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How to Research Contacts for Cold Outreach When Sales Prospecting

A guest blog by Sarah LaCroix, Marketing Associate at ZenProspect


Reaching out to prospects who are a bad fit for your product is a waste of your time and resources. Careful preparation before beginning any cold sales outreach will help maximize success, minimize time wasted, and lower the potential for churn down the road.


We will outline some best practices on how to find prospects below.


Questions you should ask yourself:

Who primarily uses my product?


- What industry are they in?

- How big is the company?

- Can I target multiple roles?

- Is the company large enough for me to target multiple people?

- What role do they primarily have?

- What’s their seniority level?

- Which teams do they work on?

- Who indirectly benefits from my product?- Who would be interested in my product and just doesn’t know it yet?


Who is the decision-maker or who is the potential decision-maker?


- How senior are they?

- Who will be using the product and can act as a champion for it?


Example of prospect research:


In the following example, we’ll pretend to be a company writing out their own individual answers to the questions above.


Who uses my product?

  1. - What industry are they in? Ad tech
  2. - How big is the company? They are small (1-10) or mid-sized (50-100, 101-200)
  3. - What role do they primarily have? They are Media Buyers, Account Managers, and VPs of Marketing
  4. - Which teams do they work on? They are on the account team, the media team, and the digital advertising teams
  5. - Who do they work with? They work closely with the other teams listed and with their clients
  6. - Who gains an indirect benefit from my product? Account management would benefit from the digital advertising team having it, since they would be able to bring quality results to their clients
  7. - Who would be interested in my product but just don’t know it yet? Account management

Who is the decision-maker or who is the potential decision-maker?

  • - Are they senior? They are either VPs or Senior Media Buyers
  • - Who will be using the product and can act as a champion for it? Representative-level Media Buyers
These questions will help you discover where you should be focusing your attention. There are sales tools available to help you A/B test and narrow down your search. The more practice you have, the easier it is to understand who you should be reaching out to.


Types of contact lists you can use:


Many teams choose to find or create lists of contacts, instead of, or in addition to their own prospecting efforts.


Purchased lists of prospects. Be careful when deciding which service to use! Not every listing service is made equal, and many will send you outdated or incorrect information. These include many third party tools that provide you with emails or phone numbers.


Make your own! Watch for articles relevant to your space that list out companies interested in a specific area or innovation. You can be sure that these companies will be interested in your product.




About ZenProspect

ZenProspect is an all-in-one sales platform. It integrates high quality data with excellent sales communication software, for easy, efficient, and effective sales. For more info, please visit


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