It’s no secret that Sage Intacct, a leading financial software provider, is making great strides with their ABM strategy. In fact, they have taken personalization to a whole new level. And with today’s B2B buyers changing the way they buy, from buying teams to doing the majority of their research before ever raising their hand, personalized experiences and serving the right content at the right time to the right persona has become a must in order to compete in today’s market. Ari Capogeannis, Director of Growth Marketing and Analytics walked me through how they are using Web Personalization to create a truly VIP experience for their prospects and customers, giving them the information they need, when they need it in order to help them complete their buying job.
Making Banners Relevant Again
Everyone wants their banner space, from demand gen to marketing to sales, because that is the first place people look when they visit your website! This led to Sage Intacct having 8 different banner messages in a carousel which was terrible for mobile browsers and performance. Click-through rates dropped by half by the time viewers got to the second banner, with the rest of the banners almost never being seen. And even though Ari explained this habitually, everyone wanted their message represented in the banner. But it wasn’t doing anybody any good, especially their prospects.
Ari needed to figure out how each team’s message could be represented but to the right accounts. So he plugged the 6sense data API into the website, leveraging it for personalized messaging in the banner space on the home page. Now with the API, Sage Intacct is able to ditch the carousel of banner ads, getting the right message in front of the right people coming to the website on top of improving mobile performance.
The first step to this personalization was focused on industry messaging by setting up segments and choosing what content each segment sees. For example, Ari explains that “if you’re a software SAAS company, you’re going to get a variation of Sage Intacct’s initial first touch home page messaging – speaking your language such as ‘#1 cloud accounting solution for software SAAS companies’ as well as an invitation to click through to the software SAAS page. If you are a not for profit you’re going to see a demo for NFP companies, CFO thought leadership pieces for NFP companies, and other content and resources important to that industry, instead of the default experience. If you are a VIP account or a repeat visitor, we want to offer up content that goes a little deeper than that initial first touch, such as a capabilities report, without you having to carousel through all the messaging. And the variations of content, which will automatically adjust depending on the segment that the account is in, are endless all based on what segments we create in 6sense, which is pretty cool.”
Dynamic vs Static
The next frontier for Sage Intacct was dynamic web real estate. Up until now, they had persistent footer buttons on the website. More often than not, 57% of the buying cycle in B2B is done before anyone raises their hand so when they come in they have done the research and are ready to talk to someone so they fill out the form. But as a prospect, once they have clicked through those footer buttons, they have already seen the demo, already filled out the form, so it might as well be a big black square that offers them no value – wasted real estate.
With 6sense, Sage Intacct can switch that button depending on where the prospect is in their journey. If they have seen the initial demo touch, they will now get an invite to a live Q&A and the opportunity to engage with something different on the website. And since 6sense’s pixel is tracking this function, it ties into Sage Intacct’s 6sense display campaigns, creating a similar waterfall. So the display campaigns and web experience are potentially the same. If an account is on the website and consumes the demo, not only is it toggling that space via the personalization API inviting them to the live Q&A but the 6sense display campaigns are in sync and are also promoting the same message at the same time for cohesion.
Everyone Wants a Trial, but Does the Trial Work for Everyone?
Ari walked me through a use case that Sage Intacct just launched for trial leads. “Up until now, we know, if looking at attribution, anybody that’s closed/won touched the trial. So the knee jerk reaction is oh, we have to get the trial in front of everybody, I want everybody in the trial. And anybody that signs up for a trial we are going to auto-MQL. And then conversion rates from MQL to OPP dropped from 14% to 2%.” Ari explained that what was happening was they were offering a trial experience for anyone who is coming in cold, out of the blue. But for accounting specifically, it is really hard to create a generic instance and have that be relevant to people with all these special niche use cases. A not for profit accounting instance is totally different than a software SAAS accounting instance. And all these accounts in different industries have very granular needs.
What they discovered was that anytime the SDR had the opportunity to talk to an account before the trial and to set expectations and have them learn more about Sage Intacct, it was a much better experience vs. an account who came in from the cold, didn’t know anything about Sage Intacct or their product, and was sent directly to the trial. It was a terrible experience for those accounts who weren’t properly prepared because there was no data to work from, and the trial wasn’t relevant to them. So now they are on the fence because it set a bad expectation in their minds for who Sage Intacct is as a company.
To avoid this, Ari has set up a ‘web hot’ segment through 6sense based on a number of scoring factors. Once an account bubbles into web hot, the live webinar they are watching now offers them a free trial. “The idea is to hand over a much more qualified pool of people to the SDR’s. The trial leads we end up getting are from accounts who went to the daily demos, who went to the on-demand demo. With a 17% click through on engagement on each bucket, we have a smaller volume of people but a much, much higher engaged, quality list of accounts I am delivering to SDR’s to jump on, repairing that negative view they had before on trial leads.”
Let’s Personalize the Whole Darn Thing
Having figured out how to create personalized experiences in the banner and footer space, Sage Intacct is using 6sense’s Personalization API and pixels to toggle the whole middle part of the home page. So say you are in software SAAS, you are going to see 3 CFO’s giving 5-star ratings for Sage Intacct along with a software SAAS case study right off the bat. Ari reveals some positive results when looking at full-page personalization. “We have seen a 25% increase in pages per session from people receiving the personalized home page experience. When the content is relevant to the account they are consuming more on the site.”
And for each of these personalization hits, Sage Intacct toggles metrics, which gives them the ability to identify industries or any segment that has hit their website and analyze their behavior flow. Ari and his team can see how many Not for Profit companies are making it to the Not for Profit industry page, what are they doing there, where are they predominantly exiting the website, and what page seems to be garnering the most attention from them.
What Else We Can Do
Sage Intacct uses Drupal to host their website. At first, setting everything up was very technical on the back end with homegrown code. But Ari hopes to get very automated since most of his web content people are non-technical. “The beauty of Drupal is that it has templates that you just go in and fill out. What we’ve done is baked the 6sense personalization API into our Drupal architecture. So what that means is, for the banner, a non-tech person can run personalization plays on the website. All they have to do is select a segment from a dropdown – so say they want to create 3 banners, selecting the software SAAS customer dropdown, they input what they want the messaging to be on those banners for that segment/dropdown. And from then on, the demand gen quarterback can actively toggle that content or create variations from it without having to wait for someone like me to get some free time and drop in the code.”
Ari is trying to expand the use of this by creating playbooks. “For pursuit marketing, we are getting ready to roll out playbooks based on forecast status – 6sense targeting is defining the segments to bubble up hot deals in commit or upside that we then piggyback dynamic, automatic campaigns personalized to those accounts in both the website and our digital display programs. For the front end, which is more of a grey area, we will continue to expand our leveraging of 6sense scoring to provide as deep a custom experience for the hottest of the hot visitors from this pool as possible. The only complicated aspect to this, now that we have a quantifiable foundation in place, is figuring out what that right playbook cadence is. We have a lot of testing ahead of us.”
An unexpected by-product of the personalization process has been opening Sage Intacct’s eyes to the lack of cohesion of their front end messaging via different channels and how that is creating confusion for their target accounts. “You’ve got marketing driven email campaigns, you’ve got outbound sequences, you’ve got digital display, and then there are the hidden ghosts in the machine from the implementation of Marketing Technology by people that no longer exist in the organization that periodically arise,” Ari explains. So now that they are aware of what messaging is out there, Ari and his team are able to clean house and create a streamlined, truly exceptional experience for prospects and customers.