Revenue Plays that Drive Breakthroughs with ABM and AI – with Chris Dutton

Chris Dutton


Chris Dutton is the Head of Demand Generation and Marketing Operation at 6sense. He is an experienced marketing operations and demand generation leader with 10+ years of experience. Collegues describe Chris as a “superstar,” and his track record is a clear indicator why!


“Generating good, quality pipeline is hard, it’s really hard to do. The reason for that is our buyers are becoming more savvy, they have more information at their fingertips, so they are doing a lot more work before they engage…how do you solve this?…by getting aligned with your targeted buyers”

Key Points

  • Using AI to unlock your TAM 
  • Define your ICP and the behaviors that trigger sales activities 
  • Get the revenue team together to review the accounts you care about and getting aligned 
  • Understanding where your buyers are in the funnel, who is engaging and how 
  • Start orchestrating your data so you know how to execute engagement with your buyer 


Hey, everyone, welcome to today’s session.

We’re going to talk about revenue plays that drive breakthroughs with ABM and a I so I’m Chris Dutton. We’re going to spend the next 20 minutes I’m going to walk you through some effective plays that we’ve run. I’m also going to kind of help kind of get you kind of talk about how to get there.

Like what are some of the things that you can do to kind of get your organization ready to start to run those plays? So little bit about me. I’ve been in six months now for just about two years. So my background is demand generation and marketing operations. I’ve spent the last 12 years or so focused on that. Prior to that, I was a PR firm for some time, so a lot of respect for that team and everything that they do certainly play a large role in any type of demand gen effort.

So with that, let’s go ahead and dove into into the content. But before I do, let’s just address the elephant in the room. Generating pipeline, a good quality pipeline is hard. It is really hard to do. And the reason for that is our buyers there, they’re becoming much more savvy. There’s a lot more information at their fingertips. So they’re doing a lot of work before they’re ready to engage and start to have conversations.

Right. 97% of all your website visits are anonymous. Only 7% of your target accounts are likely in market to buy. And here’s a really interesting 30 to 50% of sales. Time is focused on unproductive prospecting. How do you solve for this? What are some of the things that you can start to do to ensure, Hey, I want to know who’s on my website.

I want to know when those 7% of our target customers are in market. And I want to take that that that 30 to 50% of of our sales time and that’s unproductive. And I want to reduce that number and I want them to start focusing on those 7% of accounts that are in market. And we’re going to talk a little bit about how to get that alignment, and then when you got to when you start to run those plays, the effectiveness is is there. So the first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about using AI to unlock your TAM. So the first thing that we’re doing is as we’re looking at your our ICP, right, what are all of those different kind of criteria that that make up your ICP?

So looking at your past performance or historical data, your tech, the graphic firm graphic data, but also combining that with your future go to market strategy, revenue planning, territory planning, product planning and the goal there is to have alignment between the revenue teams. So this isn’t marketing saying we’re going to go work on these accounts, this isn’t sales saying we’re going to work on these.

And then she’s saying these are our customers, here’s we’re going to spend our time. This is the revenue team coming together and really getting aligned and using the information that they have to say, this is our ICP, this is our TAM. And collectively, as a as a as a as a team, we’re going to go work these accounts.

So when marketing is running, motion’s sales is equally invested, right? Because those motions are into accounts that they care about that they’re selling into and having conversations with. The second thing is you need to identify like, what are those things, those those characteristics that have typically qualified an account, right hand razors, great example. Someone comes to your website, they fill out a form no brainer, right?

You absolutely want to work that that contact. Not only that, I would argue you want to multithreading to that account, reach out to other buying personas, other folks that are typically part of that decision making progress. Increase your chances, increase your odds. We use our sixth sense predictive in-market. Our six is what we call it and that tells us that the account is in market and we know that it has a seven times seven x increase of probability of becoming an opportunity.

We also look at Tier one, right? So early, early, early intent in our Tier one accounts. We want to get in there, have conversations, start to build relationships before they they’ve reached the point of wanting to engage externally and start to engage in conversations. And we also look at third party intent, right? So looking at our, you know, our partners like G2 and Trust Radius and bringing them into the fold and seeing where some of our ICP accounts are doing research and get an understanding of what that looks like.

So any time like one of these things happens, you know, for us that’s a clear indication that these accounts are qualified. And we want to then start to put those into some type of proactive follow up at that time. Okay. Now, one of the questions we get asked a lot is how does marketing and sales align if we’re all working the same accounts?

Marketing is doing one thing, sales is doing another, and we’re working the same accounts. So we put together this visual here to to start to kind of lay that out. So if you think about, you know, presales and then your sales, your sales kind of funnel, so pre sales is what’s what’s what is happening before something becomes an opportunity, right?

And the way that we break this down, as is, is, you know, target awareness, consideration, decision purchase in each one of these is a stage based off of intent. Right? So what, what type of engagement are we seeing at that account? Right. So Target is typically not a whole lot going on awareness is there’s a little bit of research going, probably still very anonymous consideration there on your website.

You know, maybe they’re they’re consuming content decision and purchase. They’re engaging, they’re at your events. But each one of those represents a progression towards becoming an opportunity. So marketing is playing a very large role in a lot of those early stage accounts. So we’re running, you know, display ads, we’re running nurturers, we are doing events, direct mail, really trying to get engaged in those accounts, get them qualified so we can then turn those over to sales, whether that’s an SDR team, whether that is directly to your eight years, but effectively starting to work, those qualified accounts which are mutually being worked and then sales can go in and start their outbound motion either through just

1 to 1 or some type of automated nurture as well to start to progress them into a sales conversation. Now, marketing doesn’t stop. Marketing continues to run. You know, it’s campaigns, those campaigns, those messaging that changes, right? So now it’s not about building demand. Now it’s how do you help with progression? How do you help with velocity? How do you help continue to maintain and be top of mind?

So there’s different motions based off of where we are in that funnel. And when you put all this together, what you end up getting is you get a very nice, cohesive kind of timeline as to what are the things that are happening, who is playing a role in that, and then how that partnership continues to progress forward. The next thing which is really important is your accounts are qualifying.

An account is only as strong as the contacts within. Now we all know that it’s never one person that is making decisions or very rarely is it one person. It’s usable, multiple people that are making up that buying committee. So when an account, you know, six days or becomes qualified, what is the first thing you want to do?

You want to start to acquire those accounts. So tapping into your data providers, going out and buying an inquiry, those contacts that make the most sense for your organization that are part of that buying committee. So then when you start to reach out to those accounts and you start to multithreaded into all of those different personas, you have them available to start to have those motions be able to execute against.

Now the other thing is, one of the things that we do here is we enrich data as well. So we’re making sure we have all account level detail, any kind of techno graphic data that may be missing, any contact level data as well that may already exist in our CRM that also is running as well. So we want to again make sure we have the most information as as possible within that account in our CRM and in our contact as well, and the last thing that we do is we actually we run a very unique internal process with all of our all of our contacts. And I’ll double click into this here in a second on how we do it. But essentially what we’re doing is, is we’re looking at the title to come back to to basically bring back a function and seniority population here.

In this example here, you can see we have a senior marketing operations manager that brings back the function as mops and it brings back to seniority as manager. And based off of those two combinations, we get a mops leader as our persona. And, and what that allows us to do is it allows us to feel confident in the individuals that we’re reaching out to anyone knows any type of reporting.

If you’re looking at title contains or excludes, it gets really complicated to run, you know, any type of, you know, email, campaign, email, nurture, anything that has to do with reaching out to contacts in your database by, by title or persona. This here what we’ve created has allowed us to create buckets. We currently have 29 different personas that we’re capturing today, and the way that we’re doing is we’re using, you know, three pieces of technology. We’re using sixth sense. We’re using our map and we’re using our CRM. And we’ve built programs inside of our map that basically has combinations for every single one of those, you know, functions and scenarios. We’re looking at the Sixth Sense and Rich data. So every night, Sixth Sense pushes and updates fields inside of our CRM.

So if, for example, the title didn’t exist on this particular record, we could look to the Sixth Sense enriched data to gather a title. We can also look and see that the function in seniority, we could push those fields to a function in seniority field with on the contact record as well. So every contact in our database has a persona.

So we know if we’re going to run a play against a map’s leader, we can look at that persona field and feel very confident that all of the maps leaders are essentially have those titles that would reflect a MOPS leader type of type of persona. And here’s an example of what that looks like. So the way that we’ve broken this out is into three, three kind of buckets marketing, sales and operations.

We have our executives at the marketing and sales level, and then we have our leaders and practitioners. So a leader is going to resonate to a very different type of message, right? So you think of, you know, strategy, business impact, whereas a practitioner is going to want to know more of the hands on tactical day to day. So in our persona logic, we broke it out by level.

So anything manager and below would be a practitioner, for example, anything director to potentially VP in those functional areas would be a leader. So not only does this allow us to get, you know, a little bit a little bit more granular on the personas, it also allows us to effectively make sure that we’ve got the right messaging going to a leader versus a practitioner, which is very important.

So I’m going to give you a couple examples of some of the plays that we’ve run using that methodology that I just kind of talked about and shared in the slides prior. So content syndication is a heavily utilized medium within organizations. Today, you know, it’s a way for organizations to get leverage, third parties to get in front of, you know, accounts and contacts, you know, grow their database organically, but essentially another avenue to get across.

One of the things that we have, the approach that we have taken here is a little bit different. So we’ve worked with our content syndication partner, but what we have done is we have essentially taken our very early stage account. So, you know, I talked about that target and awareness in the funnel earlier. We’re target, they probably don’t know who you are, awareness.

They’re doing a little bit of research and we’ve taken those accounts and we have provided that whole list of accounts to our to our content syndication partner. And we have said these are the accounts that are in our ICP. They’re very, very, you know, early stage is very high up in the funnel. We want to get in front of them in hopes to progress them and move them downstream to get them so they know who $0.06 is.

Now, this is a great activity for not only taking those accounts in your ICP that you want to progress forward, but think about time expansion. Think about going from, you know, if you wanted to go into a global market or if you wanted to go into different verticals, the likelihood of the brand being recognized there becomes even lower.

So this is another way to be able to get into those accounts that you haven’t historically had any traction with because they haven’t been in your ICP prior to perhaps a business change as far as far as of strategy changing and things like that. So we’ve got those accounts. We’re also talking about personas. We’re talked about that buying committee share the personas that you care most about.

So now you’re saying I only want these accounts, right? They’re in your ICP, they’re very early stage and now I only want these personas, right? These are the only things that I’m interested in, right? We work with our content syndication partner. We get a whole lot of these these individuals that are engaging with our content, right? They come back into our CRM.

We have them. Now what what do we do with these? Right. We know they’re consuming our content. We know they’re engaging. Some of these are not new to our database. Right. So this is great. We’re growing our database here. But some of them already exist and they’re consuming our content through another medium, which is fantastic. Now we’ve got to figure out what we do with them.

So one of the things that we we’ve done here is we’ve created a peer to peer nurture or the no spam nurture, whatever you want to call it. And it’s really interesting. Any time you hear email nurture, you automatically just assume there’s some type of spam component, some type of spray, and pray. Traditionally, you know, that’s how email nurture nurtures have been perceived, and quite frankly, I think prior to, you know, sixth sense, for me, that’s typically how we we would approach it as well. We would come up with some type of messaging that we think this persona cares about. Again, using keywords or title keywords excuse me, and maybe some content that we think is relevant. And the reality is, is it wasn’t really effective.

It didn’t do what our what the intention of it was to do. So the approach that we took here was a little bit different. We have an opportunity to work with a lot of really great people and we have a lot of really smart people here internally. So by using that persona, mapping kind of a process that we built at our shared earlier, because we can do that, we’re working with our, our ops leaders, our BTR leaders, our MOPS leaders, sales enablement leaders.

And so on. We have 12 different peer to peer nurtures running today. And these are messages that that we’ve worked with every single one of these leaders on to make sure that the email is in their voice, it’s in their tone. It’s talking about what they care about. It’s sharing resources that matter to them. None of these emails how call to actions.

Now, remember, these are all early stage accounts, right? We haven’t reached the point yet where that relationship has been built for us to ask for that meeting. This is all about value add. This is all about give, and it’s all about building that relationship. And that’s what these peer to peer personas are here to do. And we’ve been running this for a little while now, and one of the things that we’ve noticed is we’ve started to see some really interesting things.

I said ten here. It’s a little outdated. We have 12. We have put over 30,000 contacts through this peer to peer. And what we’re seeing is, is we’re seeing roughly 15% of our meetings that are being booked are from accounts that have been part of these peer to peer personas. Now, the goal of these isn’t to drive an immediate meeting.

Like I said, it isn’t to get someone to raise their hand and say, This is great, I want to take a meeting or or even engage. For that matter. If they so chose to respond. Fantastic. We love it. It’s all about driving value. It’s all about progressing those accounts to get them down the funnel and get them downstream and get them a point where they’re ready to engage in a conversation for them to become qualified.

So our leaders and our SDR team or a team can start to work those. So to see 15% of this was just, I think, a little bit of a nod to say, I think we’re on to something here. You know, I think we’ll continue to refine, continue to make sure that this is being received as best as possible.

But, you know, from everything that we’re seeing today, from, you know, content, syndication, where we’ve got these new contacts, we’ve got these new individuals, how do we engage with them? How do we continue to get them to drive them to our website? How do we get to continue to get them to engage with our content? Our peer to peer nurtures as the first kind of step has been a great way to do that.

Because the other thing is, is as they progress through that buying stage, they’re also going to be starting to get interactions through our digital, through our other mediums that we highlighted in that sort of process map around here’s what marketing does pre six. Q Right. So all of those things are happening in parallel, like this kind of omni channel, channel of, of, of, of efforts that are happening in a cohesive manner that allows us to engage with these accounts.

So hopefully this has been helpful as far as how to set up your, your kind of infrastructure to say we need to align on ICP accounts, we need to understand from a revenue team where to focus, what are those qualifying factors, how do we get the organization in a place where we can start to run those campaigns? Right?

What is the marketing and sales relationship look like? Roles and responsibilities? What are the personas that matter to us? What are the messaging right? Contents indication. A great example. If you’re in an MQ environment, it’s a great way to start to segway into an APM world. And hopefully you found this to be helpful. Thank you very much. I’m Chris.

If you have any questions, certainly reach out my emails here. Find me on LinkedIn. Happy to chat.

Thank you all.