How to sell beyond your ICP + 3 new verticals for SaaS sales

Posted March 9, 2020

Audrey weber headshot

By Audrey Weber

Associate Content Editor at Outreach

Any seasoned seller knows that breaking into a new market or vertical is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either.

Back in 2018, a few motivated salespeople at Outreach broke into an unlikely niche: the sports ticketing market. Fast forward to 2020, and Outreach is already being used by several professional and college sports teams, including the Sacramento Kings (NBA), The Seattle Mariners (MLB), and Rutgers University (NCAA).

While each market is different, the steps needed to scout it and determine value are universal. Here are our order of operations for breaking into a new market.

Selling to a New Vertical in 4 Steps, As Told By the Scientific Method

The scientific method? Yes, your eighth grade science class can apply to sales.

Step One: Formulate a question

This one’s the easy one because we’ll give it to you. Here’s the question: Which market outside of my ideal customer profile (ICP) would benefit from my product or service?

Step Two: Conduct background research

Talk to people and do research online to find industries and markets that are adjacent to your current customers. Count the total number of end-users for your product in those markets to determine if there really is a need.

Step Three: Propose a hypothesis

A proper hypothesis can be proven to be right or wrong, and in this context it helps to think of it like a S.M.A.R.T. Goal: it should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound. Here are some examples of good and bad hypotheses:

Bad hypothesis: Selling to media companies is a good idea.

This hypothesis is vague and it assigns subjective value (“good” or “bad”) to the outcome, which is difficult to test and measure.

Good hypothesis: Selling to media companies will drive at least 10 meetings per month and at least $100,000 in revenue next quarter.

This hypothesis is specific (numbers! metrics!) in terms of when the test will be conducted and what data will be collected.

Step Four: Test your hypothesis

If you know Outreach, you know that we love a good experiment.

Once you identify a new market and measurable sales goals, it’s time to test. Ken Amar and Brooke Bachesta tested and proved that Outreach can break into a new vertical, and they shared their successful process in this on demand webinar.

Ken and Brooke walk you through:

  • Collecting contacts, referrals, and quotes from current customers in similar verticals
  • Interviewing end-users to determine the pain points that are unique to this new market
  • Engaging prospects with hyper-targeted Sequences

Maybe you’re fired up to sell to new markets, but you don’t know where to start. Here are three verticals with lots of opportunities for SaaS growth that you may want to research first.

Up-and-Coming Markets for SaaS Sales


Hospitals are notoriously slow in adopting new tech (many still use pagers), but the healthcare industry has been exploding in their demand for SaaS, with 63% of healthcare companies using 6 or more SaaS tools. Most of these are looking for improved patient portals, telemedicine solutions, and improved communications tools. If you have a tool that can help with any of those problems, then this is a vertical to consider for your company.


Insurance companies are customer-facing, so this vertical can be low-hanging fruit if your product improves customer communications or payment processing. Similar to most financial services, the Insurance industry is also data-driven and can benefit from transition from legacy and analog systems to business intelligence and real-time analytical tools.

SaaS solutions have been hailed as ways to “future-proof” insurance companies in the digitized era. The insurance industry is highly competitive, and you may find that companies will jump at the chance to adopt your solution in order to get ahead.

Higher Education

Budgets are always tight in higher education, and universities want SaaS solutions that can save them money and provide flexibility. Emory University adopted a new data storage solution that saved them so much money that they’re now hunting for more SaaS tools to improve their processes.

If you have a solution that can improve communication, efficiency, data protection, and demonstrate cost-savings, then you have ample opportunities to win big in the near future.

With the right process and blueprint, the possibilities of breaking into a new market are nearly endless. The trick is identifying the right opportunity.


Read more

Discover the Sales Execution Platform
See how Outreach helps sellers close over 2 million opportunities every month.