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Speaker Details

Latané Conant


Session Transcription

You know, one of the most exciting things about hosting Saas Metrics Palooza is the opportunity to interact with some of the industry's top thought leaders. And the next guest I met only about six to eight months ago at a chief marketing officer from Summit, and I said, I really have to get here at Saas Metrics Palooza. So I'm honored that Latané Conant, the chief market officer from 6Sense, has joined us today. Welcome, Latané. Thanks, Ray. Excited to talk all things metrics. You're speaking my love language. Okay, well, it was one of the things I loved when I first met you is you actually were talking about benchmarks and not just metrics. But let's start with what we've went through over the last six to 12 months, you know, the buyer's journey or has changed. So can you highlight some of the top changes you've seen, whether it's at 6Sense or you have privy into your customer's kind of buyer journey? What's changed over the last six to 12 months? So yeah, I call these truth bombs. So the first truth bomb is 97% of your website visitors don't fill out a form. And that's important because if you think about as a marketer, how I spend a lot of time, money and energy, it's all about advertising and getting people to my website, maintaining my website, writing content to get people to my website. It's all about doing stuff to get people to my website. And 97% of those visitors are anonymous. So you might be listening to this saying, oh, well, for me, I have a 5% conversion rate. I've got 80. I mean, maybe you're crushing it. You have an 8%. Fine. But still, 90 some percent of your website traffic is anonymous. And I think that's a problem and something that revenue leaders need to think about because they've already paid for that demand. And so being able to uncover it, I think, is pretty critical. Another thing that we found is that when you use AI to prioritize the accounts that you work, they have two times bigger ASPs, two times, which is pretty significant. We've also done a lot of studying of the buying team and, you know, you can look at our research. You can look at Gartner. You can look at Forrester. It doesn't matter. It's all up, up, up. So larger and larger buying teams. So typically include someone from finance or procurement today, which is, I think, something really important to think about. You know, another thing that we see is the impact of channels and the need to, you know, use more channels to actually engage prospects. Another kind of, I think it's a stat that we knew, but maybe hadn't been validated. And this is a new one from the 6Sense research team, which is the salesperson who gets to the deal first wins 86% of the time. So, you know, we've always talked about getting in first and things like that, but 86% of the time, that's who wins. So, and then this is a stat based on my data, not all of our customers, my own. But I think it's really interesting and I would encourage everyone out there to look at this. We have a two times better win rate in our commercial and enterprise segment when we have six engaged contacts versus three. When we have 10 versus six in enterprise, we have a five times better win rate. So, you know, I'm throwing a lot at you, but you want to understand anonymous buying activity. You want to prioritize and get in first. And once you're in, you want to make sure that you're choreographing success, meaning you're really surrounding that buying team and getting multiple contacts engaged. Well, let's double click on the last thing you shared because we know about 50% of our audience today will be CFOs and she's held responsible for forecasting, right? In conjunction often with the CRO. But you just said something about the win rate doubles or even goes up more when you know the number of people who are actively engaged. How do you go about ensuring you have that visibility? Is that the way you're instrumenting your CRM? Because I think the CFOs would like to see that to help validate forecasts. Yeah. So there's a couple of ways. We study. So at the end of every quarter, we study all of the deals that we won. We actually bring them back into 6Sense and we look at what was the pattern. And then we compare that over time. And so we can see, you know, it takes this many website visits. It takes, you know, this many engaged contacts, et cetera, et cetera. And so we're always updating that data to say this is what it takes to win. So once you know that, then it's about, okay, how do we choreograph success? And so the first step is to make sure that the most winnable accounts and contacts are up-to-date in your CRM. And another data point that we find is 78% of in-market accounts for our customers were not even in their CRM before, 78%. So you need to make sure that your ideal customers, the ideal customers for you to sell to, you've got those accounts in your CRM and you have those buying centers, you know, built out with fresh contacts. Like that's kind of, and so that's something that I track at my QBR with my data team. Like, okay, if these are our named accounts, let's make sure that we have good data on them because it starts with marketing. And a lot of times marketers don't like, like they see their role as taking a lead and passing a lead to sales. That is so screwed up. Okay. And I am about to like blow a bunch of CFOs minds right now. An MQL can be whatever your marketing leader wants it to be. It's a points-based system that we create the points. So of course there's always tons of MQLs. Of course we always make our goal. So and so that's the first problem with an MQL. Second problem with an MQL is the L, which is a lead, which is one contact. And the further a deal goes along, the actually the harder it is to get multiple contacts engaged because they kind of start to like argue. So what you want to try to do is be very prescriptive as early as possible, starting with marketing in how do you get qualified accounts that have multiple engaged contacts. And so what we do is we don't, you know, cheat and do our own scoring. We actually have an AI model that's scoring these accounts and making sure that multiple, that marketing is getting multiple personas engaged before it gets passed to sales. Also our SLA for our outbound team is they have to get three engaged contacts. They have to, they have to get meetings with three people, two marketers and a salesperson because that we sell to sales and marketing. So we really try to very early in the process create multi-threading scenarios. And then as the deal goes on, we actually have a persona map that's looking at all of the activity happening, anonymous and known, right? Because you might not have had a meeting with them. That doesn't mean they haven't come to your website. It doesn't mean they haven't, you know, played with the ROI calculator, et cetera, et cetera. And it's showing for the most important personas, it sort of scores who are the most important personas and it shows red, yellow, green, if they're engaged. And then we actually have recommendations for sales teams to say, to get this contact engaged, here's what we recommend you go do. Now let's double down on that blow the CFO's mind and the CEOs out there too, because 25% of our audience are CEOs. And I saw you present this, but what do you recommend that a head of marketing does present to their CFO and the board of directors as far as the metrics that matter to a world-class CMO? What should you be presenting and what should the CFO expect? Yeah. So I actually changed my title to chief market officer, which is, I don't know, whatever. It means it's meaningful to me. It might not be meaningful to anybody else, but the first slide in my update to the board is the market. Because if we lose product market fit, we're screwed. So I really start with what is happening in our market and looking at things, trends within our ideal customer profile. Is our ideal customer profile even big enough? And this happened to us a couple of years ago as we started to look at, okay, six cents has doubled every year, the last five years. If you want to double, you got to create more territories. Where are those territories going to come from? How do we make sure they're not loser territories? And what we saw was that we needed to create new slivers of ICP to be able to have double the territories. And so we started a verticals initiative and a verticals practice and we verticalized. But that started with me saying, okay, here's our current ideal customer profile. It's this many accounts. We need to double it. And to double it, that means we need to go into these industries. And so just like that's kind of the type of thing. I also start out with like competitors and just a view on the market. Like how are we doing from a market perspective? Then the second part, which is the bulk of my update, is just all about pipeline and how we hit our pipeline quotas. Did we produce enough pipeline last quarter to be well-positioned this quarter? And that pipeline update includes all pipelines. It's not just marketing. It's upsell, it's cross-sell, it's net new, it's all the segments of our business. And it includes a lot of commentary, like what are we seeing, right? Are we seeing pipeline take longer to close? Are we seeing it accelerate? Are we seeing certain channels work better in certain segments? So, you know, and what's interesting, my team kind of gets a kick out of this, is that we do a QBR the week before the board meeting. And typically it's about 120-some slides because marketing is really diverse, right? Like I have my digital team do a top of funnel update, ABX team does a readout on all their stuff, customer, like we go through every single area of the business. And all of that, all of those, you know, conversations, all of that data gets summarized in one slide for the board. You know? So, you know, I really try to go get very granular so then I can boil up and say these are the most important things that we're seeing and that are either a positive trend or we need to go and fix. And then my last slide is just what do we need to produce next quarter to be good the following quarter? And I really try to triangulate those production goals with, do we have enough coverage in the field? Do we have enough BDR coverage? Do we have enough like digital spend? Like, is there enough to actually hit those? And any things that with things we need to change about our mix or about our activity level to be able to get to that level of production required. And do you at the board meeting, do you ever get into that level of pipeline by source and the different efficacy of the each source or is that just too granular? You know, what we do is we have an opportunity grading system. So coming out of stage one, we grade opportunities and if it's a grade A opportunity, we know it's going to close at a certain amount. And so what I'm more concerned at is like our stage one production and how much of it is grade A and trying to get more to grade A. You know, if I saw that one of our channels was producing low quality, I would probably bring that up and just say, we're noticing not a great trend with this particular area. And so that's something we've got to go and fix. You know, and you know, what's interesting for us is our outbound conversions, which are usually lower than inbound or the same as our inbound. Which is really interesting, I think, but that's probably speaks to our process. One of the things that CFOs often ask me is like, should we ask our CRO, our head of sales and our chief marketing, or in your case, chief market officer, to co-own not only the pipeline, but feel like they co-own the revenue outcomes? What's your perspective on marketing and owning revenue? So I'm going to talk you through our process because I think that this gets to the answer, right? Because when you say, oh, well, they should own pipeline, that sounds great. But then I could, one, sandbag my pipeline numbers, or two, what if I just create a bunch of junk that doesn't close, right? So our process is such that we are retro looking at all of the trends with win rates, ASPs, and conversions to create the pipeline quota. So what happens is if a win rate slips, I'm sitting there like, God, I've got to create more pipeline. We got to go fix this win rate, right? And so it creates a nice check and balance in that if I see, and I call it finding the red, and often the red in your revenue model is not count or dollar production. It's in those conversions and ASPs. And so every day when I log into my dashboard, I can see, did we produce enough zeros, ones, and twos, which are like early stage ops. But then I'm also looking at all those conversions and seeing, oh my God, are they trending in the right direction? And if they're not, we call that finding the red. And I have a portion of my team that actually works on place to fix red. So like, for example, it's harder to win deals right now. It takes longer for people to make decisions, right? So my ABX team is a lot more focused on in op place. How do we get people to a closing dinner? How do we do these different things to support the field to help accelerate ops? We just built a whole digital marketing play centered around different personas that we know could come into the mix, but maybe we don't talk to, like a CIO, like a CFO. And coming out of stage one, we start to fire those up, right? So we kind of, because I'm not just looking at marketing sourced, I'm able to really use the resources as I see best fit to optimize all of those things. Yeah. I love it that you actually look at both mid funnel and bottom of funnel. Another question, and I don't script these conversations, so I don't mean to ever put you on the spot. No, it's okay. You have an answer to this, and that is a lot of my clients are saying it's that close loss, no decision. That's really been much higher over the last six to 12 months. Have you seen that? And that's probably a softball, but have you found any tactics to try to overcome that? If I did, I'd be a very rich woman. So I track competitive and non-competitive win rate. And what this helps me do is say, okay, if it's a competitive deal, do we win? And we want to win our competitive deals 90% of the time, right? If it's non-competitive, it's like different loss reasons, and there's different kind of plays and thoughts around that, right? And so I think that's the first thing is just bifurcating. At least if it's a real deal and a compete, you better fricking win it, right? And so we really try to be good about tracking that and tracking competitors, because I think it's easy for an AE to say, oh, they just had no decision. And it's like, well, did they? The other thing that we started to do is be really in tune with, because we replace products. And so I now have our outbound team dialed into understanding what products they're on. And we use our own data to understand like, what are they on today, but then find out the renewal date. Because to me, we should be able to force a project if we know they have a competitive product and they have a renewal date. We should at least be able to force some sort of evaluation around that. I would say general no decision. The things that we're doing, I don't know if they're earth shattering, right? We really focus on above the line conversations. We focus on getting to an executive. We train the team around that. The multi-threading that I talked about, we have a value engineering team that helps with building a business case. So I would say those are things that, you know, no silver bullet, right? We've all read The Jolt Effect. So we're really thinking about the service offerings that we provide to help customers along the way. So I don't know if I, you know, there's been multiple, multiple books about that. I think it's staying vigilant. It could be changing your messaging too. Like does your messaging really resonate in an up-ripping economy and not as much in a down market? And so what do you need to do there? We've also adjusted some of our ICP, knowing the segments that are the most effective and affected and just saying, you know what, let's go to the segments that we know are going to have more budget and flexibility to buy 6 cents right now. You know, when I first met you, you talked about your IICP, right? The Intent Ideal Customer Profile. And I couldn't wait till we had this conversation. And I think our audience would love this. Has there been a difference in win rates? It's even more accentuated over the last 12 months. If the intent data says that they're in market, because I would think if they're actually in market in this environment, there's a reason to have a higher decision rate. We haven't seen that play out, unfortunately, I would love to say, yes, intent is even more important and you have a higher win rate. We've seen about, you know, about a consistent win rate coming off of in-market accounts. You know what, for us, the difference between success or failure is how you work the in-market accounts. And a lot of people just don't work accounts hard enough and it takes more work now to win a deal. And so one of the models that we added is called the reach score, which looks and says, statistically speaking, have you worked this account hard enough to get, you know, to get an off? And so what I do is I use that model, I take high intent and reach and I create like a four by whatever, you know, a two by two so that I can say, well, what's the play, right? And if it's high intent, low reach, whoa, red flag, we got to put more back into this. You know what I mean? Whereas if it's call it high intent, high reach, OK, maybe we need to maybe we need to do something really bold, like a direct, you know, a direct piece or, you know, get them to a dinner. And so we have plays based on all of those different quadrants that help us know, like, have we done enough wins? It's interesting. So we're coming up to the end of our session and I've been guiding it, but I'd like to turn it around and just anything that you think that our attendees could really benefit from your unique insights, former sales professional, now a market marketing professional, having all this great insights from your platform and intent. What else would you like to share, Latané? Well, I call this time like I talk about something called B2B inflation, which is basically it's harder to win deals. It takes more work to win deals. But at the same time, we most of us have the same team, if not less of a team. And so it's a lot like going to Trader Joe's and milk being like way more expensive than ever before. But we have the same salary. And so, you know, I am really thinking about a lot with our team, how we reimagine how we work, because I don't think, you know, just working a weekend or a little bit later at night, like that's not going to move the needle. And so we are really taking A.I. and big data and generative A.I. incredibly seriously and totally rethinking how we work. So, you know, content production, we've increased our content production 50 percent with no new head count. Same with our BDR. So, you know, why should a BDR write every email when generative A.I. can write great emails like let's get them on the phone. I mean, we found that a phone connect converts way better. So let's create time and space for them to be on the phone and have the generative A.I., you know, our A.I. assistant, which is part of our product suite, do the emailing. So we're really just trying to like somewhat break conventional norms and ways that we've been working to get to a new level of productivity because teams are burned out. And and, you know, we got to address that, I think. Yeah, I think the old saying, do more with less, it kind of rings hollow sometimes unless you have tools that you can do more with some new tools, right? Yeah. Like I don't want to do actually the theme of our upcoming customer conference is be more like I don't want to do more random stuff. I want to be more. I want to be a better mom. I want to be more human. I want to be more fit. You know, so how can I rethink how I'm doing these things to be a lot more effective and a lot more as possible now? And I know you've shared a stage with this person before, Paul Ritzer, who's the founder and CEO of the Marketing A.I. Institute. I encourage everyone to also listen to his session because he's going to be talking a lot more about how you can be more with the right application of A.I. tools for B2B marketers. Awesome. Well, Ray, thank you so much for having me. This has been so much fun. Let me thank you so much. And what I'm going to do here is I'm going to share my screen again. I want to make sure everyone has your contact information. So I apologize. But give me about five seconds to do this while I get my producer to jump on board here. Sure. I also I also wrote a book that describes a lot of these philosophies. So it's called No Forms, No Spam, No Cold Calls. Available on Amazon, et cetera. But if you want to actually know how to do a lot of this stuff, the book is really a playbook for that. And I've read it. I'm a big fan of it. And I think I have the correct contact information. If people want to follow you, follow your content. You're on LinkedIn at latiny-comment, correct? Yep. Thank you. I am. Thank you so much for your time. We'll have about a 10 minute break for the audience before our next session. And everyone give a round of applause to Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer at 6Sense. Thank you.

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