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Creating $81k of Opportunities with Cognism

The UK’s leading tech training and talent services provider uses Cognism’s sales intelligence platform to:

  • Generate $81k of opportunities in the first two weeks of March 2022
  • Save the marketing operations team a considerable amount of time
  • Integrate seamlessly with QA’s extensive tech stack
  • Provide accurate, compliant European B2B data
Number of employees: Enterprise 
Industry: Education Management    
HQ: London, UK
Teams using: Sales & Marketing

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The company

QA helps businesses and individuals win in the digital revolution. They work with many of the world’s leading companies to build their tech and digital capabilities via a range of training courses, reskilling boot camps and work-based learning programmes/apprenticeships.

QA works with established firms BP, Coca Cola and Deloitte to name a few and is trusted by more than 3,500 businesses, with 281,000 individual learners enrolled in 2021.

The challenge

We interviewed Joe Mackay, Marketing Operations Manager at QA about his experience with Cognism. Joe is a key end-user of Cognism’s platform, and QA’s primary target market is IT and L&D decision-makers in large and small companies across all industries.

Firstly, Joe explained the start of QA’s outbound journey. 

“A few years ago, QA underwent an internal restructure, as well as a transformation project. During this, they engaged with a well-known management consultancy firm to evaluate areas of improvement within sales and marketing. After this change, we set up a new business team in the learning division. One of their key responsibilities was developing a centre of excellence which required a more focused outbound sales activity.”

What lead generation drawbacks did QA encounter prior to Cognism? 

“Before Cognism, we had an existing contract with a well-known incumbent provider, which we signed based on the recommendation given to us by our consultancy firm. However, when using the data, the new business team found that this company didn’t supply sufficient data quality for the vertical they were targeting, especially in the UK. They found the contact details to be inadequate. After deeper analysis, the challenges became more apparent and this steered our team to look elsewhere.” 

The solution

How did QA discover Cognism? 

“Our Sales Director brought Cognism to our attention. This led us to start a six-month trial with Cognism to compare its data quality to our existing supplier.”

Joe described the evaluation process QA underwent to displace the existing provider. 

“For an enterprise business like ours, it’s difficult to pivot and change suppliers. Due to our internal processes and extensive tech stack, we had to build a business case.”

When reviewing the two providers, QA conducted the following analysis:

1. Research exercise

“Firstly, we compared the marketing materials both companies had sent us, paying close attention to the key differentiators each one highlighted. We then drilled down deeper and picked certain verticals and segments that met our target personas.”

“The next step was to build searches in both platforms, trying as much as possible to make the targeting criteria match. Our goal was to gain an understanding of the number of accounts and contacts both vendors could provide.”

2. Audience match analysis

“We uploaded opt-out lists to both platforms and compared how many contacts were left after the opt-out rule was applied. This gave us an idea of their ‘potential basket size’.”

3. Outbound team assessment

“Last but not least, our outbound team conducted a blind test between the two organisations. Some team members were given Cognism’s data and data from our existing supplier, with the intent to promote a product in our learning division. Our core evaluation was to measure how many contacts led to a successful connection, but also how many of them resulted in an opportunity.” 

“Overall, we found that Cognism provided higher-quality data and yielded more results. Cognism’s email addresses resulted in a successful rapport being developed with prospects, and its up-to-date telephone contact data meant our reps could make a direct connection with individuals.”

“I can confidently say that the number of Cognism contacts that successfully qualified to a revenue generating opportunity and moved through the buying journey was higher. This ultimately convinced the wider business and senior stakeholders to switch to Cognism.”

What integrations does QA have in place and how are they leveraging them for their workflows?

“When evaluating data providers, one requirement I always look for is the platform’s ability to integrate with our existing tech stack. Cognism met that need as it has a direct integration with HubSpot.”

“At QA, we have a relatively complex tech stack. Marketing uses HubSpot while sales uses Microsoft Dynamics. Cognism fits into this through its HubSpot integration - the data is routed to Microsoft Dynamics via our custom integration.”

What are the different workflows that QA are using with Cognism? 

“Once strategy and planning agree on a particular campaign to run, marketing operations identify the data based on the target persona for a specific campaign, input the criteria into Cognism, and picking up on the API, create an updated list of contact records within Hubspot."

What channels do the sales team use to acquire new business? 

“Sales is a cold call led team; they also use other outbound channels such as LinkedIn InMail and direct email. Cognism’s accurate mobile numbers are crucial for their daily prospecting.”

The results

Joe highlighted a key result from using Cognism’s premium B2B data:

“Within the first two weeks of March, we’ve already yielded $81k in opportunities.” 

Joe went on to explain the benefits QA has experienced since using Cognism.

1. Visualising data throughout the buying journey

“We make sure that everything is being tracked, and the fact that we do it through HubSpot then through Dynamics means we can get a full view of the funnel. This allows us to visualise the data across different stages of the buying journey in a way that we couldn't before and in a way that we couldn’t if we only used Dynamics.”

2. Used for other projects

“We’ve expanded our requirements with Cognism over more business areas than just learning. We now use Cognism to identify prospects for our annual apprenticeship and data division alongside the Californian Cloud Academy as well.”

3. Winning back customers 

“We also use Cognism to enrich our existing regional account learning base. This has helped us to win back some of the customers that we’ve lost business with in the last 12 months, and so far, I’ve seen opportunities generated off the back of that campaign.”

4. Time-saving 

“We’ve saved colossal amounts of time through using the integration, both for us and the sales reps as they no longer have the manual burden of generating data, that responsibility is owned by us, so they can concentrate on their job - selling!”

5. Simple to set up and easily configurable

“This helps our marketing operations team avoid the inevitable headaches that arise from trying to integrate new technologies.”

6. Very easy to use, with great UI 

“The ability to find a target audience quickly and get accurate feedback on the count of contacts is really smooth. It’s one of my favourite things about the tool.”

7. Exceptional data quality 

“Our sales team says Cognism’s data quality is phenomenal in terms of low bounces and the ability to engage with prospects through using accurate mobile numbers.”

Finally, one of QA’s SDRs said:

“The contacts have been top-notch! They’re always the right people we need to speak to (often in the past it was very hit and miss and 90% of the leads were people we wouldn’t want to be speaking to). The contact information along with those positions is also very reliable as we’re having very few bounce-backs.”  

Joe shared a final thought with us:

“Over the last year, the ROI has been proven. Cognism has been supremely valuable to our business.”  

Try Cognism’s sales intelligence solution

Over 1,000 revenue teams around the world trust Cognism to:

✅ Build qualified B2B contact databases

✅ Plan and launch their outbound campaigns

✅ Power up their social selling

✅ Meet and beat their revenue targets

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