Sales Research – Building Prospecting Lists and Personalization

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What we started last week when we talked about data pools and where leads come from is continued this week when we get to know an actual prospect and prepare to reach out.

We’re diving deep into Sales strategy this week, so to get oriented we need to get context with a robust client acquisition framework!

The Client Magnet System is the complete model for uniting and aligning Sales and Marketing and creating an Inbound and Outbound client acquisition engine in your business – that attracts more leads, boosts sales and energizes your growth!

And remember, you want to align Sales and Marketing because they are just like the wheels of a car. You want them working together, moving in the same direction, 

So you get this and not this.

There’s 4 layers, or stages: Tools, Traffic, Client Acquisition, and Post-Sale. We’ll go over all of it in future videos, but in this video we are discussing Research, in the Traffic layer, on the Sales side of the map. <highlight it>


It may not look like it at first glance, but this is probably the most critical piece to get right on the sales side.

There’s a confluence of business assets and needs that merge here to form processes that drive your success.

Sales, Marketing, your message and offer, your ICP (ideal client profile)/Persona, your USP/ Value Proposition and more come together here to inform and plan the activities your Sales team will perform, as well as identify sales targets and find contact, demographic and psychographic information about each one.

So let’s start at the beginning …

To be clear, I’m going to refer to your Ideal Client Profile (ICP)/Persona as ICP. And I’m going to refer to your sales team or sales development reps as SDR’s

OK, so remember, your ICP?

With every other section of the Client Magnet System map, your ICP is important … but in this section, we will be diving deep into our ICP to make sure we understand them completely AND we will be finding actual targets, actual people who match our ICP and then research them enough to personalize our outreach to them.

So let’s dive in and see all that this research section has to offer.

Your primary research consists of taking everything you know about your ICP and using it as a model to find and match contacts so you can build, scrape, or buy lists of leads.

Your research should answer questions about your ICP which in turn directs your message, scripts and sequences.

And, your ICP will need specialized sales content that speaks to their wants, needs and challenges.

This is why all the work you did in the ICP/Persona section was so important.

So in this research phase, we want to do several things.

We want to:

  • Build a list of prospects based on our ICP/Persona
  • Validate/Refine our ICP/Persona needs, interests, challenges, events, daily patterns,  sources of information and beliefs.
  • Validate/Refine the value proposition, benefits and sales message we will use to engage the prospects with – ensure message to market match
  • Develop the right content mix for the target that will guide them from Tofu through to Purchase
  • Create scripts and contact sequences to use for outreach
  • Develop personalized messages for each prospect on the list


When you are reaching out to prospects you have two options:

  1. Send a generic message to every prospect
  2. Personalize your message so it stands out

Personalization makes a big difference in your results.

But it adds work. How much work? It depends upon the information you need.

Do you want to personalize with company specific information?

(ex. “Hey John, I see from your recent shareholder report that ABC Co. is expanding into the Philadelphia market…”)

Do you want to reach out with title or persona based information?

(Ex. “Hi John, Most Sales leaders like yourself are struggling with retention…”)

Or do you want to reach out with hyper-personalized information?

(Ex. “Hi John, I noticed you recently moved into your new sales position with Tech Co. I also read your article on salesforce automation and found it eye opening. Especially where you detailed the results you achieved from the A/B split testing you did on message…”) 

Each type of personalization takes more and more time. And you can’t assume that more personalization gets better results. You have to test it.

So, right now:

  • You know and understand your ICP at a deep level (hopefully)
  • You know the degree of personalization research you will perform on your ICP targets which will also drive the messages you develop for each prospect

What you need to know next is the process of collecting information about each target.

Basically, here’s what we do:

Remember in the last video when we talked about data pools and buying, building and scraping lists? I also mentioned hybrid approaches and mentioned

There are many tools you can use for this. You can also use Zoominfo, DataFox, InsideView, or DiscoverOrg. There’s a lot of them; and they all do roughly the same thing … each in their own way.

But the general process involves going to LinkedIn and developing a search query that is refined to only those prospects most likely to engage.

Now go through the list by hand, contact by contact verifying this is an actual prospect who matches your ICP.

You want to get their contact information and information about them that you can use to personalize messages. 

Here is where you can use tools like or ZoomInfo ReachOut to get the contact, phone and email addresses along with other data such as their social profiles, any posts or articles they have written and other pertinent information about them.

So, depending upon the amount of info you want on each prospect, Once you have the info you need, go into the next contact record and repeat the process until you have all the prospects you need.

It’s this hybrid scraping and buying information, or buying access to information verification using artificial intelligence that makes this work really well. The lists are very accurate and your messages are tailored to either a company message, a persona message or a unique, hyper-personalized message.

So, think about it. You’ve started to develop a process here. A process to identify targets and build a list of them.

Before we can finalize the research process, there’s two questions we need to answer: And your answers are going to dictate your process and your team structure. 

First, how personalized do you want your outreach to be? Do you want to use company based, persona based, or hyper-personalized messages?

And realize, you don’t have to choose all or nothing. You can grade contacts and use different levels of personalization on each.

The second question is, when are you going to do the final research for personalization and messaging?

Are you going to do it all at once, or are you going to do it in stages?

Here’s what I mean. You can have a data team that pulls lists for the SDR’s. At that time, they could also do the personalization research and write the messages to reach out with. 

Or, they could hand the list to the SDR’s, and let them do the research and create the messages right before they reach out.

There’s a balance to be struck here between the number of teams you have, your SDR’s abilities, time invested per lead, quality and quantity of outreach and more.

It really depends on how productive your SDR’s can be while researching and creating their own messages.

Well, we’ve covered a lot in this video. You can see how complex the research phase can be and the ramifications it has on your business and your results.

::: Articles Discussed in the VLOG :::

➡️ Get the Client Magnet System Quick Guide

➡️ Get the Client Magnet System Quick Guide

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Mike Miller is the co-owner of, a Digital Marketing Agency in Atlanta, Georgia that focuses on aligning sales and marketing for exponentially greater results. Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow. Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs. If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (770) 295-8660, or email Mike at

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