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Podcasts > Tea Time With Tech Marketing Leaders

Educating the Account-Based Masses

Kerry Guard • Monday, May 18, 2020 • 48 minutes to listen

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Overview

Latane Conant is the Chief Marketing Officer at 6sense, an A.I. powered Account-Based Marketing platform.

Her Mission - To add value to future customers utilizing technology to engage 'in-market' accounts and effectively increase revenue from the most-interested segments.

Finding the Red to Generate More Green

Everyone wants to win. Teams need to rally the troops behind the same cause, even if it means saying 'no' to a few ideas in order to open up

For Latane, it all begins with the Revenue Operating Model. By understanding the full process end to end can help identify the key conversion points, as she calls it, 'finding the red', potential moments of leakage, or low win-conversions. Honing in on the problem areas and fixing those specific issues will create a more predictable stream of revenue. Instead of solely working to replicate 'green spots' or past victories, she chooses to concentrate energy to eliminate 'red flags' and steadily increase victories.

Marketing-Qualified Leads =/= Key Performance Indicators

In a standard industry procedure, many teams rely on lead scoring systems that will monitor a customer's activity on a website and rank it on a scale that indicates whether he/she is likely to become a customer. These activities, such as signing up for a newsletter or placing items in cart, are tracked and enable companies to gain insights on potential customers. However, Latane prioritizes assessing in-market accounts that meet her ideal customer profile (ICP). By first researching whether or not there are enough in-market accounts to meet the intended revenue base, she develops a better understanding of a company's capacity and the primary focus areas; and the target is not simply potential buyers but customers who are going to be successful in utilizing the product. 'In-market' means statistically speaking, they are most likely to open an opportunity, either with your company or a competitor; these targets are the primary focus of the majority of the marketing budget.

Aim High - The Next Step

Rather than relying on CRM data or workshopping, 6sense develops algorithms to capture and continuously refine the ICP. From there, the code will scour the internet to identify accounts who match this idealized description. The artificial intelligence offers constant monitoring and dynamic lead generation as opposed to the archaic, static list building that has been the cornerstone for many companies. The lead gen and Business Development Representative teams then actively engage those accounts, in an attempt to be the first point of contact or education.

Engagement Is The New Black

Instead of gating content, trading information for an email address, phone number, or subscription, 6sense advocates for engagement. By allowing access, they are able to see who on a buying team is interested in the content within a B2B interaction; in addition, they can harness keyword and page data to monitor whether an anonymous user is ready to become an active 'in-market' account. The segmentation strategy is reliant on hitting the right accounts. The 'view-through-rate' breaks down the number of people who view a piece of content and then come to a first-party property, instead of the 'click-through' because of shifting user habits. The next step is timing, in order to not to weird out a potential client by pushing too hard; the AI (Drift in this case) helps track the different stages or activities that the customer completes. Prioritizing education over 'hard-selling' allows more flexibility and champions the account's ability to engage with the product or company.

Behavioral Tech is the Future

Personalizing microtargeting utilizing AI and big data is the future of sales and marketing. This was only a high-level overview of our conversation with Latane. Be sure to listen to the entire episode.

See you next week!

Additional Reading

Transcript

Opening

Kerry Guard: Hello, and welcome to the MKG Podcast, the podcast that helps marketers grow their businesses using the four M's - the right means, messaging, media, and measurement. I'm your host, Kerry Guard, and to help me introduce today's guest, I have our Account Director, Adam Bullock. Adam, thanks for joining me.

Adam Bullock: Thank you very much. Nice to talk to you. Hello, podcast world.

Kerry Guard: Adam, I'm very excited about having you on and introducing our guest today because you've dabbled in this world. And I'm very curious about your opinion on it. But you know, many moons ago, we were introduced to this concept called ABM, Account Based Marketing. It kind of shook our world a little bit.

Adam Bullock: Yeah, it was one of those things. It's like you can do this? Amazing.

Kerry Guard: Yes. It was definitely a game changer. And it's something we offer now because it's, you know, awesome. But in this episode with Latane Conant, we actually cover off what ABM is, so we won't do that here because she does a great job of explaining it. But our conversation takes this sharp left down this path towards customer experience, which is great, because customer experience is definitely built in to the importance of ABM, but she starts talking about content and and un-gaining it and kind of rocked my world a little bit because even with ABM I thought it was important to still capture those MQLs, and maybe not. What's your opinion and your thoughts when it comes to the MQL? Is it still relevant in this world of ABM?

Adam Bullock: That’s a great question, and honestly, I've sort of been on both sides. And certainly our clients that we've worked with have also been on both sides, and some have gated content exclusively then tried to ungate and vice versa. But in the world, in the realm of ABM, I hear ungated normally, and I have this alert blur in my head - no. For ABM, I think it makes sense. And the reason being for ungated content, and that's essentially not having someone fill out a form. It's because you've already done, ABM essentially qualifies the folks that you're sending to a specific landing page. A lot of the times when you have a form in front of someone, and they fill out a form, it's for your sales team, it's for your marketing team, your marketing automation tool to essentially qualify that person - is this person relevant, does this person meet our ideal customer profile. But if you're using ABM, you already have those in place, you're being very specific with your audience targeting. So yes, you're not getting that direct, click on something, form fill comes in. But you are giving this content to folks with the hope they come back later. I'll also mention that just recently, talking to our contact, one of our clients, she let us know that someone who just created Pipeline Create had 100 touch points before they got to that stage.

Kerry Guard: Wow.

Adam Bullock: That's insane. And if you had a form at every single one of those touch points, that's bonkers. So really, I had this eureka moment of not only do you need to get in front of people on different channels in different ways. But you don't need to gate everything. You can give your assets, you can give specific things to prospects. And yeah, I'm not an ungated believer, but certainly, if ABM is in your portfolio, and if it's a supplemental part of your marketing, I think ungated is a smart way to do it.

Kerry Guard: So you could almost have two landing pages, one for ABM and one for non-ABM. And anything that's not ABM drives to the gated asset. And then once they're sort of qualified and they sort of drop into the ABM bucket if they're not already then they could have the ungated asset could be an interesting strategy for people to try but yes, I do think they're still, when we're not talking about ABM, there still needs to be some essence of you capturing that person if you don't already have them. But yeah, no, it's interesting. We had a really great conversation. So in this episode with Latane Conant, we cover what ABM is and this idea of ungated assets. She's really wonderful. She is the CMO currently at 6sense, an AI powered Account Based Marketing platform. And let's go hang out with Latane and hear all about ABM.

Adam Bullock: Let’s do it.

Conversation

Kerry Guard: Latane, thanks for joining me.

Latane Conant: Kerry, I'm so glad we can make this happen. It's been a long time coming.

Kerry Guard: Yes, it has. And I'm actually going to move things around and get this happening sooner. Because I've been so excited for this conversation. And I think this is the time to really shake things up for our CMOs and to get them thinking differently. So yes, let's do this.

Latane Conant: I saw a really interesting Dilbert cartoon that talked about best practice of just copying everybody else. And that was the best practice. And then they wonder, like Dilbert was wondering why the marketing wasn't working. Like we have to shake it up.

Kerry Guard: Yes.

Latane Conant: It’s the only thing that works. That is the best practice.

Kerry Guard: Well you definitely break the mold in terms of best practices. Or maybe it's becoming the new best practice, I don't know. But I'm very excited about having this conversation. And before we get to the thick of it, why don't you tell our listeners about you, what you do, and how you got there.

Latane Conant: Okay, I am the CMO of 6sense, which is an account engagement platform, super amazing technology that has changed my world. So I'm pretty passionate about that. I'm kind of an accidental CMO. So I was a Sales Leader. And we needed some help in marketing. So I was known for throwing legendary parties. So I became a CMO. Which sounds pretty random. But I had to earn my stripes, I had to earn my stripes to actually get the title. I was babysitting marketing for a long time. And I just so happened to figure it out. And so I became the CMO at Appirio. And the rest is history.

Kerry Guard: Accidental CMO. I love that. So you went from sales, to to marketing, but how are you said, you're babysitting marketing? How are you babysitting marketing?

Latane Conant: They knew what they were doing. We had an awesome team, I stepped into an awesome team that just needed some leadership direction, focus and kind of the permission to do their thing. And sometimes I have a saying that you have to say no to say yes. And so a lot of times as a CMO, your job is to say no, and it feels like no, but the reality is, every time you say yes to something, you're actually inadvertently saying no to something else, that might be more worthwhile. So Appirio had this amazing marketing team that just needed someone who could help prioritize and focus because we were a really interesting business, we had grown exponentially, we had a lot of new product lines, we were expanding globally. And we had to reduce our CAC. And every extra BU, every extra service line adds marketing overhead. And so if you're not very focused on having to bring that all together with kind of a unified message and value prop, it can be a real grind. And so that was what we had to do, basically, was focus it under a better umbrella value prop and be able to prioritize and say no to BUs that weren't profitable, for example, and things like that. So that's all.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, that would be tough. Those NOs would be tough.

Latane Conant: It's not tough if you have good data. Honestly, it's because everyone wants to win. And so if you can kind of come forward and say, look, here's the path to winning. Here's where we're green. Let's pour gas on the green. Here's where we were red. Let's see if we can fix it or cut it. It becomes not an emotional decision, but just the right decision because everyone wants to win.

Kerry Guard: That's true. I could see that I could see that working in terms of telling that story and rallying the troops behind the same cause.

Latane Conant: Right. Exactly. Like, why are we spending $10,000 to acquire a $5,000 solution? This doesn't make a lot of sense. So, you know, those types of things.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, you know, ROI, no big deal. Let's talk about that for a second. Because I think that's going to kick off our conversation nicely. But when you're talking about that ROI, you're talking about that bottom line, you know, and essentially, I always love how, lately, I think I've been having a lot of these conversations, and I love having them, because I love everybody's different opinions on how they see this world. But when it comes to the sales funnel, or the user experience, or the customer journey. I feel like everybody prefers a term, and talking about how you get from users seeing an ad or engaging with your brand, on some level, very high level to actually getting on the phone and making a decision. You know, what do you call that end to end point?

Latane Conant: It's a good question, I guess I start with what I call the Revenue Operating Model, and understanding the Revenue Operating Model, which may be different. For example, if it is a $5,000 solution walk up, low cost to say, that's one kind of motion, and that's going to have a different revenue model, then, a multimillion dollar deal that's going to take potentially 15 months. So I think the first thing that I do is I really work with a nurse. There's a gentleman who I've worked with at two companies now. And we want to understand that revenue operating model end to end. And then where are all of the kinds of key conversions or moments that matter? And how are those trending, and I call it “finding the red”. So I, you know, I come from sales. And in sales, you learn a process called “identifying red flags”. And red flags are places where your deal could go sideways. And it's actually a good thing, it seems bad, but the best sales reps are always looking for places where things could go sideways or not work out so that they can cover off on the red.

So I call the revenue operating model. I want to chop, chart that out, and then be able to start to snapshot and see areas that are red, because then we can go and fix it. And that nothing is more satisfying than being able to fix things. And that's often where you find the most value is looking at areas where you have leakage or you're not converting or, you know, maybe it's not enough top of the funnel, maybe it's a win rate problem. And that kind of comes back to what I was saying earlier, and babysitting was kind of the wrong term again, because it was an awesome team. But sometimes you get used to just top of a funnel, top of a funnel, top of a funnel, and it's hard to see the forest from the trees. And if you can really hone in on where those critical places in the process are. And say yes to fixing those like that's when you start getting much more predictable revenue.

Kerry Guard: Finding the red like, normally you're looking for the green. So to find those -

Latane Conant: No, you want to find red.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, you'll find the problems and fix them. I don't know that we've always, we're always so trying to find the green and what's working, what's working, what's working, or not always looking at what's not working, or if it's not working, we're like, just move on, like forget it just you know, cut that don't do it anymore. Rather than saying, Well, why isn't it working? And how can we make it better rather than just ignoring it?

Latane Conant: Exactly.

Kerry Guard: I love it. Okay, so let's talk about this Revenue Operating Model. And you mentioned those conversion points. What kind of conversion points are you looking for that you've seen either red that you fixed or green that work really well.

Latane Conant: So, I don't believe in the MQL. The reason I'm bringing this up is because this is where it's going to end up going anyway. So I guess we'll give you the end during this up, skip to the end. So I don't believe in the MQL as a KPI at all. It might be a decent trigger or workflow. It could be an interesting process or workflow trigger, depending on your business. But for us, what I want to do is I want to understand in-market accounts. So I want to know who is actively looking for a solution like mine right now. So that's my first priority and market is to assess and understand in-market accounts that meet my ICP. That's priority one. Once I have that as a baseline, I can determine Is there enough in-market accounts to meet my revenue plan? If not, I'm going to look at early stage intent and say, Okay, how do I point my digital, my brand, my thought leadership, my content at creating demand and creating in-market accounts. So that's step one. Was making sure you have the right capacity.

Kerry Guard: I want to sit there for a second because I, as somebody who's relatively, what we're talking about here, people who are listening, we're basically talking about ABM, Account Based Marketing. And if you're new to ABM, Latane might be saying some new words to you. I know that they were new for me when I first started dabbling in the depths of what ABM really is. So can you talk to us a little bit more about ICP, and the marketing prospects and how you, what they are, you gave a kind of a high level and dig in a little bit more and how you get to them? Because you said you go find them? How do you find them? Where are they? What does that even look like when you're like, wait a second, you're trying to, you can actually go find the exact people, you know who are looking for your product? How on earth do you do that?

Latane Conant: It's accounts, but yes, yes. So okay, so let's back up. Saying yes, to say no. A fundamental tenet of saying yes, to say no, is knowing your ICP, which is your ideal customer profile. Okay, because you want to target your precious resources, at accounts that are most likely not just to buy, but to be successful with your product. So step one is understanding that and there's various ways to do it. You can try to workshop your way to it, you can try to look at, you know, data in your CRM to do it. Although most sales and marketing people don't have a lot of confidence in their CRM data. So I believe the best and easiest way to do it is to apply an algorithm essentially. And what AI can do is look for patterns in deals that you've won, deals that have been profitable customers and have been successful, and be always on refining your ideal customer profile and out looking actually out scouring the world for accounts that meet that ideal customer profile. And that’s step one.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, we didn't have as much data so we didn't have to apply an algorithm. But that's basically what we did is we looked at, okay, who has actually bought in our whole realm of all the leads, we've gotten over the last eight years who's actually bought from us, and then of those who have actually bought us who, who have been the most successful who've been around for a long time. So we look to ears, that they've been with us, as well as, you know, any KPIs and those sorts of things that we've hit. And then we went in and sort of created the ICP based off of that. So, in terms of the ICP and the demographic information that we're, because I feel like you have to define, right, you have to take that next step in defining what that ICP is. It's not just your ideal customer profile and accounts, but what do they look like? Right? So, what industry are they in, how many people are at these companies? How big are these companies, those sort of things? Do you agree with that? Or do you not really need that because you're basically going and saying -

Latane Conant: I think that's a great point. And I think ABM ORS fall down when they say, Oh, we have a list of accounts. So what is it about those accounts, right? Because you want to be able to always be identifying new accounts that look like that, or exhibit those behaviors. So what's nice about you know, it sounds like the way you guys did it is one way. If you use AI, what's nice about that is it'll show you, hey, when we look at the patterns, we see they're based in this region, they're about this size, they're in these industries, it's like, it lights up for you. And you can start to see those criteria. And it could change over time. And that's all right. It might change over time. But you want to be always out there looking for accounts that meet those criteria. So a static list is not ideal. Essentially, you want something that's kind of always on looking for those accounts. So that's step one.

Now, step two is just because they're a good account for you, Kerry, and you think they would be great does not mean they have any interest, pain or need. They could be under a rock. And so there's different levels of where these ideal customers for you are in their journey. So they could be targets, which means they're not doing anything, they're totally under a rock, they're going to be the hardest and the most expensive. Then there's people that are coming, you know, starting to maybe wake up and realize that they have a problem, they're researching sort of generic things related to what you do. You know, then they start to move into what we would, you know, like a consideration type phase where maybe they're researching you, maybe they're researching competitors, they're not filling out a form, they're not downloading your content, but you want and that's why I think what you wanted to get to, you want those people to learn from you. That is your objective, you want people in your ICP, you want to be the first person that they learn from, which is why gating content is ridiculous.

I want you to learn for me, I want you to consume my ebook, I want to add value, I want to engage. Engagement as the new black. So I want those folks to engage, and I want them to engage to the point where they are what we would consider in-market. This means, statistically speaking, they are highly likely to open an opportunity, maybe with you, maybe with somebody else. But those are your best. That's the most cost effective demographic of folks to try to engage. And so that's where that in-market timestamp for me comes in is I want to timestamp when that is so that when it comes to my demand gen efforts, and my BDR team, they're really focused on folks that are ready to engage, and we can be the first ones to talk to them.

Kerry Guard: So if you're not capturing their lead information, right, we're talking about MQL, if you're not capturing that information of who they are, what their name is, what company they work at, what their phone number is, and how do you get, and you haven't gated into your content. They're simply learning from you, then how do you get them from consuming all this content to actually getting on the phone with you? What's the bridge there?

Latane Conant: That's a good question. So the bridge and, you know, the more B2C like your revenue model is, meaning if it's just one person who buys, maybe this isn't as highly transactional. Maybe this isn't the right model for you, but for most B2B companies, it's a buying team that makes a decision. And so yes, it's great to have one person engaged, but you want to be looking at the whole buying unit. And so what the in-market tells us is that it lights up the account. And it tells us exactly who on the buying team is engaging. It tells us who's not engaging and needs to be engaged. It tells us the keywords that they're most interested in, it tells us the pages that they've visited. So just because I'm not gating my content doesn't mean I don't know that you consumed it. I have that capability, I can match anonymous signals to an account. So I know when accounts and personas are consuming my content, I just don't bug them until I think that they actually want to engage. And that's what the AI tells me is that this account is ready to engage. Here's the buying team, here's who's engaging, here's the content they're interested in, here's the keywords they're interested in. And so it doesn't become such a leap to then be able to acquire contact details from like a zoom or whatever and, or use LinkedIn and be able to outreach accordingly.

Kerry Guard: So when you're talking about technology, you really need the right tech in place, then to be able to tie the anonymous to the known. It's if you're not going to be asking for that information, then you need tech behind the scenes to do it for you.

Latane Conant: Exactly. You have to be able to tie anonymously to them.

Kerry Guard: Yes.

Latane Conant: But the benefit to me is like it, you have to think about what your North Star is. So as a marketer, if your North Star is generating MQLs, then, okay, fine. We can debate whether that's the wrong North Star. But our Northstar here is what is the experience that we're giving our future customers? And how are we adding value to future customers? So adding value starts very early and builds the relationship. And we believe that's why we have an industry winning win rate, and we're doubling our numbers and and we're doing it at an extremely low CAC.

Kerry Guard: Right, so let's talk about that. So you're, luckily I'm talking to a CMO who has all these answers for other CMOs. So you’re a CMO, your marketing team, and you're talking about that North Star. And yes, I think for a lot of marketers, I mean, I know for us, we're an agency, you know, we focus on PPC and SEO and in that we're always responsible for ideally, if we can map it all the way through to the end to those open opportunities. Ideally, we want to be that far down the cycle. But sometimes we can't be and we can only look at leads. So if you're talking about removing that barrier, essentially in the user experience, because it is then for those marketers now for those, you know, for how they're communicating to their agency partners, you know, what becomes Northstar? Does it open up opportunities? Is it how much content is being consumed? What are sort of the new metrics that people should be looking at if it's not MQL?

Latane Conant: Sure, so a couple things. The nice thing about establishing your ICP is it's like if you apply the profile score to everything you're doing - PPC, social, etc. Then it's like in bowling, you can't throw a gutter ball, because everything you're doing is going to be hitting the right account. So that's where the most waste is. So then what you want to look at, and I sort of equate it to, to book toothpaste, like you start at the top of that tube of toothpaste, right. And you want to see, okay, what accounts did this program hit? Were those the accounts I intended to hit with this program? So that's step one. And if the answer is yes, okay, great. That means your segmentation strategy is sound. That's step one. Is my segmentation strategy good.

Okay, so now let's roll it down a little more. The next key, so you hit the right accounts. Great. The next key thing is, what is the view-through rate? So the view-through rate tells me they were served this ad or this piece of content, and then they came to my website, nobody clicks on anything anymore. So the whole idea is to associate them with your brand, and then get them to a first party property.

Kerry Guard: Oh, my gosh, I feel like I just like stepping back in time. So there was a time where I worked at agencies where all we did was CPM buys. And we always talked about the view-through and our clients hated it. They hated the view-through conversion, because they felt like, what I don't care that they saw my ad, they didn't take an action, this no, like, remove the view through, stop telling me this. Where did they click? Where do they convert? I want that linear funnel. And so you're bringing it back Latane, and I've been I feel like at the time, I was yelling from the mountaintops of like, no, like this matters. You're talking about top of the funnel and awareness and this matters. And I feel like it's coming full circle.

Latane Conant: Yeah, it is. Now we're still at the top of the tube of toothpaste though, right. So to get the toothpaste to come out.

Kerry Guard: You do but the difference is what you're mentioning, and what I think is so important is that I was yelling from the mountaintops at the wrong time. Because at that time, we didn't have the accounts we knew we wanted. We just had everybody. So yes, the view-through could not -

Latane Conant: If your mom's knitting company is coming to your website, we don’t care.

Kerry Guard: We’re seeing your ad. We don't care that your mom's knitting company saw your ad, that means nothing. But now, this is why now this makes sense is because you know or you’re learning if these are the right accounts. And if they're seeing your ad and you're building that awareness and you're surrounding them with your messaging, then yes, view through makes a ton of sense.

Latane Conant: Yes, so my digital team, I mean, one of the things we look at on a weekly basis is ICP accounts to our website - new, repeat, engagement. Because if I am getting people to my hotel in California, and they're not checking out, good things are going to happen. Right?

So anyway, so that's step one, sorry to get them to check into the Hotel California. Now, once they're there, you can't be a weirdo. Right, you have to add that you have to continue that down that tube of toothpaste. And here's what I mean by that. So the tale of two drift bots. So we were really excited about drift, we got it rockin and we had someone who came from drift and she had some great coaching for us, which was, you know, speed to lead and speed to conversation. And as soon as they come on the website, like let's jump in and chat at them and say hi, I'm here. Yeah, look at me, and it was like weirding people out, you know, it wasn't the right timing. And so that's what I haven't even talked about the predictive model that we have around timing. Well, that's how we know the in-market, but we also know, with pretty well granularity, where they are in their journey. And so I'm not gonna go psycho on you if I know you're early in your journey.

The drift bot is going to say Hey, I see you're interested in it because I know your keyword because we do intent based on keyword. So if you're researching and interested in CDP, for example, my drift bots are gonna say, hey, Kerry, you seem to be interested in CDP's. Here's an episode of making sense of CDP's. If you're at an early stage, it would make sense because you're just trying to figure out what it is. Later stage we'd say hey, Kerry, We know you've seen the making sense. You're doing a bunch of stuff. Here's a case study on how people use CDPs and why they matter. And so once we went to that where the bot is just suggesting things in the flow, then the conversations went crazy, the engagement went off the roof.

So that's why I go back to the toothpaste. It's like if you try to just squeeze it at the bottom, you're going to get a little bit of toothpaste out. But if you slowly roll it down, you're going to really get, as you know, a lot out of that tube. And so it's like slowing down to speed up and looking at, literally like letting your customer or your future customer control the pace of the journey and just being there for them and adding value. And that's kind of the game.

And that's why I say engagement is the new black. And if you have good metrics where you can track, okay, we know they moved from this fine stage to that fine stage, because the AI is telling us that then you can see forward progress. And you can also see oh, gosh, we took a step back here. Why? Why have they stopped engaging? What happened? What do we need to do to get them back on track?

Kerry Guard: So let's talk a little bit about how on earth you make all of this magic happen. Right, so we talked about identifying your ICP and who they look like in terms of what accounts are going to go after. We talked about ungating your content, because now you have your account. So you don't need to have that barrier in place, all the way through to, you know, having the right content, using that content in the right moments through things like drift. Things like your ads. This all sounds like smoke and mirrors a little bit because we haven't talked about like, Okay, how do you do this? It sounds like it's basically technology, ABM technology specifically, is that correct?

Latane Conant: Yeah. And I wish I could say you don't need the tech. And maybe some people can get by without it. I know. I couldn't. So, you know, if you asked me when I was at Appirio, to name like 10 products on the Martech Scott Brinker thing, I couldn't name like five, to save my life. And my team came to me then, and again, they were way ahead of their time, and ahead of me, and they said we want to do ABM and we need technology to do it. And I was like, guys do it on a spreadsheet, run a pilot. And if it works, then we'll scale it up. And it was a colossal amount of work. We didn't pick the right accounts, because we didn't have the right AI and behavioral information to actually know who was in-market. We didn't have any orchestration. So it was very manual. And to personalize, we were personalizing based on guessing, right, we think they're interested in this because we've sold to an account similar to them. You know, we didn't have those actual keywords that we knew they cared about. And so it just went okay, and I mean, but not great. And it was world class, I mean the microsites, the app, it was world class marketing. But we didn't have the right insights.

And so fast forward now to 6sense. That's why I say I'm like I, if maybe you're a better marketer than I am, and you can figure out how to do it without it. But for me this approach is so worth it. Because again, you can't throw a gutter ball. When you're personalizing. It's not a parlor trick or guessing you're personalizing for what you actually know accounts care about. You can see their movement. And so you can get rid of bogus metrics that don't mean anything. And really start to align on the customer journey. And then all of a sudden the entire revenue - team, sales, marketing, customer success. You all have one kind of north star to be able to do that. And so that's what I think the future of sales and marketing is and you know, we've come so far with things like AI and big data and the capability to do that.

Kerry Guard: We tried to do it too, with spreadsheets, I called it “elephant hunting”. I was like, well, let's just go. You know, we as a business don't need thousands or hundreds of accounts every year to land, we need like one or two. So let's try and go elephant hunting, let's pick, you know, let's identify our CPA, let's go on LinkedIn. Let's identify the accounts we want. Let's find the titles in which we want. You know, we'll pick five to ten accounts and then look at the people within those accounts and then you know, we'll use one channel, let's call it, let's say LinkedIn, to then go market to these guys. And yeah, no didn't. So you're right, so much work flat on our faces. It made us actually like not, it made us do the opposite. It means run far away from ABM for a few years because they were like nope, nope, not for us.

Latane Conant: And you can't see the progress, right? Because you don't know that they told someone else on the buying team who's actually the right person. So like, there's all these dynamics, it's an iceberg, right? And so much is underwater, if you don't want to expose that, you know, you don't know what's working or not working. And that's like, I would say, one of our bvrs love this, because when it comes to their outbound motion, they have a new empowerment, like, Hey, I know this account is in market, like, I know, I can add value, I know I need to get in front of them. I'm not just calling down this random list, because someone told me to, or because they wanted our ebook, and they could care less. So it really is pretty mind blowing, when you put it.

Kerry Guard: And it’s so important to end here on this note of, especially now, given the current circumstances in which we live, you know, hard selling is not going to get the job done, especially right now. I have so many people, LinkedIn messaging me, can I just get five minutes, I just get ten minutes, let's just chat. It's like, dude, like, No. What you're doing sounds awesome. But like, I do not have the mental space for this. So if you can just take that step back, open up all your content and be useful and be helpful and how you're going to, like you said, I think that's so important. Add value. Let them learn from you. And then when they're ready, and they're ready for the solution, you will be top of mind.

Latane Conant: Exactly. And I get that your metrics need to adjust, because we talked earlier about finding the red and measuring progress. So you do need to be able to have those signals. So you can see. And when an account actually is in-market, because there are still accounts in-market. I mean, we're at 120% of the pipeline, because we didn't have to stop. Yes, our philosophy has always been to add value. Our philosophy has always been give, give. But we didn't have to just put our head in the sand for the last two months, because my ICP adjusted based on industries already. I know their intense signals, so I know what they're interested in. And so I can tailor and have personalized messaging, we were already doing that. And then I know who's in-market. So we could kind of continue to push through which has been great.

Kerry Guard: And you know who’s ready, you know who's looking, you know you don't have to guess, you don't have to continue to hard sell, you know when the moment is right. And I think that's just so key. And then you don't lose people. Right? Because if you're selling at the wrong time, then it's, yeah.

Well, thank you for joining me, Latane, this is great. I hope everybody feels like they're gonna go out and figure out ABM now.

Latane Conant: I hope so too. Feel free to hit me up. I'm happy to help.

Kerry Guard: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

Outro

Kerry Guard: So that was my conversation with Latane. Adam, given that you've seen this in action, something Latane really talks about that I love that we end on, because I was like, we need to say this a lot in loud and often, is this idea of educating and being helpful rather than hard selling. What's your thought on that, especially after the fact that you mentioned a hundred touch points that somebody had to make before they became a lead? I mean, that's, wow. So what's your thought on educating versus that hard sell?

Adam Bullock: I think it's refreshing. When a company tries to educate as opposed to requiring your information at every step. I think you can turn certain people off, especially if your audience might be more technical focused. I think a lot of folks see forms and they just turn away and close the tab. They're done. I think this educating is, you are giving your information out. Someone is obviously interested enough to check it out to read about it. And I absolutely think it's important for that deliverable to be sent via email if that's what you choose to do. And sharing the PDF is branded with your information, an easy way to get a hold of you. And yeah, I think educating a prospect or a lead has a very valuable position in that journey that a customer makes to get to you.

Kerry Guard: Yes, not linear anymore, which is just such an important point. I also think about what Latane was saying and based off of the assets I've seen on their website. And then I've shared down below too, it's not so much educating them, educating your audience around your tool, or exactly what it is that you do or why you're different. There definitely can be that aspect. But it's bigger than that. It's kind of like what we're doing on this podcast, right? Where we're educating people about what ABM is and why it can be helpful and why it's powerful. It can be how to what you need for ABM, what assets, what best case scenarios are and what assets work best and why it could be, something that you can really give your audience where they might not necessarily even need your tool, or your thing or your service out of the gate, we have a couple assets floating around ourselves where you don't even need us. One of them's for LinkedIn, you can go build your entirely own LinkedIn InMail campaign without us. We're here to help if you need anything. But the whole point is you go do it. Same with this Google ads, Google Ads has this lovely checkbox that you're familiar with deep down in the Google settings, where it targets people who are not only living in the location you want, but also people who are interested in location, meaning they don't live there, they're just, you know, researching it for some reason, and your ads are showing up to them, you need to uncheck that box in here.

So right, you don't need us for either of these things. You can go do it. And I think that's really important too. In the “being helpful” piece. You want to give people something that you're just showing that you have the education, the skill set to be helpful. And here's something they can go do on their own. And when they're ready, you know, then they can circle back and be like, Alright, I'm ready to work with you now. Right on their terms, when it's convenient for them and when it works for them.

Adam Bullock: Absolutely, yeah, that's something if a colleague of yours asks, Boy, I've run into problems with Google Ads lately, you know, if someone had that asset from MKG Marketing, they'd be like, oh, yeah, I found this really cool asset. This might be a nice company to check out. I think that's another way that those educational pieces really help out because, in this day and time, we're all kind of in our holes. But we do connect and we're running into challenges and as much as you can be top of mind for folks and put out something interesting that someone might suggest to someone else, that's always a good thing.

Kerry Guard: Agreed, agreed. If you'd like to learn more about ABM and 6sense, visit their website at 6, the number, sense.com. 6sense.com or reach out to Latane Conant on LinkedIn. She'll point you in the right direction, or tell you more. I've also included some links, like I said, for some really great assets down below. Check them out.

Thank you for listening to the MKG podcast, the podcast that helps marketers grow their businesses using the four M's. The right means, messaging, media and measurement. I'm your host, Kerry Guard and until next time.

Latane Conant

Latane Conant is the Chief Marketing Officer at 6sense, an A.I. powered Account-Based Marketing platform that helps drive B2B revenue flow from in-market accounts.