Behind the Investment: How 6sense is Reinventing B2B Selling and Marketing

Published

In January, we announced our investment in 6sense. This investment represents the culmination of years of diligence and internal debate around the future of B2B Selling and Marketing.

At Insight we have over 150 active portfolio companies. Take our word for it – when a company misses its forecast, people start pointing fingers. We rounded up some feedback from portfolio companies and here is what we found:

Most common Salesperson’s excuse:

  1. “I can’t hit my numbers because marketing didn’t send us enough leads.”
  2. “The lead quality is horrible. I’m wasting time calling prospects that aren’t remotely interested in our product.”
  3. "Our marketing content is useless!”

Most common Marketing person’s excuse:

  1. "The Sales team doesn't listen to us."
  2. "Sales isn't following up on our leads when we tell them to."
  3. "$%&#*!!" <– insert profanity exemplifying frustration

There are a few causes of the chaos. 1) Sales and Marketing teams are not aligned 2) Sales and Marketing divisions are cluttered with point solutions that don't enable communication between departments 3) Account Engagement is lacking in a meaningful way, and 4) old habits die hard.

Most of the B2B world still employs "shotgun-based marketing" or "spray-and-pray" tactics. The process entails acquiring long prospect lists and blasting templatized, generic campaigns in hopes that a few land and resonate with potential buyers. While this may have worked in the late 90s/early 2000s when marketing automation solutions emerged – we have seen across our portfolio this isn’t a successful tactic anymore.

What’s truly unique about 6sense is its strength in data, with an embedded CDP at its core. This enables the entire organization – marketing, sales, and customer success – to gain alignment on priority accounts and operationalize account and contact specific data and insights. To start, 6sense's platform enables your organization to identify target accounts that match its ideal customer profile (ICP) using predictive analytics. Better yet, these accounts are further prioritized for the SDR and sales team using proprietary intent data. This aligns Marketing and Sales on where to focus efforts, how to engage and when to engage. Sales is equipped with rich, actionable insights on accounts and contacts, including topics of interest and engagement history. The end-result is organizational alignment, which leads to more pipeline, higher win rates, and larger deal sizes.

What better way to exemplify product efficacy than by using the software yourself to fuel growth? And that’s exactly what 6sense has done. The company had a tremendous 2019, growing well over 100% while at-scale, alongside best-in-class retention. Despite being on a hiring spree, they’ve managed to maintain consistent and healthy sales and marketing efficiency (CAC Payback). Couple product leadership in the market with a compelling team and strong SaaS KPIs, and Insight quickly jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the 6sense story. We’re stoked for what is to come in 2020 and beyond.

What’s become clear is that 6sense is evolving ABM into ABEverything, bridging the divide between sales and marketing.  

No more finger pointing.

Welcome to the Portfolio

We are thrilled to welcome 6sense to the Insight portfolio!
  • Brad Fiedler

    Brad Fiedler, Investment Associate

    Brad joined Insight in 2017. Previously, he worked at Freshly on the Growth Marketing & Customer Acquisition team in New York. He also spent a summer at Harvest Volatility Management, where he traded an option overlay strategy via the S&P 500. He received a BBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, where he graduated with…