Windstream Enterprise is a leading service provider of cloud-enabled communications and security solutions, serving 45,000 businesses in North America. A few years ago, the company began struggling to grow its enterprise segment.
The company’s marketing and sales tactics — focused on generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and targeting a known list of potential customers — were no longer as effective.
“There is a real and a meaningful opportunity cost when you allow these highly compensated sellers to just flail around and spray and pray and hope,” says Cliff Dinwiddie, Windstream’s Vice President of Strategic Marketing. “We all know that doesn’t work. And worse, it’s incredibly expensive and ineffective.
The company knew it needed to streamline its revenue-generating efforts and reached out to 6sense for help.
Windstream decided to establish an account-based GTM strategy, and a key part of that effort was adopting a revtech stack that included tools such as Zoom, Outreach, and, critically, 6sense.
“The centerpiece of our martech stack is 6sense,” says Dinwiddie.
The challenges Windstream faced included:
- Because of COVID, its large sales team couldn’t call on customers in-person
- Without real-time data intel and insight into account behavior, it was difficult to send relevant messages to buyers, or to tell what content was generating the most lift
- Spotty communication between marketing and sales
- Demand generation was low
Potential clients were often unaware of Windstream’s current capabilities. Windstream had evolved from providing a single service (phone connectivity) to providing business solutions such as providing data security and ensuring customers could connect to their networks from any device in any location. Windstream was failing to effectively get that message to the market.
Using the Dark Funnel™
6sense illuminated the Dark Funnel to help Windstream boost its demand generation. Windstream was able to generate stronger results thanks to:
- Intent and buying signals from 6sense that helped Windstream deliver the right piece of content at the right time, matching the buyer persona and the buying stage of prospects
- Insights into the performance of each piece of content, enabling Windstream to modify content and make corrections quickly
- Signals indicating the best time to engage a buyer
The Sales Team
Windstream was asking the sales team to generate new sales and to upsell established clients. Because these activities require different skill sets, the company divided the team into groups it calls “hunters,” “farmers,” and “customer success.”
Then the company added a sales development representative (SDR) team to move prospects through the pipeline until they’re ready to be handed off to the hunters.
As Dinwiddie puts it, “6sense supports SDRs, and SDRs feed hunters,” which in turn increases revenue generation.
“By using this intent data from 6sense, we know who is interested in the solutions that we provide. We know where they are in their buying process. I know the kind of content to serve to them and when,” Dinwiddie explains.
“And most importantly, I know when to engage my seller with my prospect,” he continues. “6sense is the flashlight that my marketing and sales teams need so that they aren’t rummaging around in the darkness.”
As a result of using the right activities to streamline Windstream’s revenue-generating efforts:
- Deals originally flagged as 6sense qualified accounts (6QAs) are worth twice the revenue as other deals Windstream is closing
- The number of new logos is growing
- The time to close deals is shorter
“So we got the best of all worlds. We’ve got deals that are larger, new logo sales are growing, and all of this is happening much faster thanks to our relationship with 6sense,” Dinwiddie says.