How to Prospect in Apollo

Article author
Xier Dang


Hand reaching out to touch a key piece of the prospecting puzzle

Your goal as a prospector is to intimately understand every account—and every key player at those accounts—in your book of business.

Whether you're a seller with accounts pre-assigned to you in your CRM, you’ve been given a geographic territory to target, or you’re a founder just starting out, it’s your job to:

  • Know exactly who each key player is.
  • Find their contact information.
  • Develop a thoughtful plan to get to know them.

Check out the following sections to use Apollo to find and prepare to connect with your prospects in an intentional, meaningful, and authentic way.

Prospecting by the Book!

Want to uncover industry-leading prospecting tips, tricks, and best practices? Hop into our shiny new book, Outbound Sales, to learn:

  • If contact-based or account-based prospecting is right for you.
  • How to refine your targeting with precise Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).
  • The signals that let you know when a lead is primed to buy.
  • How to uncover untapped, best-fit leads.
  • How to prioritize your leads by their value.

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How to Prospect in Apollo: A Checklist

With a powerful, highly-accurate database of over 275 million contacts, more than 73 million accounts, and over 2 million data contributors, use Apollo to narrow your search, find your ideal customers, and gain key insights that help you build strong relationships that last. Follow this 6-step prospecting checklist to start generating pipeline in Apollo, like a true sales wizard.

Step 1: Identify Your ICP and Create Your Personas

Begin by building your ICPs and personas to create a targeting framework for your sales organization. The best, most comprehensive targeting frameworks include multiple personas that you can target within an account.

Follow these simple steps to lay the foundations for effective prospecting in Apollo:

Need a Helping Hand?

Click More filters to view all the search filters from your targeting framework, like buying intent, keywords, technologies, job postings, fundings, and more. Then, click ▼ beside the filters you want to apply to your search and configure the settings for each one. Apollo updates your search results as you apply each filter.

If you want to narrow your search to find the specific prospects actively researching products and services like yours, make sure you click the Edit icon in the buying intent filter to select your most relevant intent topics. Learn more about buying intent.

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Step 2: Save Your Searches and Build Lists

Now that you've used filters to build highly targeted searches in Apollo, it's time to save and set up alerts for them. This means that when new prospects meet your search criteria, Apollo notifies you by email.

Once you've applied filters to your search, follow these steps to streamline how you find and group qualified prospects in Apollo:

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Step 3: Identify Your Target Addressable Market

Now that you've saved your contacts and built lists, use the Data Health Center to gain a holistic view of your remaining available target addressable market (TAM) across each of your personas.

Follow these steps to set up the Data Health Center:

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Step 4: Research Your Contacts and Accounts

Researching your prospects is a key component of every successful prospecting motion. The more you understand and can relate to your prospects, the more likely you are to build meaningful relationships with them.

Now that you've identified your TAM, you need to determine which prospects are ready for your outreach and tailor your messaging to meet them where they're at.

Follow these steps to access detailed insights into your contacts and accounts:

  • Contact information: Access a contact's email, phone number, and other basic information, like contact stage, owner, engagement, and local time.
  • Company information: Learn more about a contact's employer, including annual revenue, location, employees, new prospects and existing contacts, industry, stage, and owner.
  • Work history: View a contact's past work experience, their job titles, and the companies they've worked for to date.
  • Insights: Read about the contact's current employer; their latest news, the technologies they use, any recent funding rounds, job postings, and employee trends. If you've set up website visitor tracking, you can also access this data from the insights widget.
  • Activity: View a log of all interactions between the contact and your team.
  • Signals: See if the contact matches any signals you've created in Apollo.
  • Tasks: View, complete, or skip any upcoming tasks and visualize your completed tasks for that contact.

  • Company overview: Learn more about the organization and view basic firmographics.
  • Recommended new prospects: Visualize high-value prospects within the account that fit the criteria of your target personas.
  • Account details: Access an account's contact information and view other basic details like owner, stage, location, and associated parent account.
  • Insights: Stay up-to-date on the account's latest news, the technologies they use, any recent funding rounds, job postings, and employee trends. You can also access website visitor insights if you've set up tracking.
  • Activity: View a log of all interactions between the account and your team.
  • Signals: See if the account matches any signals you've created in Apollo.
  • Tasks: View, complete, or skip any upcoming tasks and visualize your completed tasks for any contacts in that account.

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Step 5: Build A Lead Scoring Model

Codifying your prospects into tiers to define what makes a prospect great (tier 1), good (tier 2), and not so good (tier 3), is crucial to building a healthy pipeline that leads to tangible revenue.

Now that you've researched your prospects, it's time to leverage Apollo scores to help you determine which prospects are most likely to close.

There are 2 types of scoring models in Apollo; AI-powered auto-scores and manual scores. With AI-powered scores, Apollo leverages your historical data and prospecting wins to identify which of your contacts best fit the criteria of your ICP.

To access AI-powered auto-scores in Apollo, you need to use Apollo actively in your prospecting and engagement workflows. You also need to keep your contact and account stages up-to-date. There are several ways to do this:

Alternatively, you can build your own scoring models manually:

  • View a contact or account's score when prospecting in Apollo search. Learn more.
  • Apply the scores filter to your search to hone in on your highest-ranking prospects.

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Step 6: Use the Apollo Chrome Extension

Now that you've laid the foundations for effective prospecting in Apollo, it's time to leverage the Apollo Chrome extension to unlock Apollo functionality within your tool stack and across the internet.

Then, use the Apollo Chrome extension with:

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Next Steps: Follow Email Deliverability Best Practices

You're Not Done Yet!

Now that you've learned how to prospect effectively in Apollo, hop into checklist #2 to track and improve your email deliverability score and ensure your messages land successfully in the inboxes of your most qualified prospects.

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