Bring home the warm leads — Cobalt gets amped with 12X ROI in less than a year

Cobalt is an award-winning Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) pioneer within the cybersecurity industry. They even wrote a book ("The PtaaS Book: The A-Z of Pentest as a Service") on it. 

Like most industries, the security space has seen a lot of customer job changes. So, the revenue team wanted to dig deeper into this trend and use the right B2B prospecting tool to uncover opportunities they might be missing. 

“The best referrals are your customers. Cobalt provides pentesting services, which is something customers need – versus just want – so we are top of mind for them because we do it while offering quality, speed, and simplicity.”

When our customers leave and go someplace else, we want to know because they already know us. They know our business. And can be advocates for us,” Clare Corriveau, Director of Demand Generation, Cobalt, explains. 

We sat down with the Cobalt team — Clare Corriveau, Kate Massey, Senior Marketing Operations Analyst, Ryan Murray, Director of Business Development, and Justin Ryan, Sales Operations, Senior Analyst (also called the Salesforce guy) — to discuss how they’ve used UserGems to unlock the warm leads channel and hit 12X ROI in nine months in closed-won revenue.

Let’s start at the beginning

In sales, cold outbound is an excellent B2B prospecting strategy and lead source. But focusing solely on that channel means you may miss out when a customer, champion, or prospect moves on to a company that fits your ideal customer profile. Ryan and the BDR team needed a way to reduce the number of cold outbound and get many warm reasons for calling prospects. 

“For us, the customer-job-change trigger use case was a no-brainer. Trying to track this otherwise would have been a manual and difficult process on LinkedIn. And we would have things slip through the cracks,” Ryan says.

“We see that business coming from customer referrals has a high conversion rate. So, our former VP of Sales came across UserGems and thought it would be a great tool to amplify the trends we were already seeing across the industry and not miss any job changes,” Clare adds.

Know your leads, up your odds

Once Cobalt started using the UserGems, the influx of warm leads ensured BDRs made purpose-driven decisions around customer segmentation, outreach, and sales motion execution.

“I’ll take quality over volume any day. And the quality and conversion rate of a UserGems lead is way higher than that of a content syndication program or an outsourced BDR program. Content syndication helps fill out our database in terms of people to nurture but the conversion doesn’t always play out,” Clare says.

“And UserGems puts a nice warm lead who’s open to having a conversation for a BDR. Our BDRs are happy. I look forward to the first week of every month because it’s the UserGems day,” Clare continues. 

The highlight for Cobalt was that UserGems not only delivered on their pipeline and conversion goals but enabled them to build a BDR process that’s scalable as lead volume increases. 

“We’ve worked with our UserGems Customer Success Manager (CSM), Steven Farina, and developed the right messaging. So we’re focused on building out the cadence and enabling the BDRs. And if our volumes were to triple next month, we would have more work to do but it wouldn’t grind anything to a halt,” Ryan explains.

Revenue team alignment — a recipe for success

The Cobalt revenue team walks the talk when it comes to revenue team alignment (Not surprising considering one of their core principles is ‘when we collaborate, we can make 2+2 =10’). The Demand Generation budget covers UserGems. But the business development team, demand gen team, and ops work together to hit department and joint revenue goals. 

“We work with ops to track as many customer contacts and decision-makers as possible. We also track any account where we had a closed lost opportunity,” Ryan explains. 

“We track all contacts related to our current and past customer accounts. We also track users on our platform even if they aren’t in Salesforce,” Justin Ryan, the Salesforce guy, adds. 

Clare jumps in, “Ryan and I have a shared number. And aligning on shared goals helps us collaborate more as we are able to give the BDR focused prospecting efforts in the best place possible and the best use of their time.”

“The more time they spend manually pulling lists or doing searches on Zoominfo and LinkedIn, the less time they’re looking at their marketing qualified leads pot. UserGems has helped us put more emphasis on a place where they can focus their time and effort. And they are more than willing to do it because they see the benefit.” 

“Originally we routed all job change leads to the original AE. But with territory shifts and other changes, we found that leads weren’t always getting the proper attention. So we changed UserGem lead ownership to the BDR team. Now, Ryan and I have full insight into what’s being followed up on and what isn’t. We have seen a lot of success with this change,” Clare continues. 

UserGems is more than a software, it’s a partnership

“Setup was seamless. The UserGems tool is easy to implement. The amount of automation is helpful and a huge time saver for opps,” Justin starts. 

"We care a lot about adoption on the operations side as we have an enormous tech stack. And UserGems is one of two tools we are so impressed by because our CSM, Steven, is so involved in optimizing it and making sure we get the most out of it,” Katie Massey adds. 

Clare continues, “UserGems is one of my favorite tools from a demand generation perspective because our CSM makes everything easier.”

What does the future look like for Cobalt + UserGems?

Perhaps the essential thing about warm leads is the use cases are numerous. From sales multithreading to reviving close-lost deals, we could go on.

And Cobalt’s Clare Corriveau understands that the job change trigger is drawn from multiple relationships a business has with its customers and users. So, what better use case than implementing the customer job change tool with the team directly in charge of customers and champions? 

“We want to onboard our CS team to take advantage of the benefits of UserGems. So they know when a champion or advocate leaves and do not find out on LinkedIn. We also are looking to use this channel for our high-value ABM accounts to see if there are any low-hanging fruit to target in our T1 and T2 accounts,” she says.

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