MarTech Interview with Deepak Anchala, Founder and CEO at Slintel

Account engagement platform 6sense recently acquired Slintel a leading provider of business-driven technographic data; Deepak Anchala, Founder and CEO at Slintel took the time to share more about Slintel’s new journey as part of the 6sense family in this chat with MarTech Series.

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Deepak, take us through your journey through the years, we’d love to hear more about Slintel and what inspired the platform…?

I used to work in sales, and I saw the challenges the sales team faced. They’d call prospects and go through the same standard questions trying to gauge interest. I kept thinking that they could get into deals a lot faster if they knew more about their prospects. 

The fact is that today’s buyers expect sellers to know a lot more about them — and that begins with knowing whether they’re even in market to buy. What differentiates the companies that actually win deals is that they understand a buyer’s intent much sooner. They see early intent signals, and then they combine those signals and make them usable to the entire revenue team.

The whole concept of Slintel came from this mission to capture buyer intent signals as early as possible in the process. We do that by picking up on hard-to-detect patterns and using natural language processing (NLP) to parse out the signals and derive insights on advanced technographics, market intel, and contact data. We also capture account and contact level psychographic data to reveal tech adoption and churn, contract renewals, buyer preferences, and market movements.

All of this data comes together to give a unified view of the buyer, surfaced wherever our customers need it — on our dashboard, Chrome extensions, Slack, email, or CRM and marketing automation platforms.  

Since launching our first product in 2018, we’ve been able to realize our vision of helping buyers and sellers find each other and have more meaningful conversations sooner. And that has allowed us to succeed as a company, growing to 150 employees and achieving 500% year-over-year revenue growth. 

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How does it feel now after being acquired by 6sense this year, can you take us through the acquisition highlights and journey? Also, the key benefits to end users that this helps provide.

The past few months have been absolutely exhilarating. I couldn’t be more excited that Slintel joined the 6sense family. We’ve been approached by other companies who wanted to acquire us in the past, but it was never a good fit. With 6sense, the synergy is almost unbelievable — not just between the two technologies, but also between our teams.  

It became clear to me that Slintel and 6sense are stronger together and can power better experiences for our customers. Also, to be honest, it is extremely rare to find a company that is a clear market leader, growing faster than everyone else, with a near-perfect Glassdoor employee rating.

During the process, I was so impressed with the whole 6sense team, all the way up to the CEO, Jason Zintak. The first time we met, he said, “Tell me the good, but also tell me the bad.” That’s probably because Jason has seen so much in his career, and he likes people to tell it like it is. I appreciated his focus on the big picture, and also the fact that he’s genuine and honest — and he wants the people he works with to be that way as well. 

So we’re two high-growth companies with a big focus on culture, and we’re joining forces. That’s exciting for all of us. But the people who are going to benefit the most from the acquisition are 6sense and Slintel customers.

By bringing the two technologies together, we’re fundamentally changing the way B2b revenue teams — sales, marketing, and customer success — operate every day. They’ll be able to provide more relevant experiences to their prospects and customers with the best data and account engagement platform available, and that’s a game-changing opportunity. 

Sales intelligence and marketing intelligence is now key to driving better marketing-sales interests and ROI: can you talk about a few top sales intelligence trends that you’ve been following in the B2B marketplace and what you feel is in store for 2022 and beyond?

It’s no secret that the world of B2B buying is changing, and the pandemic accelerated that. Buying is more digital than ever, and the vast majority of the process happens before a buyer ever speaks to a company. The biggest business intelligence trends I see emerging are ones that will help sellers adapt to this new world. That means having the intelligence needed to sell and market better. 

Broadly I see the below trends emerging as buying behavior shifts:

  1. Traditional sales and marketing campaigns are losing ground to intent-powered
    marketing and sales campaigns.
  2. Data and workflow platforms that once operated in silos are now converging to
    create a unified buyer experience.
  3. Reps are no longer spinning their wheels trying to figure out whom to target.
    Instead, AI and Big Data plow through millions of data points to recommend the next best action.

Companies that are able to combine first-, second-, and third-party intent data will have the intelligence they need to meet buyers where they are, and to start influencing their digital journey as early as possible in the process. Pairing that with insights based on historical buying patterns will allow sellers to predict what a company will buy next, when they’ll buy next, and what their pain points are. This will be essential in improving and customizing buyer experience in the next evolution of the digital buying age.

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As technology buyers and sellers become more accustomed to different kinds of business intelligence to help drive end goals, what best practices do you feel they should be inculcating as part of their everyday processes to ensure optimized use of all the data and intelligence they are now exposed to?

That’s an important question, because making good decisions requires not just the best business intelligence, but also knowing what the next best action is.  

Buyers show a lot of signals that they’re in the market to buy — they download a white paper on your website, go to a competitor’s website, ask peers on LinkedIn for recommendations, float RFPs, read reviews on G2, and so forth. Every time they do, they leave footprints in the snow. If you can understand what those footprints are, you can construct buyer journeys. You can understand where buyers are in the journey at any given time, and you can give them what they need.

On a day-to-day basis, sellers and marketers need to monitor these signals — and then use those signals to inform marketing, sales, and customer success motions. For instance, if you see a current customer is researching competitors, that’s important data. But that data needs to propel action in the form of outreach from customer success. 

As a tech founder who has just been acquired, what are some thoughts you’d share with fellow tech startups/founders?

Every company is different, and the way each founder runs their company is different. From my experience at Slintel and having seen both successful and unsuccessful startups in prior roles, here are some thoughts that may be helpful for early-stage founders: 

  1. Build for the future. Spend an insane amount of time visualizing what the world
    will need in five to ten years. Start building for that now.
  2. Look for micro trends that will become macro trends in the future. That way you
    can ride the wave, not fight against it.
  3. Obsess over great employee culture. Do everything to ensure employees are
    happy and motivated. That’s when the magic happens.

Some last thoughts and marketing / martech-salestech takeaways before we wrap up?

As the buying journey continues to become more and more customer-led, we’re going to see a new breed of RevTech software. RevTech is going to need to put AI, deep data, and machine learning behind every member of the go-to-market team. As we talked about earlier, data is essential to making good decisions — but AI and prediction capabilities are what help sellers, marketers, and customer success teams use that data to determine next best actions. I expect 2022 to be the year that we deliver on the RevTech Revolution promise and transform the way go-to-market teams get their jobs done. 

My new 6sense colleague Kerry Cunningham describes it as augmented reality that helps you understand your buyers better so you can provide personalized, contextualized experiences. That’s what buyers want and expect — and they don’t want to have to provide all the information to get you to the point where you can provide it.

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Slintel - YouTubeSlintel uses technographic and thematic sales intent signals to help companies identify and reach out to active, high-intent buyers in their target market. Their sales intelligence platform processes billions of data points every week to analyze buyer journeys, technology adoption patterns, thematic intent signals and other digital footprints to uncover high-intent buyers. Slintel’s customers have access to the buying patterns and intent signals of millions of companies and their decision-makers across the world. 

Deepak is the Founder and CEO of Slintel.

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