In this episode, Saima Rashid, an accomplished marketing leader and SVP of Marketing & Revenue Analytics at 6sense, shares her experiences, expertise, and guiding principles in navigating the dynamic world of marketing. From balancing the demands of parenthood with a thriving career to harnessing the power of data-driven strategies, Saima offers valuable insights into modern marketing practices. 

She delves into her career trajectory, emphasizing the fusion of analytical prowess with creative marketing instincts.

Listen to the podcast here

Storytelling and GTM Insights through Revenue Ops: Saima Rashid, SVP of Marketing and Revenue Analytics at 6sense

Welcome to the latest episode of the B2B Go to Market Leaders podcast. Thank you once again from the very depth of my heart. I know, you have a lot of options out there, but you are taking the time to listen to the podcast and continuing to learn and grow when it comes to go to market. Now talking about learning and growing, I have yet another amazing guest on the podcast, she is Saima Rashid and she is the SVP of Marketing and Revenue Analytics at 6sense. So with that, welcome to the show, Saima.

Thank you so much, Vijay. I’m so excited to be here on your show.

Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I mean, an amazing career. You won a lot of industry awards. You got a good really almost like a rocket ship career growth. And I’m sure you can share a lot of the stories, anecdotes, and insights with our listeners around anything and everything around go to market, as well as on your personal side and career front.

Yeah, I’m happy to chat through it, and I think there’s always learning to come myself.

Like I’m just excited. You know, you talk to a lot of go-to-market leaders. So I’m interested in your POV as well.

Signature question: How do you view and define go to market?

Yeah. So I mean, at the end of the day, a go-to-market is really a comprehensive plan in the way a business is going to be bringing a product or service to the market. Right. Very simple. Now that’s, you know, an overly simple definition. The devil is of course in the details, right? You want to think about it. If you are bringing a new product or service to market, you want to understand the risk. You want to introduce, you know, some intelligence around your target market and really refine who this is for. You want to position it accordingly. You want to have a great marketing plan in place, a great distribution strategy, a great sales motion that’s going to, you know, make it happen.

And on the flip side, you also want to make those customers successful. And so it’s all of those things wrapped up into one, which is of course why I said, you know, the devil is in the details because on the surface, you know, a lot of companies go to market. I think not every company does it well. And because there’s just so many inherent risks and money and people involved, you know, you want to really plan it appropriately.

No, totally. I mean, I’ve been speaking with a lot of go-to-market guests on this podcast and even outside. They range from founders to functional leaders that include a CMO, CPO, CRO, and customer success leaders. Right. And the perspectives vary. The definitions of go to market vary. So, for example, if you ask someone from marketing or even product marketing, they say they quote and unquote are responsible for go-to-market, but that’s more of a checklist.

And here is what we need to do when we launch a product versus if you talk to someone in sales, they say we are a go-to-market, period because we are the revenue generating, the customer-facing team for the most part. And, the other nuance is a go-to-market for a version one product from a startup that’s just about starting and testing that go-to-market motion will be completely different from, let’s say, a company like 6sense, for example. Right? 

Absolutely. And I think that it’s so interesting that you get so many different POVs, which tells you it isn’t just one thing. It really is the harmony of marketing, sales, and customer success together to provide that really rich experience to not only your target, accounts your ICP, and your target buyers, but also, of course, customers as they come on board.

Yeah, absolutely. You touched upon marketing, sales, and customer success. Curious, what do you think about the product and go-to-market product too?

Oh, see, I did it, I did it, I forgot the product.

No product is actually so in the sense of, you know, I feel like the product marketing team, which I do own at 6sense, they are in lockstep with the product. Very much so. Right. Like them, we are nothing, you know, go to market really without a product and having the product informed by what we’re seeing in the market from a marketing perspective, from a competitive intelligence perspective, and then also having product information. Well, here’s what’s realistic, here’s what’s doable. Here are the timelines. Here are the features that you know will be a key differentiator for us. It has to be a negotiation and a really well-orchestrated launch.

Yeah. And especially if you’re talking about product lead growth, I mean, the product is front and center at least for the initial individual buyers and users. And then, of course, you have the sales motion that’s on top with sales assist or sales lead for a product like growth. But yeah, the product is a critical component.



Absolutely. So yeah this is a great start. So let’s take a step back. Why don’t you share with our listeners your career journey all the way from I mean, it’s up to you where you want to start.

I was born in no, I won’t go that far back. I will say I am. I think the fact that I sit in as the head of marketing at 6sense. Is an interesting story because my roots are very much in the data and analytics world. So this shows you kind of how much of a data-driven company we are. I started my career doing consulting for very big companies that were generating a lot of data. Right. It was at a B2B and B2C consulting company based in Toronto, Canada. And that’s where, you know, we operated as the analytics team for all the big banks, all the big telcos, you know, big tech companies that were generating a lot of data but didn’t have dedicated resources analyzing the impact of their marketing programs and what not and understanding their customers.


And so that’s a great place to learn because you’re working with different types of data, different industries, and so on. And then once, you know, I was there for about ten years, I moved into a role at a company based out of Boston. It’s a tech company called PTC. And there I was hired to build really the marketing analytics program. And during my eight years there, I actually ended up owning all analytics. So marketing analytics, sales analytics, and customer success analytics. Yeah. Renewal analytics services analytics, data science. So again you know it just goes to show that if you can build a culture of leveraging the data to drive insights, to inform what the functional or functions in an organization need to do. Yeah, it’s hugely valuable. And so in my time at PTC, I think that was a big hallmark of it was always supporting internal functions. So I’ve always supported, you know, marketing, sales, CS and all of that, but all with the goal of all right, here’s what the data says we should do. Let’s go do it. 

And by the way, if you won’t do it, you know or you can’t do it, we’re going to go do it. Right. So it was always taking it to that last mile. And so much of analytics I think tends to fall flat in. Here’s my deliverable. Here you go. Here’s a dashboard. Here’s a report. Go do something with it. And I think the best analytics teams are strategic partners to the functions. And we’ll go that last mile and say, well actually let’s let’s execute on this together. And that led me to 6sense where I was hired to again build out the analytics function. But through informing so much of the marketing, when the role opened up and our CMO was promoted to CRO, I was tapped to lead marketing and I couldn’t be more fortunate. I have the best team. It’s wonderful. It’s just I’m so proud of everything that they put out every day.

Fantastic. Thank you for sharing your journey. And then congratulations on the promotion and owning and leading marketing ad success that’s a huge responsibility. It’s a fun journey as well.

Absolutely. It’s huge and I don’t take it lightly. But I’ve got a phenomenal team behind me.

Yeah. By the way, I didn’t expect to assess, but since you shared this piece of news, I’m curious, like you, throughout your career, for the most part, you were responsible for the analytics, like the Revops equivalent right across organizations versus now you are responsible for a function within go to market. So how are you preparing yourself for this big shift?

Yeah. So I think over the years because the analytics translated to what are we going to do about it? What should the function do? I’ve kind of been preparing for the role,, for over 20 years now. And so I’m bringing a lot of those strengths to the way we’re planning for the year, the way we’re executing on campaigns, the way we’re evaluating which campaigns are working and not working. And then I really, you know, any good leader has to rely on the team around them.

And my leadership team has filled some of those, you know, areas where I’m not as strong or might not have as much experience. Right? I’ve got product marketing, and I’ve got R and PR under me. I’ve got, you know, a wonderful AB team that is building beautiful experiences for our prospects and customers. And I think, you know, a team that is too similar in their skill set is not a team I want to build. I want everyone to bring their own unique strengths. And, you know, lift up where there might be gaps. And so, you know, I think on-the-job training, like I’m in it, I’m in it and it’s happening. But I’ve got a great team of, you know, behind me as well as my peers. One of the most unique parts of my role at success is, yes, I lead marketing and analytics there, but I lead marketing at a company that sells to marketers. And so I am the target person. In fact, my entire team is the target persona for what we sell.

And so we have to be customer zero. We have to be the best. Possible customer of our own platform. And so that’s been phenomenal right? Coming up with net new use cases of how marketers should be adopting all of the wealth of intelligence that a tool like 6sense brings. Also in this role, I’m fortunate enough to lead a community called CMO Coffee Talk. And there are 2000 CMOs in that community. We meet twice a week, so I run two sessions on Fridays, one East Coast, and one West Coast. So not only am I learning from my team and my peers, I’m learning from the best in the business, right? And we’ll talk about topics that are, you know, to, key, you know, relevant, timely that everyone is talking about. And so there’s great learning from the ecosystem as well that I’m just so fortunate to have.

Yeah. No, this is great. And when you did mention the community, it reminded me of something that I preach. Not preach. “Preach” is not the right word, but it’s almost like a put to practice, both for my own business as well as for the clients that I work with. Right. When it comes to go to market. And curious to get your thoughts on this, when it comes to go to market I’ve studied top go-to-market leaders, and typically more often than not it comes down to three things. They get this right, which is content. The second is community and the third is experiencing/events. So if you have these three things, I mean, if you are strapped for resources, you can pick one and be really good at something similar to what Kong is doing when it comes to content. Yeah, but ideally you want to have these three. And you did mention community. So I’m eager to get your thoughts around the content community and events. And maybe I’m missing some other pieces in this.

No, I think you’ve got it. I mean, content, community, and experience. And I think we cover all three at 6sense, right? We pride ourselves on sweating the small stuff and really, you know, taking care of all the details, the experiences that our, our events team and our IB team put on our, you know, industry-leading content that we put out and we leverage, by the way, you know.

New tools. We’re looking for ways to always improve our content. putting it out in a way that is so consumable. Right. We adopt a no-form strategy on our website. Everything is un-gated. So the content that we do create and we create a lot of it is reaching our target audience. It’s all about reducing friction in what we’re doing. And so I agree with you. I think content, experience as well as communities is critical. And we do invest in each of those. And I think beyond that, also, you have to be thinking of what’s next and what marketing is producing. What’s next is, well, what’s going to be the hours and what’s going to be sales? And so we have to hold that responsibility as well. And so that does come down to. Really refining your ICP and knowing who you are going to create the content, community, and experiences for making sure that we’re not selling churn right. We want to be in front of the audience that we care about.

And so it really does come back to marketing. Who is at the top of the funnel to make sure that it’s all very relevant and focused?

Yeah. And I’m actually curious to get your thoughts on go to market. First of all, what’s been the go-to market for 6sense in terms of all these different sales motions, positioning, the ICP, targeting the content and so on? And then how you as a CMO, the new CMO, are you planning to evolve this like in 2024 and beyond?

Yeah. So it’s always, you know, evolving is what I would say. So, you know, we’ve had a traditional go-to market, we sell, you know, we launched. I actually maybe I’ll start there six and started ten years ago as a company that was looking to solve a very simple problem. If we only knew which companies were in the market for the things that we’re selling, wouldn’t our job be so much easier as sales as a sales org, as a marketing org, if we just knew who was interested? And that’s the answer that we’ve been looking to solve.

And we launched our, you know, revenue for marketing, product way back then. And since then, we’ve not only answered that question, we’ve answered, well, okay, who’s in the market? But also what are they interested in how do they want to be spoken to, and who specifically in the organization should be reaching out to and how? And so, you know, it’s all of those answers along the way that have evolved our go-to-market journey. Right. We have a product for sale now that is, you know, out there. And we launched it last year and have had huge success. Forrester just named us a leader six months into that product being launched. I mean, it’s kind of remarkable. And, you know, we’re exploring, of course, always exploring additional strategies like Plg motion as well. But, you know, the goal is to always be evolving and meeting our prospects where they are.

Yeah, no. Very cool. And on a lighter note, how would your family describe what you do? Yeah.

I love that question. I have two children who hear me on Zoom calls a lot, right from the other room. When they come back from school, they hear me, and they make fun of me and I feel like they’ve got my intro said, they always say, mama does marketing and mama does analytics, and it’s the data. And so, you know, they’ve got the gist of it at least. But what they do know is, you know, I hope they see that I am, you know, excited about going to work every day, doing really cool and interesting things, you know, that I think they see that and I hope they see that.

Yeah, I’m sure I mean, especially the fact that you talk and you get involved and it sounds like you are very close to your kids and you spend a lot of time with them. I mean, you are a great parent, but that’s one thing that’s coming across and I’m sure they’ll see you as an inspiration going forward.

Oh, I hope so. They’re the best. They really are. And that’s the goal of all we do, right? Especially as a working mother. I think there’s always this struggle to find balance. And, you know, if you’re over-indexing on the work, you feel like you’re, you know, not giving the kids enough time. If you’re spending too much time with the kids, you feel like you’re missing out on work. And I think, you know, I have great kids, I have a great partner at home, and we’ve been able to find a really good balance that works for us.

Very cool. So switching gears a bit over here, Saima, what advice or insights would you give to our listeners? So because looking back at your career, you gravitated towards analytics and data, something I don’t know if it came from your days and when you were studying or maybe early days of your career, but something, gravity, something pulled you in towards data analytics, and then at a later stage you gravitated towards being a marketing leader.

So what advice would you share? Or if you can share your journey, like what should people look for in terms of signals?

Yeah, I think when people talk about data or hear about data, you know, everyone thinks that their data is just too bad or they don’t have a complete data set or, you know, there’s almost barriers that they put in front of them. And I just want to dispel that notion because nobody’s data is perfect, right? Let’s be honest. We are all dealing with legacy systems. Things are captured. There’s always going to be some blind spots that we have. My recommendation would be to always start with what you have and build upon it. And iterate. Even if you do measure the same thing and you start measuring it consistently, you’ll start to see trends emerge. You’ll start to see a story emerge, right? Are we doing better or worse than we did last week, last month, last quarter, last year? Those are the types of things that you’ve just got.

At least start to have the data inform what you’re doing and patterns start to emerge. So I always say don’t let perfect get in the way of greatness. Start now and go on that journey. And everyone can benefit from leveraging the data in marketing. And marketing has tended to always, you know, probably 20 years ago, you know, marketing wasn’t as data-driven as it is now. But we’ve had a digital transformation. There’s so much data and intelligence and tools out there that we should be harnessing because guess what? If we’re not going to do it, our competitors will. And so you want to be making use of everything that is out there. If you know that 7% of your ICP is in-market and actively exhibiting signals of interest, wouldn’t you put your sellers on those accounts? Wouldn’t you have your BDRS focus on them? So especially in today’s economy where there are limited budgets, limited headcount, it’s almost more critical to rely on predictive analytics, and AI to really inform what we’re doing. And so I always say, you know, I think it’s come out of necessity, but also just it’s good business.

We should be operating every function in a way where we’re looking at the data and deriving insights and actions from it.

Yeah. And then the second part of the question was why marketing out of all the other possibilities?

Yeah! It’s funny. I’ve always had a, you know, I feel like I’m both right and left-brained, whatever that means. But, you know, I have an analytical background, but I’ve been creative. I’ve always been interested in art and creating beautiful things and, you know, advertising and the power of a great jingle, a great campaign. You know, we grow up, kind of seeing these things all around us. And so I always knew that that was something that I was interested in as well. And so I did study that. I actually had a minor in marketing when I was in school and, a major in, you know, analytics and information sciences. And that was the goal for me. I need to be, you know, hitting both sides of that to really feel fulfilled.

And I’m just so lucky that the first job I got, in Toronto, Canada, was for a consulting company that did just that. It was marketing analytics. And so I think I’ve just been fortunate. And then since then, I’ve carried on and I’ve been able to. I think that’s why I don’t let the data just be the data. It really is about telling the story and then saying, what does this mean for the marketing function, for the sales function, for the BDR function, what should we be doing from it? And that’s, that’s, you know, what’s made my career so fulfilling?

And while you’re figuring out that you want to move from Ops into a marketing leadership role, do you experiment and test? Okay, this is what I want to do, and I know I’ll be successful.

Like everything, everything is testing. Yeah. If your listeners take one thing away, just know that if you don’t have a way to measure success for something, why are you even setting it live? Why are you putting the budget, time, and effort of your team, or your company into something that you have no way of saying? Is this working right? And it doesn’t have to be a perfect measurement? Again, let’s not forget.

But something that will be a great leading indicator is this working. That’s what prevents, you know, big failures or big wastage. There was an article, a research brief, actually, that Boston Consulting Group put out last year where they estimated that sales, marketing, sales, marketing, and CSS teams were collectively leaving $2 trillion of waste on the table through, you know, misaligned programs, missed opportunities. That’s a whole lot of waste. That’s 12 zeros, you know, in a trillion. And so it’s really our duty as stewards of the budgets that we carry, of the people on our teams to really make what they do meaningful. And so you should be testing and iterating. It can be a simple view, but just always, you know, when you’re setting anything live, really think through what you want to accomplish. And sometimes even that alone. What is the objective of this thing that we’re going to launch or this thing that we’re going to do? Sometimes that alone is enough to determine, whether is it worth it or not. Is it laddering up to the strategic priorities of the company? Yes! No.

Yeah. No. And assuming you did something similar on your personal front, and on the career front as well, where you did okay, this is an experiment. These are the leading indicators and success and failure criteria before I take on a full-time CMO role.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, every, every career move, you’ve got to outweigh the pros and the cons and determine what is, you know, your growth trajectory here. Am I working with people who inspire me and or who are doing great things? That’s what keeps it interesting, right? I think, you know, I’ve been lucky enough to have opportunities come my way, but every opportunity that I’ve taken has been a little bit scary. And that’s a good thing, right? If you’re just it should always be a little bit daunting to take on something new, because that’s where the real growth happens.

Absolutely. So something that really caught my attention and I wanted to get your thoughts on Saima is, you talk about ICP and you talk about data. So how do you use data to figure out your ICP? I know there are standard ways people keep talking about, okay, this is a job title, the company, the industry, and so on. But I’m sure there are a lot more vectors out there. Not just these.

Yes. Oh, absolutely. So our ICP is determined again by 6sense. We drink our own champagne, we use our own product. And so for us, there’s a couple of components to it. number one, your ICP really. You know, for us, it starts with, does this company look like the types of companies that have bought from us in the past? And 6sense gives you what’s called a profile fit score. And so that’s really the first component of our ICP.

Is this a strong profile account based on our historical wins? Right. That’s a great starting place. Then you know, you want to overlay other data points like who does 6sense sell to. We sell typically to companies that have certain techno graphics in place. They own a CRM. They have a marketing automation platform. So we’ll overlay the ICP with those thermographic data points, then think, sorry, those technographic data points. Then think of firmer graphics we sell to companies of a certain size revenue range industry. Right. And so we’ll overlay NAIC codes, SIC codes, and revenue data to really refine that. And that’s kind of, you know, a starting point for us. Then of course there’s the question of where we want to go in the future. And you know that that’s a little bit different from that backward look of who we have sold to in the past, and what’s the profile of them. And for us, you know, there’s a geo component there we want to break into new geographies.

6sense launched you know an EMEA office about two years ago. And so we added those countries to our ICP. And we also are constantly looking to break into new verticals. And so in those cases, we add those geo data points, those industries that code and we kind of refine the ICP. And that gives us a really strong starting point. Now, because our ICP definition lives in 6sense, it’s dynamic. So as net new companies start to meet those criteria, start to, you know, start to show intent, those are pulled into the ICP. And so as a team, we internally meet twice a month to look at the ICP data and make sure there aren’t any blind spots. Look at net new deals that we might have closed one or closed lost. Are they, you know, in a certain pattern? I can keep going back to the patterns, but are we seeing something there that we should add to the ICP yes or no? But it really is a crucial exercise that I encourage everyone to spend the time on.

And then, of course, this is what marketing puts together. And we have our rev ops counterparts, our sales counterparts, and our CSE counterparts in the room. And we continue to refine that based on retention data based on, you know, upsell data. Where are we expanding? Those are the types of accounts we want to get more of. And so that’s why it’s so critical for us to keep that dynamic view of the ICP and continue to refine it.

Yeah. And the way I’m reading this is, ICP for the new market would be different from ICP for okay, this is the pattern of customers we’ve been selling to before. The success versus ICP for expansion will be, again, different.

Absolutely. You should always have, you know, the backward view, but the forward view and the lateral views in place.

Absolutely. All right. Let’s go even further deeper here. I’m sure across your career you’re seeing both go-to-market success and a good market failure story. So if you can share, I’ll let you choose which one you want to go with. First, let’s cover both the success and failure story. Yeah.

So I am on the success side, you know there’s a lot. And I’ve been again fortunate to work for companies that are doing a lot of really cutting-edge, innovative things. And the one that comes to mind most recently is what we, at 6sense, have done just over the past 12 months. We embarked on what we call our BDR transformation. So for us, you know, we don’t rely on inbound leads necessarily for our motion. We want to proactively get in front of those accounts if they’re, you know, a part of our ICP. And so we look for intent data and signals and will, you know, get our bidders engaged at the right time. And so for us, we really wanted to tighten that process of the BDR org, which, by the way, does report into marketing and it’s part of my remit. And so we started out by making it really clear on expectations. Right. So know what good looks like.

Then you set the filet accordingly. And then you inspect. And so we know we win more deals when we’ve got x number of contacts involved. And when it’s x, y, z persona we win more. Our win rate doubles. Yeah. And you know, we convert more accounts to opportunities when we reach out to them within X amount of time. And so that’s where you start to build your SLA. All right. When an account hits a certain intent stage BDS, you have, you know, 20 minutes to do your first activity against it. And I expect you to reach out to at least three personas in that account. And I expect you to do X number of touches along the way. So number one, just setting that standard across the board allowed for consistency with that team, and it almost just dispels any guesswork. Everyone knows what they need to do. They’re going to come in. They’re going to follow the process. Boom boom, boom. And then I mentioned inspection.

Right. So we’ve got really great scorecards in place that are our BDR manager’s own. They will track activity levels of BDS attainment. We look at it. We review it as a team every Monday. You know. So there’s again that okay we said we’re going to do this. Are we actually doing it right? And then we do other things right. We saw that our teams were performing more when they were in the office. And so we did implement a return to office procedure for the BDR team. And they are in the office three days a week in our key hubs, in our key offices, and they are learning from each other. They’re coaching each other. They’re talking about how to handle objections with each other. Right. So it’s just fostered a really great culture within the BDR org. we have implemented, you know, better, more around dialing and getting bars on the phone. How can we automate some of the more repetitive tasks that they do using our own AI product, having an AI assistant do that initial outreach via email so that the bars are able to get on the phone and speak with the prospects more?

And, you know, there’s probably ten other things we did, but it was just about, you know, it’s not that or wasn’t performing. But we recognize the critical nature of it to our go-to market motion. And we wanted to even improve it more. And since then, I can tell you, I actually made a post about this on LinkedIn this week. Our win rate for our outbound activities is higher than inbound, which I think is unheard of in the industry. But it’s just about, you know, again, if you put a program around the data and the intelligence that 6sense in ten is providing you, it will yield results. And so for us, that’s been a great, great success story. And we’re, you know, continuing to push the envelope there. in terms of failure, I will say. If you’re measuring what you’re launching something shouldn’t fail to the degree that you would call it a failure. I would say, you know, fail fast within a week or two.

You should know if this thing working. Is this thing resonating? And so I wouldn’t call. I don’t think I can even give you an example of a failure, because if there has been something that we launched or even if we planned to do something one way and very quickly we determined, nope, it’s not working. All we do is we pivot, we iterate, and it’s that testing and kind of iterating that really allows you to avoid those big failures. And so, you know, I, I think that’s why, you know, when you asked me, what advice would you give to anyone? That was my answer. Always have a plan in place to just be able to gauge early on. Is this worth the time, effort, and budget that I’m putting into it?

Yeah, no for sure. So whenever I frame the word failure, I hear different variations, especially the very successful or go-to-market leaders that have a high impact. They don’t see it as a failure. They see it as a feedback loop and a learning lesson to pivot, as you said.

Yeah, yeah for sure. All right. So let’s switch gears a bit more over here. So what did you mention you would now be head of marketing at Sixth Sense. What are your typical interactions with product marketing? when it comes to either launch or what are the big challenge areas or initiative and focus areas that you’re looking at when it comes to product marketing?

Yeah. So my product marketing team is wonderful. and they really sit at the intersection of marketing, product enablement, and sales. Right? There are so many teams that they’re touching. They’re the ones really coming up with the best way to position a new product, the best way to train and enable our sellers on it, the best type of content and messaging that we should be putting out with it. And so they do all of that and more. I think they’re one of those, you know, Swiss Army knives that will plug them into whichever project needs to be happening and they’ll run with it. And so from a launch perspective, absolutely, they run the launch process, in conjunction with our business technology team that is kind of running the mechanics of the launch.

And it really is about working hand in hand with the product organization, around what is being launched, what are the real success criteria and value drivers that it’s bringing. And then I think more importantly, beyond that, then before launch, do we have a really robust alpha program where we’re testing this internally because again, we run 6sense for 6sense. So we have to be our best customer. And the goal is that by the time a product does go to launch, we’ve, you know, tested it. We’ve come up with best-case scenarios. We’ve come up with pro tips that we can give even a playbook that we can offer up to our customers as here you go. Here’s how the internal team, you know, drove success with it. So an alpha, then a beta with, you know, other customers to come up with more use cases and, and things that, you know, we might have missed. And then of course, get to a place where we’re doing a really successful launch.

Yeah. No, for sure. Typically what I’ve seen, like really successful product marketing organizations do is they have like five, six or even seven eight programs. Starts with positioning and messaging. That’s the first and most important responsibility. And then there are customer insights which go hand in hand. It’s a combination of primary and secondary research. Following that would be sales enablement, especially if your sales lead or you have a heavy sales mission, it’ll be sales enablement. And then you have the new product launch, new market launch, then you have product adoption. And then, of course, product content, all the content that has to be.

Absolutely. We also have competitive intelligence in that team as well. So we’ve got a really great competitive intelligence team that’s keeping, you know, us all up to date because we’re in such a, you know, competitive industry. The MarTech landscape has, you know, been constantly evolving. And so we’ve got a couple of folks dedicated to that as well.

Yeah. And curious I mean, you do have and you wear the hats of revenue ops analytics leader as well as marketing that owns product marketing. So who do you think should own and who drives like, tests and sees the product adoption, whether it’s right or not, even product expansion, and who like, what kind of programs or initiatives?

Yeah. So it’s a great question because, you know, it could live in both. And for us, the teams actually collaborate on that. So product marketing owns the launch. They own, you know, identifying, you know, who’s going to be part of a beta program. How we’re going to go to market. But I have somebody on my Mops team who runs the alphas, and of course, she works again hand in hand with product marketing. Together they are coming up with success criteria for the launch. How are we going to deem this alpha, you know, a success? What test cases are we going to run? And so it’s Mops and a product marketer together.

But the ultimate responsibility of running that alpha and that testing is with Mops. And then the product marketing team takes, you know, those results and runs with it.

Understood. And where does customer success come into play, especially for expansion?

Yeah, I mean we Customer Success 6sense invested a lot in our customer success program. We have phenomenal leaders. And so then you know, there’s a very sort of clear handoff even before a deal is closed. We’re keeping them in the loop about, you know, the customer, their pain points. I think having a single source of truth in the data is great for that. You know, they can get all those notes and do a really nice seamless transfer between sales and customer success. And then they are involved even, you know, believe it or not, they’re even involved obviously in, you know, expansion and upsells. But way back, if we close that loop to even defining the ICP, yeah, we have KSE have a voice in that meeting as well because ultimately they are the ones making those customers successful.

And so their feedback is also critical to which types of customers we are going to be targeting!

Very cool. All right. and now let’s switch gears again. Going back to your career overall, I’m sure you must have come across mentors, folks who have played a big role in either directing you or guiding you and then shifting your thought process. So, yeah, maybe a few people who come to mind and how they have influenced you, if you can share that.

Yeah. It’s funny because we talked a little about parenting early on. I’m going to start with my mother. She, you know, did her master’s degree at a time when not many women did. I think there was one of them. She was one of four females at the college that actually graduated from the master’s program the year she did. And, she instilled that, you know, career mindset with her four daughters. and her son. But, you know, she really always pushed us to make a career for ourselves.

The importance of an education, the importance of being able to take care of yourself first. And that has very much been a guiding light for me in my career. And then I’ve been so fortunate to have managers along the way. And, you know, next-line managers who I learned from, who guided me, I will say my first manager, he really taught me about telling a story with data and taking it to the next level. my, you know, my subsequent managers have really taught me about. Being bold and taking the risks. And, you know, you’ve got this, I think for somebody to, you know, show that confidence in you and to push you to do the thing that, you know, might just be an idea, but could help propel the business to a place where, you know, it wouldn’t if we kept with the status quo. I’ve been really fortunate to have my last two or three managers be the ones that have said, go do it, let’s test it, let’s make it happen.

And you need those folks in your corner. And so, you know, obviously, those are managers. I’ve worked with peers and my team who have consistently guided me. And then I mentioned the CMO community. Right? I mean, that in itself is a great place of inspiration and learning. Just today, we had Guy Kawasaki, at our community event and he, you know, for an hour inspired us about what makes a remarkable leader. I mean, moments like that, you know, even just an hour spent with folks like that will really, you know, be inspirational and guide you. And so I find inspiration everywhere.

Very cool. You touched upon something really important. I think one of your earlier managers instilled in you the importance of tying data to telling, and how you tell a story around it. So is that a skill that people reach out to you? And if you can give tactical advice, like how do you tie storytelling and data?

Yeah. So if you know, people come to me really, for a couple of things, but I would say data number one.

And then probably secondly, you know, simplifying communication up, leveling it, how do we, you know, present this to an exact audience. And on the data side, I’ve. I told to my analytics team. If someone asks you for a number or a report, you don’t just send back the number or the report. Right, right. My expectation is, that if I’ve asked you for the answer to this question, you’ll answer it. But you’ll also think of the other things around that I might not have asked you about. Look at the bigger picture. Extract yourself from just that really narrow mindset, right? And even if you are sending someone a quick number report, always include the well, what does this mean? Here’s how I would interpret it. Here’s what this means for you. Is this better or worse than what we’ve seen? Are we on the right trajectory? Yeah, that piece is really the difference between. Data and analytics. And so that’s the goal. And sometimes, you know, teams will not assume that that’s part of their role.

Like you know, I’m an analytics team. Here’s the data. Here’s the dashboard. And guess what? You could create the best dashboard in the world if nobody uses it or looks at it. Who cares? And so, you know, it’s always about facilitating what is going to happen from this. What is the action and the insight from here? And that’s you know, without that, what’s the point?

Yeah. It reminds me of my conversation with my youngest son yesterday where he was talking about the debate and the framework that they use to make an assertive statement, and back it up with reasoning. And here are the reasons why. 


And I see a lot of parallels with this, which is okay, you got all this data, but what does it really mean and why should someone care about it?

Why should someone care if data drives on its own? Drove. Action without you having to do anything. All of us would exercise every day. All of us would floss our teeth twice, you know, and every day.

And like, there’s just these things that, you know, the data tells you you’re supposed to do, but. You know, people don’t do it. And so it really is about explaining the why, what it means to you, and what this will do for you.

Yeah. I mean, I think you have a magical mix. If you can tie in data to what is the action that you want someone to take and how do you tell a story for them to take that action? Yeah.

Yeah. And influence. I mean, we didn’t talk about influence, right? You have to establish yourself. And I’m not just talking about an analytics team at this point. This is anyone. You’ve got to establish yourself as a trusted advisor, as a thought, you know, as a thought partner and a strategic partner. Only then can you really influence anything in a business to move forward, whether it’s, you know, the next marketing campaign, whether it’s the next, you know, dashboard or report, whether it’s the next product launch, how do you establish trust with amongst each other and, and influence things to continue to move forward? That’s really a big unlock.

Absolutely. I know we can go on and on so many topics here, but let’s wrap it up with one final question for you, which advice would you give to your younger self if you were to turn back the clock and go back to day one of your go-to-market journeys?

Wow. I would say, you know, you’ve got this. And I think, you know, some of that advice that my managers and mentors have given me is really just trust in the path that you’re on and lean into your superpowers. And this is not just advice for me, by the way. It’s advice I give my children. It’s advice I give my team. I actually did my, we had started our new fiscal year about a month ago. And at our kickoff, with my marketing team. I said there was just one mantra. I said, lean into what you’re good at and get comfortable sharing it. That’s what I want to see. You have a superpower.

There’s something that you can do better than anyone on this team. Lean into that and get comfortable sharing it and you will be successful.

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