The Future of Account Engagement with Latane Conant

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Overview: Learn about the future of account engagement with Latane Conant CMO of 6Sense. She teaches how to create a better user experience for your users.

About the speaker: As CMO of 6sense, Latané is passionate about empowering marketing leaders with effective technology, predictive insights, and thought leadership so they can confidently lead their teams, company, and industry into the future. As a “recovering software sales woman” she is keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads.

Prior to 6sense she was the CMO and a sales leader at Appirio. She was instrumental in aligning sales and marketing under a consistent and relevant message – resulting in increased bookings, average deal size, and win rates. Latane is creative, charismatic and competitive. Her high energy, positive attitude, and sense of humor are contagious and it’s hard to find a customer, partner, audience, or employee who doesn’t want to work with her.

Hello RevTech Summit! I’m so excited to be here I am Latane Conant, the chief market Officer here at 6Sense, and I’m really excited to share my journey of using technology as a catalyst to change, and specifically to change customer experience and how we think about customer experience, or, as you’ll hear me talk about future customer experience. First of all, this is one of my favorite Forrester studies, if you don’t know about it, it’s an oldie but goodie, but they talked about it being the age of the customer.

Essentially what is what it says is, over time, there’s been these different decades. And areas where companies have succeeded either by manufacturing and distributing information. Or today really being this age of the customer. There’s study after study after study showing the ROI of investing in customer experience. I like to ask revenue leaders who they look up to in terms of customer experience, Steve Jobs is someone that we all know and love. Steve Jobs says you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work your way backwards to the technology. Not the other way around. I like to challenge people who you know, who believe Steve Jobs. He’s a legend, right? 

But other people out there say, you know what, no, no way client clients don’t come first employees come first. And if you take care of them, the rest will work itself out. That’s really Richard Branson’s point of view.  

Well, my point of view comes from before 6Sense working at a company called Appirio. At Appirio, we believed you needed both. And we believe that the key to enabling great customer and worker experiences was technology and insights. We called it the virtuous cycle, where if you’re really investing in technology for your team. As well, and the data and the insights that they need. And feeding that back to them, they will be successful. That’s the lens that I look at RevTech. That is the lens. I just want to kind of frame that for you. 

And so with that lens, let’s think about how typically as sales and marketers, we treat future customers, prospects? Well, I really think that legacy technology gets in the way of creating an amazing future customer experience. In fact, I think a lot of ways we kind of treat customers and future customers like dirt. And so let me talk about that. When you go to buy, what do you want to do? You want to educate yourself, right? And you want to go and get all the reviews and understand, you know all the details? 

Well, what do we do in b2b, we put up a form. Nope, can’t educate yourself, we don’t want to educate you. We want you to fill out a form so we can get your email. Because we want to send you a ton of emails. Well, I don’t like giving people my email, I’m sure you don’t like giving people your email. What ends up happening is no one can get through and they end up cold calling. Well, I don’t know about you, again, my cold calls go straight to voicemail. It’s not something I enjoy. But this is sort of how we’re set up. And so it’s no wonder that b2b buyers are harder and harder to engage with.

They want to be more anonymous. They know our tricks they buy in teams. So it’s not just a lead or a contact. So we say they’re fragmented. They’re resistant, it takes a lot to get through. That’s really challenging for us. What ends up happening is, as b2b sellers and marketers, we actually have this huge dark funnel, because it doesn’t mean people aren’t buying, they’re buying, they’re buying in teams, and they’re getting all this data and they’re leaving all this signal. But we don’t have those insights. We don’t have those insights to do our job well. 

And it ends up being kind of a kind of a slog. Because the reality is within that dark funnel, there’s gold. There’s insights and capabilities that we could we could really use to engage with our buyers. In that dark funnel. Some buyers are in target, meaning they’re under we’re under a rock, they’re they’re not ready to buy. Well, I’m not sure we want to spend a lot of time especially from a sales perspective with folks that are under a rock.

And there’s folks in awareness that are starting to show signs of life, we want to be able to nurture and start to engage with them. There’s folks in consideration, and we want to know when they’re in consideration. We want to know when they’re in decision. So they want to engage. And we want to know when they’re in purchase. So they want to take a meeting. The reality is, most of our technology is not set up to give us this kind of insights.

What we do is we rely on forms to collect an email to call it an inbound. The problem with an inbound is it’s either too early, and we’re wasting a lot of time with people that don’t want to talk to us. Or, when they come inbound, and they’re at hot inbound, they’re probably had inbounding with us and every one of our competitors. So there is the sweet spot in the dark funnel. 

And so the beautiful thing is, with the right technology, you can start to know exactly for your ICP for accounts that are really important to you. Where are they? Are they in target? So we don’t really focus on them? And are they in awareness, so we want to start to market to them? Are they in consideration, so we want them to learn from us, and when that ideal sweet spot is to start to engage. So I believe that in market is actually the new inbound.

And understanding these insights is really, really something critical, that can change the game for our teams, and the experiences they have, and also for our customers. I love this notion of knowing the timing, knowing exactly where accounts are and knowing when the ideal time is to engage. What’s awesome is when you move to a qualified account at 6Sense, we call it a 6QA. That’s that ideal time to reach out. And I used to be in sales, and I had this manager, Chris Heineken and he said, You know what, Latane if you’re not that lead dog, if you’re not that lead dog right here, the view is all the same.

I want my sellers to be the lead dog, I want them to know what’s in the dark funnel. And I want them to know anonymous activity, I want them to understand the buying team. And I want them to know exactly when to engage. We call this a qualified account, a 6QA. And unlike MQLs, 6QA is just based on AI, it’s based on math, it’s based on patterns. It’s not based on arbitrary scoring, which I think really sets marketing and sales free to really start to deliver a great experience. So I give you this technology, you know, the buying stages, you know, the ideal time to engage, and I say you’re free from MQLs. 

I’m going to give you qualified accounts. And I’m going to give you insights, I’m going to tell you exactly what accounts and personas are doing in the dark funnel, I’m going to give you every action they take, I’m going to give you the keywords they care about. I’m going to tell you which personas are engaged, I’m going to tell you this is from your ideal customer profile. If I gave you all that, as revenue leaders, would you design a process with forms spam and cold calls? I don’t think so. That’s what’s so cool about today and the technology that we have access to today. What we’ve been able to design for our own tech stack as well as our customers is, all of a sudden this new level of future customer experience and a process with no forms, no spam and no cost. 

And so you know, I’m just going to walk you through a quick Day in the Life here. At 6Sense, no forums means we don’t get educational content. We don’t. We don’t gate our videos, we want you to learn from us. The reason we can do that is because we have we have industry leading company identification. We know when you’re on you’re on the accounts that are on our website, we know the content they’re consuming, we don’t need a form, we can really open it up. And so we use those insights to start to orchestrate progression through the journey.

Again, we know what the account cares about and we know what stage they are so so we market to them based on where they are in the buying journey. And it’s not about MQLs. It’s about moving accounts through that buying journey. Right content, right time.

And when they come to our website, we’re ready. We’re ready. We use that data and insights to power things like Drift. So when you come to our website, our drift bot knows the account you’re from. They know the keywords that you’re researching and care about, and they know your timing. 

We’re not going to stalk you and pounce on you, we’re going to simply offer engagement, we’re going to say, Hey, we know that you’re in this spot, you know, we know you’re early stage, and you kind of want to know about predictive analytics, here’s some great content for you. Or, hey, you’re late stage, you’re ready to go. Why don’t we get you a demo of predictive analytics. So again, all about engagement using technology using insights to provide an amazing future customer experience. Our content hub, this is powered by Uber flip. 

And 6Sense, it’s going to dynamically adjust. Depending on again, the things you care about, your persona, where you are in the buying journey, we’re going to change out that content. It’s customized for you, we just want you to move through your process. 

From a form, to really customer led digital experience. That’s what we’re talking about. And that’s where we’re using technology in our stack to do what happens is when our bdrs come in every single day, they get a list of who’s in market, they’re not randomly calling accounts. They know, these are the top accounts in my patch that are in market. These are the ones that have six QA, these are the ones that I reach out to. And they don’t have to randomly reach out. 

Their outreach is based on again, the insights, who’s on this buying team, what do they care about? What are the keywords? That’s right here, you see this predictive analytics is a top keyword. So if I’m Julian, the BDR, and I’m reaching out, do I talk about anything? No. I talk about predictive analytics. And what happened, boom, those emails are relevant. They’re timely, they’re adding value. That’s how we think about delivering engagement and not using spam, but still using email as a channel. From spam to customer lead engagement. 

Let’s talk about cold calls, controversial if you’re in sales, right, our head of sales is like what no cold calls. That’s crazy. Again, it’s not that we’re not using the phone, it’s just my job in marketing is to warm up accounts so that sales never has a cold territory. If you have an ice cold territory, you’re going to have to make cold calls. I don’t want that. And so I use, obviously 6Sense to create all that engagement. But also, you’re going to see how I use lean data to make sure that as I am warming up accounts, and as my AEs are getting alerted to accounts that are ready and in market.

We are going to be dynamically changing their territories so that their territories always represent the market always represent a warm territory, the best territory is to optimize AE success. And what’s interesting is, before we did this, I love this slide. Before we did this, you can see this orange was all these accounts that were in market, but they weren’t named. They weren’t getting worked. We were literally leaving all this opportunity on the floor. I bet there’s lots of you out there doing the same thing. After we implemented this, we could make sure that really every AE was getting the best chance of success. Again, lean data plus 6Sense, and we doubled our pipeline after this really, really important change. From cold calls, to end market accounts and selling with insights. 

What RevTech it’s, you know, it’s I’ve been talking for 15 minutes, and I’ve named some tech, but I haven’t really showed you the stack. Well, the reality is there’s different ways to do this. You can what I call Franken stack it. And you can go and buy advertising capabilities, you could go and buy account identification, you can go and buy predictive intelligence, you can buy a bunch of third party data. You can buy orchestration, and you can try to stitch this all together. I’m a simplifier. 

I go for more of a platform approach. And that so we use 6Sense. Of course, that’s our own technology, as the core of our platform, because the core is that ability to de-anonymize that dark funnel and that’s something we do better than 

Anyone else that sets six signal graph. And then because we bring in all this data, we have essentially an embedded CDP, which allows us to create all these segments and audiences. So that’s really the foundation to me. Great data is what drives great experiences. That’s this teal foundation. Then on top of that, we’re able to from a marketing perspective, run advertising campaigns, personalize the website, do the things with Drift I showed you from a sales perspective, again, they’re able to prioritize and understand who’s in market and have all of that data for their outreach. Then from a revenue ops perspective, they can actually keep the data fresh, we know that’s hard, right.

So how they can go and buy new contacts, enrich data, run orchestration plays, to push segments to various aspects of the technology stack. So this is the foundation for us. And then on top of that, we make sure it’s all connected, right? We don’t want to have to do swivel chair, we don’t want our sales and BDRs and marketers to have a swivel chair. So we connect 6Sense up to all of our API partners. Things like Uber flip, for us Sendoso and Alice for direct mail. For our map, we’ve got Marketo. That’s what queues off automatically, some of our relevant nurture streams, we have native integration to LinkedIn.

So it’s not just display ads, we’re also providing air cover on some of those social channels. From a sales engagement perspective, I mentioned Sales Loft, sales intelligence, of course, success is a big part of that as well as we were a Salesforce shop. And then last but certainly not least, great partners, like drift Conversica, Qualified to allow us to have power that conversational marketing experience. 

So you know, I’m not a Forrester study. But I do get the privilege of advising a lot of companies as well as working with our customers. And, you know, when you take this approach, not only is it a game changer. In terms of your own team, and their satisfaction, but from a revenue perspective. So this is what drives pipeline, this is what drives a low customer acquisition cost, because you’re providing that great experience.  

But what really gets me going is when we get emails like this, when we get emails from people that have been through this process with us, and they say, wow, this is what I strive to create. This was the best sales process and the best marketing process I could have been through. And we’re able to do that again, because we’ve powered it with insights in great technology. So I tried to talk fast and get you tons of info, we actually launched a book on all of this.

So chapter three actually goes through the essential capabilities that we believe for a tech stack today to be able to reach this kind of customer future customer prospect Nirvana. If you’re interested, please connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know. We will be happy to get you a copy of the book and I’m always happy to jam on tech and go to market anytime. So thanks for having me.