The RevTech Revolution is Here: A Recap of Day 1’s Events at Our ‘Breakthrough’ Customer Conference

11 minutes
Dec 09, 2021
Account-Based Experience

Yesterday, 6sense kicked off our Breakthrough conference — a fun, knowledge-packed annual event for 6sense customers — in Austin. Breakthrough’s two-day mission is as ambitious as it is straightforward: We wanna blow...

Yesterday, 6sense kicked off our Breakthrough conference — a fun, knowledge-packed annual event for 6sense customers — in Austin.

Breakthrough’s two-day mission is as ambitious as it is straightforward: We wanna blow the minds of as many customers as we can with tons of exclusive data, use cases, and best practices. Customers learn from industry and peer experts, get insights for leveling-up their revenue teams’ performance, and more.

For folks who weren’t able to attend yesterday’s shindig in person or via live-stream, here’s a robust rundown of the day’s events. (We’ll publish a similar post tomorrow to recap today’s best moments, too.)

The Revolution Is Now

Breakthrough began with a presentation by 6sense’s effervescent CMO Latané Conant. Latané immediately discussed the central theme for the conference — Welcome to the RevTech Revolution — and explained that revenue teams are finally recognizing that the old ways of marketing and selling simply don’t work anymore. They’re ready for a change.

And together as a unified front, Latané said, marketing & sales professionals can initiate and implement the kind of revolution that can dramatically improve experiences for buyers and sellers … and help both sides achieve game-changing, mutually beneficial results.

Most Companies Still Operate in the Dark Funnel

The future’s bright, but there’s still plenty to fix, Latané said. Most revenue teams don’t leverage ABX, which means the most valuable information they need to find the right accounts at the right time remains hidden to them, anonymized in what we call the Dark Funnel™.

These companies face serious challenges:

  • They spend 98% of their budgets to attract anonymous web traffic
  • Their efforts often deliver poor user experiences
  • 77% of buyers say their last purchase was very difficult
  • Sellers fail to meet revenue targets
  • Only 60% of sales reps meet quota

By contrast, Latané said, 6sense customers can immediately analyze this invisible buyer intent data and reap its rewards. They often experience:  

  • 2x better average deal size
  • 10% better conversion rate
  • 25% reduction in average days-to-close

And by leveraging 6sense’s capabilities to radically improve the customer experience (via perfectly timed personalized outreach, for instance), customers are poised to experience other lifts, including: 

  • Businesses that prioritize customer experience (CX) see revenue increases of 4% to 8% higher than their competitors
  • Businesses that focus on improving their CX can see 80% increases in revenue 
  • Delivering high-quality B2B customer experiences can reduce churn by up to 15%, increase win rates of offers by 20% to 40%, and lower costs to serve by up to 50%

6sense’s Own CX-Boosting Campaigns

At 6sense, we “drink our own champagne,” as the saying goes. Meaning, our revenue team uses our own platform to extract actionable intelligence about accounts to develop and launch campaigns.

Latané shared an example of one such recent campaign, emphasizing how its customer experience-centric approach was a critical element in generating big results for the company.

At 6sense, we know that 90% of our Stage 1 accounts move from to Stage 2 when they’re also using a Sales Engagement Platform (SEP) like Outreach or Salesloft. This means, Latané explained…

  • As a company, 6sense benefits from more stickiness and sales adoption when customers have both 6sense and a companion SEP
  • And 6sense generates higher customer lifetime value by embedding 6sense insights and predictions within companion SEPs

Armed with that intelligence, 6sense recently created a campaign that targeted new-logo accounts and contacts that use SEPs with which 6sense partners. The effort to target revenue opportunities was comprehensive: 

  • Target stage: Here, we enrolled in “Drive Web Engagement” AI orchestrations
  • Awareness stage: Here, we launched display ads and acquired missing contacts with data orchestration via 6sense; we launched social ads via Facebook; and we launched persona-based nurtures via Marketo
  • Consideration stage: Here, we auto adjusted stage-based display ads; we added LinkedIn to social ads; and we expanded persona-based nurture emails for new contacts via Marketo
  • Decision stage: Our 6QA dashboards prioritized BDR activity; using Salesloft, we automated 6QA emails to ensure 100% coverage; and we offered direct gifting for unresponsive contacts via Alyce
  • Purchase stage: Using 6sense exclusively, we leveraged account insights to drive effective meeting prep; we used our “next-best actions” capability to guide reps to deeper account engagement; and we generated recommended talking points to ensure relevancy

We then boosted revenue performance with a coordinated campaign execution across many channels and experiences:

  1. Our relevant, always-on ad campaigns (based on buying stage) linked to…
  2. Landing pages personalized via campaign UTM, which triggered…
  3. Topic-based retargeting campaigns, which led to…
  4. Web personalization upon return visits, which included…
  5. On-page targeted chatbot sequences, meanwhile…
  6. Persona-based emails also drove visits and engagement, such as…
  7. Highly curated and personalized content experiences at our website’s content hub, and then…
  8. When accounts qualified as 6QAs, we triggered BDR outreach, which led to…
  9. Highly personalized, timely, and relevant outreach that generated meetings, and then…
  10. 6sense’s technology predicted next-best actions to deepen account engagement as the deal cycle progresses, which were measured by…
  11. Segment performance, which revealed trends in account engagement and buying stage progression, and we also measured with…
  12. Fortella (aka a technology company we recently acquired) to determine if the campaign was resulting in enough pipeline to hit our revenue goals

The results have been terrific so far, Latané said.

Highlights from Slintel and Fortella

Latané then passed the mic to Deepak Anchala, founder and CEO of Slintel, and Rahul Sachdev, SVP Product at 6sense (and former CEO & co-founder of Fortella). 6sense acquired Slintel and Fortella earlier this year, and there was no better place than Breakthrough to illustrate the capabilities and value both companies’ technologies will soon deliver to customers.

At its simplest, Slintel collects and analyzes very early-stage buyer intent data, empowering revenue teams to learn more about accounts, faster. Fortella reverse-engineers a company’s revenue funnel to create a repeatable blueprint that maximizes pipeline performance.

Deepak and Rahul provided closer looks at the capabilities in their presentations.

A Deep Dive Into Slintel

Deepak highlighted where Slintel fits in with 6sense’s suite of capabilities. 

6sense’s account engagement platform excels at helping sellers during specific stages of the buyer’s journey, such as when buyers are transmitting intent signals like:

  • First-party intent 
  • Third-party intent (native keyword-based intent, integrated Bombora topics)
  • Integrated G2 and TrustRadius intent

But Slintel provides insights much earlier in the journey, providing sellers with more information … and a competitive edge. Slintel’s technologies specialize in detecting:

  • Technology ecosystem-related intent
  • Unmet needs (such as job postings, reports, blog posts)
  • And other important, overlooked data points

The platform enables revenue teams to target with more precision with first-, second-, and third-party data, Deepak said, thanks to:

  • More than 25,000 technographic insights (such as installs, adoption, churn, and renewals)
  • More than 10,000 psychographic insights (including company-based themes and trends over time, and people-based themes, interests, and trends over time)
  • More than 15 million companies tracked (including leadership changes, executive movement, funding, M&A, growth, expansion, events, and product launches)
  • And more than 250 million instances of contact data (such as name, title, function, email, phone, and interests)

With Slintel, revenue teams can now:

  • Capture lists of companies looking for a solution like theirs
  • Target decision-makers in key accounts
  • Boost outreach via psychographics
  • Create workflows that deliver insights and boost productivity
  • Rank prospects to boost revenue

Fortella: From Guesswork to Confidence

Moments later, Rahul took the stage and highlighted how most Marketing Pipeline Management happens today. Generally, it’s making a lot of guesswork while navigating fragmented data and ad-hoc processes, with little or no data-science resources to help demystify the scattered information. 

The result is a hard-to-manage process that generates lots of wasted time and effort. And when the pipeline forecasts are inaccurate, “there’s a lot of finger-pointing, much of it at marketing,” Rahul explained.

Fortella’s technologies eliminate that risk and drama. Think of Fortella as a navigation system, Rahul said. Working with 6sense’s robust intelligence, Fortella can show revenue teams how likely they are to achieve their pipeline goals … and help teams pivot in real-time to ensure those goals are met.

The three pillars of Fortella’s technology include Plan, Track, and Forecast.

Plan

Fortella builds accurate (SQL) plans from booking targets based on actual conversation rates and sales cycles. It automatically creates this pipeline plan. Gone are the days of manually fussing with formulas and spreadsheets.

It also optimizes pipeline needs across Go-To-Market and performs “what if” analysis for scenario planning. This increases revenue-team confidence in hitting corporate revenue goals. It reduces planning cycles, too.

Track

Fortella also tracks critical qualified pipeline (SQL) KPIs, providing information right when you need it. When colleagues ask pointed questions such as…

  • Are we converting more slowly or faster than we were six months ago?
  • Where are our leads coming from?
  • Can we compare pipeline between now and a year ago?

 

…Fortella provides answers immediately. This real-time visibility helps customers adjust tactics to always hit their numbers.

Forecast

Fortella also forecasts qualified pipeline (SQLs) based on AI models, and real-time and historical performance, to triangulate the pipeline you’ll likely generate within a given timeframe.

It provides aggregate and channel-specific forecasts. This improves forecasting and reporting accuracy.

With Fortella and 6sense, “You’ve got one application to plan, track, and forecast pipeline,” Rahul explained, “and you have the ability to do something about it. It’s a fully integrated system to run marketing in a revenue-centric manner.”

Customer Presentations: RepTrak & Windstream

The spotlight then turned to two leaders who shared their experiences using 6sense in creative ways to achieve — and surpass — their company’s business goals.

RepTrak: A Tactical Approach to ABX

Ali Jawin, a 6sense superfan and Vice President of Global Marketing at RepTrak, first took the stage. RepTrak is the world’s leading reputation data and insights company.

After joining the company in December 2019, Ali quickly discovered that the company’s “spray and pray” marketing approach was ineffective, as was the organization’s reliance on MQLs. 6sense became a part of the company’s revtech stack not long after.

RepTrak developed a new go-to-market strategy for H2 2020 and stuck with it. The mantra: Test campaigns against intent. If the campaigns were successful, scale them. If they weren’t, drop them.

The result? The company experienced significant improvements across the board in H2:

  • Acquisition costs improved by 92% in one campaign
  • In another, total engagement increased by nearly 600%
  • Hit pipeline quota (106% to goal)
  • Reduced sales cycle (from 112 days to 90 days)
  • Increased TCV by 62%

As 2021 began, Ali and her team wanted to help overhaul sales processes and base them on authoritative 6sense data. The sales team initially resisted the change. But salespeople warmed to the idea when they saw the success data, Ali said.

The process changes were complemented by:

  • Building 6sense data into sales SOP with dashboards to hold salespeople accountable
  • Weekly 6QA meetings
  • Using 6sense dashboards in 1:1s with AEs and BDRs

The Q1 2021 results were astonishing:

  • More pipeline was generated in Q1 2021 than in all of 2020
  • The team hit 123% of its revenue goal
  • Reps consistently had more than 10 future meetings booked at any given time
  • Unprecedented sales & marketing alignment

But the process short-circuited in Q2. The organization abandoned the successful approach of “profile fit + funnel stage + intent,” Ali said.

What happened? The pivot was largely fueled by the publication of the company’s annual Global RepTrak 100, a popular form-fill downloadable asset. The document provides Reputation Scores for 100 top companies to illustrate how people feel, think, and act towards them.

The campaign’s results were great at first glance: the asset scored 4,000+ downloads, the company received wide PR coverage, and the sales team booked more meetings than ever before.

But Ali soon realized that “something wasn’t right.” The sales teams’ first meetings didn’t convert into second meetings. Follow-up efforts didn’t generate engagement. Net-new opps decreased. Worst of all, the pipeline slowed down.

6sense-powered analysis helped identify the issues:

  • 80% of the Global RepTrak accounts were firmly in the Awareness stage (and were nowhere close to opening an opportunity)
  • The content was “B2B clickbait,” Ali said (it didn’t provide value or help solve a problem)

Now using 6sense, LinkedIn ads, and content that was successful in H2 of 2020, RepTrak has realigned to smartly engage relevant accounts. This helped the company achieve a “happy ending” for the year, Ali said: it hit 107% of its revenue goal and 100.3% of its pipeline goal.

Next year, RepTrak will likely double its marketing team size and increase paid-media budget by over 100%, Ali said.

Windstream: Modernizing a Telecom GTM Strategy

Cliff Dinwiddie, VP of Strategic Marketing at Windstream, spoke next. Windstream is an internet and telecommunications provider.

A lot has changed in the telecom industry in recent years, Cliff announced. And those changes have proved especially disruptive for companies like Windstream, he said:

  • Technology: It’s evolving at such an exponential pace, and it’s challenging for businesses to keep up
  • The communications industry: Human communication will always remain the same, but with technology, the only thing that remains constant is change
  • A global pandemic: It’s undeniable that the impact of the pandemic on the enterprise has been significant
  • Enterprise selling strategies: Most B2B seller interactions have moved to remote or digital
  • Enterprise technology buying: Enterprise technology buying can be complex and difficult; buyers need information and they get it on the Internet before ever engaging a seller

These and other changes required Windstream to adapt, Cliff said.

“We realized that in order to transform our business into a growth company, we had to make material investments in people, process and tools,” he said. “We had to establish a next-generation, account-based marketing approach and an operating model that allowed our teams to focus. And focus requires a very significant investment.”

Windstream invested in a full martech stack that included 6sense. And its revenue team’s results are getting better by the day:

  • 2x greater deal sizes on accounts identified by 6sense
  • New logo sales have significantly grown as a percent of total sales
  • Sales velocity has also improved

Customer Awards

Throughout the day, 6sense also issued awards to celebrate customers’ groundbreaking use of our platform during 2021. Here are the lucky winners:

Conclusion

We’ll be back tomorrow with another recap of today’s Breakthrough events, panels and more. In the meantime, you can vicariously experience the customer conference via our posts on social media:

Look for hashtags including #Breakthrough2021, #RevTech, and #RevTechRevolution. See you tomorrow!

UPDATE: Part 2 of our Breakthrough recap series is available here.