Modern Outbound Part 1: Targeting & Tiering

targeting prospects

You have a brilliant product or impeccable service that could be a total gamechanger in your industry, but you don’t know how to get in front of the right people. 

Welcome to Prospecting 101! We will explain the processes involved in researching and targeting prospects and include tips on tiering and personalization-level of outreach. 

Let’s also take a moment to ease the minds of those of us who are new to sales and prospecting. Prospecting does not need to invoke feelings of anxiety or fear if you have a quality product/service that can benefit your buyers. 

The best approach for addressing sales is to solve your buyers’ pain points and always focus on the value you want to bring. Be confident in knowing that you have the answer to a problem they’ve been struggling with. They just didn’t know you existed and that you had the answer. 

That’s all prospecting and targeting the right prospects is all about: finding and identifying buyers who are a fit for your business and need your solution. 


Prospecting Research: Go Where Your Audience Is

When you think of your product or service, who do you serve? What are the traits, characteristics, and demographics of your target? 

Developing very specific buyer personas per product or use case will make your targeting that much more specific and your prospecting game that much better as we get into tiers and personalization. 

Once you have determined who will benefit most from your product, you can narrow down the places you may find these potential leads along with information to help you determine if your timing is right for outreach. 

Researching prospects can also help you solidify whether your pitch is appropriate when considering current variables. According to, 92% of companies use personalization techniques, yet 55% do not have sufficient data to personalize effectively. This means more time and effort must be invested in researching data rather than having it handed to you. For example, if a prospect is a publicly-traded company, analyzing its current stock value, trends, and quarterly earnings report can provide insights into their most recent successes and challenges.  

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Using sites including Crunchbase and Owler can also provide significant data on the financial status, growth, and trends of companies you want to business with. Proprietary data validation tools may also be helpful in tracking company changes over time based on variables you choose to monitor. 

Also, consider researching their social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and company website to learn more about how the company engages with the public and their messaging strategies. 

Content to be on the lookout includes media exposure, client testimonials, case studies, job changes, and company news aligned with your value proposition. Being informed about your targeted prospect helps align your value prop. 

According to LinkedIn, 71% of buyers are more likely to engage with a salesperson if they comment on something specific and relevant to their current role. 


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Tiering Prospects & Accounts

After you have completed targeting and prospect research, it’s time to tier your potential buyers and accounts.

Prioritizing your pipeline allows you to prioritize and spend more time on priority prospects that need more personalized attention and more touches. 

We recommend that you utilize a three-tiered system:

  • Tier I: Top 10% of book
  • Tier II: Top 20% of book
  • Tier III: Remaining prospects


targeting teired accounts


Tier I outreach.

Closer IQ states, “The likelihood of selling to an existing loyal client is between 60-70%. The likelihood of selling to a new client is only 5-20%.” With daunting odds, your most important prospects should receive highly-personalized communications with only the slightest automation. 

Reach out to them one at a time through email, phone calls, video calls, and LinkedIn, always with a hyper-focus on their specific needs and their specific company. Shoot for 6-8 times per week for 2-3 weeks before moving them to long-term nurture.


Tier II outreach.

The top 20% of your book should receive a combination of personalized outreach and automated communications. Automation will allow you to work with more prospects simultaneously through email and LinkedIn, while putting a personal touch at scale

Tier II communications should occur 3-5 times per week for approximately four weeks before the nurturing process kicks in.


Tier III outreach.

The remainder of your pipeline will be highly automated with slight personalization. You will be able to batch multiple prospects at once by grouping them into similar categories based on needs or industry. 

Through weekly emails and LinkedIn messages, you should communicate with them for five weeks before placing them in a nurture sequence.


Sequence Length & Personalization  

There is one last step to consider before you’re ready to start your outreach. Our current economy requires us to consider how affected our targeted prospects might be before considering them Teir I or II, even if they have the right client profile.

personalization for industries

Struggling industries require a long-term nurture sequence, email only, and should be considered Tier III until there are indicators that they are in a better place to buy.

Mildly impacted industries most of the time will fall into Tier II and as such require a semi-personalized sequence with email, call, and LinkedIn. 

Thriving industries fall into your Tier I group, which means hyper-personalized content that pulls out all the stops, utilizing email, call, LinkedIn, and video.


Get the full playbook to modern outbound and targeting prospects

After narrowing down and grouping your target prospects, outreach takes patience, persistence, and a genuine desire to help solve the pain points of others. It also helps to be incredibly organized and consistent. 

Utilizing effective sales tools to keep you on track and proven sales plays designed for different targets and use cases is a non-negotiable in modern outbound today.

Interested in learning more about targeting prospects and outbound sales? Click the link below to download the FREE Modern Outbound Playbook.


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