It’s time to tell the market, “It’s not you. It’s me.” Like, for real.
Developing a go-to-market strategy is no easy feat. But if you’re planning on blaming the market for your strategy failing, you’ve got it all wrong.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer of 6sense, to learn about all things account-based marketing (ABM) and account-based experience (ABX). Latané discusses what she learned in her first job, why ABX is improving the customer experience, what go-to-market strategies companies can implement now, and more. So much more, we couldn’t possibly fit it all here!
To watch the full interview, check out the video below:
This interview is part of G2’s Professional Spotlight series. For more content like this, subscribe to G2 Tea, a monthly newsletter with SaaS-y news and entertainment.
When do you enjoy it? I find myself enjoying it by the lake.
What was your first job? My first real job was as a lifeguard, and then I taught swim lessons and coached a swim team.
What’s your favorite software in your current tech stack? My current favorite software, well, obviously, is 6sense. We have a really good partnership with a company called Superside and that's helped us scale some of our digital advertising and campaigns. I've enjoyed working a lot with them as well. We're also using a product called Writer to help us scale up blogs and get more out of everything that we're doing.
What problems at work make you want to throw your laptop out the window? Sometimes I feel Slack can be an anti-productivity tool. It causes a lot of anxiety because I've got my work Slack channel, and I've got the CMO Coffee Talk Slack channel, which I love. Plus, I have my work email, and I've got Gmail, and I've got the kids' stuff. Sometimes I just wake up in a cold sweat, like, am I dropping the ball? Did someone send me something? Where did it get sent? Did I reply? There's so much coming at you all the time.
Deep dives with Latané Conant
Alexandra Vazquez: Let's jump into a little bit more about your role specifically: what does ABM mean to you? How can you describe it in terms of how it relates to ABX?
Latané Conant: I think it's all very similar. I boil it all down to: an ABM/ABX account-based strategy is about the entire company focused on the most winnable accounts and contacts. It's all about your strategy. It's about really understanding your ideal customer profile.
I see so many people just wasting their precious selling time and their precious marketing time spent on accounts that are never gonna convert, accounts that aren't ready to buy, or accounts that aren't ideal for them. The core fundamental of ABM is great data and great insights about why that's a great account, why that's the right contact, and when it’s the right time.
You discuss this approach a lot in your book, No Forms. No Spam. No Cold Calls. You talk about this different approach to account-based marketing: account-based experience. Why do you think this approach is so much better and improves the customer experience?
Ultimately, as a seller or a marketer, you want to have a positive connection with a customer, and a positive connection is about adding value and being relevant. It's extremely difficult to be relevant and add value to a prospect or a future customer if you don't have good insights about them.
Why are they a good prospect for you? Is there a relevant case study? Have you made someone else like them successful? What technology are they on? What are other things that they're buying that help you understand their pain or their need? What kinds of things are they researching? Have they come to your website?
You can be this amazing tour guide in helping them through a process. The only way to do that today is through great insights.
97% of visitors are coming to your website and not filling out a form. So we need to have a way to form a relationship with that other 97%.
We can study winning patterns, we can see the messages that resonate, we can see what gets someone coming back, and we can see the content that key personas are consuming. This allows us to be that tour guide for a prospect or a customer. Great insights are just so powerful for selling and marketing teams.
Shifting into that insight mentality, what kind of actionable items would you recommend to companies that want to take this customer-led growth approach long-term?
The number one thing is knowing who's on your website. I know it sounds so basic, but a lot of companies don't even know the other 97%, and that's almost criminal. Make sure that you're understanding that behavior. That's critical.
The second is making sure your message resonates. So looking at those top keywords, looking at the deals that you want so you can repeat those winning patterns.
Next, it's about prioritization. How do you make sure that your ideal customer profile and your in-market ideal customer profile are who you're spending the bulk of your money, time, and effort on? That's what efficiency is about, right? You're gonna get the best win rates if you're really focused on those ideal customers and those in-market ideal customers.
It can be challenging to say, no, we're gonna work fewer accounts, but we're gonna work them harder. It takes more activities per stage to progress. What you can end up doing is spreading yourself too thin and working a lot of accounts but not fully working any accounts and just losing a lot. No one likes losing a lot.
A lot of companies might not see ABX as a very attainable strategy or approach. How practical do you think it is for a company to shift into ABX?
It's super practical because, to me, it's another layer. It's overlaying this focus so that you get more out of every website visitor. You get more out of the content because you're tailoring the content to what you know works. A lot of people think about it as adding this whole other thing. I see it as taking everything that you're doing and making sure it's so much more effective and refined.
Today, we have to do more with less. What's the antidote to that? How do we do that? To me, it's just working smarter and using those insights to power your go-to-market motion.
With buyers being more selective, marketing leaders have to handle the pressure of delivering not only practical value, but a practical value that the consumer can see and feel. What kind of strategies would you recommend?
The market is the most important part of the job. So any time there's a shift in the market, you have to really re-evaluate where your buyers are. Are we meeting the market at the right place? Are we talking about the relevant problem today, given this change in the market? Are we really zoning in on the right journey, given this change in the market?
That's the most important thing: making sure you have a great product. If the market doesn't understand it or if it's not in tune with what the market needs right now, you're not gonna sell the product.
Alexandra Vazquez is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. She received her Business Administration degree from Florida International University and is a published playwright. Alexandra's expertise lies in writing for the Supply Chain and Commerce personas, with articles focusing on topics such as demand planning, inventory management, consumer behavior, and business forecasting. In her spare time, she enjoys collecting board games, playing karaoke, and watching trashy reality TV.
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