Zendesk Empowers BDRs and Increases Opportunities Using 6sense Insights

Zendesk was reaching upmarket to new companies, and wanted to empower their BDRs to succeed. They found success in both with 6sense data and insights on their side.


As Zendesk began to reach for higher-level accounts, they brought in 6sense and found:

  • 8% to 10% average increase in opportunity creation from MQLs globally
  • exposed previously hidden net-new accounts
  • gave BDRs additional visibility and power to contribute

The Challenge

As Zendesk set its sights upmarket in enterprise companies, its leadership realized that leads were becoming become less relevant. 

In larger B2B purchases, Zendesk’s sales team knew they’d be working with larger buying committees, which required engaging multiple people with different levels of interest and knowledge.

Zendesk needed a way to focus their attention on the accounts that would be most receptive to their outreach. They needed an account-level view as they moved upmarket, and they wanted to empower their business development representatives (BDRs) to succeed and contribute.

The Solution

Zendesk’s team wanted to improve the quality of the accounts it passed along to its BDRs and turned to 6sense to do it. 

The team decided to only pass along leads 6sense identified as high intent — meaning they were in either the Decision or Purchase stages of the buying journey. While this reduced the number of records the BDRs would work, it dramatically increased their quality.

“When you’re doing outbounding, it’s typically a lot of cold outreach,” explained Brian Cabreros, Director Marketing Operations at Zendesk. “Using 6sense, you can see whether the company is in market based on the signals.”

Meaningful Conversations

In addition to prioritizing based on buying stage, the Zendesk team used 6sense to see which keywords their accounts were searching for and what websites they were visiting. The team used this information both to escalate account priority and personalize messaging and outreach.

The efforts generated immediate results: The personalized messaging and “just right” timing resonated with their potential customers, accelerating the sales process.


6sense has helped me shape my talk track around being more consultative and offering to help provide resources to help their team. This has led to more productive phone calls, getting information about their current system or a referral.

Annie WagnerBDR, Zendesk

Powering an Account-Based View

6sense has also been instrumental in implementing an account-based, versus lead-based, approach, Carbreros says. “Figuring out who the buying teams are was very helpful — using 6sense to look at the keywords and engaged personas. This whole-account perspective is essential as Zendesk moves upmarket and targets enterprise accounts, where buying teams can include 10 or more people.”

Success Leads to Success

Several Zendesk BDRs quickly became 6sense evangelists within the organization. 

“They attend our internal 6sense office hours and help share best practices and what wins they’ve had,” said Ellie Hausmann, Manager of Enterprise Business Development. “Some attribute all of their strategic planning to the guidance that 6sense provides.”

Other BDRs saw the success their colleagues were having, and they too began leaning on 6sense to help them prioritize their efforts and personalize their outreach to address their accounts’ needs in near real-time.

BDR managers now also rely heavily on 6sense to fuel their teams’ success. 

“I have a segment that helps me identify accounts that are high-scoring, but have a low reach,” Hausmann noted. “Somehow they aren’t on the radar of the BDRs or our marketing team. It helps identify who we should be prioritizing that we haven’t yet. And it helps the BDRs understand the why behind it.”

Hard Work Pays Off

After Zendesk began using 6sense buying stages to prioritize their efforts, the company saw an 8% to 10% average increase in opportunity creation from MQLs globally.

With the help of 6sense’s insights, Zendesk finally started gaining traction within accounts it had been trying to get into for years. In addition, it lit up their Dark Funnel™ to expose accounts that they never would have considered.

“I reached out to an account I saw on 6sense who was not previously on my radar at all,” said Wagner. “I sent them a website activity sequence, and someone replied right away excited that we had reached out. They were thrilled to hop on a call with us to learn more as they were overwhelmed with where to start for a help desk solution.”

Thanks to 6sense, BDRs elevated their conversations with account executives (AE), too. In their weekly one-on-ones, BDRs and AEs accessed 6sense together to see which accounts were top priority and why.

But the value was twofold, said Hausmann. “They see, of course, the value that it can provide from an opportunity opening standpoint. But there’s also the internal value of saying, ‘Hey, I’m doing the research and can provide insights to my team.’”

The Results

As ZenDesk stretched toward more opportunity, 6sense helped them achieve:

  • 8% to 10% average increase in opportunity creation from MQLs globally
  • Exposing previously hidden net-new accounts
  • Giving BDRs additional visibility and power to contribute

The Zendesk BDRs who’ve really embraced 6sense reaped the rewards, Hausmann added.

“Those who are more strategic and want to do the work to really resonate with our prospects are the ones doing better,” she said. “And they use 6sense to do so.”