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Building a Qualified Sales Pipeline With Cognism’s Data

Well-established recruitment and apprenticeships company, Key Training, uses Cognism’s sales intelligence platform to:

  • Schedule a consistent number of monthly meetings 
  • Accelerate sales team productivity 
  • Qualify opportunities using Cognism’s event triggers 
  • Improve sales team morale
Number of employees: 100
Industry: EdTech 
HQ: London, UK  
Teams using: Sales 

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The company

Key Training has been helping businesses and individuals thrive for more than 55 years through recruitment, apprenticeships and commercial training. It’s now one of the largest organisations offering a range of training solutions including IT Skills, Professional Development and Project Management.

Key Training specialises in recruiting young people into work and also delivering training to employees, whether it’s an apprenticeship or more bespoke training in personal and professional development. 

The challenge

We interviewed Katia Douglas, Head of Business Engagement and Marketing, about her experience with Cognism. 

What prompted Key Training to start looking at Cognism for lead generation

“Previously, we mainly acquired leads through mass marketing, outbound cold calls and LinkedIn. This approach worked well for us but we soon realised we required a more advanced B2B technology to elevate our sales.” 

How did they discover Cognism? 

“Our Sales Director had an initial conversation with a Cognism SDR. The whole concept was completely brand new to the business, so we were curious to find out more.”

“We didn’t consider any other B2B data providers in the sales process. Cognism works with another highly established training provider and they’ve seen a great level of ROI from using the platform. Based on this alone, we knew Cognism was the perfect tool to help accelerate our sales.” 

The solution

Katia manages a team of nine sales representatives focused on new business. They were up and running on Cognism’s B2B lead generation platform in a matter of weeks.  

What is the target demographic at Key Training? 

“We are industry-agnostic working with companies large and small in England. We typically target Learning & Development and Hiring & Talent decision-makers in these companies.” 

Katia told us more about her day-to-day responsibilities and the structure of the sales team. 

“I manage the company's social media website and sales representatives. They work at the top of the sales funnel and initiate the first conversations. Their goal is to book appointments with our internal Learning & Development and Apprenticeship advisors.” 

What are Key Training’s workflows with the platform? 

“The team and I use the tool almost daily and have two workflows with Cognism. I build one list for direct marketing while the sales reps create their own lists based on their assigned vertical. I directly export these contact details into our existing email database.” 

How have Cognism’s event triggers helped generate qualified leads? 

“Recently, the L&D sales reps have found the job change trigger very useful. Contacting people who have recently moved into senior roles in the last three months has been a great buying signal, as they’re more likely to make a purchasing decision.” 

“Cognism’s company turnover filter is incredibly helpful. The apprenticeship sales reps filter their search by targeting businesses that have a turnover of over £3 million. We immediately know the company might have a budget for training providers like Key Training.” 

“Lastly, the sheer diversity of information available for each individual. We can search for our own candidates by looking at their education level and qualify them based on this data.” 

Katia told us about their workflows with Cognism’s Chrome Extension

“The sales team uses the LinkedIn API plug-in daily. At the click of a button, the desired contact’s email address and mobile number appears. They’re then able to reach the right person instantly.”

How has Cognism’s support service contributed to their success with the platform?  

“Our CSM has been fantastic; they’ve gone above and beyond what we could’ve imagined. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for our CSM providing helpful feedback and direction.”

“Overall, the efficiency in the team has skyrocketed since using Cognism. They’ve booked loads of appointments as a result. Due to our varied sales cycle, there are many opportunities in the pipeline and they’ve all been qualified, many of which are large enterprise companies. We’re really impressed!”

The results

How many more outbound conversations have Key Training had since using Cognism’s  B2B database?

“We book a steady number of monthly meetings from Cognism.

Here’s one example: a sales rep sent a campaign to recruitment companies. They targeted 900 prospects, achieved a 42% read rate and received 15 replies with 3 positive opportunities. This was the first campaign they did. As the results were up to the mark, they are confident in using Cognism as their core prospecting tool.”

How has Cognism assisted with increasing inbound leads through direct marketing campaigns? 

“I always split test my marketing campaigns. Based on the statistics, many of the Cognism marketing campaigns I run drive outcomes a few months later. As a result, our inbound rates are consistently high.” 

Katia went on to explain the benefits that Key Training has experienced since using Cognism.

1. Improved productivity

“Cognism helps the team structure their diary. At the beginning of the day, they’ll start working on a focused list assigned to their vertical. There are far less rejections as they’re calling and emailing contacts that actually exist. If you want to drive activity in the team, Cognism is a great way to do it.”

2. Better sales team morale

“When a rep calls contacts that actually pick up the phone and they receive minimal email bounce backs, that instantly boosts camaraderie. They realise they can hit quota faster!” 

3. Simple to use

“The platform is easy to understand. Once you’ve initially been onboarded, it’s like a duck to water.”

4. Refined targeting 

“The platform’s granular search filters create laser-focused targeting. You can hone the list down to top-quality leads. Cognism is all about quality over quantity!”

5. Credible prospects

“The opportunities are highly qualified; this is due to the diverse amount of information available per prospect. The leads we receive from Cognism are likely to become recurring clients giving us an ongoing revenue stream.”

6. Phenomenal data quality

“Reaching the right person with high-quality data cuts through the noise of having to speak with the office switchboard. Clean data will improve the efficiency of your team.” 

“My new starters recently said to me: 

I can’t believe you have a tool like this. The data is clean, refreshed and in real-time!”

Katia shared a final thought with us: 

“The impact of Cognism is either immediate by booking in qualified meetings or later on from marketing campaigns. Cognism is a fantastic ongoing revenue generator for us!”

Try Cognism’s sales intelligence solution

Over 3,000 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

Why not see for yourself? Book your live screen share here 👇


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