Exec Q&A: Insights from the Front Lines on Transformation, Growth and Drinking Our Own Champagne

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We’re thrilled to announce the expansion of our executive team with three key hires who will help lead our go-to-market strategy and further accelerate growth for 6sense!

We sat down with David Simon, our new Chief Revenue Officer and Sanjay Kini, our new Vice President of Sales Engineering to hear more about their plans to help 6sense transform marketing technology and empower sales and marketing teams with the power of big data and artificial intelligence.

Q: You’re both starting at a time of intense momentum and transformation for 6sense. Can you share a little about your journey to get here and what ultimately drove your decision to join the team?

Dave: Having formerly worked with Jason at Responsys, when he reached out and told me about his plans to spearhead a new era of intelligent marketing and sales at 6sense as CEO, I had to hear more. I’ve spent most of my career driving revenue for premium providers and the last decade has been with world-class martech companies. From my experience, while enterprise-grade companies are incredibly valuable, their specific value tends to be fairly nuanced. 6sense struck me instantly because of how clearly differentiated the product is. In a space that is undeniably crowded, with providers and buzzwords only adding to the confusion, 6sense has built the big data AI platform that allows it to stand on its own away from the noise. The Forrester Wave naming us the leader in the space completely validated my instincts. If the product itself weren’t already enough to convince me, the team put me over the edge. I’ve not only worked alongside Jason, Sanjay and Kyle Christensen, our new CMO, at Responsys, but I’ve also witnessed Viral and Amanda in action and knew they had the technical chops to sustain and extend the market momentum they had already achieved for 6sense.

Sanjay: My passion is to help customers drive business results and solve business problems through technology. We did that at Responsys and Oracle Marketing Cloud for B2C companies – typically ACV was in the $100 or so range – but with 6sense, every opportunity that we can help convert has the potential to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars for our customers. 6sense provides me with the chance to be part of something transformational. 6sense has incredible technology in a market that is still nascent. I saw Responsys grow from $15M to well over $200M and while interviewing at 6sense, I felt like I would get the opportunity to do this all over again.  We have the technology and team to help our customers find in-market buyers and drive them through to conversion to impact the business in a lasting way. With Fortune 5000 enterprises and fast-growing B2B companies like Box, Cisco and Dell as customers, we’re partnering with some of the smartest marketing and sales teams to no longer operate on static look-alike firmographics, but instead leverage behavioral data (both 1st party and 3rd party) across the full funnel that shines a light on buyer intent.

Q: Can you tell me about the market opportunity you see for 6sense?

Dave: The market opportunity we have is so large that it’s almost unquantifiable.  We help companies identify more deals, and get into them sooner, delivering ROI of up to 405%. We’re also solving problems for sales and marketing that have not only existed forever, but have shockingly gotten worse as the B2B buyer’s journey has continuously evolved and become more complex. Sales and marketing teams have become desperate to align themselves with the modern, cross-channel B2B buyer journey. With its big data technology and time-based modeling, 6sense leverages massive volumes of unstructured behavioral data from across the web then combines it with a customer’s first party data to provide unique visibility across the entire customer journey for both anonymous and known buyers. We’re shining a light onto our customers’ buyers and where they are. On top of that, we then give our customers the power to action on those insights – from optimizing their media spend to making every aspect of their ABM campaigns smarter – to reach their buyers and ultimately drive revenue.

SanjayOff of Dave’s point, the results that our customers are already seeing only foreshadow the future of this market. We’re working within an industry that until only recently, was reserved for the early adopters and innovators. The permeation of predictive past just enthusiasts and visionaries into new industries and verticals can be attributed to the real, measurable results that businesses are witnessing. Dell is the perfect example of a customer who chose to double down on predictive and is seeing incredible successes as a result. Using 6sense to uncover key opportunities, Dell achieved a 100x increase in attach rates in its email campaigns. The team additionally saw a 3x lift on MQL to SQL conversion, a 2x-6x lift in opportunity size, 50% higher deal sizes and a 12x return in media spend. These are the types of results that executives crave – true ROI that ultimately impacts the bottom line. So to answer your question, any B2B company with a considered purchase is our market opportunity. We can easily make an argument that we add equal or more value compared to products like Salesforce (CRM) and Eloqua or Marketo (MAP) as we’re driving pipeline and revenue by creating new opportunities.

Q: You both have backgrounds in sales and marketing, how do you feel 6sense’s technology impacts modern sales and marketing leaders?

Dave: When Jason and the team shared the powerful insights that 6sense could deliver, my wheels started turning on all the pain points this technology would solve for me as a sales leader. I began to think back to the deals that I had lost out on because I was either too late or I didn’t understand enough about my buyer and their journey. In the enterprise world, missing the window of opportunity when a prospect is in-market can mean a lost deal for years. There’s really nothing worse than having a great fit account and then losing them to another vendor who got to them first. With that in mind, I asked how our own team internally benefits from the insights of our product. I was thrilled to hear that not only were we regularly getting into sales conversations early, but we had just closed a $300K deal as a result. A prospect who had gone cold on us months prior, who we had completely counted out, then spiked in our 6sense instance and illustrated high levels of behavioral intent for predictive intelligence solutions. As it turns out, they had just begun a high-priority initiative for predictive and we were the first vendor to make it to the table. Because buyers’ needs and timing are constantly shifting, 6sense’s ability to provide daily updates as buying intent involves is crucial.

Sanjay: In the age of technology, information isn’t democratized. Long gone are the days where sales people had the first touch on a potential buyer. Today’s buyers are self-sufficient and self-educating with any and all content they can access – both across the web and within a company’s own website. Because marketers and sellers have lost visibility into their buyer’s pains and needs, technology like 6sense has the ability to shine a light back onto that journey and buying process. The toughest challenge here is being able to tell a comprehensive story. For 6sense, we can paint the most accurate picture because we actually measure and connect engagement across the full funnel – not just a slice of it. Through partnerships and with our own network, we capture 3rd party data, then stitch it to our customers’ website behavior (both known and anonymous) and finally bring it together with complete CRM and Marketing Automation behavior. With this web of data, our customers can now understand the complete journey of their buyers – from an initial search inquiry to anonymous research across their marketing content to an open opportunity. In the end, our solution helps not just the demand-gen team within marketing but also the individual sales reps and sales leaders.

Q: How does your experience lend itself to driving 6sense into its next chapter of growth?

 Dave: 6sense is at the point as a company where we’re poised for hyper-growth. Having led sales at Responsys, I’m thrilled to bring my experience building and scaling next-generation companies to the table. When I first joined Responsys, it was a company that was great at selling into the high-end enterprise but had difficulty capitalizing on opportunities in the mid-market. By implementing a GTM playbook that told our story and differentiators clearly to the market, we were able to expand with a 20% increase in win rates. Not only do I predict that we’ll do the same at 6sense, but I’m also confident we’ll successfully educate the market on what is truly time-based predictive intelligence and how companies can achieve real ROI. As we educate the industry, I’m excited to continue to partner with the sophisticated and aspirational marketing and sales leaders in companies of all sizes, that are ready to leverage timing to drive revenue and create lasting business impact.

Sanjay: For the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with industry-leading companies on everything from building and cultivating a team to expanding into international markets. With 6sense, I’m joining at a time where we already have the knowledgeable team, a highly differentiated product, proven customer results, a market ripe to be transformed and incredible momentum. As I mentioned earlier, I saw Responsys grow from $15M ARR to $200M+ARR and Rational from about $40M/yr to $750M per year during my tenure. I now have the opportunity to come in and put the processes and procedure in place to ensure success as we grow and expand. I have worked very closely with Jason, Dave and Kyle in the past, so we don’t have to waste time getting used to each other’s styles and can instead, start with guns blazing. I firmly believe that our success will be measured by the success of our customers so my absolute top priority will be to continuously drive impact and adoption for our customers even as we scale new heights.

What is something you’re looking forward to now that you’ve joined?

Dave: Now that I’ve joined, I can’t wait to harness the incredible energy and culture that 6sense already has in place and cultivate it even further. Sanjay and I both share the philosophy of building a high performance and fun sales culture by hiring incredibly bright, coachable people who enjoy collaborating, without ego. In order to rapidly scale our sales organization, we will continue to only hire people with high integrity who are incredibly passionate about what we are doing. Personally, I tend to look for people who can take on a much larger role within a few months with a little bit of on-the-job experience and some guidance and coaching. I also believe that attitude is equal or more important than aptitude. We only have room for passionate, positive individuals who are ready to make a huge impact on our customers and effectively influence the entire course of our company. I can’t wait to do all of that while ensuring everyone walks into a fun work environment, full of collaboration, accountability and mindfulness. If 6sense sounds like the place for you, let us know!

Read more about how the our new go-to-market executive team will accelerate our leadership position and further enable sales and marketing teams to drive revenue in unprecedented ways here

Learn more about our company culture and open job opportunities here or email us at jobs@6sense.com.  

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