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Reaching Decision-makers With Cognism

Find out how a Belgian-based, SAP-centric consulting company, TheValueChain used Cognism’s sales intelligence platform to:

  • Get accurate, up-to-date prospect data
  • Rapidly select personas to target
  • Significantly improve email campaign hit rate and reduce bounce rate
  • Increase sales conversations and meetings booked
Number of employees: 160 
Industry: IT Services & IT Consulting 
HQ: Belgium
Teams using: Sales

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The company

Founded in 2011 in Antwerp, TheValueChain now has 260 employees with an annual turnover of €40 million. 

It currently has 60+ active projects in the wholesale & distribution, discrete manufacturing, professional services, and utilities sectors. 

As a trusted advisor, TheValueChain inspires customers to embrace an end-to-end approach to tackle their digital challenges. Partnerships and co-creation expand the solution portfolio beyond SAP. The company believes in innovation, commitment, quality, and expertise. 

TheValueChain is affiliated with the Gumption Group. It has offices in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

The challenge

TheValueChain’s Sales & Marketing Director, Peter Krul, and Business Development Specialist, Nils Temmerman, spoke about the challenges the company faced before onboarding Cognism. Peter says:

"The problem we were trying to solve was that we had very limited data on our prospective customers. We had tools like LinkedIn, but they didn’t allow us to segment to a granular level."

"We wanted to segment on company turnover, number of employees and also granularly on the industries prospects are in."

"Within the accounts, we also wanted to rapidly select buying personas. LinkedIn was a solution to some extent but it didn’t have the capabilities Cognism has to segment our target audience."

"Cognism offers much broader segmentation capabilities. It also offers email addresses and mobile numbers, which LinkedIn doesn’t."

In terms of exploring other B2B data providers, Peter says the company spoke with a Belgian-based firm, but that it couldn’t meet their ambitions.

"We’re active in Belgium and the Netherlands, and we have ambitions to grow beyond The Benelux. With domestic data providers, there were clear limitations, including the fact that their database wasn’t online, wasn’t searchable, and wasn’t segmentable."

The solution

Nils, who uses Cognism on a daily basis, explains how he got on with the platform when TheValueChain became users:

"It was very easy after the onboarding. You can start straight away because it’s a simple tool to use and the filtering is self-explanatory. Now it’s way easier for us to create an account list because of the options and filters. On a contact level, it’s easier to find the buying persona."

Peter adds that because of the smooth onboarding, TheValueChain is already considering expanding its use of the platform:

"Marketing and business development use Cognism at the minute. But we’re thinking of getting an extra user for the recruitment department."

"What Cognism gives you is the ability to segment by technology, which is something you can’t do on LinkedIn. This gives you a lot of hits for people who are specialised in those sectors."

The results

Although TheValueChain has only been a Cognism customer for a couple of months, ROI is already clear. Peter says:

"We don’t have marketing KPIs like conversion rate or cost-per-lead. We’re rather small in that respect."

"Because our sales cycle is between 3-9 months, we’re likely to see the true payoff of Cognism later down the line."

"I can’t share specifics, but we’ve significantly increased the number of conversations we’re having and the leads we’re booking meetings with from cold calling. The mobile numbers Cognism provides have been especially useful in COVID, as the vast majority of people are away from their desks."

"Before, we relied on the information in our CRM system. Our CRM database was polluted and out of date, giving us a high bounce rate. Since we started using Cognism, our hit rate has significantly increased and the bounce rate has dropped. We can also segment better and properly leverage email as a channel."

Peter also speaks about how Cognism has helped TheValueChain identify new audiences: 

"It helped us quickly roll out a campaign in the Netherlands where we used to spend a lot of time composing target account lists. We used to rely on a number of Excel spreadsheets, which was cumbersome. With Cognism, due to the fact we can now segment SAP customers, we can now easily make target account lists."

Finally, Peter and Nils emphasise the importance of Cognism’s Customer Success (CS) team, before summing up:

"In the beginning, there was a small hiccup with the credits, so I contacted the customer service team,” says Nils. “They helped me out and it was rectified the same day."

Peter adds:

"We like the CS managers because they help us realise the value of the investment. They give good expert sessions on how to use the tool and how to run campaigns that yield a lot of return."

Describing Cognism’s core benefits in a couple of sentences, Peter says:

"The convenience of the tool is great and the fact that we don’t spend as much time making lists for campaigns and calling actions. Lists used to be the hardest part of the process but now they’re really easy."

Nils concludes:

"The main things I like about Cognism are the platform’s simplicity and how it saves us time. The comprehensive access to business contact details and segmentation functionalities make it easy for us to find buyer personas and build contact lists. These are all easily exported to our CRM and marketing automation systems and it all runs really smoothly."

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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