Image of lady considering Cognism and Apollo.io
Image of lady considering Cognism and Apollo.io

For sales teams struggling with pipeline anxiety, the right sales intelligence tool can ease your doubts and get you better results.

But with tighter budgets and an overwhelming number of options, it's hard to know which one to choose. After all, you want to invest in the tool that will get you the best results based on your team's unique needs.

In this guide, we compare two of the most popular sales tools out there — Cognism vs Apollo.io — to show you what you can expect from each one. And, if neither seems like a good fit, we’ll offer a great alternative to consider for your sales team.

What is Cognism and how does it work?

Cognism home page

Cognism is a B2B lead generation tool that helps you find contact information for potential buyers as well as their company’s information. This allows you to build a list of qualified prospects for your outbound outreach.

Cognism's key features

Cognism provides you with an extensive prospecting database and also lets you message leads directly through the platform. Other key features include:

  • Phone number verification: Cognism’s phone number verification feature makes cold calling easier. Cognism calls the phone numbers it extracts to confirm their accuracy and whether they’re on a DND list. “Having the right phone number data saves a lot of time and frustration. Sales calls are already hard, no need to make them harder with wrong phone numbers,” says Thuy Ho, sales manager and Cognism user.
  • Easy and intuitive user interface (UI): Users commend Cognism’s UI for being easy to navigate and making onboarding simple. Here’s what one user says, “[I] love how simple it is right from setup all the way through to integrating into my day to day. I am able to find prospect's contact details in a few seconds rather than trying to trawl the internet.”
  • CRM integrations: Cognism allows you to integrate with tools like Outreach, making it easy to import prospects into your CRM and start a sales sequence.

Cognism's pros

Here are some advantages of using Cognism for your prospecting needs:

  • Streamlines prospecting: Besides providing a contact database, you can build a prospecting list on Cognism and send messages to your prospects through Outreach.
  • Responsive customer support: Cognism provides an in-app chat box that allows you to instantly connect with their customer support team.

Cognism's cons

While Cognism does have some enticing features and notable pros, it's not without its downsides. Here's what some users dislike about the platform:

  • Inaccurate data: G2 reviews show that though Cognism provides extensive data, it’s sometimes incorrect, especially for contacts in the US market. Compared to other platforms Cognism is also slow when it comes to updating prospect job changes. Phone numbers are often outdated as well, however, users like Soober Adan note that incorrect contact information is often taken down or corrected when flagged.
  • Hard to scale prospect engagement: Sending emails to prospects on the platform is not seamless. According to Humphrey Clarke, VP of Marketing at Epoq, “The email (engage) part of the system involves uploading and downloading CSV files, which can be fairly clunky.”
  • Unreliable chrome extension: Cognism’s chrome extension often malfunctions, making it unreliable. “There's a Cognism Chrome Extension but in large part, it is rendered defunct, as it constantly asks you to re-sign in when you're already signed in, then it boots you off and you cannot use it,” says Christina Bouwens, sales enablement specialist and Cognism user.

If you’re wondering how much Cognism costs you’ll have to send them a message to get customized pricing based on your workflow.

What is Apollo.io and how does it work?

Apollo.io home page

Apollo.io is a sales intelligence tool that helps you find leads, build a prospecting list, and engage with them through automated outreach campaigns all on the same platform. 

Apollo.io's key features

Apollo.io is another great sales intelligence platform that a lot of sales teams use to improve their results. Here are some of its best features:

  • Expanded filters: You can filter your searches with keywords, company funding, verified emails, and more.
  • Date enrichment: Apollo.io provides extra information about contacts such as their job titles and where they work to make it easier to personalize your outreach.
  • Sales engagement: You can create an automated outreach campaign and access templates to make outreach faster.
  • Integrations: You can integrate external platforms like LinkedIn, Outreach, Hubspot, and Gmail to streamline your workflow.

Apollo.io's pros

If you’re considering going with Apollo.io for your pipeline generation needs, here are some of the main benefits you can expect:

  • Large database: Apollo.io’s database contains 220 million contacts and 30 million companies. That’s a lot of leads to choose from when building your prospecting list. “The database is vast. So it's not a difficult task to find out details of Key-employees for most companies,” says Supreet Bhattacharjee, Senior Growth Partner at Neo.
  • Free trial: Apollo provides free trials for people who might want to try out the platform before committing.
  • Great pricing: Apollo has 3 pricing plans: Free ($0 for 1 user), Basic ($49 for 1 user per month), and Professional ($99 for 1 user per month).

Apollo.io's cons

While Apollo.io has some obvious pros, it also has a number of cons. Here's what some of their verified users had to say in reviews:

  • Poor support: “Support isn't great, especially for helping customers figure out the best way to leverage Apollo's products within the broader tech stack for specific use cases,” notes Josh Winnegrad, founder and current Apollo.io user. This sentiment is repeated across multiple user reviews. In addition, support appears to be limited to specific regions.
  • Low flexibility: Emails have to be sent out at specific times. According to Daniel KillKelly, a current user, “The automated emailing features could still use improvement to help create more nuanced campaigns and it's frustrating in that Apollo provides you with a window of time when an email could be sent out, as opposed to just allowing you to dictate a specific date and time you would like an email to go out at.”
  • Inaccurate data: There are repeated reports of outdated or incorrect data on the platform. Users outside the US market also note that the data they need is often irrelevant or incomplete.

An alternative pipeline generation solution for Cognism and Apollo.io: UserGems

Cognism and Apollo.io can help your team with building a prospecting list. But if you’re looking for a sales intelligence tool that goes beyond providing you with a database of contacts, UserGems is a great alternative to Cognism and Apollo.io.

UserGems is a pipeline generation tool that helps you generate a qualified pipeline of buyers who are 3x likely to buy from you. 

We solve your pipeline anxiety by:

  • Tracking job changes of your past customers, power users, and prospects and surfacing them in your CRM as warm leads
  • Delivering fresh leads to your CRM based on your ideal customer persona
  • Unearthing key decision makers in your target account and providing context to warm your outreach
  • Aligning your sales and marketing activities with uniform data to create more impact and increase the ROI of your campaigns

How UserGems resolves Cognism vs Apollo.io limitations

UserGems is built to deliver pre-qualified leads and connect you with buyers who are most likely to buy from you based on intent and relationship data.

Here’s what you can expect when you use UserGems:

Accurate data

UserGems’ data quality is unrivalled in the industry. When compared to other market leaders like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or ZoomInfo, it’s over 40% more accurate. Besides using technology to maintain the quality of our data, we also refresh our data monthly. You’ll enjoy a less than 5% bounce rate with UserGems’ data.

Turn job changes into revenue

Of the two tools, only Apollo.io mentions job change alerts as a key feature. However, less than 1% of their 3368 reviews on G2 mention it or consider it a key part of their sales playbook. The job-change tracking feature on Apollo.io is also only available for users on the Professional plan. 

With UserGems, everyone on your sales team can track job changes of your leads, past customers, and prospects. You get a job change alert immediately after a lead changes jobs so you can be the first to connect with them.

We know that not tracking customer job changes means losing a 40% chance of winning new business, so we take this very seriously. 

“UserGems has given us a new customer base that we previously couldn't tap into. It's made a very manual process more automated which has increased our capacity and ability to reach customers that have moved on from our company,” says Hannah Hawkesely, Senior Sales Manager of New Business at MOO Prints. 

Provide personalized context for a warm outreach

We don’t just provide a database of verified and accurate email addresses, we go a step further to provide personalized details to warm your outreach with relationship data. For example, we let you know if a past customer or power user just changed jobs and the past relationship they had with your company.

Personalized support to help you get value from our software

If you are looking for an Apollo.io alternative that provides great support for your team, you’ll get assigned a customer success manager with UserGems. Our personalized support is the talk of the town 😁 Take it from our customers at Cobalt

Customer quote from Cobalt on UserGems

Integrates with CRMs and other tools to streamline your work

UserGems integrates seamlessly with the industry’s favorite tools like HubSpot, Gmail, Slack, Outreach, SalesForce, and more. You don’t need to pull data from one place to another, it works with your existing tools and surfaces leads in your CRM.

UserGems customer quote

Provides add-on tools to help your team work faster

At UserGems, we believe in making it easier for revenue teams to focus on their core tasks. With our FREE Meeting Assistant tool, your sales reps can book meetings with prospects and automatically add their key team members to the call too. It’s so easy, you can try the Meeting Assistant tool now.

As an Apollo or Cognism alternative, UserGems provides better services and features to hit your quota faster.

If you’re looking to turn your buyer and champion job changes and relationship insights into revenue, book a demo or learn more here

Want to get more pipeline with less work?