Q&A with Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense

Q&A with Latane Conant
Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense has always been keenly focused on leveraging data to ensure marketing programs result in deals, not just leads.

At 6sense, Latane helps sales and marketing leaders increase revenue by tapping into the power of predictive intelligence to uncover buyers who are ready to buy.

MEDIA 7: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LATANE CONANT:
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a lifeguard and swim coach. When I was 5 years old, I joined the swim team as one of the youngest swimmers. At 13, I was too young to be a lifeguard so I begged them to create a “JR lifeguard” position. This was essentially deck swabbing and towel service but I didn’t care. So they hired me and called me “young jedi”. The head lifeguard loved to play jokes on me. One time he gave me a ruler and said every deck chair needed to be 10 ¾ inches apart. There were 50+ deck chairs, but I went out and started measuring. Finally, after a few chairs, they called me over the loudspeaker to come back to the office and we all had a big laugh. Another time they took me down to the filter room, which was underground and pretty spooky.

BUT as a young jedi, I had to learn how the system worked. We descended under the deck and I climbed a rickety old ladder to look down into the pump. Another lifeguard in scuba gear was waiting underwater and jumped out of the filter tank and scared the bejesus out of me! Once I calmed down I thought it was pretty hysterical! My role could have been seen as pretty mundane - bathroom cleaning and towel folding - BUT I loved the people I worked with so much. I worshipped the lifeguards and swim coaches!

They kept me on my toes and in stitches all summer, so it’s still one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I finally graduated to teaching swim lessons, with a focus on kids who did not swim at all and were afraid to go in the pool. Nothing was more rewarding than seeing someone do something they thought they could not, or actually loving something that used to scare them - like put their head underwater, dive off the blocks, or swim the butterfly stroke for a lap.

M7: Latane, you have always thrived on working with wicked smart people. How do you get the best out of them when there is a common notion that it’s difficult to make smart people work together?
LC: 
Talented people want to be able to do great work. Not the average, crank some blogs out or run an event, but truly cool and differentiated things. My job is to be a force field and ensure the team has the opportunity to try different things and do their best work. This means providing focus. A powerful focus tool we use is the V2MOM. V2MOM stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Metrics. Vision is what you want to achieve. Ideally your vision makes everyone uncomfortably excited. Values are why it matters, what you believe, guiding principles for decision making. Methods are where the rubber meets the road and are the top things you will do to achieve the vision.

Under each method, it's key to detail out obstacles (so you can plan around them) and metrics so you know if the method is on track. What’s nice about the system is that it provides built-in planning and is time bound. So every quarter I get my team together and we revise our V2MOM. This builds consensus around the vision and how we are going to get there. Every method gets assigned an owner, which drives accountability. And we publically track the metrics weekly so everyone knows our progress. The interesting thing about the V2MOM is not what's on the V2mom but what is NOT on the V2MOM. Because the process requires hyper prioritization of what you are going to do in a given time period, it forces focus.

I’m pretty obsessed and love the V2MOM. I am happy to share more on how teams can adopt, implement, and use it.  In fact, maybe in my next life, I will be a V2mom consultant!


"Marketing is harder and harder these days because buyers want to remain anonymous."

M7: How does leveraging smart technologies like AI help marketers have an edge over others and achieve on-time targets?
LC:
We need every advantage we can get in order to be successful and AI provides that advantage. Marketing is harder and harder these days because buyers want to remain anonymous. In fact, 90 percent of B2B buying behavior is digital and anonymous. Buyers also buy in teams, so the buying journey and process is very fragmented across many people. According to Gartner, it’s typical for a buying team to have more than 10 people involved. Adding to that, buyers are resistant. Every member of the B2B buying team requires highly personalized multi-touch and multi-channel engagement to take a meeting.
But our current systems are built for known static data, which only 12% of marketers have confidence in.
Revenue-generating teams should look for platforms that allow them to uncover buyer behavior, particularly the anonymous behavior, so they can stop spending money, time, and energy on the accounts that aren’t even in-market. Instead, through AI and big data, that money, time and energy can be used to uncover their “dark funnel,” or the rich information that is being done on your company and/or solution in the dark. Next, they must prioritize. Look across behavior to determine and group buying teams. Look for changes in behavior over time to fully grasp which accounts are in-market, ready for an upsell, or have potential to churn. AI can deliver these insights with a high degree of accuracy so you can know when accounts are getting ready to open opportunities. Enabling you to focus your time, salespeople and BDRs on the BEST accounts. Once you have uncovered anonymous behavior and prioritized timing, it’s time to engage. Engaging is about orchestrating multi-touch, multi-channel, highly personalized messages at scale. This is where AI really shines. It tells us the best time to use display ads vs. email vs a direct mailer and even triggers actions across channels. It also ensures we are personalizing appropriately so if someone has consumed the demo it offers them another piece of content so they aren’t served the demo AGAIN.  Based on their behavior, buying stage, persona, and company we can dynamically deliver the best experience. Teams that use this approach see unbelievable results and are beating out their competition with 40 percent more opportunities, 5x larger deals, and 1.5x faster cycle times.


"Engaging is about orchestrating multi-touch, multi-channel, highly personalized messages at scale. This is where AI really shines."

M7: How does 6sense’s Account Based Orchestration Platform help revenue teams to compete and win in the age of account-based buying?
LC:
I had my team do some research on the typical results b2b sales and marketing teams see from their efforts. The picture is not pretty. In fact EVERY minute:
- DOZENS of interested buyers will visit your website but only ONE will identify themselves.
- Your most important prospect will receive 2 NEW EMAILS. They will likely delete them both without opening.
- Your sales reps will spend ONE-QUARTER of their time on leads who have no intention to buy.
- Your BDR team will make just over 6 calls. They will book ZERO meetings.

No wonder marketing and sales teams get misaligned. This is not competing or winning.

Account Based Marketing is all the rage - It requires selecting the best accounts to go after, detailed insights into accounts and personas, highly personalized multi-channel engagement, alignment with sales, and the ability to track “real stuff” like increased engagement, pipeline, and revenue. ABM makes a lot of sense vs. traditional tactics that result in millions of unopened emails that get sent each year, thousands of dollars spent on swag at events that don’t lead to an opportunity, etc. However, the dirty little secret is that it’s impossible to scale without GREAT customer insights and orchestration capabilities. This is why you hear a lot about ABM pilots and not about ABM at scale.
6sense brings sales, business development, customer success, and marketing together on one platform that provides an unprecedented level of insights and the ability to take action. 

6sense delivers ABM at scale by providing (at a click in an easy to use UI):
- an understanding of best accounts to go after based on your business objective, technographic, firmographic, and real-time behavioral information.
- insights into the key personas to engage, the topics they care about, and where they are in their buying stage.
- orchestrated engagement across tactics from email, to display ads, to direct mail.
- alerts for sales with relevant details like when to call, what to say, what accounts are doing anonymously/in the “dark funnel”, and what marketing activities are working.
- tracking and metrics around how campaigns perform, if new personas engage, if you influenced opportunities, and if you gained net new opportunities.

This means sales and marketing can get BACK to sales and marketing, aligning on a business objective, messaging, and the experience you want to deliver for prospects - one you can actually be proud of. One without useless forms, spam, and cold calls. And because our platform provides transparency, reduced mundane work, and competitive advantage, prospecting actually becomes fun!

M7: What is the “dark funnel” and how can marketers embrace that?
LC:
So, the dark funnel is all of the data, information, people, and research that is happening right now for our product or solution that we have no insights into. You have to zoom out and think about the complexity of this cycle and how it’s changed. First of all, B2B buyers want to remain anonymous for as long as possible and our trick to making them not anonymous was to have some sort of gated content or to maybe try to run them down at a trade show or scan them but that doesn’t work anymore. All of our systems are set up for contact or a lead which is one person. What we find now is buyers buying in these teams, so you have to be able to understand how one person on the team is interacting with another person, how to put them together and how their collective research and desires come together. And again, all of that’s happening anonymously. So, the dark funnel research just went from one person to ten peoples’ research.

The other challenge is, in order to engage with buyers because they get so much noise and are so inundated, in fact in B2B we send about 300 billion emails a year, there’s only 7.7 billion people in the world and that’s not even B2C, so that doesn’t mean they’re on pottery barn’s list. So, our email motion in being able to break out of the noise is incredibly difficult. Hence, we have to have more touches and more capabilities and all of those emails and things that we’re sending are all in this dark funnel, we don’t truly understand how they’re getting consumed. So what ends up happening is we as marketers have to do a lot of guessing in how we design our programs and how we engage with customers and when you can start to really shine a light on the dark funnel and understand that rich research and the buying team and most importantly understand where they are in their journey, understand the timing. Rather than spamming you can start to really personalize in engagement and experience based on what they care about, who they are and most importantly, where they are in the buying journey.


"6sense brings sales, business development, customer success, and marketing together on one platform that provides an unprecedented level of insights and the ability to take action."

M7: To what extent does having a deep insight into a prospect’s buying journey help marketers in sales conversion and closing deals?
LC: 
Marketing is hard, selling is harder, and being a business development rep is the HARDEST. Business Development Reps and AE’s are expected to make hundreds of calls and send tons of email a week, but how do they know the contacts they are calling on aren’t random? Are they even in-market? How do they know when the best time to call is or what to even discuss without knowing the contacts needs? With outbound efforts, BDR’s and AE’s want opportunities, not just activity, but they don’t have a good way to make the right connections with the right content in order to be successful.

To reduce turnover and give outbound sales teams the best chance of success, we have to give them insights, with a robust group of digital signals to show if an account is actually in-market to buy or beginning the early stages of research. And with potential buyers leaving a digital footprint in the form of intent signals across the internet, both known and anonymous interactions with your website, as well as thousands of other 3rd party sites, we can take the guesswork out of identifying which accounts to target and what topics or competitors those accounts are searching.

Deep insights from 6sense help marketing, sales, and BDRs understand where each account is in their buyer journey and focus efforts on those who are actively in-market or in the early stages of research for our product or service. This lets the sales team know the ideal time to engage and what the account is interested in, taking the conversation from a cold call to a productive, meaningful one, driving higher conversions, win rates, and average deal size.

M7: 6sense recently launched Account-Based External Media Campaigns Analytics. How is it enabling media campaign effectiveness?
LC: 
The days of a four martini lunch and a deal are long gone since buyers don't want to talk to sales until they are 70% through the journey. Because of this shift, B2B digital ad spend is projected to hit $6.08 billion this year. It is an effective way to reach buyers in target accounts if done strategically with insights and proper measurement.

This feature focuses on digital agencies and the brands they work with. They use 6sense and all the rich insights on behavior and keywords in their campaign planning. It enables them to micro-segment and take an audience first approach vs designing a campaign and then finding an audience, flipping the campaign planning process on its head. 6sense also allows agencies to compare campaigns across different channels - tracking reach, engagement, and influence of these campaigns on accounts they are targeting for their customers.
Innovative agencies are partnering with us to deliver for their customers and they are seeing high returns on their investment.

M7: What is your favorite quote?
LC: 
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” - Mick Jagger

ABOUT 6SENSE

6sense’s Account Based Orchestration Platform helps revenue teams compete and win in the age of Account Based Buying by putting the power of AI, big data and machine learning behind every member of the B2B revenue team, empowering them to uncover anonymous buying behavior, prioritize fragmented data to focus on accounts in market, and engage resistant buying teams with personalized, omni-channel, multi-touch campaigns. 6sense helps revenue teams know everything they need to know about their buyers so they can easily do anything they need to do to generate more opportunities, increase deal size, get into opportunities sooner, compete and win more often.

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Advanced Power Announces Investment Tax Credit Purchase

PR Newswire | January 03, 2024

Advanced Power continues to show its commitment to advancing a sustainable energy future through its purchase of renewable energy investment tax credits (ITC). The credits were made available through the development of rooftop solar facilities offered for sale by a third party. "Advancing a sustainable energy future drives our actions," said Advanced Power's CEO Tom Spang. "We are pleased to close this latest transaction, which supports our vision of a clean, reliable energy future." The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) made the transfer of renewable energy tax credits possible. The IRA aims to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and drive increased deployment of new, clean electricity resources. Section 6418 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for the transfer (sale) of certain renewable energy tax credits from renewable energy project developers to a qualified third party. "Advanced Power is a developer, owner, and asset manager of modern power infrastructure and has now made a tax equity investment and completed a tax credit transfer transaction. We are positioned to execute similar transactions soon," added Spang. Reunion, a technology-enabled finance company that helps guide corporate tax teams through the clean energy tax credit transaction process, originated the opportunity for Advanced Power and facilitated the transaction between the parties. Advanced Power Focusing on Further U.S. Renewables Development Advanced Power manages all aspects of an energy project's life cycle, including development, construction, financial structuring, and operations. A robust renewables pipeline across Desert Southwest, ERCOT, PJM, and MISO is underway. Late-stage projects in the pipeline include: Eldora Energy – 240 MWdc solar with an additional 200MW/400MWh battery storage facility Alina Energy – 220 MWdc solar with an additional 200MW/400MWh battery storage facility Elio Energy – 300MW/600MWh battery storage facility Rock Rose Energy – 200MW/400MWh battery storage facility About Advanced Power Advanced Power is a privately owned global developer, manager, and owner of modern power infrastructure. The company develops low-carbon and renewable electric generating projects as an independent power producer. Advanced Power's successes include 11 gigawatts in development or operations in the United States and Europe. The company has offices in Boston and Houston, with a registered office in Zug, Switzerland. Founded in 2000, Advanced Power is focused on advancing a sustainable energy future, bringing reliable energy to places that need it, and providing economic benefits plus jobs to communities while making massive contributions to reducing CO2 emissions.

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Energy

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI)-Led Joint Initiative with Ocean Man First Nation to Build One of the Largest Solar Projects in Canada

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure LLC (GSI), one of the renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, announced that Iyuhána Solar (Iyuhána), a GSI-led partnership with Saturn Power Inc. and Ocean Man First Nation, has been awarded a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to construct and operate a 100-megawatt (MWac) utility-scale solar facility in Saskatchewan, Canada. Developed in partnership with Ocean Man First Nation, the project will be one of Canada's top 10 solar facilities by size. Under an exclusive PPA, the largest with a utility in Canada since 2015, Iyuhána plans to invest approximately $200 million (CDN) to construct the solar facility, which it will operate, supplying generated power to the principal municipal utility company, SaskPower, for 25 years. Located in the Rural Municipality of Estevan in southeast Saskatchewan, this emissions-free solar facility will produce enough power for the equivalent of approximately 25,000 homes. "We are proud to bring the transformative power of solar energy to Saskatchewan by working with partners such as Ocean Man First Nation," said Mazen Turk, CEO of GSI. "This unique collaboration shows the power of renewable energy to harness resources and empower communities responsibly. This work is core to our ethos as a Libra company, and we look forward to continuing to help support a clean energy future across Canada and beyond." As a founding partner, Ocean Man First Nation will have an ownership stake in Iyuhána Solar. Band members will also receive specialized training to maintain the solar facilities and employment opportunities with the project. Additionally, partnering with two of Saskatchewan's leading post-secondary academic institutions, Iyuhána will provide scholarships, internships, and direct research projects in clean energy to benefit the community. "Our partnership with GSI and SaskPower will bring great opportunities for Ocean Man First Nation, including employment and revenue that will provide stability and sustainability for our Band," said Chief Connie Big Eagle, Ocean Man First Nation. "We are proud that this project, which is able to generate clean power, will be known as Iyuhána Solar, which, in Nakotah translates to 'everyone' or 'all of us.' This is derived from our Nakotah belief that everyone and everything is related and therefore we must care for each other." While investment in renewable energy grows across Canada, Saskatchewan's clean power supply mix has predominantly consisted of hydro and wind. This is the first of many planned solar projects in the province; by 2035, SaskPower plans to support approximately 3000 MW of new renewable energy capacity in the region. "This new solar facility will play an important role in our path to net-zero by 2050 or sooner," said Rupen Pandya, SaskPower President and CEO. "We are proud of our ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples and the critical role they are playing in the successful expansion of renewable energy in our province." GSI is one of four renewable energy subsidiaries of Libra Group, a privately owned, global business group that encompasses 20 businesses in six sectors, including renewable energy, maritime, aerospace and more. The Group's renewable energy portfolio encompasses approximately 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects owned, developed, or pending development in 10 countries, including solar, wind, battery storage, and waste-to energy projects. This is the second partnership with an indigenous community led by a Libra Group subsidiary. "Libra Group is proud of this novel partnership, which has come together through shared values and a commitment to driving economic growth and positive outcomes for communities," said Libra Group's CEO Manos Kouligkas. "Sustainability is core to our global business, and we look forward to continuing to leverage synergies across our six sectors in 60 countries with agility and impact." Last year, GSI acquired Saturn Power Inc.'s solar and battery development portfolios, including its team of seasoned developers and an approximate 1.4-gigawatt (GW) pipeline of early- to late-stage solar and energy storage projects. Today, GSI has a footprint across Canada and in 12 U.S. states. About Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI) is one of the clean energy subsidiaries of Libra Group. GSI is a renewable energy company focused on the development, construction, and operation of distributed generation and utility-scale solar energy and battery storage projects in North America. As of January 2024, the company developed approximately 388 MW DC across 71 renewable energy projects, many of which are still owned or operated by GSI and have an additional project pipeline of 1.6 GW. GSI's seasoned team has a proven track record of investing in power assets and partnering with multiple top-tiered investors. For more information on Greenwood Sustainable Infrastructure (GSI), visit: http://www.greenwoodinfra.com/ About Ocean Man First Nation The Ocean Man First Nation is a Nakota, Cree, and Saulteaux Band Government in southeast Saskatchewan. OMFN is led by Chief Connie Big Eagle & Council and features a population of 565 members. Ocean Man First Nation created a renewable energy company in 2019 called Second Wind Power. The name Second Wind Power reflects Ocean Man First Nation's history of relocating, re-establishing and starting over as a new community since 1989. About Libra Group Libra Group is a privately owned, global business group encompassing 20 businesses predominately focused on aerospace, renewable energy, maritime, real estate, hospitality, and diversified investments. With assets and operations in nearly 60 countries, the Group applies the strength of its global network and capabilities to deliver cross-sector insights and growth at scale.

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Energy

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Agreement to Supply Federal Facilities in Three Southern States with 100% Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity

PR Newswire | October 26, 2023

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between GSA and Southern Company to develop carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) options for federal facilities in Southern Company's service territories. The MOU documents the intent of GSA and Southern Company to collaborate on development of a roadmap that, when executed, will lead to federal agencies in that region buying more CFE and achieving reliability and resiliency objectives outlined in Executive Order 14057 [lnks.gd]. The Biden-Harris Administration is leading by example to tackle the climate crisis through President Biden's Federal Sustainability Plan, which establishes an ambitious path to achieve 100% CFE for Federal government operations by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 basis, along with aggressive goals for electric vehicles and net-zero emissions buildings. said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. This is our fourth MOU with a utility company and it's another example of how GSA is leading by example in tackling climate change, using our buying power and real estate footprint to move markets, create demand, drive efficiency, and catalyze efficiency and clean energy innovation. Through smart partnerships with energy service providers, we can help advance sustainability, create jobs, save taxpayer dollars, and ensure a healthier planet for our kids. [Source:PR Newswire] "Today's announcement delivers on President Biden's vision to build a new economy powered by clean energy—one that creates well-/paying jobs for American workers, healthier air for communities, and increases our energy independence," said Andrew Mayock, the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Southern Company has a goal to reach a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, from 2007 emissions levels, and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Currently, the United States Army is the largest federal customer served by Southern Company. "The Department of Defense and the Army are committed to using carbon-free energy to support our national defense mission," said the Honorable Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the United States Army, Installations, Energy and Environment. "Distributed Carbon-free energy generation–when integrated into a modernized grid that includes large-scale storage, upgraded transmission lines, and enhanced cybersecurity controls - is the best way to promote resilience so we can continue to deploy, fight, and win the nation's wars. The Army applauds the GSA-Southern Company agreement. The agreement demonstrates the exact kind of collaboration that is key to improving the reliability and resilience of the commercial grid and achieving our carbon-free energy and readiness goals." "Southern Company recognizes the importance of developing and supplying carbon-free electricity as we continue our efforts toward our goal of reaching net zero by 2050," said Chris Womack, CEO and president of Southern Company. "Through industry-leading innovation and a commitment to a net zero future, we are delivering sustainable and resilient energy solutions that help drive growth and prosperity. This partnership will serve as another important step toward these goals." GSA will continue to engage with Southern Company and other utilities to explore the advancement of potential CFE solutions including solar, battery storage, nuclear power, on-site generation and new sustainable technologies like clean hydrogen.

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