Enterprise Marketing Manager, Emily Reggia, joined Sandler with ambitious ideas for launching an account-based marketing strategy. Sandler had invested in multiple technologies and had a world-class revenue team, but they needed to bring everything together with in-depth data to understand the customer journey.
Therefore, Sandler implemented 6sense to orchestrate their ABM rollout, with support from 2X, a Tier 1 6sense Services Partner, to fill in headcount gaps.
“It’s progressed us lightyears ahead of where we were. When asked to describe this year, I say ‘it feels as if we hopped in a rocket ship and took flight,’’ Emily says.
Emily further explains how her team uses 6sense with 2X’s Marketing as a Service solution (MaaS), to accelerate her team’s ABM strategy, resulting in an impressive 30% increase in marketing-influenced pipeline in just six months.
The Challenge: Trying to Scale and Improve an Enterprise Marketing Strategy
“I started looking at ABM solutions in the summer of 2022 because our previous enterprise marketing strategy took a more traditional approach of reacting to inbound leads as they came in our funnel.”
To take their strategy to the next level, Sandler needed to address three growth blockers:
- Technology limitations preventing proper tracking
- Misalignment between sales and marketing
- Changes in how enterprise companies buy
Tech stack limitations: Sandler marketers and sellers spent too much time jumping from platform to platform because tools didn’t integrate. Disjointed and siloed data also hurt visibility into account tracking, attribution, and the buyer’s journey. It was difficult to know what was working. Without specific data, they were forced to rely on somewhat generic campaigns. “Before 6sense, we had a blanket approach to our campaigns,” Emily says. “We were launching one campaign at a time with messaging that we hoped would resonate with our target personas.”
Misalignment between sales and marketing: Lack of data and dead-end leads created a wedge between sales and marketing.
“Sales felt like they didn’t know where to start with their outreach or how to prioritize the leads that they were given. They lacked visibility into simple things like tracking website activity, email opens, and other marketing campaign touchpoints. We knew we could do better.” Emily says.
Changing buyer behavior: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily says that enterprise companies have increasingly adopted the trend of involving more people in the purchasing process.
The buying behavior of enterprise companies no longer aligned with Sandler’s previous sales process.
“We were previously going after individuals. However, we now know from market research, that these larger companies are no longer making single-person decisions. It’s a group decision by a buying team,” Emily says.
Sandler sought assistance from 6sense and 2X to gain deep insight into the buyer’s journey, restore alignment across teams, and build an ABM strategy that resonates with evolving buying committees.
The Solution: 6sense
Sandler uses 6sense Predictive Analytics to see where buyers are in their journey, allowing sales and marketers to jointly focus efforts on accounts that are most likely to buy.
Even at the earliest stages of implementation, the “wows” were immediate. “The most exciting day was loading all of our target accounts into 6sense. To see where they landed and watching them go into target, awareness, and consideration [buying stages] was amazing,” Emily says.
6sense’s predictive data has given Sandler a fresh perspective on how to see accounts. They previously struggled to engage entire buying committees. Now, 6sense tells Sandler precisely which personas to target and how to engage them.
“The 6sense technology is more robust than anything I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing to see how it takes even just a wish list of accounts you want to go after and helps you turn it into a reality by giving you a starting point and an action plan for reaching them,” Emily adds.
Taking the guesswork out of Sandler’s revenue strategy has restored trust in marketing.
“The fact that we couldn’t track our marketing efforts before was such a roadblock,” Emily says. “Now, we have 6sense showing us each touchpoint we (in marketing) have with these accounts before they request a meeting with sales.” Website traffic doesn’t increase by 34% because we did nothing. It’s been very empowering to show leadership and sales that our campaigns are having a positive impact.
6sense and HubSpot
Integrating HubSpot with 6sense has made proving value significantly easier, which Emily says is crucial for shared accountability across Sandler’s revenue teams. The ability to track the same information within the same platform makes for a much more efficient reporting process.
“If you looked at a day in the life of a seller before 6sense, it was opening ZoomInfo, Sales Navigator, the Sandler website, and emails — just trying to figure out who is doing what,” Emily adds, “Now, they start their day with an email telling them what’s hot and what to focus on for the day. You log into Hubspot, and it’s all right there. You don’t have to click around or open 1,000 tabs.”
Using 6sense and HubSpot, Sandler also set up email nurtures to re-engage accounts that show tapering activity. 6sense equips marketers with intel on what information intrigues specific accounts, while HubSpot allows them to send communications and measure success.
CEO and President of Sandler, Dave Mattson, confirms Emily’s sentiments:
“After transitioning to an account-based marketing approach, the Sandler marketing team has truly amplified its efforts in 2023. Combining this new strategy with innovative platforms such as HubSpot and 6sense, our marketing team has built a sustainable lead gen engine that will propel our Enterprise sales team to success.”
Sandler’s smooth ABM launch wouldn’t have been possible without the support of 2X.
Better Together: 2X and 6sense
2X helps marketing teams operate with greater impact without breaking the bank. Sandler knew they needed a 6sense Services Partner to educate their lean nine-person team on ABM and help build a multi-touch campaign structure. By hiring 2X and using 6sense-certified experts, many of the project’s execution and operational tasks were outsourced to extend the capacity of the Sandler team. This allowed internal staff to focus more on strategy.
2X team members come with diverse skill sets, acting as a natural extension of Sandler’s in-house marketing team. Emily explains, “They help us fill the gaps in projects, answer questions, and take our marketing to a whole new level — all without having to add permanent headcount.”
2X and 6sense make a powerful duo in optimizing Sandler’s ABM strategy.
Every week, 2X shares a 6sense report with Sandler’s marketing team, showing which accounts are progressing through the buying stages. The custom dashboards that 2X set up for Sandler allow their internal team to clearly illustrate how many marketing touchpoints accounts have hit and how much website traffic has increased.
“Of course, every company has a bottom line in mind, but the team at 2X encourages us to celebrate the early wins. Looking at the number of accounts that started engaging and the accounts that are moving through the buying stages is so exciting,” Emily says.
Results: Out of the Weeds
Within the first month of launching campaigns in May 2023, Sandler reached hundreds of new accounts, with a 60% increase in accounts reaching marketing-qualified account (MQA) status.
Within the first six months of using 6sense and 2X, Sandler saw an impressive:
- 30% increase in marketing-influenced pipeline
- Over 80 deals accelerated in the pipeline
- Over 300% increase in website engagement
On a personal level, having a platform like 6sense and a partner like 2X has enhanced Emily’s daily work experience.
“I don’t have to get stuck in these weeds anymore. I don’t have to feel that we are strategizing alone or fighting to prove attribution. With 6sense, I can say yes to more ideas and try new tactics,” Emily says.