VentureBeat presents: AI Unleashed - An exclusive executive event for enterprise data leaders. Network and learn with industry peers. Learn More

If you had your own predictive analytics platform, you might already know what this story will be about.

You’d know, for instance, that less than a year after it launched its B2B predictive intelligence platform for marketing and sales, San Francisco-based 6sense is announcing today a new investment of $20 million.

“Imagine a world where you can predict with above 85 percent accuracy who will buy, what they will buy, how much, what channel will reach them, what message will resonate,” CEO and founder Amanda Kahlow told VentureBeat via email.

6sense can provide that intelligence, she said.

The platform merges machine learning with its B2B Buyer Intent Network that includes behavioral data from search engines, B2B trade publications, blogs, forums, and communities. Kahlow said it processes billions of rows of buyer intent data each month to find buyers who are ready to buy.

“For example,” Kahlow said, “when a B2B buyer needs new routers, they do a lot of research online via search engines, reading media and analyst reports, reading influential blogs, and talking to peers and experts in online forums and communities.”

She noted that the 6sense platform “assimilates all this information into one ‘connect-the-dots’ system, so sales and marketing teams know that there’s a new prospect in market with an identified and timely need” who is out shopping around.

The company says it can locate prospects in established markets as well as new ones, with a doubling of opportunity size for 70 percent of the new prospects it finds.

6sense sees predictive analytics as replacing B2B lead generation, which Kahlow described as “grossly broken.” She points to an often-cited reason: Buyers are self-educating and in control, with the majority of the buyer’s journey finished by the time a prospect has contact with a seller.

“You need to find buyers before they knock on your front door,” she said. The company’s customer roster includes Cisco, Dell, VMware, NetSuite, Lenovo, and CBS Interactive.

This Series B round, which brings the total raised thus far to $36 million, was led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures and Venrock.

The new money will be used to expand the “development and data science team, accelerate marketing and sales investments, and expand customer engagement in new vertical markets,” Kahlow told us. A first annual INmarket user conference will be launched in July.

Lattice Engines and Infer are leading players in the category of predictive lead scoring, but Kahlow said 6sense’s approach “is fundamentally different.”

“We aren’t just scoring those you know, like they do,” she said. “We aren’t sitting around waiting for leads to come in.”

“Predictive lead scoring only tells you which leads look like the ideal buyer profile, not whether the prospects are in the market to buy.”

By contrast, she said, “we track the entire buyer’s journey well before the buyer engages with a vendor.”

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.