Launching a new territory is brave, exciting, and — let’s be honest — can be pretty damn scary.
You’ll face a plethora of challenges, including lower brand awareness, new audiences, and local regulations … all while battling the usual challenges to get an effective revenue team up and running.
That makes any solution that can help you navigate these unfamiliar waters with confidence invaluable.
Stef Iacono, 6sense European Marketing Director, helped launch our new EMEA territory in December 2021. Here he explains how we used 6sense during the process, some of the obstacles we faced, and why, sometimes, you have to adapt best practices to move fast.
Understanding Total Addressable Market (TAM) and Building a Target Account List (TAL)
First up, our team had to figure out who we were going to market and sell to; it was time to build our target account list.
This is typically a drawn-out process with hours of back-and-forth between marketing and sales to nail down the list. But at 6sense we’re lucky — we plug our ideal customer profile (ICP) into the platform and it crunches the data to give us a target account list. No arguments or opinions, just a TAL based on pure, unbiased data.
- Technographic data reveals the tech stacks that prospects are using
- Firmographic data uncovers prospects’ industries, locations (vital in this case), company size, structure, and business performance
To build our TAL for EMEA, we selected the appropriate geography filters in 6sense and built a segment consisting solely of companies that met our ICP within the region.
Uncovering Accounts’ Buying Stage
As well as defining our TAL, the 6sense platform revealed where accounts were in their buying journeys, and how closely (measured as Strong, Moderate, or Weak) their profile met our ICP.
This information not only revealed which accounts were already in-market and primed for sales to prospect, it helped us tailor the way we targeted all our potential buyers.
Since we were launching in a completely new region, the majority of our accounts were in the “target” stage. Traditionally at 6sense, we don’t spend much time or activity on these accounts. Instead, we use dynamic sales territories to help our reps focus on engaging accounts in the sweet spot between consideration and decision where they’re “in-market.” With this approach, revenue generation jumps 120%.
But as newcomers in EMEA, we had to generate awareness and create plays to move more prospects further along the buying journey.
Using 6sense Data for Targeted Advertising
With a tight launch deadline, digital advertising offered the fastest, most effective way to get in front of our accounts. It also provided the added bonus of testing which messaging resonated best with our prospects.
We needed to raise awareness, both among the prospects starting their search for a solution like ours, and those “under a rock.” We started by running display advertising for our accounts in the target buying stage, as well as those in awareness and consideration.
Display proved an effective way to get in front of target stage accounts. But at the time, the relatively low number of accounts in Awareness and Consideration — alongside local legislation like GDPR — meant we couldn’t target display ads as planned for prospects in these stages of the buying journey.
Filtering Linkedin Ads By Account Profile Fit
As the accounts in awareness and consideration were closer to making a purchase decision, we had to find a way to get in front of them — but in the most cost-effective way possible. Combining 6sense’s Linkedin Ads integration and account profile fit gave us a solution.
We used 6sense’s account score filter to target Linkedin ads to identify strong-fit accounts, and to understand where accounts were in their buying journeys. Here’s a summary of how we targeted our ads by buying stage:
- Accounts in target stage: Display advertising — while less targeted, a relatively cost-effective way to raise awareness of our solution in the region.
- Accounts in awareness and consideration stage: Linkedin ads — using the 6sense filter to only target strong-fit accounts in this buying stage to keep down costs but reach the right accounts.
- Accounts in decision and purchase stage: Linkedin ads to all accounts in Decision and Purchase to hit in-market buyers.
Prioritizing Which Accounts and Contacts to Add to Our CRM
While we’d already created our segment with ICP prospects, because we were getting started, our CRM was light on accounts. But we needed to populate our CRM with accounts so our BDRs and sales team could start prospecting.
With a fast launch in mind, we prioritized adding accounts further along their buying journey.
Our ops team created an orchestration to create new Salesforce accounts for prospects in the Decision and Purchase stages. Once we populated the CRM, we acquired new contacts through Slintel, enabling our salespeople to start reaching out to prospects who were in-market.
Rules of Engagement for Opportunity Ownership and Splits
It was time for our sales team to get to work. But before jumping into their list of hot accounts with both feet, our EMEA reps had to consider if our U.S. reps were already working them.
Which sales team leads a deal can be a complex and politically-charged conversation, but disagreements are largely avoidable with clear boundaries.
At 6sense, we operate on an “ultimate parent company” basis. So if the ultimate parent company is in a specific region, that account is owned by the AE in that region.
However, for international accounts of a certain size, we apply an 80/20 split if a company’s parent HQ is in another region, but the buyer works out of the domestic HQ within our region (as defined by Dun & Bradstreet). 6sense’s platform displays the regional HQ, so we’re able to see intent not just at the group level, but at the domestic level, too.
Keeping an Eye on Where to Expand in the Region
So what’s next? Which new countries will we expand to next within the region?
Again, 6sense helps us answer this question by revealing the regions showing the most latent intent and interest in our category or product.
Based on predictive analytics, we can see the audiences and our potential TAL in EMEA-based countries and understand which of them are naturally showing signs of interest in our solution — making it easier to spot opportunities for growth.
Knowing the size of a potential untapped market also helps us plan future headcount, confident in the knowledge we have enough accounts in a territory to keep new reps busy. We’re already on the lookout for where 6sense will expand to next!
Interested in using intent data in EMEA? Check out our blog on how to overcome small obstacles to get big rewards from intent data in EMEA.