If you read yesterday’s robust Breakthrough recap, then you know the first day of our customer conference in Austin was jam-packed with best practices, exclusive info and more than a few mind-blowing moments.
It’s hard to believe, but Day 2 of Breakthrough crammed even more value into the day. We hosted a dozen customer-led breakout sessions, and will summarize nine of them here in today’s post. Get ready to dive into some truly inspirational success stories.
But don’t think this is the only post-Breakthrough content we’ll provide. There’s so much more to share with you — including 6sense CEO Jason Zintak’s presentation in which he revealed how he started in this industry (“I had one of the worst jobs in the world”) and how he became the #1 sales rep at a global software company at the age of 27 (and won a Porsche in the process).
At the end of this post, we’ll tell you more about the Breakthrough content we’ll be sharing (hint: it’s everything and the kitchen sink) and when we’ll be sharing it (hint: it’s sooner than you think).
In the meantime, put on your thinking cap and get ready to learn a ton from these Breakthrough customer presentations:
Kazoo: Get Small to Go Big
In a crowded market of HR platforms, employee experience platform Kazoo knew it needed to out-market the competition. The company rebuilt its go-to-market strategy, put 6sense at its core, and set on a transformational path to maximize the available opportunity.
CMO Casey Carey shared how Kazoo reimagined its demand-capture strategy to drive significantly higher account engagement, conversions, and win rates. And it started with what Casey called “a big strategy reset” with five major components:
- The team wanted to merge two brands into a single platform brand
- It wanted to reverse the team’s trend of selling low to personas to selling high
- It needed to shift its positioning from being “a nice to have” to “a must-have”
- It had to tighten its segmentation from “casting a wide net” to “using a fish finder”
- And it wanted to pivot its campaigns away from a “MQLs via email nurture” approach toward an integrated, micro-segments approach
The team developed a new prospect segmentation process, using 6sense and Salesforce to clearly define its ICP. It also leveraged 6sense, Bombora, G2, and other platforms to develop its buying stage scores.
The end result was a crystal-clear spectrum of worthy accounts that were:
- A Strong and Moderate ICP fit
- And were in the Awareness, Consideration, or Decision & Purchase stages
“This strategic segmentation maximized the efficacy of our programs and media spend,” Casey explained. And it informed the creation of campaigns, content creation and investments that resulted in:
- +32 domain authority
- +63pp MQL quality
- +307% organic traffic
- +454% brand search clicks
- +70% 4Q21 MQLs YoY
- +21pp deal win rate
Aruba: Building a Best-in-Class Martech Stack
As Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, transitions to an As a Service organization for many of its enterprise networking offerings, modernizing its go-to-market approach and technology stack also needs to be part of that evolution.
For Aruba to extend continuous benefits and value to its customers with the new As a Service model, Aruba has to be closer to its customers than ever before and know its customer.
Legacy infrastructure barriers prevented Aruba from deepening its online relationship with its customers so modernizing Aruba’s revtech stack became imperative.
With 6sense at the core of Aruba’s revtech engine for personalized experiences, “Aruba will be able to deliver an intimate experience from the moment the customer encounters Aruba and through their own personalized lifecycle,” explained Gladys Alegre-Kimura, Aruba Marketing Operations.
The implementation of Aruba’s revtech engine shows strong promise in early outcomes with high double digit increases in sales velocity and average deal size for sales teams using 6sense heavily and Aruba’s Go-to-Market execution time has decreased by many-fold.
FireEye: The Next Wave of ABM
Speed and agility are critical in the cybersecurity world, and FireEye has developed innovative ways to address this challenge at scale within its award-winning ABM program.
Marlowe Fenne, FireEye’s ABM Senior Manager, shared his team’s innovative philosophy using some pretty rad surfing themes:
Find the Wave
Make your ABM practice more agile, effective and engaging by:
- Adding trending keywords based on new customer challenges and your differentiation
- Segmenting and building journeys based on unique keyword clusters
- Engaging customers with personalize ads, pages, content accordingly
Catch the Wave
Personalize experiences at scale across multiple segments by using:
- 6sense ads
- Folloze pages integrated with 6Sense segments
- Personalized emails & events
Ride the Wave
Partner with sales to leverage insights at every stage with:
- Engagement trends and alerts
- Recent intent topics
- Timeline of all engagements
- Persona Map to plot next wave of engagements
Catch More Waves
Improve ROI through better real-time segmentation by:
- Leveraging 6sense Predictive to move customers through journeys faster
- Building segmentation rules with unique characteristics — clarity with no overlaps
- Combining keywords into clusters to catch new surges in intent quickly
- Experimenting with 6sense ads using segments with new keywords to grow engagement
Surf in Teams
Get more from revtech and teams through better integration (for instance, FireEye has seen great success by combining 6sense and Folloze), and personalize content by:
- Buying stage
- Employee range
- Profile fit
- Profile score
- Revenue range
Thanks in great part to the role 6sense plays in FireEye’s revenue efforts, the company achieved several milestones this year, including:
- ITSMA ABM Gold Award for Optimizing ABM 2021
- $100 million ABM program using 1.5 people
- 5x higher pipeline to bookings conversion rate
- 25% bigger average deal size
- 50% of ABM customers have adopted SaaS in one quarter
- Top program user is ADR of the Year
Seismic: Successful Sales Adoption Begins with the Adoption of New Concepts
Sales enablement platform Seismic continually seeks to improve the enablement and education of its revenue team. That’s why 6sense plays a key role in Seismic’s recent shift to becoming a truly modern sales team, fully aligned on the importance of intent and key account insights.
Seismic’s EVP of Global Revenue Operations Toby Carrington began his presentation by revealing that his team combines the power of 6sense and G2 to achieve the objectives of the company’s intent strategy to:
- Identify cross-sell opportunities
- Increase win rates
- Be first to deals
- Increase sales efficiency
Why 6sense? For starters, Toby said, our AI predictive models smartly use Seismic historical account, contact, and opportunity data — combined with intent signals to predict exactly where accounts are in the buying journey.
Further, marketing leverages 6sense’s robust segments to run display, retargeting, and LinkedIn advertising campaigns. Sales also gets support via the Sales Intelligence widget and alerts.
And why G2? The software research and review platform has over 1.3 million reviews, Toby explained. It offers category profile pages, customer review automation, lead generation, buyer intent, custom content, and reports.
A Powerful Case Study
This is a cool story. Using 6sense, Seismic recently uncovered an account that was using a competitor’s product. The platform also surfaced specific key areas of interest for the account.
G2 provided additional context by recording intent two days before the account’s demo request came in. This offered very helpful context into which competitors were also being specifically researched by the account.
Seismic won the account. It was the largest competitive displacement in Seismic’s history. Historically, win rates against this competitor were about 50%. But a quarter + 1 after Seismic’s intent launch, the win rate has risen to nearly 80%.
Code42: 2015 Called and Wants Its MQLs Back
2021 presented an inflection point for cybersecurity software company Code42. The company had to reevaluate its go-to-market approach. Its revenue team knew that MQLs, arbitrary target account selection, and lead-based approaches weren’t working anymore.
Aida Kamber (VP of Growth Marketing) and Dorothy Milazzo (Sr. Manager Integrated Marketing) knew that this wasn’t an ordinary shift of traditional sales and marketing tactics. This was a reboot of its team’s entire philosophy.
Before the company embraced ABX, its revenue team wasn’t creating enough pipeline. It had no real way of knowing which accounts were in-market.
- Code42’s use of LinkedIn and display ads was limited, and its audience size was too small
- Its content syndication efforts generated too many disparate leads that didn’t move down the funnel and offered no true account view
- And its web personalization efforts relied heavily on form-fills … and because of that, only 3% of its web traffic was de-anonymized and received personalized content
After implementing 6sense and other revtech solutions, Code42’s revenue team witnessed remarkable, and sustained, results:
- Opportunity volume increased 31% in the first 3 quarters of 2021 (compared to all of 2020)
- Opportunities won increased 27% in first 3 quarters of 2021 vs. 2020
- Through the end of October 2021, campaigns helped progress 82% of accounts in their buying stage
- Display advertising and use of LinkedIn with 6sense segments are the top two tactics contributing to opportunities being created
6sense: Why Marketing Has Historically Been Wrong
Former SiriusDecisions / Forrester analyst Kerry Cunningham (who is now with 6sense) delivered a compelling presentation about how B2B wound up with an MQL-centric model for creating pipeline … and why we must move past it.
After providing a cheeky history about the commonalities between ancient medical practices and marketing (you had to be there), Kerry presented the reality for most revenue teams today:
“CMOs try everything time and again to produce pipeline, but nothing produces consistent results,” he said. “Meanwhile, sellers meet buyers at random moments across buyer journeys, yielding inconsistent cycles and success. And what happens? Great new logos show up out of the blue on competitor websites as customers.”
How the Dark Funnel Impacts Deals
One key reason for this disconnect is that companies aren’t de-anonymizing critical — yet hidden — buyer intent data. (6sense was purpose-built to do this; we call this process “illuminating the Dark Funnel™.”)
Without this important information, revenue teams often assume that individual buyers are visiting their websites and expressing intent. But that’s not true.
“In a lead-based funnel, you think you’re tracking your relationship with an account through one person,” Kerry said. “That’s just not how it works. Multiple people from that account are visiting your site. … And they do a lot of their research before they raise their hand and say, ‘I’m here.’ So you don’t know where they are in their journey when you first meet them.”
This often creates an alienating disconnect in which sellers mistakenly think buyers aren’t far along in their journeys — when in fact most buyers are well past the “get to know us” stage.
“Since you can’t see them (before they arrive on-site), your funnel starts later … and with fewer potential opportunities,” Kerry explained. “If you don’t find out at the beginning of a buyer’s journey, it compresses your funnel. That means you are probably coming into a program already in progress, and there will be fewer opportunities for your team to interact with them along the way.”
Only by seeing buyer activity in the Dark Funnel can you align your engagement processes and funnel to the buyer journey, Kerry said.
“And that’s why we need a RevTech Revolution,” he observed. “Without it, organizations are going to continue to run into prospects at random times and try to engage them with random acts of marketing and sales.
“But when journeys and funnels align,” Kerry continued, “both buyers and sellers win. This is how you meet your buyers with relevant, personalized, and engaging experiences — and also how you can achieve predictable revenue growth.”
Piano: The Journey to ABX Success
The transition to an account-based strategy doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly won’t be successful if a revenue team isn’t aligned on the concept that “ABX is not just a campaign, it’s a way of life.”
That realization, and many others, were shared by Ashley Deibert, (CMO) and Peter Lastowski (Director Global Revenue Operations) of Piano, an end-to-end customer experience platform.
When Ashley joined Piano in 2020, she faced numerous challenges. She had…
- 1 marketer on the Marketing team
- 1 CRM that nobody managed
- 3 SDRs “who weren’t really SDRing”
- The company was in mid-acquisition of another organization
- Oh, and there was that little “global pandemic” thing going on, too
Ashley brought her A-game to the endeavor, working hard to “redefine ABM” and “rename everything” in ways that would fully align Piano’s marketing and sales. Further, she embarked on reeducating the team on how the company would be going to market.
“You have to firmly align your marketing and sales teams by understanding key concepts like intent data, accounts in-market, 6sense buying stages, and what action to take at each buying stage,” she said.
This meant having internal conversations about “old ABM” and “new ABM,” Ashley said. Old-school phrases like “target account lists” became in-market accounts, and “ABM is creepy” became we’re supporting the buyer, serving them content they need, and reaching out when it’s time.
- “Open rates” became engagement
- “Lead” became account
- “Number of leads” became size of pipe
- And “MQL or SQL” became SAO
“You’re changing people’s language, and the way they think about marketing,” Ashley said. “They have to be bought on what the buying stages mean, otherwise it’ll fail.”
The following four-step training progress, along with a savvy implementation of 6sense and other technologies, made all the difference in the revenue team’s adoption of ABX:
- Plan your curriculum and workshops ahead of time
- Communicate changes or additions to your tech stack and how you plan to measure success
- Create enablement materials for all of your tools and processes
- Refresh with ongoing training and enablement sessions
- Piano has experienced a 150% year-over-year increase in pipeline
- And a 50% increase in outbound deal size
- Maintained a 75% conversion rate from pre-qualified to qualified opps throughout 2021
- Successful pivot from relying on static target account lists to prospecting into new accounts that are in-market
Florence Healthcare: How to Get Early Wins
Florence Healthcare, a clinical trials software platform, recently examined its sales team’s biggest challenge areas. In response, the organization designed an integrated ABX campaign using intent data, digital marketing, and sales enablement to rapidly build pipeline.
Along the way, the company aligned on the 6sense platform and launched a revamped orchestrated ABX campaign. Jenny Bumm, head Digital Marketing & DemandGen, explained the problems Florence Healthcare faced:
“As we were looking to scale the growth of the company, we knew we needed to re-imagine our ABM strategy and we knew we needed to leverage technology to get us there,” Jenny said. “Our ABM strategy was ‘spray and pray’ – we were reaching accounts and people that weren’t in-market for our solution or even in our TAM.”
How Florence Healthcare Did It
Phase 1: Plus Up Marketing
“I knew that I had to prove out the ROI, so we invested in 6sense and I got to work on building out campaigns,” Jenny said.
- Segments: Built hyper-targeted audiences
- Intent Data: Layered intent data and predictive analytics into digital marketing
- Targeted Ads: Launched ads to test how the company’s message resonated with the company’s ICP
“In Q2, one of our GTM key segments saw a significant slowdown in the pipeline, especially when compared to our aggressive growth goals,” Jenny said. “Partnering with our sales team, and with our 6sense success team, we quickly designed and launched an orchestrated ABX campaign resulting in a 2.5x increase in pipeline MoM.”
Phase 2: Build a Tiger Team
Jenny then set about finding champions for 6sense and the new approach. They soon got to work refining their processes:
- Internal champions: Selected BDR team advocates to help roll out 6sense for sales
- Create processes: Established outbound BDR strategy and new rules of engagement
- Training & enablement: Created multiple ways to train, support, and empower the team
- Open communication: Created a feedback loop to celebrate wins while encouraging feedback for improvements
Not long after, the team received this email reply from a prospect: “Your email was perfectly timed. You were actually next on my to-do list this morning. Could we schedule some time to speak?” Success!
Phase 3: Create Alignment and Excitement
Now it was time to roll out the program to more teammates, which included:
- Show and tell: Communicated success of marketing & BDR team
- Orchestration: Led orchestration sessions to align on roles and responsibilities
“The greatest impact you can generate is when you have full marketing, BDR and AE alignment. C-level needs to be invested in the program,” Jenny said.
The program has been a success, creating impact over time:
- 38% of total pipeline hailed from ABX in Q3
- 43% increase in average opportunity value
- 23% increase in engagement from enterprise accounts
ServiceMax: The Journey to Account-Based Execution
After setting the proper foundation to move towards an account-based approach, field-service software company ServiceMax is now executing global campaigns at scale, complete with a phenomenal partnership between the sales and marketing teams.
Shannon Jackson, ServiceMax’s Director of DemandGen, shared how her organization leveraged account insights to prioritize their resources, and developed a cross-functional approach that aligned sales and marketing as one revenue engine.
“Our journey with 6sense has been the most solidified and well-adopted program among our team,” Shannon said. “It’s had a steady and consistent buy-in that both drives both marketing and sales.”
Using ZoomInfo’s industry ratings combined with 6sense’s intent score data, Shannon team’s leveraged account insights to prioritize resources. This “account priority score” was then complemented by an “AE priority score,” with different tiers such as Top 10, A, B and Nurture.
Implementation and Results
This was an objective way to determine the best accounts, Shannon explained. It also informed management and enabled activity tracking, ensuring ServiceMax spent the right money in the right places.
Team members received personalized menus of activities including web, virtual, in-person, and content-based experiences based on stage and associated contacts.
After implementation and full training, the company experienced:
- 50% increase in early-stage conversion rates YoY
- 61% decrease in # of days in early-stage YoY
- Over 100% improvement in in close conversion rate YoY
And a recent campaign generated additionally noteworthy results:
- Created $2.14 million in Pipeline
- ~40% Account Engagement
The past two days have been a whirlwind in Austin. We reconnected with old friends, made plenty of new ones, and learned a lot along the way. (And there might have been a wild night or two!)
There’s so much more to share about this year’s Breakthrough, and we’ll be doing just that in the upcoming days. Watch our Breakthrough page for updates such as panel recordings, presentation decks, analysis and much more!