Deals

This lead-prediction startup pings you when a potential customer enters your market

6Sense Founders
Image Credit: 6Sense

Predictive lead scoring — ranking sales leads based on likelihood to buy — is nothing new, and companies such as Infer, Lattice Engines, and Salesfusion have been offering tools for this for some time now.

But what about finding customers that haven’t even contacted you yet?

That’s what 6Sense is working to do for its customers, and today at VentureBeat’s DataBeat conference the company is coming out of stealth with $12 million in a first round of institutional funding. Battery Ventures and Venrock led the round, with additional participation from Silicon Valley Bank. Moreover, Battery Ventures general partner Roger Lee and Venrock partner Brian Ascher are joining the company’s board.

“Amazon knows what you want to purchase before you even know you want to buy it, and that’s what we’re doing for sales,” said cofounder and chief executive Amanda Kahlow in an interview with VentureBeat.

Here’s what 6Sense claims it can do for a customer:

Suppose you sell routers. Now suppose the IT manager of some company out there has been browsing your product webpages — or has been downloading information about routers from some other source. Or has recently been purchasing router accessories.

6Sense not only has a relationship with these sources and can therefore know that this company has been looking into routers, but 6Sense also knows that companies of that size typically start prospecting new routers at a certain time ahead of when they actually put in an order. It also knows what kinds of routers it’s very likely to purchase and how many.

All you have to do is get in touch and get that sale going.

6Sense’s product is designed for high-consideration purchases, not impulse buys, Kahlow said. And it can “predict for anything as long as there’s a digital footprint.”

6Sense says it can predict leads with up to 80 percent accuracy, and one unnamed beta customer has reported closing $300 million in new business and 450 times more marketing to sales conversions due to using 6Sense’s product.

Among the current customers the company does name:  NetApp, Cisco, CBS Interactive, Xactly, Blue Jeans, Pure Storage, and CSC. Moreover, Cisco has said that 6Sense’s product helps it predict when accounts are about to close over 80 percent of the time, and its conversions have increased tenfold.

“Big data is upending almost every industry, and 6Sense is offering customers extremely insightful data very early in the sales cycle, when it’s potentially the most valuable,” Roger Lee, Battery Ventures general partner, said in an official statement.

“This makes companies using that data smarter and could allow 6Sense to insert itself as a valuable new player in the sales funnel. We are thrilled to be partnering with the company.”

Of course, there is still the question of how 6Sense truly compares to products like Infer, which scores leads that have interacted with a vendor, and what it could do to help companies selling products that are somewhere between a high-consideration purchase and an impulse buy.

6Sense’s proprietary relationships with partners and publishers on which it seems to base a fair chunk of its leads are being kept a bit of a mystery, although that’s understandable as the company doesn’t want to reveal its “special sauce.”

6Sense was founded in 2013 by Kahlow, Dustin Chang, Viral Bajaria, Premal Shah, and Shane Moriah. The company is located in San Francsico.

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