PODCAST 71: Why is Account Based Marketing Not Working w/ Latane Conant

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Latane Conant, CMO of 6sense.

6sense is the leader in intent data. So if you’re ever wondering if a prospect is researching you before you’ve begun researching them, 6sense can tell you. Latane is here to talk about market leads… and you won’t want to miss her insights!

If you missed episode 70, check it out here: PODCAST 70: How to Set Goals and Manage Executives w/ Jonathan Sherry

What You’ll Learn

  • Who are Latane Conant and 6Sense
  • What a Mickey Mouse lead is
  • Why ABM Isn’t Working
  • Your Prospect Experience Stinks

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:09]
  2. About Latane Conant and 6Sense [02:00]
  3. Avoiding a Mickey Mouse Lead [06:04]
  4. Why ABM Isn’t Working [08:28]
  5. Your Prospect Experience Stinks [13:23]
  6. Sam’s Corner [29:20]

Show Introduction

Sam Jacobs: Hello everybody. Welcome to the Sales Hacker Podcast. It’s your host, Sam Jacobs. We’ve got another great episode, they’re all great episodes. Latane Conant, Chief Marketing Officer of 6Sense. 6Sense is an account based marketing orchestration platform and also one of the leaders in intent data. And if you’re not familiar with intent data, it’s likely one of the hotter categories in marketing right now, and Latane is going to talk to us about not just being an inbound lead, but when is somebody in market?

First, we want to thank our sponsors. We’ve got Lucidchart Sales Solutions. Lucidchart is the leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs. With Lucidchart, you can visually map out key contacts and crucial account data to uncover critical insights that will allow you to close bigger deals faster.

Our second sponsor is Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform that enables sales reps to humanize their communications at scale, from automating the soul-sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing action-oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back.

Now, without further ado, let’s listen to this interview with fellow University of Virginia alum Latane Conant.

About Latane Conant and 6Sense

Sam Jacobs: I want to introduce fellow University of Virginia alumni, Latane Conant, Chief Marketing Officer of 6Sense. She’s 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 has a keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads, the death of the MQL.

She’s creative, charismatic and competitive. Her high energy, positive attitude and sense of humor, contagious, and she’s a great partner, customer, audience member or employee.

Latane Conant: I sound way better than I am.

Sam Jacobs: You’re great. First of all, Latane, you’re chief marketing officer of 6Sense. Tell us, what is 6Sense, in your words?

Latane Conant: So, the reason I joined 6Sense is because I actually tried to run ABM. ABM’s a big deal. It was a lot of work and guess what? It didn’t really pay off because it didn’t scale. The critical aspect of ABM is being able to use AI and big data and orchestration capabilities to actually do ABM at scale.

What I loved about 6Sense, that no one else offered, was the ability to actually predict for timing.

We have a lot of data scientists, but essentially what we do at the core of our platform is AI and big data. We also work with all these B2B publishing houses. [Last week] John talked about getting your content out and people doing research. Well, people are out researching on these B2B publications and you need to know that research. You need to know what they’re doing, you need to know the sites that they’re looking at because they’re coming to your website and they’re not raising their hand right now. And if they do, it’s a Mickey Mouse lead. We’ve all gotten the Mickey Mouse leads.

Avoiding a Mickey Mouse Lead

Sam Jacobs: What is a Mickey Mouse lead?

Latane Conant: When someone fills out a form and they put like “@AOL” or “Mickey Mouse” or “Ted Turner.”

Sam Jacobs: Right.

Latane Conant: Because they know that what happens when you go and fill out a form, Marketing, is like “Yay, we got a lead!” and then we spam the hell out of them. We send them to what I call Unsubscribe Island. Then we buy software to deem things MQLs. And then we have a big dashboard that’s flaming red saying sales and follow up with these leads.

That’s basically what happens and it’s because we don’t have these pre-pipeline metrics. You are measuring a pipeline that starts at opportunity and that’s in CRM, but think about how many things aren’t in CRM about a deal that you would like to know. Now imagine me, I’ve got nothing. I’ve got a bunch of anonymous research on the web that is happening and I know people need my solution, but I have no visibility into it. And that’s what 6Sense gives me.

All of that that I just described, that’s your dark funnel. What we’re able to do is uncover that and we uncover it in a unique way in that you know exactly what stage these accounts are in. And that’s because we’re not just looking at a person, a lead.

The systems that marketing uses today are set up for a lead, which is one person.

What’s that called? A single threaded deal, right? We talk about it all the time. You’ve got to get broader. So why would I think it’s okay to tee up a “lead”, which is one contact and one person? What 6Sense does is it takes all of the buying team and tells you who are the most important people. It looks at their research to say where they are in that journey and allows me, as marketing, to do the right things at the right time so I can tee up those in market accounts for my friends in sales.

Why ABM Isn’t Working

Sam Jacobs: When you talk about account based marketing, first of all, how do you define it? And walk us through why you think it is not currently working?

Latane Conant: My simplifier view of ABM is one, you pick the best accounts. So you pick people that look like other ones that you’ve sold to. You pick the best accounts, you actually know something about them, like what they’re interested in and what their timing is and who the buying team is. You engage the right way, which is not forms spam and cold calls. You collaborate with sales and you track real stuff.

But if you take each one of those, they’re fraught with issues and a lack of insights and orchestration.

Even selecting the best accounts, who feel like they have a strong ICP, you could need a whole team of data scientists and workshops. Just having a strong ICP is absolutely critical and that takes a lot of real insights, not opinions, to have a strong ICP. That alone is something that we provide with AI and big data by looking at what’s worked for you in the past and what opportunities have opened before.

Then you go to know about them. Well 90% of B2B buying is done before they come to your website. So I need to know what they’re interested in. I need to know the sites that they’re going to, I need to know the E-books that they just read. I need to know basics like technographic, firmographic so I can segment the right way.

What we have to be able to do is look at their stage and based on their stage, do something different. Like if they’re early on, the message that I give them is going to be different than if they’re later. And the tactic that I use is going to be different.

Your Prospect Experience Stinks

Sam Jacobs: One of the things that that you’ve talked about is “Your Prospect Experience Stinks.” Walk us through what you mean by that.

Latane Conant: Because of the infrastructure that typical marketing and sales teams have, it’s kind of a Frankenstack. And on the marketing side it’s all built for that lead. So what we have to do is the only way to capture a lead is to have a form, but what we learned earlier is the best way to drive inbound is to let your content go and have people consume it and have it go viral. And so that’s like at enemy at odds with how we actually get and capture leads, so that’s the first problem.

The second problem is, you know, we build those nurture tracks and then we just spam the hell out of people. And then the third problem is, I just took over the BDR team and I think they should call, and we do call, but I don’t want them calling random people at random times. That’s a poor use of their time and it’s super demotivating. I mean these are our future sales people. I need to give them every opportunity to succeed.

So not only does it suck for all of us because we know it’s un-effective, but it really sucks for the actual prospect. Breaking out of the noise to me is about thinking about how we reimagine that using insights and being a lot more intelligent about how we get in the prospect’s flow and provide help. Each and every one of us I think fundamentally went into sales because it is lucrative, but it’s also really nice to feel like an expert and you’re helping people through. And that’s the process we have to take a prospect through.

Sam’s Corner

Sam Jacobs: Hi everybody. This is Sam’s Corner. I hope you liked the interview with Latane Conant on the boat. If you’re a marketer out there or just a salesperson, you’ve got to understand that there’s this whole new world emerging around intent data, which is companies searching for and buyers searching for your solution or beginning to go in-market, beginning to express through search engines and through their digital footprints and digital traces that they are exploring a solution and what better time to reach out to a company when you finally figure it out that they are actually in-market. It may be before they’ve raised their hand and filled out a lead form, but it still might be the perfect opportunity to reach out. And so this concept of being in-market versus simply being an inbound lead is really interesting.

What We Learned

  • Who are Latane Conant and 6Sense
  • What a Mickey Mouse lead is
  • Why ABM Isn’t Working
  • Your Prospect Experience Stinks

Don’t miss episode 72

Before we go, let’s thank our sponsors. Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform and Lucidchart Sales Solution, which is the leading account planning platform for modern sales orgs.

If you want to reach out to me with feedback, you can reach me on LinkedIn. If you haven’t rated the show, please give us five stars on the iTunes rating system so that we can remain in business and continue to bring you this show.

As always, thanks so much for listening, I’ll talk to you next time.

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