Build an Outbound Sales Process: Target Real Buyers

Article author
Eric Zrinsky

Build an Outbound Sales Process: Target Real Buyers

Setting the Scene

Setting the Scene

When you select the targets for your Product Market Fit Canvas, ****there are 2 different elements to consider:

  • Who: Company
  • Who: Titles

Both of these components help you to further refine your outreach campaigns and ensure that you put your product or service in front of the right person at the right company.

When you first start, you may not know how to identify the proper companies or the right people at those companies. That’s ok! If you aren’t aware of the details you need to fill in your Product Market Fit Canvas, you should take a look at your current customer data. You can leverage this data to find patterns that you can then use to describe each of these segments.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a particular vertical that pops up frequently in your closed deals?
  • Are there any trends related to the size of the companies who buy your product or service or their proximity to a funding round?
  • Do the people that most frequently buy your product sit in a particular department or hold a specific title?

Posing these kinds of questions helps you to find patterns in your customer data that you can use to fill in your Product Market Fit Canvas and reach out to the prospects who are most likely to buy.

Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is discover your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). If this sounds like a foreign language to you, fear not! We have a resource to help you build your first ICP and a use case that shows you how you can push ICP data to your CRM once you have created it.

In the section below, we provide an example of how to apply Apollo’s customer data to a Product Market Fit Canvas and how you can leverage that information to find prospects in the Apollo platform.

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Use Apollo To Target Your Prospects

Apollo Example

After analyzing some historic customer data and determining our ICP, we concluded that we have two primary Company and Title segments that we should use for targeting.

Data Point A B
Who: Company SMB Startups Mid-MArket Recruiting Agencies
Who: Titles Founders Director of Business Development

Now that we have that information, we can use it directly in the Apollo platform. Each column or Segment in our Product Market Fit Canvas represents a different outreach campaign that we will create in the Apollo platform.

Let’s take a look at Segment A. Here, we can see that “SMB Startups” are one type of company we should dig into. This description doesn’t give us a specific vertical with which to start. However, it does tell us that we should be looking at companies with fewer than 1000 employees who are also in the early stages of their business. Perhaps they’ve gone through a funding round in the last year or two. Once a company has raised its initial funding and has done two or more rounds of large venture capital or private equity investment, they’re not typically considered a start-up anymore and we can rule out any company that meets that criteria.

You might be saying to yourself, ”I’ve got this information—now what?

Apollo offers numerous built-in targets to help you find the right people for your outbound campaigns. We have extensive documentation about each filter type available on the Apollo Knowledge Base:

We created an Apollo Search with filters that include a pre-defined range of 51-1000 for the number of employees and funding rounds of Seed, Angel, Venture, and Series A.


This has given us a total of about 9,000 companies we can dig into. We’ll create a Saved Search for these companies so we can come back to them later.


Next, we need to utilize what we know about the people who are involved in our closed deals to further refine our search. In the interest of reusability and scalability, we can accomplish this by creating a Persona for Founders at SMB Companies.


With our Persona created, we’ll return to the Apollo Search tool and load our Saved Search for SMB Startups.

Saved Searches

We’ll batch select some of the companies from our list. Then, we’ll click Find People to launch a new Apollo Search for the people who work at the selected companies.

Find People

Now that we have a list of everyone who works at the selected companies, it’s time to apply the Persona that we previously created to find the actual targets for our outreach campaign.


We now have a list of real people that match our Product Market Fit Canvas criteria. Since we will want to reach out to these people in a sequence later, we’ll save them to a List so they’re easier to find.


We’ll repeat this process for Segment B. This means that we will have two new cohorts that we can reach out to in individualized outreach campaigns.

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Practical Exercise

Practical Exercise

Analyze your book of business to discover customer trends. As we mentioned in the Setting the Scene section, you should ask yourself a series of questions to help identify the types of companies and the people who work at them who are most likely to buy your product or service. Ask yourself the following questions and then use that information to fill in your Product Market Fit Canvas:

  • What industries or verticals do your customers most frequently belong to?
  • What is the average company size for your current customers?
  • What do the technology stacks look like for your customers? Are there any similarities between the companies that you’ve closed?
  • Does geography play a factor in the deals that you’ve closed? For instance, are most of your customers based in Latin America?
  • Do any of the roles for your current customers appear more often than others?
  • What title seniorities are most frequently involved in your closed deals?
Got To Start Somewhere!

These questions are only a starting point. You shouldn’t shy away from digging into your data to find different trends and patterns across your customer base. Get creative. Get weird. The more time you spend refining your targeting, the more likely you will be successful when you start your customer outreach.

Once you have enough data to fill in the targeting portion of your Product Market Fit Canvas, you should consider creating Personas in the Apollo platform so you have them ready when you start building Sequences.

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Next Steps

Next Steps

Now that we have identified the companies and individuals that we want to target, we need to carefully craft our messaging in order to maximize our chances of making sales. Head over to the Build an Outbound Sales Process: Craft Killer Sales Email Messaging article to get started.

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