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Intent and Account Identification in a World of Remote Working: Q&A with Viral Bajaria, CTO of 6sense

3 min

Work-from-home and hybrid workplace arrangements are here to stay. Our customers sometimes ask how remote working has impacted 6sense’s ability to capture intent data and identify accounts.

Capturing intent and identifying accounts is critically important, as targeting the right account is key to the success of account-based sales and marketing programs — and every point difference in match rates directly equals a significant percentage of accounts you can or can’t reach.

We have good news. To answer these key questions about intent and account identification in a remote-working world, we’ve pulled in Viral Bajaria, Chief Technology Officer at 6sense.

Q: How does 6sense identify which remote workers to associate with accounts?

A: Our patented Company Graph is always analyzing new data and maps new IP addresses to the appropriate work accounts. And sometimes, there’s noise included in that data, like when more than one person is working from home using the same internet service to access different work accounts. ‌When this occurs, our Graph uses probability to select the appropriate account to map.

The Graph continually adjusts to new inputs, learns new patterns, and filters out noise to make sure our customers maintain business continuity; it’s designed to quickly adapt to constantly changing signals under any circumstances. A great example happened during the pandemic, when there was a sudden shift to working from home. When we took a look at the San Francisco Bay Area, where working from home was already common before COVID-19, we saw an increase in match rates as even more people started working remotely.

This graphic shows circles surrounded by laptops, tablets and smartphones to represent the presence of device IDs at certain IP addresses. The circles represent a corporate office, regional office, home office, coffee shop, hotel, and airport.

The illustration is accompanied by the following text:

Identifying anonymous activity is key in a remote world.

The 6signal Graph captures, cleans, matches, and masters millions of interactions to accurately match buyer behavior to accounts.

6signal connects intent across devices, channels, people, and locations so you never miss a signal when accounts are in-market to buy.

Q: How does the Company Graph adapt to shifting behavior?

A: The 6signal Graph is always learning, and it’s become more critical than ever as work-from-home and hybrid arrangements have become more common over the past few years.

For industries that traditionally hadn’t had the opportunity for staff to work outside the office before 2020, our 6signal Graph typically mapped the account using primarily the corporate IP address.

But with people working from home — and coffee shops, airports, libraries, and hotels — their IP addresses change every time they move.

With more variations in IP address data, our Graph deployed available secondary marker information, like mobile advertising IDs, to triangulate data connections.

When so many people work remotely rather than at a single office, IP matching by itself tells you very little. You need to be able to collect multiple data points and combine them to understand the association between devices and multiple IP addresses to understand which traffic is associated with an account.

Given the amount of signals we track, we don’t map every signal all the time, but we’ve observed accuracy of over 85%. So with work-from-home (or anywhere else) here to stay, the 6signal Graph now has years of knowledge to help your team accurately match and target your best prospects.

Q: How big of a factor are VPNs in matching accounts? When people work from home, can 6sense match intent for people who aren’t on a VPN?

A: While companies can and do use VPN for company resources, 6sense doesn’t need someone to be on a VPN to match accounts. Since the early days of 6sense, we’ve mapped non-corporate locations to businesses, and as a result we have never lost a match test against a competitor.

Even though many employees use a VPN to access company resources, most companies limit the types of activities routed through the VPN. If you access your company intranet, data center or cloud resources, then that traffic is routed through a VPN. But when you are browsing the internet for memes or the news, that traffic isn’t routed through the VPN to reduce the load on the VPN tunnel.

If a user or company uses a Cloud VPN (hosted solution), 6sense tends to ignore these types of IP addresses, as they are difficult to verify and susceptible to deception — for example, they could be associated with a bot crawling the internet, and our 6signal Graph focuses instead on more reliable data.

If you’d like to know who’s currently in-market for your solution, check out our free in-market demand report (no gimmicks, just value).

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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