Prospect list building is an exhausting and time consuming full-fledged job.
Still, finding the right prospecting sources means finding new customers, so you can’t really afford not to do it.
Our team of research experts is working their asses off to find as many prospects as possible hour to hour and provide our clients with prospecting lists that fit like a prom dress not ordered online.
And that’s all they do. They don’t sell, they don’t make calls and they don’t update the CRM.
Now you get the idea of how long it takes to find perfectly targeted sources of prospects.
You might decide to take on building the prospecting list journey yourself, so we’ll give you the map and signs that you can follow. But you should know, outsourcing is an option, too.
What to do before you start B2B prospect search?
Before you start your search for B2B prospects, you will have to determine the industries and companies you want to target.
Define the criteria and segment them by revenue, geography, size, etc.
This is what sales people and marketers call Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Next, you need to know exactly who the decision makers are in those companies – these will be your buyer personas.
If you are not sure about their title, you should at least identify the department where your decision makers might be located such as Marketing, Sales or Manufacturing, for example.
When it comes to titles, you will probably be targeting VPs, Managers or someone at the C-level.
However, each company is different and same or similar roles can have different titles in different companies.
This is something you should research, no matter whether you decide to search for B2B contacts yourself or save time and outsource prospect list building to the professionals.
Pay attention to formatting of your prospecting database and make sure it’s based on your CRM requirements so you can upload them in no time.
The fields that you will probably need are: First name, Last name, Company, Industry, Size, Revenue, etc. As far as personal data collecting goes, definitely consult a lawyer before you actually start doing it.
As far as our company goes, Market Republic is GDPR compliant.
What prospecting sources should your start your list building with?
Firstly, check out the company’s website and LinkedIn profile. Google search can help you, but you may not always be able to find all the information that you need.
You can always try your luck with the latest technology – Account Based Selling Tools. Aside from helping you manage your accounts, they help you in finding new contacts.
You can also cut the branch you’re sitting on and buy lists in bulk. These lists appear to be much cheaper than tailor made ones, but the cost is higher in the long run and here is why.
The truth is these lists are probably scraped from web using bots from outdated sources of prospects and are very likely to be messy and unstructured, have many contacts that are not validated or worse, have plenty of spam traps.
How much time should be spent on building prospecting lists?
Determine the time that you should spend on your prospecting list and how many prospects you can collect in an hour, for example.
However, you may discover that the number of leads will depend on the industry, location, etc. Sometimes you will find 5 or 10 in an hour, sometimes barely one.
Don’t forget about the privacy laws, especially cold emailing rules under GDPR.
This is why European B2B lists may be harder to come by than the USA ones.
Whatever email you find you will have to validate, usually by calling the office of the targeted company.
Even if you do your best, there’s still a chance that you haven’t selected the right Ideal Buying Persona and that you will have to make your lists from scratch or at least update them heavily.
This is just something that happens to anyone and you cannot be sure until you’ve actually sent the emails and received all the data about opens, CTRs and replies.
Prospecting List Enrichment
Of course, once you make your prospecting list the job is far from over. You might even say it’s only just beginning.
You should use all your prospects immediately, because the more you wait – the bigger chances are that the validated ones will become useless. People change jobs so often, that 3-6% of your prospecting database becomes unusable each month, so you can’t afford to wait.
You should maintain the, so called, “prospect list hygiene” as well at least once a year.
The job of validating your contacts is never done and if you keep sending your emails to the wrong contacts you are wasting time or even being labeled as spam.
Prospects cannot be old and prepackaged. Full stop.
That is why we build our lists as soon as the contract is signed and deliver them as soon as possible to the client (every week, for example).
We use publicly available databases and other resources such as LinkedIn and industry specific websites. Of course, with a lot of help from our true friend, Google.
Should you make B2B lists yourself?
This, of course, depends on the size of your team and the time you are able to spend prospecting.
If you would rather have your sales team focus on sale itself, then you should definitely spare them from the never ending job of searching for the perfect prospects and outsource your prospecting list efforts.
Market Republic provides sales and marketing leaders with highly targeted prospect lists filled with data picked by humans with a guaranteed 98% data accuracy.