How Cisco Made Predictive the Epicenter of All Marketing Activity


Working on an enterprise sales or marketing team often comes with some major advantages. Big budgets. Many resources. A strong brand name. But one of the biggest drawbacks of working in the enterprise is the isolation of far-flung teams.

This can be a major impediment to working efficiently and effectively in order to grow revenue. That’s why many companies are now turning to data and predictive intelligence to fill this gap.

This is currently the case at Cisco, where sales and marketing executives are responsible for bringing in new revenue streams to sales teams and partners. According to Joseph Puthussery, Vice President, Global Demand Center, predictive intelligence creates “more of a handshake relationship between sales and marketing.”

Puthussery’s global team owns all the key demand generation disciplines, including database marketing; campaign and email marketing; segmentation targeting; SEO; events and all inbound and landing-page experiences online. This year Puthussery, who will speak at the upcoming INmarket conference on July 8 in San Francisco, is responsible for nearly three billion dollars of revenue generated from those activities. By using 6sense, his team is able to better target where these new revenue streams will come from.

Predictive at Every Stage of the Marketing Process

Cisco uses 6sense at every stage of the marketing process. Here are some ways they’re using predictive intelligence today.


In the very early stages of the marketing process, the team selects the very best opportunities based on the highest predictive score. The higher the score, the more likely the deal is to close. Further, high-scoring prospects are deemed as auto-qualified and sent directly to sales and partners. Effectively, the scoring model is replacing the manual “scoring” that would normally be handled by a sales qualification team.

Call Centers

6sense predictive scores help call-center agents pursue only the most promising prospects. Using buying stage predictions and product scores (6sense scores 80 of Cisco’s product lines), Cisco provides call-center agents with informed scripts that include insights about the target prospects.

Website Personalization

Cisco uses the digital body language of its web visitors and 6sense data to serve up personalized content. This content personalization helps Cisco deliver offers that make sense based on the solutions the prospect is considering and their buying stage, from awareness to purchase.

Opportunities: Existing and New

Cisco uses 6sense as part of its weekly, monthly, and quarterly revenue reviews. They examine the total volume of data and use predictive intelligence to determine where the best “pockets of opportunity” will come from. Such data helps them prioritize the strongest opportunities. And it helps identify prospective buyers who are showing intent and buying signals for products that Cisco sells, but who are not yet engaged with Cisco.

Data Validation

Puthussery says it’s critical to validate the data to make certain that scores are as intelligent as possible. As he says in this video interview, an internal team of data scientists rigorously tested their predictive models “five ways from Sunday.” What they found was this: “We were able to get to a point where we could predict better than 80 percent where we thought accounts were about to have a booking event.”

Results: Higher Conversions

Since its rollout of 6sense across the marketing organization, Cisco has seen MQL-to-SQL conversion that rates are 9 times higher than any campaign ever run. They have more than doubled their opportunity (deal) sizes. And, of the in-market prospects that 6sense has identified, 70% were net-new business opportunities.

According to Puthussery, the operational nature of enterprise marketing has shifted in a big way. As he put it, marketing is no longer strictly a “pre-sales” discipline. With the help of both data and predictive applications, it is now possible for marketing to impact revenue during the sales cycle. As he says, “It is revolutionary the way it binds sales and marketing together.”

On July 8, Puthussery will speak at the INmarket conference in San Francisco. Join us there to learn from him and dozens of other speakers who are tapping the power of predictive intelligence for sales and marketing. Use BLOG when you register for a discount of 25% off the normal registration fee.

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