Latane Conant is CMO of ABM platform 6sense. We caught up with her to find out more about the way she works, and how 6sense is working to change B2B marketing.
Read on for Latane’s thoughts on skills, tools and metrics, as well as advice for anyone running a marketing team.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Latane Conant: I’m the CMO of 6sense, the account-based orchestration platform, powered by AI. At 6sense, our job is to create “a movement.” Our vision, product, team , and customer advocates have to inspire a change in how B2B revenue teams market and sell.
Todays’ B2B buyers are anonymous (70% happens before they talk to sales) , fragmented (10+ people on a buying team), and resistant (15-22 touches in a typical outbound cadence) meaning we need to inspire a new approach to help revenue embrace this modern buying journey. Change is hard, so for revenue teams to embrace this new world, and compete and win they need a platform that provides reliable insights, orchestrated engagement, AND thought leadership to help them make the shift.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Latane Conant: I report to the CEO, but in reality, I report to my peers and team. I like to joke that I report to one of our sales reps, Dasha, because she is great about advocating for what she needs from marketing and from me. For better or worse, I like to be very hands on with the entire 6sense team.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Latane Conant: I would say I use core consulting skills the most and I bring that consultant mindset to marketing, and leadership in general. I talk a lot about “finding the red” or areas where we can improve. I love red. Red means we are thinking ahead and that we are fixing things and constantly improving. Based on discovery interviews, data, and analytics, and with a great team – and sometimes a bit of creativity – we can come up with a plan to get the red to green. And it is such a satisfying feeling knowing we took an area we needed to improve and moved it from red to green.
I am also all about transparency and communication. Everyone in the organization knows what our marketing goals are and where we stand. We use the V2MOM method to track those goals and their progress. I am a big believer in the V2MOM and I could go on and on about why every organization should use it! But that is another topic for another time.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Latane Conant: Well, no two days are the same, that’s for sure! One day you can find me working a booth, talking to prospects about ABM, and the next day I will be writing a blog, then running our all hands call, and then meeting with a key analyst. And then the next I am helping with a sales call and talking to potential customers about our platform. I even spent a day being a BDR recently. I am a jack of all trades in that sense and I constantly shift between roles (marketer, salesperson, content creator, event staff, etc.)
I am also a recovering software salesperson, so I love to be in the field as much as I can.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Latane Conant: I love what I call “mind-blowing moments” – doing something truly great that no one thought possible or expected. For example, some “mind-blowing moments” I am proud of include rolling out a talk show – TalkingSense, creating a customer advocacy program, and introducing Club6 – a VIP experience that goes above and beyond – at large industry events/shows. Because software is cheap to build, it’s competitive. We have to be creative to get above the noise and deliver something compelling and different.
What sucks? Traveling so much and being away from my family. I am on the road A LOT!
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Latane Conant: I would say my high level goals are to make sure we are running the business as effectively and successfully as possible, and then to change the business by continuously improving and growing.
The metrics I track when looking at running the business are reach/SOV (share of voice), accounts in-market, meetings booked, pipeline, cycle time, win rate, AE ramp time, deal size, NPS (net promoter score), use cases adopted, and other key usage metrics. I am also big on culture, so I track our employee fun factor bi-weekly on our all hands call. We can’t run a successful business unless our employees are engaged, happy, and connected to the business and team.
When looking at changing the business, I use my go-to strategic planning method that I mentioned before – the V2MOM. It ensures I have three to five big priorities that will help change the business. And each of those priorities have metrics that I track.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Latane Conant: 6sense of course!!! Without the data and insights that 6sense delivers it’s impossible to scale ABM. But it goes beyond just getting data and insights. We have to be able to turn those insights into action, and that is where 6sense really shines. I like to think of it as account-based orchestration. So the data helps us select the best accounts, and the insights help us know about those accounts (where they are in the buying journey, their persona, what they are searching, etc.). Now this is where the orchestration comes in – engaging accounts in the right way. By stitching together millions of signals to understand buying patterns and predict when an account is ready to engage across multiple personas, channels, messages, and most importantly, timing, we can turn those insights into action. And not only action, but the most impactful action for each account or segment. This all happens in real-time.
6sense also enables the Sales and Marketing teams to collaborate without having to use multiple systems. And all the metrics we want to track are right there in our dashboards, improving our effectiveness by helping us prioritize and align across teams.
How did you end up at 6sense, and where might you go from here?
Latane Conant: I had a failed “ABM pilot” and knew there had to be a better way. I failed because I had data, but not good insights. The type of insights to help me pick the best accounts but also focus on accounts that are actually “in market” – I call this the IICP. ‘In Market Ideal Customer Profile’. Because the accounts we selected were not in market and more a collection of sales nominated accounts we spent a lot of effort for low return.
At my core I believe ABM is much better way to engage and the right approach for the modern B2B buyer. So when I saw a demo of 6sense, I knew this was something special – it was filling a gap in the Martech space, and I just HAD to be a part of getting it to the hands of all sales and marketing pros. It really is a game changer.
I don’t know where I go from here. I have been doing a lot of advising, which is fun. I’m also obsessed with V2MOM (could you tell?) so maybe I will become a V2MOM consultant. Who knows where this will all take me. I can say I am learning a lot and having a great time doing it!
Which brands/campaigns have impressed you lately?
Latane Conant: There are a lot of content platforms, but Uberflip does a great job creating a customer community, keeping things fresh and fun, and investing in thought leadership.
I am a two-time customer and 6sense just signed a pretty exciting partnership with Uberflip. I am all in on their movement!
What advice would you give a marketer starting out in 2019?