Managing through volatility, running ABX, & why multithreading is important | Latane Conant @ 6sense

January 20, 2023

Episode Description

In the latest episode of Demand Gen Chat, I spoke with Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer at 6sense. Latané has a fresh perspective as a marketing leader thanks to her sales background. We chat about hiring and building a marketing team, and how to keep a team engaged and motivated even through tough times. Latané also shares how her team works with sales and approaches ABX to engage the 10+ contacts they need to win an opportunity today. She also shares a sneak peek of the second edition of her book No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls.

Show Notes

Follow Tara: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taraarobertson

Follow Latané: https://www.linkedin.com/in/latane-conant/

Check out Matt Heinz’s content: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattheinz/

Check out the Empowered CMO Network Board Book: https://empoweredcmo.com/board-book/

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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue. If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!

Episode Transcript

 Welcome back to a new episode of Demand Gen Chat. This is actually our last episode of the season and I was lucky to get a special guest today to help us wrap up Season 3 of the podcast. So, my special guest today is Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense. Latane, thank you so much for joining us.

Oh, Tara, I'm excited to be here. Thanks for, thanks for working me into Season 3.

[laughs] Hey, I just save the really special guest for last so I'm glad you could join us. Um, so I'd love to hear a little bit just right off the bat. Obviously, you're in, in charge of a big team of marketers so I'd love to hear just what the main KPIs your team is responsible for. And really just kind of what the key metrics that you're focused on growing as a team are?

Sure. So, I think my approach is tip-, uh, potentially a little different than others because I come from stats. And when I first got into marketing, I felt like there was no quota. And this made me very uncomfortable. Um, I like to have a quote. Uh, I like to have, you know, one number, boom stats like keeping it simple. I just felt like there were almost too many things we were measuring and you just never knew you were like up or down or all around.

So, I have developed a system and I've been using it now eight years or so, um, where we actually create hive mind quotas, uh, based on the bookings target. And we look at every segment of our business. We look at every channel. We look back at all of the trends and make assumptions around the ASPs, cycle times conversion rates. Those get rolled up into essentially a pipeline quota.

And then I track those maniacally. And I think a lot of CMOs listening would, would probably have a similar system. The difference is I don't care if it's marketing-sourced or not. I only care to the extent that I'm looking at the channel trends. And if, if one channel converts a, a lot larger than another or etcetera, etcetera, I need to know those patterns. But I, I want to be the steward for 6sense and for any organization that I'm, I'm writing marketing at, the steward of pipeline.

Um, you know, the best way to never miss our bookings target is to never miss pipeline targeting. And so, you know, if that means working with Mark and saying, "Let's do a spec for A-sourced, we're coming up with a spec and we're going to stoke that pipeline." Um, and, and I think that's, that's potentially a little bit different than what I've seen, you know, sometimes how other CMOs think about it.

Um, and then I would say, you know, the other thing about that is inherently because I've got this huge rollout, I'm really, really focused on conversions, ASPs and cycle times which ultimately is what's going to drive our sales efficiency. And, you know, the successful attainment on the sales team. Because if I have a conversion slip like our win rates slip, I gotta go create more pipeline, right?

So, the easiest way to hit my pipeline call [laughs] is to make sure we're converting more or the dollars are bigger, you know. So, it kind of creates a nice balance of top of funnel versus conversions that I'm always, uh, looking at and, and making sure were optimized.

Yeah, I think you're right. That's definitely different than most marketers I've spoken to at least. A lot of us, and I know I've been in this boat, thankfully not now but in the past where it was kind of a battle with sales over this was inbound source or outbound. And marketing job kind of stopped at all creation and we would just kind of let them worry about conversion down the funnel, which obviously doesn't work out really great when they have a rough month. It's kind of everybody's fault and can't really pinpoint where marketing can help if we hadn't been involved up until that point.

Well, there's a bunch of challenges with that. Um, first of all, only 3% of website visitors got more, 3. So, what about the other 97? Uh, and so a lot of times if you're just like exclusively inbound because it's highly attributable, right?

Mm-hmm.

It's, it's, it's easy as when to, quote unquote, attribute. You might not be incented to go out and think about the other 97 and how you may we apply an outbound motion to get to them.

The other fun fact I'll give you is, um, we've done a lot of research on buying teams and buying signals. And so, there's more broad research that, that you can access. But one of the things I do is, um, every quarter, I take all of our deals that we won and I look at how many engage contacts win the deal. And Q1, it was six. Q2, it's 10. So, that's a lot of contacts to engage to put on an AE in a deal cycle.

And so, I am always thinking about with Mark and our mutual teams how do we help get the number of engaged contacts up. And actually, the earlier you do that in a cycle, the easier it is. So, the longer you work a deal, it's actually harder to multithread.

Um, and so, one of the things that we do is even if something comes inbound, our SLA is to go outbound as well and make sure that we pass three engaged contacts to sales. So, they start out even from the beginning of the opportunity, we're starting with a minimum of three engaged contacts.

And how do you define engage contacts? Because I feel like that's a newer term that people are starting to use so I'm curious what does that mean to your team?

That's like it's just looking on, um ... So, the 6sense iframe, you can actually see, you know, engagement levels by key personas. Um, and then you can take it down to the contact level actually on the opportunity record. So, we can see that, um, they were coming to our website. They con-, they consumed content. They showed up to meetings. Um, you know, they were like present in the cycle.

Mmm. So, you have like a threshold essentially of engagement-

Yes.

... for them to pass.

Yes.

Yeah, gotcha.

Yeah.

Cool. And you mentioned channels as well so I'm curious because that's another one that people can define differently. So, when you say channels, are you thinking traditional marketing channels or are SPIFFs and outbound kind of considered channels in there as well?

Yeah. So, I mean, it's a big hairball. And so you just have to know it's a hairball. Um, and it's, it's gonna be directionally, right? But the way we channel it is channel, uh, no pun intended, but partner, right?

Mm-hmm.

So, it's ... it was, you know, something, an opportunity that I'm partnering ... And we're, we're all opportunity so an opportunity partner brought us. Uh, then we have the whole partner team that's fabulous. Um, AE direct, um, outbound so we have a BDR team that does outbound. Uh, typical inbound and then ABX.

And it varies by segment what we expect. And what I mean by that is you get to our strategic segment that's like 10,000 plus, that is not going to be an inbound motion. It's going to be ABX, partner, outbound for the most part. I mean, maybe they get all it, right? And then you go down market, less than 500 employees and even less than 50 employees. And it's 100%, you know, or 80%.

So I think you also have to think about like what ... realistically like how these types of the accounts engage and buy and set your expectations, uh, around that. Um, and play on your resources and teams and stuff accordingly.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Obviously, everyone would love it if the big fish came inbound, but it doesn't happen too often so you often have to go get those on your list and hunt them down with that open-

Yeah. And a lot of times what you'll see is like an, an outbound drives and inbound, you know?

Right.

So, you know, those are the type of anomalies that you have to watch for. And, uh, and so actually at that segment level, it's we're, we're more outbound to be honest-

Mmm, yeah.

... um, because of that. Whereas at some of the lower tiers that house just significantly more volume, it's, um, obviously separate and outbound.

Yeah, cool. And does the way that you grew the marketing team match with that kind of I don't want to say funnel because it's not really a funnel but that, um, the way that your accounts are set up so having the ABX team go after large accounts, the inbound team focusing more small and midmarket? Was that how you built out the team?

No, but it does work out that way. Like in their goals, right, and the way that we-

Sure.

... like because we do that big build-up, right? Uh, where we're looking at each segment and, and making a- assumptions. It's a constant challenge. Uh, it's never going to be 100% right. But the way we operate is we have a brand and digital team. And brand and digital sits together under a leader. And under that is growth ... is the growth team.

So, that's everything on the web. That's all of our advertising. That's our high values yays. Um, we're actually experimenting with the PLG motion, um, you know? But it also all the creatives and the content sit together on a team. And that's a big team.

Then we have demand gen, uh, ad ops and analytics. And so, that's a lot of like the guts of campaigns. That's a lot of like, like all of marketing systems, you know, the 6sense laying data, SalesLoft, it's all the connectivity. Um, obviously, all the reporting. Um, it's, you know, even, even like Asana like how we manage our Tier 1 and Tier 2 and who's doing what so they're kind of-

Oh, wow, that's under that ops team.

Yeah. So, there's sort of that command center of technology and process and reporting. Then of course, we have our BDR team which is another pretty big team, global BDRs. Um, and that's under leader. And then last, we have our ABX team. And that includes all like typical field marketing and corporate events, things like that, as well as like ABX plays.

Um, and I think that's where there's can be some link ... Well, that, that team has to work, you know, they, they need resources from pretty much everyone, right?

Mm-hmm.

So, it all ends up kind of blending together [laughs]. Um, but, uh, yeah. And then actually under PMM, we actually ... we have customer marketing who is responsible for upsell pipeline. So, a lot of, um, a lot of assumptions responsible for moving the needle on pipeline.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think it's great when there's a straight line to ... I mean, at least for me, when I know my job gets done and you can kind of see where the revenue is coming from. I think that's really satisfying to a lot of people especially with your sales background. I could see why that would be the feeling.

Um, I'm curious because it's probably the one marketing role we don't have yet is anything done ABM/ABX side of the house. So, how did you know when it's time to scale that team? Is it there's just so many ideas for plays that we want to get out the door that we can't get it all done? Is it our target accountless is bigger?

Well, I'm a big believer in running big meaningful programs versus a bunch of little dippity-duppity stuff. And I think without ... What I love about having the ABX team is they, they help us with our tiering, right? So, we know BDR Appreciation Week is coming up in February. It's going to be a huge lightning strike. And they make sure there's enough energy around those big lightning strikes. So, it's not just everyday dippity-dappity-duppity.

Um, because things need a beginning and a middle and an end. And so, the ABX team helps us with all of our Tier 1 activations and, and own most of that, um, and the Tier 2s which would be, you know, a roadshow or, um, or something our, our joint partner campaign, they do like one joint partner campaign order.

Um, so just making sure that we have the right energy and lens a- around those and, and making sure that they're not just doing them to do them. They, they actually tie out to a segment. So that ... So when I think about account base, it's like everything we do ties to some segment of account that's done and we will activate.

So, everything we do is ultimately to some degree account-based because if you come to your art website, you're going to get a differing campaign, the CTA experience based on the accounts that you're in. Um, so, that's kind of like an, an underlying premise. And then I think the ABX team just helps us take that Tier 3 campaigns and elevate them and, and bring them to the next level with. Um, so it's a lot of brand honestly, a lot of our brand comes to light and like our physical experiences as the ABX team reps.

Yeah. Like it makes sense though to have that discipline to tie it back to a segment or a tier so you're not ... I like your point in just doing things to do them because I think especially now we have a lot of FOMO as marketers, we see people doing stuff on LinkedIn that looks fun or we see a campaign at a trade show that we think, "Oh, we can do that, too."

Yeah, everyone has six podcasts. Well, okay.

[laughs] Yeah.

You know? Maybe we do need one. Maybe we don't. We may don't need six. You know what I mean [laughs]?

Yeah. Maybe start with one and see if you can get attraction.

Yeah. Yow, what's up?

Yeah. Just dip your toes on the water [laughs]. Um, on the note, I'm just kind of growing on the team. I'm curious because obviously you've hired a ton of marketers now. Um, what do you look for when you're bringing on a new marketer to the team? And then do you have any red flags that you look out for?

So, there's a savviness that people need to have about just how to get stuff done. Um, so, it's, it's they are curious about trying new things. They, they want to get the job done in the best way possible. And they're open to trying new technology or approaches to, to go and do it.

Um, and then there's a detail orientation, you know? One, one of the things I talk about is like, you know, that saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Well, if you want to come and work on this team, we sweat, we sweat the small stuff. Um, because the difference between, eh, marketing and great marketing is the small stuff.

Mm-hmm.

So, um, you know, that detail orientation and it is, is really important for me.

Mmm. I think that I'm not surprised to hear that just based on what you were saying earlier about just little campaigns to do them, to do them and get them out the door. I feel like teams that are doing that constantly have to be dropping the ball in some details just to get things done, right?

Yeah.

So, when you're focused and, yeah, detail-oriented, it's just much better results. And especially when you have such a big brand team, it makes a lot of sense to be focused on that.

Mm-hmm.

And then what do you not like to see through the hiring process? Is there anything that jumps out at you as a red flag?

I really look for what I call the victim syndrome. Um, so, I'm trying to suss out, "Okay, well, why did you do that and why did you leave here? And why did you go there?" And if, if you start do your pattern on, "It was never my fault, it was always somebody else's fault. My boss was crazy. This, that and the other," it's just a huge ... it's, it's a big ... And, and usually, it's not that blunt.

But you ... if you start to really dig, "Well, like why did you, why did you change for ... And, and even people who were like often changing within a company, it's like you haven't had the same role for six months. So, either you're like a- amazing superstar-

[laughs] Just getting everything done.

Right. Or nothing's ever good enough for you, you know?

Mm-hmm.

And so, I'm, I'm kind of like trying to look for that like big dumb syndrome. And then, you know, this was, this ... When I was preparing ... You know, all about me versus all about we and some of like the aggressive posting on LinkedIn like people that have time to like post everything they're doing all day. I'm like, "How do you have time to do that? Like how are you getting your work done?" You know?

Um, and so I just really sort of look at like, you know, are they all about themselves? Are they all about the company that they were at and what the team achieved? Um, that's really important because no great marketing happens without a pretty large group of people needing to come together and get it done.

Yeah, that's really good point. I had a previous boss, this is a few years ago, but she used to say that some marketers are really good at marketing themselves and others are good at marketing the company and the team that they work for. And you can usually tell the difference right away especially like you said when you follow people on LinkedIn, you get a good kind of glimpse of just what they think of their work and their team and what they're spending time on.

Yeah. And I always ask, you know, what would your teammates were ... what would your peers say about you? What would your boss say about you? What, what ... And then backchannel, backchannel, backchannel always.

Mmm. Yeah, that's where it helps to have connections before, before your hiring so you can make those awesome people rave. Um, I'm curious, you've been at 6sense I think over four years now and I'm sure it's changed a ton but what comes to mind for you in just B2B marketing in general of things that are dramatically different from four years ago?

It's interesting like four years ago, a lot of what we were talking about was brand new, you know, with intent and, and, and web de-anonymization and, um, predictive analytics. And, you know, last year at our customer conference, one of the things I talked about was like you got to wanna, you got to wanna remain competitive just by technology and having great data like that doesn't make you connect ... Like anybody can go and buy this stuff now and use it.

Um, so how are you using it more in a more innovative way? How are you really taking advantage of, you know, every single data set, um, every single piece of functionality? So, I think that there was like this big step change. But now as more and more people ... as these tools become more and these processes become more mainstream, you, you have to continue to differentiate, you know, how you use them.

Um, and one of the things we believe is like every signal and every data point matters. We're trying to help our clients amass as many different signals as they can because, because that, that 1, that's a 1% difference, that's the deal you, you got into that maybe you wouldn't have or the ad that gotten served that maybe you wouldn't.

So, it's all about like maintaining a competitive advantage. Um, I think that's, that's really important and not falling behind. Um, and then other thing, it's like, gosh, the change curve is crazy. I mean, we've been through and like four years, a lot has happened like pandemics and we were better. And then we pandemic again, now we're in like an economic meltdown, you know, um, a lot of like political angst.

I mean, it's like every day that there's a lot more like volatility. Like I think about when I was at a period putting together an annual plan. That's what we did over-

Yeah, you keep doing that-

And, and it's like, and it's like laughable now. I'm like, "Okay, maybe it's like-

Of course.

[laughs] You know?

You're lucky, yeah.

And we do, you know, we do a two-year strategy and we do these things. But a real plan? I don't freaking know [laughs]. I don't know if the bed's gonna increase interest rates again. Oh, morale, the market's gonna react, right? So, I think it's just like, um, a lot of volatility to, to manage through as a leader, um, but also as an individual, an individual contributor like, like you just ... There's a two level of agility that you have to have.

Um, when, when I was in consulting, I remember I was interviewing. Um, and one of the questions the gentleman asked me, he said, "So, Latane, do you think you're flexible?" I was like, "Oh, yeah, I'm really flexible," right [laughs]?

Whatever-

I wanted the job.

Yeah.

I, I, I don't know. [inaudible 00:23:23] and like I hire ... You, you want me to like [laughs] stretch? You know? And he's like, he's like, "Flexible is too rigid here. You have to be fluid."

Okay.

[inaudible 00:23:38] I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'm fluid," you know? But, but I ... You know, it was probably my second job and I just remember that, "Oh, yeah, flexible is rigid. You have to be fluid [laughs]."

That's so funny. Yeah. I feel like just on the topic of ... I mean, there's a new like global news story every day that seems like the world is ending. Um, have you had any challenges just keeping your team kind of excited and motivated about what they're working on throughout that? And is there anything that you think has really just kind of worked to keep people just all on the same page?

No one ... I mean, I wish I could be like, "Oh, this is the thing. It's this I have donut and then everyone meets and yay." But, you know?

Yeah.

You kind of have to try everything twice. I think that ... I think for our team, for me and our team, feeling like we're doing really meaningful work and meaningful marketing maps. So, trying to limit fringe that isn't that cool and isn't that important and maybe won't move the needle and really going all in on big projects. I think we all get really jazzed about that.

And so, you know, trying to feel like, like we can be really proud of our work and the output of our work. And so, I feel my job is to the degree I can make sure people have the resources to be able to do that, make sure I can, you know, help say no to the things that are crazy ideas, uh, so that we can all feel like when 6sense does something, it's gonna be good.

Mm-hmm.

Um, and, and, you know, my kind of commitment to the team is, is this is not a lifestyle job. It's very, very demanding. Um, so I'm, I'm clear on that but you will learn a ton. And, and so, you know, you, you sort of have to be in the right mentality of wanting to learn and grow and try stuff and, and really push your own capabilities. And, and for the right type of person, it's very, very fun.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, it sounds like ... I mean, and anytime you do something that you're proud of and a big project you can cross off the list, it's hard not to feel motivated by that and just wanted to keep doing more. So, I feel like-

Yeah.

... that's a good mindset to have on the team. And I've touched on this in a previous episode a little bit, but I definitely consider myself one of those B2B marketers that kind of ruined gated content I like to say, um, just because we used to basically force people to fill out forms to read all of our great content or all the best content we had, um, and kind of lead with everything else. So, I'm curious, obviously, your book came out a little while ago now. Um, but you-

We were on the second edition. The second edition launched a week ago.

Yeah, that's what I want to talk to you about. So, I love to know-

Yeah.

... I know you were really motivated to make some changes to the second edition. So, just curious like what has changed in that time since you published that you felt like, "Oh, I really need to make this change and update it now."

Yeah. So, so a couple things. Run ... You know, there's an article or, or of set, Chapter 3 talks about the ideal tech stack which I think have changed. So, I felt like I needed to update that.

Probably changes every month.

Yeah, I know, I know. I'll have a new edition next week, too.

Yeah.

But, but the most important one was I felt I needed a chapter from sales. I needed the sales perspective. And even though I've been in sales before, I'm not now and so I wanted that like sales voice.

Mm-hmm, right.

And so, this ... the, the head of sales here wrote a chapter on how he sees this approach and how he's managed the change and the type of results that he's seen. So ... And, and everyone wanted that. Everyone said, "We love your book. We want something that we could send to states [laughs] to get them on board."

Yeah, they don't always want to hear from us [laughs].

But they're not going to read all book.

Which-

Okay, fine.

... I'll read this chapter maybe [laughs].

Yeah. So, so we've got a chapter-

Yeah.

... and it's more readable. And then, I also did just a little section like these are the questions that when I'm doing for groups and presentations and stuff continue to come up. So obviously, I missed them somehow, right [laughs]? And so, I have a little kind of FAQ on, "Here's the gotchas. Here's the things that people, you know, ask and, and want to understand." And then we have a foreword from our CEO. Uh, so, so that's kind of the, the what's new and, and cool about it.

Uh, what, what is also really cool about it is, you know, we self-publish the original. And it's been pretty successful. And we've had trouble keeping up with distribution, uh, particularly like internationally. So, you know, for us, you know, getting picked up by Wiley so that we can make sure that we can fulfill, you know, in India and, um, in Germany and France and, you know, all these places where it was proving challenging to do with was, was important.

That's really cool. Yeah, it must feel good to not have to worry about all the logistics so much because I can imagine that was a lot internationally.

Yeah, yeah.

That's so exciting though.

It is. It's fun.

It must feel really good to have a second edition out.

Yeah.

Um, I'd love to, just kind of switching gears, I'd love to talk about just obviously we touched on that it's a tough time economically, things are a little bit rocky, but what do you think are the biggest challenges for CMOs right now whether it's like for their team internally hiring or do you think it's more about hitting their targets and reaching their KPIs?

So, my title is actually Chief Market Officer and I really advocate for marketers to think of themselves as market, market, market. Because we can get very focused on the -ing-

Mm-hmm, yes.

... which is all the stuff that we do and not be focused on what, what does this mean for our market? What's the impact we're having on the market? How are we shaping the market? And so, you know, obviously, I talked to a lot of CMOs and we talk a lot about that. And, and the CMOs' voice and strategy and TAM analysis and working with sales on even things like territory design.

You know, if the territories aren't designed in markets that you think you can market to and serve that you're gonna have major issue [laughs] with alignment, you know? So, so we talk about those things. I talk a lot with CMOs. I think for demand gen though, professionals, what does that mean for you? And, and, and I think thinking, "Okay, we're gonna do this campaign, what's the segment of account? Why this segment of account? How does the segment of account convert? You know?

So, like you can also have a market lens at all times and we are in a challenging market like newsflash. It is challenging market. Um, and so, what does that mean? Well, there's things we can control and there's things we can't control. So, can't control thing but we can control who we choose as our market.

And so, you know, for us, really, really doubling down what are the most winnable segments? Where are we gonna go to expand growth and TAM? Which segments might get, and COVID was the same thing, which segments are going to get hit harder than others? You know, hence, they'll still be in a position to buy. So, really thinking through that and, and dissecting that, uh, often to make sure that your sales and marketing machine is pointing ... pointed at the most winnable counts is really important.

And then the second thing-

And when you say most winnable, can you touch on just what you mean by most winnable? Is it the best close rate, the biggest accounts, combination of a bunch of things?

Yeah, it's a combination. But, you know, you want to ultimately look at, um, the of course ASP cycle times, uh, win rates. But then you also want to look at, uh, retention, as well as NRR, right? Because, um, and so I shouldn't probably even call it the most winnable because you, you can go win an account and sell churn and then you're, you're really not, not doing yourself-

Yeah, it's not really winning everything.

... or the company a lot of service. But, but yeah, it's, it's, it's saying like, you know, who's buying right now, like a lot of looking at velocities and, and things like that. Um, because and I think it's particularly looking at like velocity and conversion because especially right now, um, you know, there are companies that might not have four or five quarters to play it through. So-

Yeah.

... who, who is really ... and, and, and intent data is great. Who's in market? Who's still in market? Uh, to be able to, to do that analysis is important. So, that's something you can control. The other thing you can control is your message and make sure that it's appropriate or in the market and what the market wants to hear and needs to hear. And then last, you could control your execution. And, you know, um, just out execute everybody else. And a lot of times, that's the winning formula.

Yeah. I think a lot of times at, at least what marketers that I talk to out execute often just means get it done first which isn't always the best way to get things done. Um-

Sometimes you wait and see with someone, you know, and then make it better.

Yeah. That's what I was gonna ask you is if you ... I'm assuming that you are on the same stance just because you said the piece about detail-oriented team members, but sometimes it is better to wait and see and watch other people kind of not necessarily stumble but try it out first and see what you can learn from their campaigns.

Um, is there anything that you've seen anyone try? Like obviously, no naming names or anything? Um, but any type of campaign you've seen people try and then you've kind of realize like, "Oh, I'm glad we didn't try that. And I'm glad we waited for them."

Oh, that happens daily.

Yes.

I see a lot of marketing every day. So, why, why don't I take this in a different direction and I'll talk about the campaigns that inspire me. Um-

Yeah, that's more fun.

So, there was a Dove Campaign that's showing all different shapes and sizes of women. And that remains one of my favorite campaigns. Uh, and so it, it was emotional. It was inspiring. And at the time, no one ... it was brand new. Everybody used mono-

I feel like I can picture the exact one you're talking about, yes [laughs].

You can see it in your mind. And now, now, it's not like a, you know-

It's not as shocking, yeah.

It was brand new. And so I, I would say I'm less maybe about wait and see and more about take, take a couple big risks and go all in on them because that's what I can great marketing is. So, I love that.

Um, another thing that we do is we'll sort of look at what everyone in the space is doing. And then we'll say, "Well, let's do something totally different." So, better marketing doesn't necessarily work different works. So, you know, we really try to see if we can do something that, you know, maybe a different standard or different approach or bold.

Um, I really like how people are using derives data like derived data from their platform for thought leadership. Um, you, you know, helping buyers buy is an important part of marketing. So, you know, there's a couple of great books out there that ... And I think there's sort, sort of avoid with a TOPO being gone and serious decision. So, we, we sort of 6sense research because I thought that was really interesting and necessary and, um, you know, something we wanted to, to capitalize on.

Um, so those are some of the places that, you know, we benchmark. Uh, every six months, we do a pretty robust benchmarking just to see-

And is that just internally or do you have customer data for that as well?

Uh, it's ... We, we benchmark competitively. We benchmark against people in our ecosystem that aren't really competitors but, you know, would be in more tech or sales tag. We benchmark what we would consider best in class. We benchmark against just what and sometimes our, um, our ... We are ... Insights is one of our investors and they're great about giving us benchmark data to use.

Um, so it depends on the, the function, what, what the right benchmark sometimes are.

Right, yeah.

I think sometimes you, you can't just navel-gaze, right? So, you're up 100% if you're still rinky-dink and not making any type of like-

100% I might be, too. It was one, yeah.

Right, yeah, exactly, exactly. So, you know, you should be proud of that job and be wrong. And we do year over year and quarter over quarter and all that. But I think sometimes you gotta like zoom out and be like, "How does this compare about what's going on?"

Mm-hmm. Yeah. My next question was going to be where you get the data but you kind of ... Um, I think that's always the challenge is we ... internally, we always talk about benchmarking is just getting either partners or customers that are willing to share that data and are also excited about benchmarking, too, just so that we can just kind of share those wins and-

Yeah, I put out an e book I think last week or it's either coming out or it, it just came out that where I sourced all of where what, what we use.

Oh, great. I have to check that out. I'll put the link for that in the show notes, too.

Yeah. Because it was-

Yeah.

... like to put it all together the first, first time was super painful.

Everybody wants to benchmark so they just don't know where to go, right?

Yeah. So, the first time was super painful. And now we're like, "Okay, we know this is what we use-

Yeah, you know who's publishing in.

Yeah.

That's awesome. Great. So, um, I'd love to move on to our quick-fire rounds. Just a couple of quick questions to wrap up with you.

Cool.

First, is there any other marketer you follow that our listeners should go check out and maybe subscribe to them or follow their content?

Well, I love Matt Heinz. We're partners in fry with our community. So, um, you know, always love, love working with him. Uh, we recently put out a Board Book. So, these are CMOs who are also board-ready. Um, and I posted this. There's 60 awesome CMOs in here. But they're more experienced CMOs. They could also be serving on board. So, I would definitely check out any of these amazing women, uh, for inspiration.

Cool. Where can we find the list of CMOs that you have in there?

Uh, it's on empoweredcmo.com.

Great. We'll add that. I would love to check it out.

Um, it is under the Board Book.

Mm-hmm. Perfect. And is there an under-the-radar channel or maybe a tactic that your team is either loving right now or just starting to play around with?

Oh, yeah, this is gonna blow your mind. Um-

This is my favorite question of the whole thing every time.

So, we get to beat up a lot of stuff in our product which is really fun. And this launches in two weeks. So, by the time this is out, it will-

Will be done.

... hope- hopefully already been launched. But my biggest challenge is I'm able to pick up all these in market opportunities.

Right.

But I want to make sure that they ... I, I call it a revenue moment, right? There's these revenue moments and we know that they're in market. How do I make sure that we capture every single revenue moment and none get mixed even if it's a weekend or whatever?

And so, um, we, we started thinking about that. And we started thinking about, well, what, you know, how do we make ... How do we start to like revolutionize email because email hasn't really changed for a long time. Um, and the challenge with email is making it ... is writing the email, not sending them. Uh, there's lots of ways to send emails.

But we're gathering all this behavioral information about what content you consumed, where you went on a website if you're researching a competitor, what's your zone is? Gosh, that, you can write a killer email and series emails with that.

And so, there's this natural language processing technology GPT3, I always like to say about GTP3, um, that actually allows ... that, that is about writing, writing. And people have written term papers and all kinds of stuff using this, this technology. And so, we've leveraged that to be able to take all of our rich data and intent signal and actually write the first ... uh, propose the first email. So that's pretty cool.

But it's not just that, it's also, um, AI-driven email to understand did you loop someone else in? You, you might say, "Latane, I'm not the right person. You need to talk to Nick." Well, the AI emails this Nick that you looped in Nick and then picks the email chain on and sends it to Nick. Or you might say, "Latane, I'm out of the office," or your out-of-office might come on and then the AI says, "Okay, we'll follow up with her in two days or three days," or whatever.

And so, it's also able to like read the incoming emails and make some decisions to be able to help you in a, in a, um, relevant but very robust and efficient way, work a lot of the demand signals that you're getting. Um, and so, we've been able to pilot this and we call it Free Money. I mean, we have found so many opportunities that would have otherwise like not gotten worked. Um, and so, that's been really fun.

That's very cool. We just, um, our Dreamforce is just wrapping up while we're recording this. Um, I don't think I've ever gotten so many out-of-offices before-

Yeah, right?

... when I'm sending a marketing email so it would be really handy to play around with something like that.

Right, exactly, exactly.

Very cool. Great. And lastly, what's the best channel to follow you on if people want to see more content from you, Latane?

Uh, LinkedIn.

Great. We will add that link. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Thank you. This was a lot of fun. Appreciate you having me on your show.

Thanks so much. And thanks, everybody, for listening. And that was Season 3 of Demand Gen Chat and we'll be back in the New Year.

About DGC
Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!
About Mastersaas live
MasterSaaS Live is the interview series that takes you from Bad SaaS to badass, with host Alina Vandenberghe, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Chili Piper. Tune in to learn about music for marketing, B2B on TikTok, why different is better than good, and so much more. Alina chats with CEOs, Founders, CMOs, and CROs to dig deep into hot-bucket sales and marketing topics that will leave you begging for more.
HOST
Tara Robertson
GUESTS
Latané Conant
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