No More Spreadsheets, No More Guesswork: Key Marketing Data Takeaways from Our 6sense + Fortella Webinar

4 minutes
Jan 18, 2022
Digital MarketingPlanning & Forecasting

When it comes to making business decisions for B2B marketing and sales, everything is data — and data is everything. That’s why it’s critical to capture as much of it...

When it comes to making business decisions for B2B marketing and sales, everything is data — and data is everything. That’s why it’s critical to capture as much of it as accurately as possible, and be able to view it and interpret it in a meaningful way. 

In a recent webinar, Kerry Cunningham (6sense’s Senior Principal of Product Marketing) and Rahul Sachdev (6sense’s SVP of Product and former co-founder & CEO of Fortella) discussed these challenges and how the combination of their platforms’ powerful AI technologies can change the game for companies aiming to meet — and beat — their revenue goals.  

Here are some highlights from the discussion: 

Breaking Down Data Silos 

Most companies already invest substantial amounts of money, time, and human resources to collect sales and marketing data. But most of this information is siloed, and many B2B companies lack tools to assemble it in a way that accurately shows the state of the business. 

As Kerry put it, revenue teams need to “reach across those silos, unite data, bring it all together so that we have that one complete picture of our prospects and customers. We can see which ones of those are in market today, which ones are good fits for later on, and which ones are those we really don’t need to worry about at all right now.”

But gathering insights from all this data is no easy task. 

Many Companies Rely on Guesswork 

Most B2B companies — even those that prioritize the collection of accurate metrics — still rely on guesswork for predicting their pipelines. “Invariably, the planning involves a whole lot of assumptions at certain stages,” Kerry said.

For most businesses, Rahul said, this most often looks like “a spreadsheet or a homegrown dashboard.” Before co-founding Fortella, that was the system he used himself. 

“I would put in sales cycles and conversion rates and marketing’s contribution to revenue for each go-to-market segment,” Rahul explained. “Every sales cycle is different, every conversion rate’s different, every opportunity size is different. And you would end up doing a lot of spreadsheet math.”

It was tedious and prone to error.

Indeed, as business leaders continue to make manual calculations and educated guesses, it’s hard to know where things went wrong when the numbers don’t add up. And invariably, when using this kind of MacGyvered system, the numbers won’t add up.

No More Spreadsheets, No More Guesswork

The best way to eliminate guesswork and ensure accurate pipeline prediction is to ditch the spreadsheets and use a tool purpose-built to collect, connect, and accurately interpret sales data points. Fortella, an AI-based revenue intelligence platform, does just that.

Fortella combines pipeline forecasting — using actual conversion rates, sales cycles, and deal sizes instead of estimates and assumptions — with accurate targeting to maximize revenue results. As you get new sales data, Fortella automatically analyzes pipeline performance in real-time and intelligently recommends revenue generation tactics that will have the greatest impact.

Prior to helping oversee the creation of Fortella, Rahul was often left guessing about where his sales numbers were off. But life after Fortella was easy. For example, when sales were falling well below a Q3 goal and Fortella’s year-end projection seemed unlikely to be met, Rahul had to figure out why — and how to change it. 

Fortella’s platform assembled all of the data and Rahul could effortlessly compare the numbers with the prior year’s Q3 performance. He could recognize the larger pattern and see where the pipeline was meeting, exceeding, or falling short of the projections. 

Essentially, Fortella allowed Rahul to predict the future: “If I don’t change anything, here’s what’s going to happen in Q4,” he said. “My salespeople are going to be screaming at me. They’re going to end up discounting a whole bunch of stuff. They may pull some deals forward if I don’t do something today to actually course correct my trajectory.”

Instead of plugging numbers into a spreadsheet and guessing how to correct the pipeline, he could make clear, informed decisions that focused on the areas where they would have the most impact. 

Ultimately, what Fortella brings to the table is game-changing, Rahul said: “No more spreadsheets, no more guesswork.”

The Power of AI-Driven Insights 

As humans, our best guesses will never fully hit the mark. We don’t have the cognitive ability or computing complexity to draw these connections on our own.

That’s why AI-driven technology like Fortella can transcend our own guesswork by pulling in data from a range of sources and automatically predicting actionable outcomes. As Rahul put it, “The system will guide you there.”

Want to learn more? Listen to the entire webinar to discover who Rahul put Fortella to work and built a sales pipeline that got him to his year-end goal.