Why Census Replaced ZoomInfo + Outreach with Apollo

Learn how the Head of Growth & Operations, Sylvain Giuliani, and the Census team ripped and replaced their existing tech stack with Apollo to set their entire go-to-market team for unprecedented growth.

Written by Josh Garrison

Published Friday, April 7, 2023

Success Metrics


more email addresses


more phone numbers


increased data quality


cost savings

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It's game-changing to have lead gen and engagement automation together in one place. Not only is revenue up, but it's cut costs by 71%

Filipe Brigas

Co-Founder and COO at Revenue Precision

If you’re looking for the fastest-growing company in the world today, Census is a good place to start...

When Sylvain Giuliani, Head of Growth & Operations at Census, joined the company two years ago, there wasn’t even a website, let alone product-market fit. Sylvain joined to lead everything go-to-market, and build it from the ground up — something he’d done before, as the COO and then CRO of Pusher.

He’s done a good job, because today, Census is one of the world’s leading reverse ETL firms, helping teams unlock data from their products and incorporate that data into their sales and marketing motions. 

In addition to world-class growth, the company has a star-studded roster of investors: seed round from Andreesen Horowitz, a $16m Series A from Sequoia Capital, and in 2022, a $60m Series B led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global Management. 

Building Outbound Sales from the Ground Up

As he spun up the sales motion, Sylvain implemented a technology stack many view as the “go-to”: Outreach for sales engagement and ZoomInfo for sales intelligence. 

In the beginning, it worked ok. But as they grew, problems sprouted. 

Having three tools to navigate (a CRM, Outreach, and ZoomInfo) created a training and enablement headache.  

The then-small but mighty sales team at Census would have to find leads in ZoomInfo, add them to the CRM, and then add them to a sequence in Outreach — an ultimately time-consuming and manual process.

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On top of that, the team quickly ran into data accuracy problems, hampering their ability to contact the right prospects.

“ZoomInfo’s data was unreliable and often out of date,” Sylvain said. 

With usability and data accuracy problems reducing his team’s productivity, he began exploring other options.

Battle Royale: ZoomInfo, Apollo, Lusha, Clearbit, and Seamless

Talk to Sylvain (who goes by Syl) for any length of time, and it becomes obvious that his thoughts flow in a precise, ordered way. And that’s exactly how he approached the process of finding a new solution for his sales team.

“When our renewal came up, we did a test. I wanted to know what’s out there in the market.”

Syl and his team conducted a straightforward experiment — find all of the top sales intelligence tools available and compare them head-to-head in a ‘data duel’. “We benchmarked ZoomInfo versus Apollo, Clearbit, Lusha, and Seamless, and ultimately Apollo won on all fronts, especially in enrichment. Higher quality than ZoomInfo, greater breadth than Clearbit.”

When it came down to what mattered — giving his team the ability to find the right leads quickly and easily, and being able to keep the CRM always up to date — Apollo won hands down. 

And when Sylvain learned that Apollo also provides sales engagement capabilities comparable to what’s available from Outreach or SalesLoft, it was a no-brainer to make the switch.

Replacing ZoomInfo + Outreach with Apollo

In addition to Apollo’s superior data quality, Syl was moved by the value of Apollo’s end-to-end approach, combining both a database of over 250M contacts with a dialer and sequencing capabilities.

“We were paying Outreach $18,000. ZoomInfo must have been another $15,000. When we did the migration Apollo was $12,000. We paid less for one tool than for two tools together. We basically went from paying $35,000 for two tools to $12,000 for one. We cut our costs in half.” 

We paid less for one tool than for two tools together...we cut our costs in half.

Sylvain Giuliani

Head of Growth and Operations at Census

But as any sales leader who’s orchestrated a wholesale rip-and-replace of a critical tool can tell you, this isn’t a decision to be made purely on dollars and cents. You also have to factor in the ‘switching cost’ associated with a move.

Luckily, that wasn’t a problem with Apollo due to the platform’s simplicity and ease of use.

“From a technology point of view, it was a very simple migration — a matter of weeks. Nothing crazy,” Syl said.

After starting with just their inbound sales team on Apollo, Census’s scope of engagement has grown. Now, their entire go-to-market team, including sales engineering and customer success, is using Apollo as well.

From finding leads, to contacting them across LinkedIn, email and phone calls, to tracking activity further down the customer lifecycle in customer success, Census’s breakneck growth is powered by Apollo’s end-to-end sales engine.

To learn more about how Apollo can help your company grow like Census, visit Apollo.io.

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