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Demo-Booking Day 2020: What did we learn?

February 13, 2020

Thursday 6th February 2020 was a very special day for everyone working in Cognism’s revenue team! On this day, sales and marketing joined forces to launch Demo-Booking Day.

This was a day when everyone in Cognism’s sales and marketing departments got involved with cold calling prospects, pitching the Cognism product and booking demos. What happened and what did we learn? Read on to find out! 

How the day panned out


First thing in the morning, our Inside Sales Director David Bentham assembled the sales and marketing divisions. Over breakfast, David gave a rundown of the objectives and incentives for Cognism’s first Demo-Booking Day 2020.

The objective

The Cognism record for demos booked in one day was 52; our goal was to beat that record.

The incentives

David listed a number of fun incentives for certain milestones, such as the first demo booking of the day and the person who booked the most number of demos in the day. They were:

  • A karaoke night in London.
  • Scratchcards for the first 15 demo-bookers!
  • A personal bar tab on the next Cognism night out.
  • A flotation tank experience.


Once David had completed his rallying cry to the troops...we were off! Salespeople and marketers returned to their desks. Armed with accurate B2B data lists sourced from Cognism’s own platform, we started dialling numbers and having conversations!


Only 20 minutes after Demo-Booking Day had officially commenced, the first demo of the day was booked! Our opening batsman was Tom Gyngell, Senior Business Development Executive.


When we said everyone participated in Demo-Booking Day, we really did mean everyone! As the clock struck the hour, Chief Revenue Officer (and former legendary demo-booker) Nazma Qurban booked her first demo of the day! 


As lunchtime approached, Demo-Booking Day was in full swing. By this point, we had already reached over half of our target! 


A one-hour break for lunch! Time to rest, recuperate and feed our hungry demo-booking warriors!


Demo-Booking Day recommenced. The marketing team in particular was making significant inroads into B2B prospecting, calling leads who had recently downloaded our content.


You might have thought our demo-booking sprint would’ve been winding down by now...you’d be wrong! With only a few more demos to secure until we’d beaten our record, it was all hands on deck for the last hour-and-a-half! 


Inside Sales Director David Bentham gave his final motivational speech of the day. By now, we were just one demo away from beating our target. As David said, “one more call could change your life!” 


With seconds left on the clock, the final demo was booked and the results were tallied up. A recount confirmed the good news - we had, over 7 fun yet strenuous hours, broken the Cognism record for demos booked in one day!

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What did we learn?

We interviewed 6 members of Cognism’s sales and marketing teams, to gauge their thoughts on Demo-Booking Day. What were they hoping to get out of the day and what did they learn? 

First up - 3 of Cognism’s sales and marketing managers!

Nazma Qurban, Chief Revenue Officer

“For me, Demo-Booking Day was a great opportunity to brush up on my cold calling skills. It was a very grounding experience. For my team, I thought it really highlighted the hard work that our SDRs do every day. I also thought it was useful to have marketing involved as well. You learn a lot from cold calling prospects and speaking directly to people.” 

“I’m very proud of everyone who contributed. The energy in the room was amazing and that was reflected in the results - we smashed our own records for the number of calls made and the number of demos booked!”

“We are looking to roll this out on a quarterly basis, as it was so much fun and created a real buzz in the office. I’m really looking forward to the next one!”

Jonathon Ilett, Sales Director

“For me, the SDR role is the hardest role in sales and it’s important to recognise the work that they do. If sales is an engine, then the SDRs are our fuel.”

“At Cognism, everyone in the sales team started out as an SDR, including me! It’s good that junior members of staff can see senior members getting stuck in and performing the hard job of sales. It brings everyone closer together. At the end of the day, we were able to celebrate as one team for a record number of demos booked in one day.”

“For our AEs, Demo-Booking Day was important because it showed them the work that goes into getting each conversation started. I think it really highlighted the amazing job that our current SDR team does.”

Alice de Courcy, Head of Marketing

“Purely in terms of results - 45 dials, 2 follow-up calls booked in, but zero demos booked - Demo-Booking Day wasn’t the greatest success for me! I don't think I’ll be offered a job in sales any time soon. But the knowledge and value the team and I got from speaking to our prospects, listening to what their pain points were, their motivations for engaging with our content and what really matters to them right now, was invaluable.”

“There’s no doubt that this feedback will be far more valuable than any desk research I could have conducted. Most importantly, I also have a far better understanding of what our sales team do every day and how hard it is.”

“If you work in marketing and your company arranges a similar initiative, I strongly recommend you get involved! You will learn so much and come away from it with a much greater appreciation of your sales colleagues.”

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Next up - the SDRs! These 3 colleagues are only recent appointees to Cognism’s sales team. In fact, they only joined us last week! How did these rookie salespeople find Demo-Booking Day? 

Sam Gibbons, Business Development Executive

“My aim during Demo-Booking Day was simply to get on the phones as much as possible! Making so many calls in a day is a great way to build up your confidence.”

“I learnt that perseverance is absolutely key in an outbound sales role. It took me 90 calls before I booked a demo! It was also useful for me in that other, more experienced SDRs were making calls all day. I could listen in on them and ask them for feedback.”

“My number one cold calling tip for new SDRs is just to get stuck in! More calls mean more conversations. Speaking with prospects is the only way to build confidence and improve.”

Evangeline “Evie” Crossland, Business Development Executive

“Demo-Booking Day was great for me as the whole team was getting on the phones at the same time. It’s less nerve wracking than calling on your own. It also meant I could observe other employees and learn from what they did and said.”

“I learnt two very important things. One, that there are loads of different ways to open conversations with prospects. Demo-Booking Day gave me the opportunity to experiment and try out different pitches. Two, making so many calls in a day means that you remember so much more about the product you’re selling. By the end of the day, you’ve taken in and repeated so much information that you feel like an expert! That really builds your confidence.”

“My cold calling tip for new SDRs is: don’t be afraid to jump in the deep end! Everyone you work with had to make their first call at some point, and everyone has made mistakes. Don’t doubt yourself, just pick up the phone and get going!”

Ole Pugh, Business Development Executive

“Being new to the company, I wanted to start calling asap. Demo-Booking Day was a great way to get myself comfortable with talking to prospects over the phone and pitching the product.”

“My main takeaway from the day was getting to know how best to utilise my workflow on Salesforce. That really helped me create the maximum amount of useful conversations. It was also really exciting to be part of a big group effort. The buzz around the office was a great motivator to pick up the phone and get dialling!”

“My number one cold calling tip for new SDRs is an old cliche but it’s true! The more conversations you have, the better your chances of success.”

Watch our video of our sales and marketing teams in action!

Learn more from Cognism

So that was Demo-Booking Day 2020 at Cognism! Have you tried a similar sales strategy with your sales and marketing teams? Follow us on our social media and share your results with us!

And if you’re looking for more sales guidance, from cold calling tips, objection handling advice and best practice for B2B lead generation, then why not check out out our guide to building predictable growth through outbound.

Click the image below for more info and to reserve your copy!

B2B Outbound Building Predictable Growth LI 2