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Scaling Compliant Outbound Sales With Cognism

A cyber-security analytics platform used Cognism’s B2B lead generation solution to:

  • Build accurate contact lists and generate dozens of qualified leads per month
  • Prospect in compliance with the GDPR and other global data laws
  • Engage with decision-makers in new markets and companies
  • Deliver ROI in just 2 days
Number of employees: 580 
Industry: Software Development 
HQ: Massachusetts, USA 
Teams using: Sales 

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The company | The challenge | The solution | The results | Try Cognism’s sales intelligence solution


The company

Devo is the cloud-native logging and security analytics solution for security and operations teams. Its platform provides real-time analytics, empowering engineers and analysts to make data-driven decisions and counteract cyber-security threats.

The company was founded in Madrid in 2011 but has recently enjoyed rapid growth, moving its HQ to the USA while maintaining a strong European presence.

At the time of writing, Devo has 400 employees and its client base is comprised of cyber-security teams working in financial services, enterprise businesses and the public sector.

The challenge

We interviewed Alexander Porter, Senior Business Development & Inside Sales Lead at Devo, about his experience using Cognism.

What problem was he trying to solve?

“I joined Devo as the first member of its business development team in Europe. My first task was to build out a contact database, starting with a review of our current database. I found it to be in a poor state, with a lack of mobile numbers and email addresses that returned high bounce rates. It became challenging to get through to the people I wanted to be speaking with.”

“That prompted me to go out to market and look for some tools to help us. At the same time, we hired a business development colleague working out of Germany. This made data compliance another key focus for us. Germany has some very strict regulations, so we needed a tool that complied not only with the GDPR but other data laws in Europe.”

What were Alexander’s next steps?

“We did some extensive testing of all the leading tools on the market - including Cognism, ZoomInfo, LeadIQ and Lusha.”

“Over the course of that test, we found the best results were delivered by Cognism. We then rolled out Cognism to all our teams globally, including the US.”

Why didn’t Cognism’s competitors work for Devo?

“Compliance was a big factor. Everything Cognism did here impressed us, from sending out emails to contacts, letting them know you have their data, plus giving them the choice to opt-in or opt-out. It was clear that Cognism took its compliance commitments very seriously. We didn’t see that same level of commitment from other companies.”

“In terms of the tools themselves, ZoomInfo is heavily reliant on manual input from users, which is why there are big gaps in its European data. Cognism doesn’t have those gaps. Its database is also one of the largest on the market - Cognism has 400M contacts while LeadIQ, for example, only has 100M. That’s obviously a big difference.”

“In the end, it all boils down to: does this tool work for you? Our target audience is the cyber-security market; these are people who are very security-focused, and so their details are often hard to find online. Cognism was able to locate these individuals at a much higher rate than the competition.”

The solution

How did Alexander find using Cognism’s sales intelligence platform?

“The usability is perfect - we signed the contract on a Friday, on Monday we had a call with our CSM. We were given a quick training session and then we were away! We were up and running and building out lists in no time at all.”

“One thing that really helped us here was that Cognism integrated very smoothly with the tools we were using already, like HubSpot. It was a seamless process to get it set up and working properly for us.”

What departments are using Cognism on a regular basis?

“It’s mainly sales and business development, helping us to scale our outbound sales capabilities. Some of our marketing colleagues have used the tool’s data enrichment features, to fill in the gaps in their lists.”

What did Alexander think about the quality of Cognism’s B2B data?

“The quality is excellent! When I joined Devo, I was getting high bounce rates on any email I sent out. Since implementing Cognism, this has been driven down to 8%.”

“I also discovered that a large percentage of our existing database was out-of-date. With Cognism Enhance, we were able to enrich our old data, sourcing accurate email addresses and direct dials. That had a big impact on our performance early on.”

Alexander quoted an example from Devo’s Cognism competitor test.

“We set up a test for Cognism, ZoomInfo, Lusha and LeadIQ, based on the same data set of 2,000 contacts. Cognism returned 89% of those contacts with an email and a phone number. LeadIQ was the second closest at 58% - so we immediately saw there was a big gap in performance between Cognism and the other tools.”

We asked Alexander about Cognism’s Chrome Extension. What did he think of it?

“It’s my favourite part of the platform! As a business development professional, I’m living and breathing LinkedIn. Every day, I’m making lists of people we want to target. Where the Chrome extension comes in handy is in checking whether those people have contact details. If they do, we can very easily export their data to HubSpot via the extension, ready for sequencing.”

“So the Chrome extension is incredibly helpful, because it saves so much time. All it takes is 3 clicks and the data’s in your CRM. I also love the bulk export feature - you can load hundreds of contacts into your CRM at once. I haven’t come across many similar Chrome extensions that offer this feature.”

What are Alexander’s thoughts on Cognism’s Customer Success team?

“They’ve been fantastic so far! I’ve only had 1 issue to date and it was solved in 15 minutes. I always think it’s a good sign if you don’t have to reach out to the CS team too much. In general, Cognism has been working seamlessly for us; it very much works ‘straight out of the box.’”

The results

We asked Alexander when he saw ROI on using Cognism.

“After Day 2 of using it! I was prospecting into a big account, a large European financial services company. I was struggling to get any form of contact data for the people working there using other solutions. The data was either inaccurate or it was requiring a lot of manual effort on my part to even try to get accurate emails, not to mention phone numbers. It was basically impossible to find the right data.”

“Then I remembered I had met a contact at this company at an event earlier in the year. 2 days after signing up with Cognism, I searched for him on the database. His name and contact details came up straight away! I routed the lead into our CRM and immediately gave him a call. After just a couple of minutes on the phone, I had a meeting booked!”

“The result is we’ve been working on an initiative with this company for the last couple of months. So I can say that Cognism generated the right data at the right time - and delivered ROI for me in just 2 days!”

How did Cognism help Alexander’s B2B sales team?

“When I started at Devo, the number of leads generated through outbound was very poor, almost zero. With Cognism, we’ve seen every one of our reps generating 2-3 fully qualified leads per month. That’s a very significant improvement.”

What results has Alexander personally seen from using Cognism?

“I’ve been using the tool for 2-3 months. In that time, 13 new meetings were generated via Cognism leads. Of those, there are 5 decent-sized opportunities that I’m now working on. Even if the lead doesn’t immediately convert, Cognism still opened those doors for us and allowed us to strike up a conversation.”

Time-saving was another benefit that Alexander saw from using Cognism. He told us more about this.

“Time-saving was one of the main criteria we had in mind when we were researching tools. ZoomInfo definitely fell down in this regard. With ZoomInfo, I tried exporting 25 contacts at a time, but it would only end up exporting half of them. For whatever reason, the contacts weren’t pulling across to my CRM. I was having to go in and add the details myself, manually - that would take me 1 to 5 minutes per contact.”

“Cognism has completely removed this pain point for me. I can export hundreds of leads at once - and that means I have time for more calls, more emails, more meetings! Cognism is a huge time-saver and that helps me focus on more critical tasks.”

Were there any other benefits that Alexander found in using Cognism?

“It’s very good for learning and development - for working out who we should be targeting, and if we should experiment reaching out to new markets or trying new approaches.”

“I’ve used Cognism to find contacts in companies I thought weren’t qualified, but it turns out they are! Search filters like team size and company revenue are very good for expanding your target audience and prospecting to companies you would’ve previously dismissed.”

We asked Alexander a final question: what’s the number one reason he’d recommend Cognism to others?

“I can’t pinpoint just one reason, I have three! Number one: Cognism’s GDPR compliant data is a really big thing for us. It takes the pressure off us to justify where we got our contact data from. And that means we can prospect in complete confidence.”

“Number two: both the size of Cognism’s database and the quality of its data are streets ahead of its nearest rivals. It’s good not just for connecting with decision-makers, but for connecting with people at all levels inside a business.”

“The third reason is simple: value for money! Cognism is cheaper than some other options but the data quality is better, especially for European data.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind, Cognism is the best lead gen tool I’ve ever worked with! If you’re passionate about stepping up lead generation or outbound at your company, there’s simply nowhere else to look. I’ve got nothing bad to say about it!”

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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