Case Study

Cognism Grows ARR 3x, Using SalesLoft to Scale the Sales Process for New Reps

March 4, 2020

With a young team of recent grads, fast-growing Cognism needed to add consistency and control to its sales process. In no time at all, the sales organization implemented SalesLoft, giving SDRs and AEs ways to more effectively prospect, follow up on tasks, cover more accounts, and save opportunities from being lost. With SalesLoft, Cognism has realized nearly 300% growth, going from 2.5 to 7 million ARR in less than a year.

Who Is Cognism?

Cognism is a leading B2B contact data provider, with a database of over 400M GDPR compliant profiles. Powered by artificial intelligence, Cognism enriches contact records and identifies customer trends, enabling go-to-market teams to target more of their ideal customers, right when they need them most.

Delivered as a SaaS platform, its unique data asset and patented Revenue AI engine identifies and enriches the best leads, helping revenue teams cut prospecting times in half.

Challenge: Inconsistency, Lack of Tools, and Lost Opportunities

A fast-growing company founded in 2016, Cognism hires many recent grads. Given the heavy workload often found in startups, AEs were struggling with follow-up and task management. 

Without any type of Sales Engagement or enablement software, the team was  inconsistently and inefficiently tracking tasks in Salesforce. SDRs also lacked structure in their prospecting activities.

We recruit people who’ve never been in sales before. — David Bentham, Sales Team Manager at Cognism

Given its rapid growth, Cognism was booking new demos so quickly, the team had to close lost opportunities if customers didn’t sign immediately. Sales Manager David Bentham recognized that for reps to succeed, they needed to reduce manual work as much as possible.

But reps weren’t the only ones suffering from startup growing pains. With a large team of inexperienced salespeople to manage, Bentham didn’t have enough time for sales coaching.

David Bentham, Sales Team Manager at Cognism
David Bentham, Sales Team Manager at Cognism, coaching his team

Solution: Scalable Coaching and Structured Opportunity Follow Up 

Aside from seeking consistency for its sales process, Cognism chose SalesLoft primarily for call coaching, which proved to be invaluable. 

With Live Call Studio, team leads and mentors could quickly jump on calls and use Whisper mode to coach SDRs in the moment.

Bentham says, “We had so many reps coming in and we were growing so fast that my time was quite stretched in terms of coaching. With SalesLoft, I could literally sit there and reply to emails and do my usual tasks, but jump on and just listen to calls as people go, live and in real-time.”

In addition to coaching, SalesLoft provided managers with a level of control and oversight they didn’t have previously. 

Team leads could create templates for reps and help them build emails. And they could actually see the communication reps were sending and measure its effectiveness. Using SalesLoft also helped Cognism A/B test every type of email to understand what worked best.

SalesLoft Cognism Coaching

Bentham’s team began using a multi-touch approach of personalized, semi-personalized, and ad hoc emails. And since reps could now see when prospects opened these emails, they could capitalize on those moments with timely follow up. 

As for usability, sellers ramped quickly with Salesloft. Bentham says, “I just gave it to them and after they had a 30-minute call with the SalesLoft team, we were pretty much good to go.” 

Using SaleLoft is a nice, clean, easy process. It’s self-driven and crisply designed. — James Isilay, CEO at Cognism

Cognism heavily uses the Salesforce and LinkedIn integrations. With SalesLoft’s LinkedIn Navigator steps, reps appreciate being able to incorporate steps like InMail and connection requests in their cadences, and execute those actions from SalesLoft and Salesforce.

Results: Cognism Realizes 3x ARR Growth in the First Year

Once Cognism had an easy, automated follow-up process with SalesLoft, the sales team immediately saw an increase in demos to closed-won percentage.

In fact, within the first year of implementation, Cognism has grown from 2.5 to 7 million ARR. David says that for every deal, the SalesLoft platform was involved in the process.

Outbound SDRs have also realized a 20% increase in meetings booked. And the sales team has increased opportunity conversion by 7% due to better re-engagement of closed lost opportunities.

Cognism SDR using SalesLoft

For Cognism, analytics played a critical role in these improvements. Sales leadership uses dashboards within Salesforce for tracking cadences and steps completed. Bentham appreciates having a single view in one place.

Since incorporating SalesLoft into its processes, Cognism shows no signs of losing steam. The team added 19 new SDRs in 2019 with an average ramp time of three days. And with SalesLoft Team Cadences, it usually takes Bentham less than an hour to train new reps on prospecting.

As a SalesLoft partner, Cognism also integrates with the SalesLoft platform to provide the most up-to-date, GDPR compliant data for sales organizations. From the Cognism platform, sellers can build the audiences they’re seeking, push them to SalesLoft, and engage leads.

At Cognism, one of our key goals is this: equip our salespeople with the best quality tools to take our sales process to the most advanced level possible. SalesLoft has given us a scalable, consistent approach to prospecting and opportunity follow-up. The proof is in the numbers. — David Bentham

Want to learn how you can scale your sales process and increase revenue? Check out our eBook Sales Engagement for Closers.