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Generating ROI in 8 Weeks With Intent Data & Direct Dials

A UK-based information technology & services company use Cognism’s sales intelligence platform to:

  • Get more results from 30 calls than they used to get from 150
  • Boost sales team morale by increasing the dial-to-connect ratio
  • Shorten the initial engagement cycle by 4-6 months
  • Achieve ROI in 8 weeks using intent data
  • Cleanse their CRM
  • Enrich Sales Navigator lists with business emails and phone numbers
Number of employees: 480
Industry: Information Technology & Services 
Founded: 1989
HQ: Reading, UK 
Departments: Marketing & Sales 
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The company

Founded over 30 years ago, Ultima has over 150+ Senior Technical consultants with offices in the UK and soon to be US. They are a next-generation managed service partner on a mission to combine unrivalled technical expertise with cutting-edge software automation. 

Ultima achieves this through providing powerful automated solutions for cloud, workspace, network and security to remove traditional business constraints. With the world constantly evolving, Ultima has invested heavily in SaaS and robotic process automation over the last 2 years.

Working with clients in Financial, Legal, Retail and Manufacturing, they help businesses work smarter and teams deliver more.

The challenge

We interviewed George Mckenna, Head of Cloud Sales at Ultima about his experience using Cognism.

What problem was he trying to solve?

"I used Cognism in my previous company which was vital to our new business efforts. In June 2021, I was hired by Ultima to grow the cloud sales team from 0 to 30 from scratch. Cognism was chosen to be the go-to platform to help us achieve this."

Ultima chose Cognism for four reasons:

  1. Ultima needed good data to find new business.
  2. They needed to cleanse their CRM.
  3. The global data coverage allows them to use it for PR in the States as they are opening their new office in Chicago.
  4. The quality of their intent data through their partnership with Bombora.

George explained:

"LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the top prospect discovery tools out there. However, there’s one shortcoming. While it gives you the ability to find a prospect’s LinkedIn profile and send an InMail, it doesn’t provide any actionable information like an email address or phone number. And for sales, having a phone number is very important."

"That’s where Cognism really shines. It gives you all that information in one simple LinkedIn plugin. It’s genius."

George told us more about Ultima’s need to cleanse its CRM:

"The issue with CRMs is they are only as good as the data that’s in there. Our CRM system is 30 years old with a rotation of hundreds of sales staff members over that period of time. This creates 0 consistency across the CRM."

"Cognism allows us to accurately pinpoint employees of accounts we have in our CRM, contact them, verify and sync them into the CRM system."

George told us they didn’t consider other providers when making the decision, mainly because he’s already acquainted with other similar solutions on the market.

"I’ve worked in sales for 15 years and I know that all the other providers are not as good."

The solution

George manages a team of 30 and 16 members who are focused on new business use Cognism. They were up and running on Cognism's B2B lead generation platform in just two weeks.

George explained how Ultima’s revenue teams use Cognism.

"Ultima’s B2B marketing and sales teams both use Cognism for marketing specific data."

"Firstly, the marketing team builds a list and markets the data over a 3–4-week period. Once this is completed, our sales team will follow up and call these prospects. In addition to this, I also build other personas in the platform and generate a list for the reps to call."

Ultima focuses on targeting businesses in the UK, EMEA and the US.

"Typically, we target enterprise companies but are slowly moving towards the SMB and mid-market space."

"Being a tech services company, the Cognism technographic data is key to building out our campaigns. This data allows the team to base their conversations on the tech stack information provided on the Cognism platform."

George and his team’s favourite capability is being able to retrieve a mobile number at the click of a button.

"Intent is also really good for new sales reps because it gives them a lead to go after with actual intent of interest."

George told us more about Ultima’s workflows with Cognism’s intent data powered by Bombora:

"I delegate a certain number of companies per week to each rep. This is part of our strategic stack so we can do sub-campaigns for these specific companies. Intent data allows a salesperson to make the call knowing the prospect’s intent of interest compared to someone who doesn’t know."

"The reason we use intent data is because we spend about £2 million in marketing per year. However, most of the marketing is driven by our own pipeline. The salesperson will identify the opportunities 6-9 months prior. We will then use that data to formulate what our campaign programme looks like."

The results

We asked George what quality of leads he’s seen with Cognism.

"It’s really about the validity of leads. We have a big marketing engine, but the problem is turning them from an MQL to an SQL. With Cognism, you can turn them into actionable conversations and opportunities. It’s improved the overall outcome of our B2B sales function."

We asked George about the ROI Cognism delivered for Ultima. He told us:

"Our sales cycle is typically 6-8 months long. At Cognism, we saw ROI in 8 weeks from intent data and direct dials. One deal pays for a year’s Cognism subscription."

George went on to explain how Bombora's intent data has helped Ultima to improve cold calling quality and increase sales.

"I use a metric called TTE (Time to Engagement). It’s important as a business that we’re able to provide tooling to salespeople from a point of identification to conversation. Cognism identifies the leads, allows us to target them based on the prospect’s intent and then follow-up with the sales action. Using intent data has massively reduced our TTE."

"The sales managers used to make 100-150 calls per day. Now they can achieve their targets by making 30 calls per day because they are calling prospects who actually pick up the phone. That’s more results, fewer calls."

Aside from ROI, the biggest benefit George has found in using Cognism is team morale:

"It’s all about calling prospects in sales but 90% of the time you get through to gatekeepers. Cognism removes that barrier as there are no gatekeepers anymore." 

"For a sales team to know that when they dial a number, they are going to get through to someone is a huge motivator. It’s probably the biggest one you could have."

"Cognism has enabled our team to do what they do best - talk to people."

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