Today’s sales teams have the ability to use tools that would simply blow the mind of someone who first came up in the industry just 10 years ago.
But despite the speed of innovation in sales tech, there are still large corporations and small startups alike whose main sources of information for targeting are Google, basic contact-scraping software, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
What’s the difference? As a ZoomInfo user and partner, there is no way I could do my job without the firmographic, technographic, and demographic information and filters in SalesOS.
But beyond just telling you how well this can work, I’ve actually done the math, and you can see for yourself. I’ve gone deep into the impact ZoomInfo can have on a sales team’s day-to-day work, and if used properly, you can more than double the number of deals while spending just a tiny fraction of additional labor.
ZoomInfo vs. Alternative
Let’s take two sales teams:
- Company A uses ZoomInfo
- Company B uses basic contact-scraping software
Each company has a team of 10 sales reps working eight hours per day. Two of these hours are spent prospecting:
- One hour finding companies to reach out to
- One hour finding contact information for prospects in the company
In an ideal world, it would be done in focused chunks. Many of you reading this know this isn’t how it works. Instead, this is what the average sales rep’s day really looks like:
You start the day by checking your email. Any responses from yesterday’s outreach? You respond to them. OK, let’s check the status of the cold email campaign you sent yesterday: 50% open rate, two responses. One asking to stop sending emails. The other asks what you’re offering.
Alright now, let’s prospect! Log into your prospecting software and compile a list of companies to reach out to based on your ICP traits and targeted job titles. Then add them to your SEP and start outreach.
What happens next depends on the tool you’re using. And this is where next-generation tools like ZoomInfo start to immediately carry your sales team, adding hours to your day.
Company A, using ZoomInfo, can use event-based triggers to target qualified companies based on:
- Funding round
- Company Size
- Company growth
- Company hiring/layoffs
- Recent hires
- Internal structure
- Department growth
- Technology they use (technographics)
- How long they’ve been using a competitor
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Types of departments
- ZoomInfo Scoops
- Internal initiatives (ZoomInfo Scoops)
Company B can only target:
- Contact info
- Company size
- Anything they can find via Google
What to Expect
In our example, both companies will be selling sales enablement software (SES) to software companies with a headcount of 50-1,000 employees. The companies are segmented by sales rep headcount::
- 10+ sales reps for small and medium businesses
- 30+ sales reps for mid-market
- 100+ sales reps for enterprise
We’re selling to CEOs, vice presidents of sales, sales directors, and sales managers.
1. Building a TAM list
Company A built out a search on ZoomInfo and found 3,958 companies that fit this market in five minutes.
Company B began manually searching but can’t filter for department size, so they’re unsure how many companies are in the market. The contact-scraping software shows 10,000 companies, but many are unqualified due to inaccurate industry classification. It also shows many software consulting firms that do not fit the ICP, so reps have to manually parse the list to find qualified prospects. This can cost hours per rep spent — time that is not spent selling.
If you’re spending two minutes per company across all 10,000 companies, that adds up to 333 hours just parsing the TAM list. Your competitor, using ZoomInfo, did it in five minutes.
2. Department Size
Company A can further filter the 3,958 companies down to companies with specific triggers. Since we’re selling SES, we want to target companies with salespeople. We have three distinct markets — ZoomInfo searched and found the following in less than two minutes per market:
- SMB: 10-29 sales reps = 2,215 companies
- MM: 30-99 sales reps = 1,396 companies
- Enterprise: 100+ sales reps = 397 companies
Company B can’t filter for department size, so they have to manually call sales managers, VPs and CEOs to verify they’re a good fit — or find the info online. This is thousands of hours of labor wasted per year, time that could be spent selling.
Let’s say this company qualification process takes 10 minutes per company. Do that across your 10,000 company TAM list, and you’ve racked up 1,666 hours just checking to see if they fit your ICP.
The team using ZoomInfo did it in six minutes total.
3. Finding the Decision-Maker
Company A can find the decision-maker with the simple click of a filter. Out of the entire TAM, ZoomInfo has found 57,947 people. If we segment for sales department size, we get the following, again with about two minutes of work for each segment:
- SMB = 17,839 contacts from 2,215 companies
- MM = 23,700 contacts from 1,396 companies
- Enterprise = 16,408 contacts from 397 companies
Company B found 50,000 contacts, but approximately 35% of the data is out of date. This means sales reps have to check on LinkedIn to verify they still work at the company.
Let’s say it takes them five seconds per contact to verify job title and current company. Over 50,000 contacts, that’s almost 70 hours — a task that Company A. did in six minutes.
4. Event-Based Triggers
Company A is notified the moment a company gets a new funding round, expands into a new market, hires or fires staff, adds new technology, announces new initiatives, and more. You only have to set these triggers up once, but there are a lot of options — let’s say it takes a one-time investment of five hours total for all types and combinations of event-based triggers.
Company B can only track trigger events via Google. This means that each time a sales rep reaches out to a company, they have to manually scour the web for any relevant information or set up Google alerts one by one for each company. This is very time-consuming and again, is time not spent selling.
Let’s say it takes seven minutes to check Google and LinkedIn for news and events. Across your list of 3,958 companies, that adds up to 461 hours — and that labor has to be repeated each time you want to find out new information.
The team using ZoomInfo spent five hours once, and the triggers keep delivering news and information forever.
5. Contact Information Quality
Not all data is created equal. ZoomInfo’s foundational advantage is the quality of its data. While many competing solutions vary between 30-50% accuracy for phone numbers and emails, with ZoomInfo, you can set your desired data-quality level via an accuracy score between 75-99% accuracy. In this example, our data quality will range from 85-99% accuracy.
Company A has 85-99% accuracy using the ZoomInfo accuracy score.
Company B has 30-40% accuracy — call it 35% for simplicity. This is due to the contact-scraping software not updating or cleaning records routinely or checking for validity via an email debouncing software.
The Difference in Data Quality
• Company A pulls 57,947 contacts, and 85% of the contact info is accurate. That leaves them with 49,254 good contacts.
• Company B pulls 50,000 contacts, but just 35% of the contact info is accurate. That results in just 17,500 good contacts.
Cold E-mail Breakdown
If your contact accuracy is more like Company B’s, not only are you wasting time and lowering your email deliverability, but you’re also wasting money by sending emails to a list that is mostly inaccurate — which also increases the likelihood of being flagged for spam.
Here’s a breakdown of how this impacts closed deals:
Cold Calling Breakdown
Since the only way to verify a number’s accuracy is by calling, Company B has no way to know if the numbers are good before calling. But Company A uses ZoomInfo, which uses multiple data points to find the most likely number. So we can confidently say Company A has more accurate numbers than Company B.
For the sake of simplicity let’s say:
Company A: Out of 49,254 contacts, ZoomInfo found 20,431 mobile and direct phone numbers, or 41.5%.
Company B: Out of 17,500 contacts, they found 6,125 phone numbers, or 35% of their contacts. This number could be much lower, and they can’t filter for mobile and direct numbers. But I’ll keep it simple.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect with a 35% accuracy rate:
Company A, using ZoomInfo, has an 85% accuracy rate. That’s 17,366 valid phone numbers.
Company B has a 35% accuracy rate and only has 2,143 valid phone numbers.
What’s that mean in the end? Using ZoomInfo, Company A found seven times more phone numbers than Company B. That’s seven times more potential conversations — not to mention a huge amount of time back that the team can spend actually selling.
If we use my formula again, we can expect the following results in terms of deals closed:
The Cost of Bad Data
Bad contact information is one of the most costly mistakes you can make as a sales organization. And since many companies don’t run emails through email verification software, they’re not even aware of the true quality of their data.
Since each contact pulled typically costs a platform-use credit, you’re paying the same price right off the top for good data and useless data alike. And when you add in the opportunity cost of lost deals, the resulting blow to employee morale, missed revenue projection accuracy, and other downstream costs, the bill starts to get very significant.
In our example, Company B actually pays a 65% premium on good data because 65% of data is bad. Company A might pay more upfront, but it has transparent costs — and minimal time wasted reaching out with bad data.
So what does it look like when you compare the two approaches side by side?
Organization-wide company B. spends 151,560 minutes total, while Company A, using ZoomInfo, only spends 312 minutes.
On a rep-by-rep basis company B. spends 252 hours per rep to accomplish what Company A does with ZoomInfo in 31 minutes.
Cost in Wasted Labor
Let’s say the average account executive (AE) makes just under $60,000 per year, and the average sales development rep (SDR) makes just under $50,000. There’s 2,080 working hours per year, which roughly comes out to $29 per hour for the AE and $24 per hour for the SDR.
Since we know Company B spends 252 hours per rep doing the same thing ZoomInfo does in 5.2 hours, we can calculate how much this is costing Company B in labor.
Both companies have an eight-hour workday and each rep dedicates two hours per day to prospecting. So let’s plug those numbers into my formula to find out how many deals each company will close:
Company A has 23 more deals than Company B. That’s more than twice as many deals with the same amount of sales reps.
This is the power of sales systems in action. And in this example, I was being very generous with Company B due to the highly variable nature of prospecting software, contact information quality, database integrity, and other factors.
When we look at the daily workflow of reps for both companies, we can see a stark difference in efficiency.
The rep for Company A logs into ZoomInfo and sees 10 new qualified companies that have been automatically added to their TAM list based on event-based triggers. The correct contact information is found and automatically added, leaving just an export the SEP before the rep can start reaching out.
This rep’s time per lead is about one second — the time it takes to click export.
The rep for Company B, meanwhile, logs into their prospecting software and checks potential companies to contact, searches online to determine the number of sales reps they have, and disqualifies companies that don’t fit. The qualified companies are added to a lead list, and then the rep has to find contact information, research the company for recent events, and finally, reach out.
When you put it all together, the difference is clear. Companies that use ZoomInfo can land more than twice as many deals while spending 98% less time accomplishing the same tasks.
If you want to calculate how much inefficiencies are costing your company, download the spreadsheet I created to calculate costs and time spent on wasteful sales prospecting and run the numbers for yourself.
If you liked this article and want to learn how to optimize ZoomInfo check out my comprehensive multi-part series here.
To stay up to date with industry-leading knowledge, follow my Twitter account where I share my insights and industry updates at @bowtiedsystems. I’ll also be launching a How To Use ZoomInfo course in Q1 2023!