Latané Conant, Chief Market Officer at 6sense, On Working Harder and Thinking Bigger
We’ve all heard of highly successful people dropping out of school early…but Latané Conant nearly dropped out in second grade. A confused teacher misdiagnosed her as having epilepsy when in fact she had dyslexia. Understandably Latané didn’t want to go to school. But her parents got her tested and enrolled in a school with resources for kids with learning disabilities. “My parents told me I’d have to work harder than everyone else, but that they still expected me to do great things.”
“Work hard and accomplish great things” is exactly what Latané has done. Straight out of college, she joined Arthur Andersen. Bored with the tedium of annual audits, she seized the opportunity to get trained on Ariba software, and used that as a stepping-stone to a consulting role in the partner practice. Her first consulting project saw her figuring out how to make a complex program work – paving the way for Arthur Andersen clients to save millions of dollars. “I like creating something from nothing.”
I’m in love with the problem we solve. We have such an opportunity to completely reinvent marketing and selling. To me, this is a cause, not a job.
That experience paved the way for Latané to join Ariba, where she worked her way up to Strategic Account Executive. Once trained, she thrived in the role. “If you put your numbers up, people let you be you. I loved that about being in sales.”
After nearly eight years at Ariba, Latané moved to Appirio, where she took a meteoric ride from Account Exec to Chief Marketing Officer in six years. In essence, she charted her own course by again creating something from nothing. “We were a high-growth company but didn’t have field marketing or outbound teams, so I started both. I was running big budgets and managing global teams in multiple markets and the founders finally realized they had a CMO in me.”
Latané is the first to tell you that her early struggle with dyslexia is a linchpin in her success. In addition to instilling her with a sense of self-awareness and confidence in tackling big challenges, the experience shaped her leadership outlook. “I embrace the problem-solving mentality. I’m happy when my team brings me a challenge or struggle because together we can figure out how to fix it.”
Now as Chief Market Officer of 6sense – a title she prefers over Chief Marketing Officer because it puts the ‘market’ back into ‘marketing’ – she is sounding the rallying cry for the next generation of account-based sales and marketing. “I’m in love with the problem we solve. We have such an opportunity to completely reinvent marketing and selling. To me, this is a cause, not a job.”
Some of Latané’s other keys to success:
- Prioritizing a few big things. Rather than spread her attention and energy among many small projects or tasks, Latané prefers to focus on big, exciting opportunities.
- Helping people meet their potential. Latané believes in setting high expectations and providing whatever people need to live up to their potential.
- Inviting authenticity. By openly admitting her missteps and challenges, Latané makes others comfortable about sharing their struggles and mistakes.