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Slalom Generates $400k of Opportunities With Cognism

Slalom, the leading global business and technology consulting company, uses Cognism’s B2B data to:

    • Create $400k of opportunities in a year.
      • Gain 7,500 leads since April 2022.
      • Unify revenue operations with its premium data.
      • Reduce the sales cycle by using the data to multi-thread into existing accounts.
Website: www.slalom.com 
Number of employees: 13,000
Industry: Business Consulting & Services 
HQ: Seattle, Washington 
Teams using: Revenue Operations & Sales

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The company

Founded in 2001, Slalom is a purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company and has grown rapidly to 13,000+ team members in six countries and 43 markets. Their objective is to help people and organisations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all. 

Forbes recognises Slalom as one of America’s Best Management Consultancies in several industries. They have close partnerships with over 400 leading technology providers, including AWS, Google, Microsoft, Snowflake and Tableau. From strategy to implementation, they deeply understand their customer base in order to deliver practical, end-to-end solutions that drive meaningful impact. 

The challenge

We interviewed George Elsey, Sales Operations Analyst at Slalom, about his experience with Cognism. 

How did they acquire new leads before Cognism?

“Our sales teams are based in North America and the UK. As a consultancy, the majority of new business was sourced from referrals, our network and word-of-mouth. There was less emphasis on top of the funnel outbound sales.” 

George explained the growth plans Slalom had for the UK sales team last year. 

“Majority of the team are based in North America. Last year, the UK sales team consisted of Sales Executives completing a 360 sales role of closing new business and managing existing accounts simultaneously.” 

“The drawback was the Sales Executives didn’t have enough time to prospect into new accounts as well as upsell into existing ones. Taking into consideration these teething problems, the business hired two UK SDRs to focus on sourcing new leads for the Sales Executives.”  

What prompted Slalom’s decision to seek a sales prospecting tool like Cognism to facilitate the UK SDRs with their prospecting?

“While the US team had a sales intelligence provider, the UK team had no lead generation tools in place. They’d scrape data from LinkedIn and use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of the leads. It was extremely manual and didn’t provide accurate visibility of what was going on in the sales pipeline. This is why they approached Cognism.” 

What was the tipping point for Slalom choosing Cognism as their European B2B data provider of choice?

“Cognism is the EMEA leader for premium sales intelligence. I’ve used the database in previous sales roles and loved it. I’m very attuned with the platform and couldn’t wait to work with Cognism again to help close new business and streamline Slalom’s revenue operations.”

The solution

At Slalom, George oversees the strategic relationship with Cognism while ensuring the sales team is gaining optimal value from the tool. 

George joined the business in April 2022 at the same time Cognism was onboarded to Slalom’s UK sales team. He told us more: 

“I was hired to build and manage the entire revenue operations function from the ground up, which tied in well with implementing Cognism.” 

George detailed how the sales team is structured at Slalom. 

“We have a team of SDRs whose job is to source new leads in Cognism and book meetings for the Sales Executives.”

“The SDRs use the platform daily, whereas the Sales Executives are more ad-hoc. They predominantly use the database for multithreading by finding contact details of decision-makers within existing accounts. They also target other contacts for cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and even find other points of contact when existing relationships go quiet. This helps them work their accounts from different angles”.  

How was their onboarding process? 

“We were up and running within a week! The customer support and success teams are much more hands-on than my experience with other providers. They have been fantastic at addressing our requests and needs ever since.” 

The Chrome Extension is used by the SDRs and Sales Executives in two different ways. He told us more: 

“The SDRs use the LinkedIn Chrome Extension daily by searching for relevant contact details, uploading them to Salesforce and saving the lead to take action in Outreach.” 

“The Chrome Extension is a fantastic resource for multithreading into existing accounts. As many of our customers are large Enterprise businesses, the Sales Executives will use the contact details to connect with multiple decision-makers behind the deal of these accounts.”

“Cognism’s Chrome Extension is the underdog of moving the needle faster in the sales process.”

What is their target audience? 

“Senior level executives and Directors in the UK. Each SDR is assigned specific industries to focus on and they create target campaigns accordingly.” 

George explained how Cognism’s Sales Prospector is used.

“The SDRs create lead lists within the platform. These are then exported, downloaded as a CSV and sent to the revenue operations team to filter, cleanse and import to Salesforce. The validated contacts are marked as a lead in Salesforce and imported directly to Outreach for the SDRs to take action.” 

What outbound channels do the SDRs use to ignite conversations with new prospects? 

“As we offer a service, the SDRs apply a more tailored approach to outbound by sending emails personalised to their specific use case, followed by a LinkedIn message.” 

What platform feature is the most influential to their searches? 

“The ‘technology’ filter is invaluable to us as we work with many technology partners including Google Cloud, AWS and Salesforce.” 

“Here’s an example: when the SDRs create a Salesforce persona, they use the ‘technology’ filter by typing in Salesforce-related products like Pardot and Marketing Cloud. They’d then refine the search by inputting the relevant job titles and regions related to our ICP.” 

“With this information, the SDRs can tailor the sequences with Salesforce-related content, making the outreach as value-led as possible.” 

“Cognism’s granular filter functionality allows the SDRs to create qualified target lists. Now it’s all about quality rather than quantity of leads. All I receive is positive feedback about the platform. For me, that’s a success!”

The revenue operations team own the Cognism piece; George explained how he manages the data in the platform day-to-day. 

“I supervise the data quality and general management of the platform. The data the SDRs generate is always sent to the revenue operations team for validation before being exported to Salesforce.” 

How has Cognism helped Slalom with segmentation strategies? 

“While the SDRs are predominantly focused on sourcing net new leads, Cognism is also widely used for targeting different departments in our existing accounts.” 

“Cognism’s colossal B2B contact database allows the Sales Executives to target decision makers within existing accounts that they wouldn’t otherwise have visibility on.” 

As a revenue operations leader, visibility and forecasting of accounts is a core part of the role. Cognism’s new usage dashboard gives admins access to usage reports for all account users. Admins can utilise the dashboard to view reports on metrics such as usage, exports, data coverage, user sessions and more. This allows an admin to effectively monitor team adoption and track the ROI of their Cognism subscription. 

How has Cognism’s Usage Dashboard helped the revenue operations department?

“I can monitor who the super users are and understand how each member uses the platform day-to-day. It helps me spot the gaps and provide guidance to those that aren’t using the platform as effectively as they could be. The dashboard is a fantastic way to manage our users and help increase product adoption and effectiveness.”  

George explained the positive impact Cognism’s exemplary data has had on the business. 

“Firstly, the granularity of the job titles within Cognism’s database is a cut above the rest. On LinkedIn, the job titles are often unclear or very broad. Within Cognism, the titles are very comprehensive. This reassures the SDRs that they are reaching out to the correct people.” 

“No database will ever be perfect as people are constantly moving companies and changing jobs. But I can confidently say that at least 93% of the contacts pulled from Cognism have a valid email address associated with them. That’s streets ahead of any B2B data vendors I’ve used in the past.”

The results

We asked George about the opportunities Cognism has delivered for Slalom. 

“Since April 2022, the SDRs have found 35,000 profiles in the system and uploaded 7,500 leads to Salesforce.”

“In one year, we’ve generated around $400k in opportunities from data found in Cognism. The success fully justifies renewing with Cognism.”

The top reasons why Slalom would recommend Cognism

1. Reduced sales cycle and empowers our sales teams

“Our sales cycle is often lengthy as we work with FTSE 100 organisations with multiple decision-makers behind one deal.” 

“Cognism’s vast database gives our sales teams the ability to not only reach a wider net new target audience quicker, but also gives them the control of how to build their prospect targeting; this ultimately reduces the duration of the sale and fosters trust in our team members.” 

“For the Sales Executives, Cognism empowers multithreading to multiple decision-makers that they otherwise wouldn’t have visibility on. This speeds up the deal cycle and allows for more upsells within existing accounts.” 

2. Exceptional data quality and coverage 

“As a revenue and sales operations professional, working with high-quality data is the oil to keeping the machine running. Our worst nightmare is having sales reps uploading bad data into the CRM.”

“Working with Cognism means that correct data is filtered into our technology systems regularly. It’s a productivity saver as I don’t have to trudge through endless lists cleansing incorrect data.”

We asked George to share his final thoughts about Cognism:

“Cognism helps us get our foot in the door at key accounts quicker. The value doesn’t come from generating tons of opportunities but from giving us a considerable amount of confidence that good data is going into our CRM. The database gives us crystal clear visibility across accounts and a better potential chance of revenue.”

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