Headquarters: Lake Mary, Florida
Business Type/Industry: Manufacturing
Customer Since: January 2021
As the global leader in 3D measurement, imaging, and realization solutions, FARO Technologies, Inc., helps manufacturers eliminate costly errors, builders construct astonishing projects, and law enforcement establish better cases. By giving engineers, designers, and investigators the tools to get to “that’s it!” faster, FARO makes it easier for customers to do their jobs well.
For 40 years, FARO has provided industry-leading technology solutions that enable customers to measure their world, and then use that data to make smarter decisions faster. FARO continues to be a pioneer in bridging the digital and physical worlds through data-driven accuracy, precision, and immediacy.
FARO had always been a very product-centric, engineering-led, sales-driven organization — all things that contributed to the company’s success over 40 years. The downside was that the focus had been skewed too heavily toward selling hardware products, and not enough toward customer experience.
From the marketing team, this showed up as piles of disparate emails landing in the inboxes of customers and potential customers. Communication happened when sales requested it — not because it was relevant or useful to the customer. In addition, marketing was focused on passing over large quantities of new leads to sales, even if that meant buying lead lists instead of uncovering and engaging accounts that were truly interested and in market.
Not surprisingly, the quality of marketing-qualified leads left a lot to be desired — less than 0.78% of the leads marketing handed off to sales ever resulted in a sale.
“We might have had eight or nine different sales reps calling on an organization and negotiating different terms,” explains Lisa Cole, FARO’s Vice President of Marketing. The result was a confusing and disjointed experience for FARO’s customers, which hindered the company’s ability to effectively guide customers through their long buying cycle — and it showed. Even though FARO’s customers made a major purchase every one to three years on average, and 70% of the company’s business came from repeat customers, 80% of their customers hadn’t purchased from them at all in the prior two years.
At the root of all these problems was FARO’s lack of an account-level view of existing and potential customers. Despite having 22 technologies at their disposal (many of them duplicative), the revenue team didn’t have the insights needed to uncover demand and provide a relevant and engaging customer experience. And that meant that instead of capitalizing on the opportunities in front of them to improve sales and marketing’s success, FARO was stuck buying its way to revenue growth through traditional tactics like hiring incremental sales reps and exhibiting at face-to-face events.
“6sense is going to be the game-changer for our organization. When you think about the investments that marketers can make, particularly in today's environment, this is definitely going to be the critical piece of our transformation.”
— Lisa Cole, VP of Marketing, FARO Technologies
Michael Burger took over as president and CEO of FARO in 2019 and installed a new leadership team, including a new head of Product, a new head of Marketing, and a new head of Sales. Together, they embarked on an end-to-end business transformation to effectively reposition FARO from a product-centric company to a customer-centric solutions provider, starting with a new go-to-market strategy.
Then in March of 2020, the pandemic halted in-person events, which had long been FARO’s main channel for generating demand and fueling the pipeline. While it was a shock and a challenge, it was also an opportunity to make long-needed changes. FARO now had the impetus it needed to accelerate its digital transformation — and dollars to shift toward technology to help accomplish that.
A new dawn of RevTech
After deciding which existing technologies to sunset and which to keep, the FARO team needed to decide how to tighten data integration across the tools in their portfolio to create a more holistic view of prospects and customers. Next, they determined which capabilities they needed in order to leverage their large existing customer base and implement a new go-to-market strategy — and 6sense was an obvious choice.
Cole had used DemandBase at a previous company, but she was looking for a solution with a pricing and support model that better suited her needs, as well as top-notch responsiveness from the sales and support teams. She had been paying attention to 6sense for years and reached out to request more information.
Difference-making customer service
Right off the bat, Cole was impressed with 6sense’s responsiveness and helpfulness. “I was at this point early in our transformation where I was trying to tell the story to the board; I was trying to get cross-functional alignment across our senior executive teams for marketing to shift from quantity to quality, from events to digital marketing and to 'flip our funnel' with a focus on account-based marketing and sales strategies. And I wanted them to understand the enabling infrastructure that's required to do that effectively,” Cole remembers. And her account executive at 6sense helped her do just that.
“She just consistently went above and beyond to advise me,” Cole says. “I was trying to gain buy-in and create a business case for not just investing in the technology — that was probably the easy thing — but getting everyone to embrace what it really means when marketing's not just focused on adding a net new record to the database but really focused on growing existing customer relationships to accelerate profitable growth. I really needed help in telling that story, in educating in a way that was compelling for non-marketers.”
With the help of her account executive, Cole spent four months educating her board and executive leadership about the importance of lighting up the Dark Funnel™ to engage buyers much earlier in their research process, the potential of account-based marketing, and the role of marketing as a strategic part of the revenue team. At the end, they all agreed on this new approach, and they signed with 6sense as their account engagement and campaign orchestration platform.
Turning insights into action
When first getting started with 6sense, Cole wanted to flip the funnel and start leveraging FARO’s large customer base, while also lighting up the Dark Funnel™ to reveal previously invisible interest and engagement — and to do it at scale. For that, Cole says, “6sense was a no-brainer. It gave us visibility that we didn't have before.”
At the end of June 2021, Cole and her team started using 6sense to transform their digital advertising strategy. With 6sense’s intent data and predictions, Cole was able to more accurately target key accounts that were identified as in-market with the right messaging at the right time. This new, targeted approach netted big results: in the first month, engagement soared to 5.32x what it had previously been.
“It's night and day, before and after we launched,” says Cole. “You can see the engagement and where accounts might have been in their intent — and then the moment 6sense turns on, you can see a significant lift in engagement.”
What’s more, the engagement they began seeing was more meaningful than what they’d seen before. Previously, the most visited pages were generic — the home page, opt-out forms, etc. But now customers are visiting pages that are relevant to the current moment in their buying journeys.
Getting teams on the same page
The engagement numbers are impressive, and they promise good things to come. But equally important is the fact that 6sense has gotten the whole team aligned on an account-based approach. In meetings, Cole is noticing that stakeholders across the board — from sales, to marketing, to the CEO — will all reference the insights 6sense provides. All teams are aligned on intelligence and strategy, and that makes for a more cohesive and effective revenue team.
With just a month of data since deploying 6sense, the results are already turning heads:
- 5.32x lift in account engagement in 30 days
- 101 new accounts engaged in the same period
- Improved alignment across the revenue team and top leadership
“6sense is going to be the game-changer for our organization,” Cole says. “When you think about the investments that marketers can make, particularly in today's environment, this is definitely going to be the critical piece of our transformation.”