More Than a Name: Next-Level Sales Personalization

Any salesperson worth their salt knows the simple power of names. Once you get a prospect on the phone, addressing them by name and mentioning their company are essential ways to break the ice and show that you’ve done your homework.

“Using your prospect’s name to address them is a psychological trick I learned while working in hospitality, but really it works in every walk of life,” says Donna Tin, a ZoomInfo sales development representative who works on acquiring international customers. “Saying someone’s name makes them feel like they are already close to you.”

But too often, personalization stops there. According to consulting firm McKinsey, fewer than 10 percent of companies it surveyed systematically use personalization outside of digital sales channels. 

How can sales reps take their personalization to the next level? Expand your research to include these key data points before placing that sales call. 

What’s in a name? More datapoints for sales-call personalization

You know that feeling you get when you’re reading a captivating book? It’s like the narrator is giving you just enough information to keep you interested and engaged. That’s how you’re trying to make your prospects feel when you get on a sales call with them. 

Research is the key to successful personalization when making sales calls. By researching a variety of data points before you pick up the phone, representatives can go into the call with a strong understanding of who they’re selling to and what they need. 

Additional data points to personalize sales calls 

Job Title

Your prospect’s job title is an important indicator for your ideal customer profile. Subtly tying this profile into your sales call can be a great way to get them talking. 

“I specifically target sales and marketing executives in international markets. I start by finding them in the ZoomInfo database and then cross-check their information on professional networking sites to make sure they are still in the same role within the company,” Tin says. “Then, during the call, I ask them questions depending on whether they are a sales director, marketing, or business development person.”

Some examples:

  • For business development executives, ‘How are you finding new business now?’ 
  • For sales directors, ‘How is your team prospecting right now?’
  • For marketing directors, ‘How are you finding the accounts you target now?’

This tailored approach can steer clear of asking generalized, blanket questions and gear your conversation toward the prospect’s specific pain points. 


  • ZoomInfo to find the prospect’s contact details
  • LinkedIn to cross-check titles 

Organizational Charts

Organizational charts provide great contextual information for prospecting. Looking into what function people play in their organization gives you a better understanding of how they might use your product or service. 

“I utilize org charts all the time,” Tin says. “I pull them up to see how sophisticated of a team the prospect works with. For example, if I know they have a bigger team, I can keep that in the back of my mind while on the call to gauge the size of the potential sale, as well as aid with discovery to figure out who the right person to talk to on the team would be.” 


  • ZoomInfo to view organizational charts

Intent Data

Access to intent data can be like having a superpower when it comes to prospecting. Intent data reveals what your prospects have been researching, including:

  • Product reviews
  • Infographics and blogs
  • Product comparisons
  • Message boards (like
  • Case studies
  • General news

“Intent data can be extremely useful if used correctly. It’s never a good idea to directly mention that you are aware of what your prospect is searching for, but rather to make them feel like there’s some kind of serendipity with your call. As if they were looking for information about a specific need, and your solution just fell into their lap,” says Will Battle, a ZoomInfo SDR who focuses on selling ZoomInfo Engage, a sales engagement solution. 

Using intent data can help sales reps preempt the competition by reaching out based on a solid indicator of the prospect’s need for a given product or service. 


  • ZoomInfo Intent to research specific keywords

Firmographics and News 

Firmographics reveal what is most important to your prospect’s organization. It’s data that helps you understand organizational needs, which will inform your conversation with the person on the other end of your sales call. Weaving in any news about your prospect’s organization can make you sound well-informed and knowledgeable about them and their industry.

“Sometimes, if there’s new information about a funding round or some other breaking news, it can be a great conversation point to bring up with your prospect,” Tin says.


  • ZoomInfo to view company data 
  • ZoomInfo Scoops for breaking news

Keep it short and sweet, and keep it moving

Every sales rep knows how tough it is to keep a prospect’s attention. Once you do have a foot in the door, a variety of well-researched data points can help you move the conversation to the next critical steps in the customer journey.

“You have a very small window to connect with the prospect, especially if you’re conducting initial outreach. Since my objective is to set demos, I find that it’s better to keep things very short and encourage prospects to take meetings,” Battle says. 

By taking full advantage of the true breadth of personalization data, you can pique a prospect’s interest, keep them engaged, and build trust and rapport — the foundation of a long and fruitful relationship.