Many of us are still on cloud nine from a busy week of Dreamforce….others of us are exhausted. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s always an exciting week full of learning, customers, and friends. If you missed us last week, I wanted to share my perspective on 6sense @ Dreamforce.
We participated in Ops-Stars, an event within Dreamforce geared towards sales and marketing operations. These are the folks that actually make it all work! It was amazing to moderate 2 panels on AI in your sales and marketing stack. 6 great takeaways:
- It’s still early for adopting AI. Only about 10% of the audience was using AI in their sales stack and 20% in marketing stack. (rough math based on audience show of hands).
- We spoke about best practices for getting started – general opinion: unless you are Google (who was on the panel), get started leveraging an AI-based application vs. building it in-house. There are literally thousands of sales and marketing technologies that claim to leverage AI (see #3-5 for vetting vendors).
- Focus on the use case you want to achieve first, not the ‘shiny AI penny’. For example, if you take ABM (another hugely hot topic), there are hundreds of use cases for AI: account selection, timing for who is in-market, de-anonymizing prospects, determining buying teams, building out personas, personalized engagement, content & channel optimization, next best action based on engagement… the list goes on!
- The data is critical, regardless of whether you build it yourself or buy an application that has AI embedded. Do you have enough for accurate results? Is the data clean? For example, Aviso provides forecasting predictions – it’s incredibly accurate but needs 300 deals per year and initially 3 months of data to get started. Ask your vendors what is required to ensure you get the results you want.
- Weed out AI hype by testing for accuracy. I asked who really cared about the specific algorithm or number of data scientists a vendor had…one person raised her hand (she has a PHD in math so that explains it!) For the rest of us, we just want it to work. So make sure to test accuracy of the insights in pre-sales. At 6sense, we let prospects test our match rate, how many accounts can we de-anonymize and predict – time and time again, we show an industry leading match. Aviso guided to do their 90-day back test, which is 90+% more accurate than traditional forecasting.
- Those who have jumped in are seeing incredible results – Getting into deals 54 days earlier, 10X faster conversion rates, 20% increase in closed deals, to name a few.
I was also able to see the one and only Nick Ezzo, Vice President of Demand Generation at Sage Intacct. He presented: How MarTech Can Turn Your Sailing Ship into a Battleship. Safe to say, he definitely put the wind into my sails. It was amazing to hear that 6sense has helped him consolidate his tech stack to a few key vendors, giving him scale, nimbleness, and competitive advantage – thus the battleship analogy. I’m not sure if we were the engine or cannons (or both…) but it’s great to be finally addressing the martech stack epidemic.
6sense hosted a breakfast workshop to empower ~40 future CMOs over breakfast. Thank you to our CXO panel for being so open, authentic, and inspiring. I’ve gotten a ton of LinkedIn messages from participants thanking you all and 6sense for our empowerment movement.
Of course, Dreamforce is not complete without some great soirees. 6sense hosted customers, partners, and friends Monday night at our Downtime before Dreamforce happy hour. We expected a few people to stop by… and ended up with a full-on party, lots of chats and laughs with great customers like Dell, Aviso, MediaFly, and Cumulus Networks.
Can’t wait to do it again next year… after I get some rest!