With the right data powering the entire revenue team, it’s possible to make significant changes at record speed. That was the case for 6sense customer MX, a solution that enables financial institutions and fintech companies to gather, enrich, present, and act on transactional data.
MX has transformed the way banks and credit unions do business by unlocking the power of not only intent data, but also a full account engagement platform. MX’s account engagement journey began two years ago, when the company’s sales and marketing teams needed to figure out the right end-to-end ABM solution for their needs. They had three key requirements: strong data, orchestration, and display capabilities.
The first step for MX was to identify their challenges. On the sales side, MX had a named accounts model, but their outbound efforts were a shot in the dark. They didn’t know which accounts were interested (or not interested), and their insights were limited to first-party data at an account level — which was also not being utilized — nor did it give the sales team the information, prioritization, and scoring they needed to be successful. On the marketing side, MX’s display efforts were bringing in leads that were not within their target audience.
A buttoned-down sales process, powered by 6sense
In evaluating the right solution for their needs, MX found that 6sense — complete with first- and third-party data sources, orchestration, and display capabilities — fit the criteria for their ideal, end-to-end account engagement platform.
“6sense has got a really nice, elegant way to see data on the CRM side, so that the sales team can utilize the data, prioritize their efforts, and take action,” says Mike Wallgren, Director of Marketing Operations and Digital Marketing for MX.
As the MX team began to see data insights coming in, they also began to realize what they needed to focus on. The question became: How can we execute on this data? Enter Bryce Nobles, Growth Manager at MX, who was appointed to help MX utilize 6sense data in a way that would help the sales team meet and exceed their goals.
As Growth Manager, Nobles has been focused on pipeline acceleration and leveraging marketing channels to drive more pipeline. The MX team decided to focus on early stage opportunities, and used Salesforce (SFDC) to track leads coming in, channeling those directly to sales so they could know about the engagement pattern.
What they found was that further along the sales cycle, the more organic stakeholders were doing research in the Dark Funnel™. As this started to become more prevalent, the MX revenue team began to focus on equipping sales with the right content based on the research being done, and adopted a highly personalized method to their outreach.
“We’ve been exceeding our pipeline acceleration goals by leaps and bounds every quarter since adopting 6sense,” says Nobles. “Even during our rapid growth — actually doubling in size — our metrics are increasing and 6sense has been on track with that.”
The MX team has been configuring 6sense and other data sources into various dashboards, all serving different purposes. The 6sense platform boosts their efforts to track account engagement on an account level, contact level, and — most importantly to them — opportunity level.
Adjusting priorities during an unpredictable time
Now, more than ever, during these uncertain economic times with budgets tightening and priorities shifting, MX is hyper-focused on: which accounts are new and showing engagement; which accounts in their current target account list are increasing engagement (and how to accelerate them); and which are decreasing engagement, indicating deprioritization (and how to reposition their offering). This exercise has shown to be incredibly beneficial, allowing the team to pivot messaging to accommodate changes as soon as they’re identified.
With 6sense, the MX sales team is able to slice and dice the data however they see fit, adjusting their priorities on a day-to-day basis. Their primary goal is to identify behavioral changes as soon as they happen — through 6sense intent and predictive insights — then prioritize their efforts to engage with the right people at the right time. You can see the focus on behavioral changes in the dashboard view below:
The next step for the MX sales team is to build triggered reporting — all the way from sales leadership, to the marketing demand gen level, to the rep level. 6sense is involved every step of the way, providing each team with the insights they need to take the appropriate action.
Feeding a hungry sales team with deep insights
With two main customer segments — financial institutions and fintech — MX has segmented each vertical in 6sense and set up separate Slack channels with updates. This gives sales the latest information at their fingertips so they can strike much faster. Entering new markets has become much more seamless and easier to stay focused on with the help of 6sense triggers. The MX account reps are hungry to jump on new activity; 6sense trigger notifications are easily digestible and supply the sales team with the insights and context they need to plan and prioritize their next actions. As Nobles puts it, “I think the reason we have so much engagement with it across the team is that it’s so easy to digest. They don’t need to decipher anything… it’s just ‘here’s some new activity… Go!’”
The entire MX sales team is trained on how to use 6sense as part of their own onboarding sales process. “6sense is part of our vocabulary,” adds Nobles. “It’s ingrained in our day-to-day vernacular and is presented in a way that makes it easy for our sales team to scale their efforts. We’re enabling our frontline teams with the insights they need to drive their conversations.”
With this aggregate of rich 6sense data and insights that pipes right into Salesforce, and is also mobile-optimized, Nobles jokingly calls it the “Tinder of sales.” Anywhere a sales rep is, they can see increase / decrease in engagement and take the appropriate action right away. Especially in light of current events, MX strongly believes that with 6sense they’re much better equipped with the insights they need to be agile and make changes in real time.
The MX sales and marketing teams are aligned in their initiatives, as well, with marketing focusing on three main goals as it relates to sales: increasing stakeholder engagement, better positioning MX towards their target accounts, and providing best-in-class experiences.
Sales actively helps drive marketing efforts and provides the marketing team with key insights, and the marketing team heavily utilizes targeted display for several different audiences.
Here are some examples of the MX marketing team running display in line with sales initiatives:
- Targeted segments of accounts to drive pipeline acceleration efforts in line with sales.
- Matching up specific accounts to specific stages in the sales lifecycle and targeting with stage-based display.
- Warming up accounts for new sales reps with display-ad momentum.
The last example is one found to be particularly interesting and innovative; here’s how it works: Two weeks before a new sales rep’s start date, the MX marketing team creates a campaign in 6sense to warm up their accounts with some display-ad momentum. This is a fantastic way to identify accounts that haven’t been worked on as they had not been assigned, as well as starting their new rep with some at-bats out of the gate and reducing their ramp-up time.
Sales & marketing alignment at its best
Aligning your sales and marketing team as one revenue team working together on a single platform requires speaking a single truth. MX has built a system that incorporates 6sense engagement scores and buying journey stages to determine how they prioritize their accounts and focus their efforts. Specific actions are triggered based on the insights, allowing MX to fully orchestrate their sales and marketing initiatives at scale.
Increased engagement on an account in an earlier stage of the buying journey, for example, will result in a specifically tailored touchpoint, whereas decreased engagement at a later stage would result in an entirely different triggered action. A number of factors quantify the varying level of marketing support they require on a given account or deal, and the process they’ve locked down has enabled MX to successfully automate and scale their efforts across the entire revenue team.
The results speak for themselves: Since onboarding 6sense and leveraging an intent data-driven playbook between marketing and sales, the MX revenue team has seen a 60% increase in net-new pipeline acceleration.
When asked what has been the greatest benefit of 6sense so far, Wallgren is clear: Before there was a discrepancy between the perceived engagement on their accounts, and what was actually happening across first- and third-party data sources.
“We went from blindly trying to target specific accounts without knowing the level of engagement — to having 6sense show us not only engagement scores but also a full understanding of how our accounts were engaging with us, allowing us to go after the right accounts at the right time,” he says.
Nobles is quick to share 6sense’s biggest impact in his day-to-day. Before, sales and marketing each had a very one-sided perspective of the other, and the two teams were not aligned in their initiatives, he says, “What 6sense does is that it provides us a super simple, intuitive way to get targeted really quick — it forces sales and marketing to be aware of recent engagement and marries the two forces to drive awareness to both sides of the fence, ultimately driving better results.”
What’s next for MX?
As they come closer to a fully automated process, the MX team is eager to utilize scoring in the marketing programs they have planned, along with the matrix previously mentioned. Adopting direct mail tactics and creating lead nurture programs are next on their list, for which they will be incorporating 6sense scoring into the criteria.
MX has a culture centered around “iteration” — always trying to build incrementally on what they’ve accomplished, to get a little better and become a little more well connected. The MX marketing team, in particular, is open to trying new things, gaining trust and abiding by their motto of “nailing it and scaling it.”
As Nobles puts it, “With 6sense, we are right in the middle of our ‘scaling it’ stage, and we’re scaling with technology.”
That they are on the right path there is no doubt. We can’t wait to see what’s next for MX and 6sense!