
Juetten: Did you raise money?
Conant: Raised a total of $63M over 4 rounds.
Juetten: How do you measure success and what is your favorite success story?
Conant: Success is all about the company you keep. I’m so fortunate to have many people who have worked with me several times over the years. Every time someone signs up to work with me again - well, it’s an honor.
Juetten: Any tips to add for early-stage founders?
Conant: You have to drive the vision and prioritize the most critical initiatives. Without this, a small team quickly works a ton but accomplishes little. I have an adapted version of “V2MOM” that works well.
Here is how I use the V2MOM (Vision & Values; Methods, Obstacles, Measures) and why it works well for us:
- At the beginning of every year, the leadership team helps shape the V2MOM, so it isn’t just me telling everyone what to do and how to do it. We create the Vision and Values together. I challenge the team to make our V2 bold and aspirational because V2MOM isn’t for maintaining the status quo - it’s about changing the business for the better.
- We then look at what we are actually going to DO to achieve the vision - these are the “methods”. The methods are time-bound - typically quarterly and they are hyper prioritized, so method 1 gets more attention than method 2, and so on. The team and I rank the methods together so that we all understand the priority of each.
- MOM stands for methods, obstacles, and metrics, but I have made a slight tweak there. I’m not a big fan of obstacles (shocker!) so for me, the O stands for “owner.” Every method has a clear owner driving it. This is critical because if a lot of people own it - no one owns it.
- Metrics are the last part - like the owner they are also associated with a method. I typically like 3 or 4 metrics per method. If you have too many metrics the method is always yellow. Metrics need to be clear so on a weekly basis you can deem them red, yellow or green.
We make our V2MOM completely transparent. The entire company knows and understands what we are working on, along with why, and how we are tracking. This makes it easy for everyone to see what makes sense for the team to work on, versus what doesn’t, using metrics to back it up. And, it is just as much about what is ON the V2MOM as what is not.
Juetten: What's the long-term vision for your company?
Conant: A single platform for revenue teams (sales, marketing, customer success) to engage customers, orchestrate meaningful experiences, and measure/optimize efforts. With AI and big data at the core, we're able to do things like uncover anonymous activity and tie it to accounts, predict who’s in-market and instantly initiate action. 6sense is designed for a buying team vs a lead and is inherently multi-channel.
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