How to Build B2B Prospecting Lists



How, exactly, should you build your B2B prospecting lists?  When I start off a consulting engagement, I usually begin by determining how people are building their lists.  Some of the very first questions we ask are what their existing lists look like, what their CRM data looks like, and what they do on an ongoing basis to add more people to their list.  That last bit is something that people rarely get right.

You can build or buy lists – if you are considering buying a list check out our article on whether you should buy B2B lists.

There are a lot of different ways you can build your contact lists, which depend on your budget and the tools at your disposal.  My favorite in terms of accuracy and ease of use is Zoominfo.  I’ve tested quite a few different tools and find that Zoominfo is the easiest to search.  They allow you to select many different parameters to narrow down your searches and have great email data.  Their phone data is a little spottier, though they always have the company headquarters – and direct dials are something that’s difficult to stay up to date on anyway.  You can either buy access to their portal and build the lists yourselves, or just buy straight lists of 3000-5000 leads based on the parameters you set.

Another, newer option is Discover Org.  A more premium product, they’re someone who started in the IT space but have broken into sales, HR, and other areas of marketing.  They offer human verified leads and do so on a fairly regular basis.

The third option, and one that I use a lot, is outsourcers.  This could be a virtual assistant logging into the tools you have and pulling data from places like LinkedIn.  There are also larger outsource players whose focus is on lead generation.  Generally, you have to test these folks – see what tools they’re using and how many people are on their team.  Researching these groups is very important.  If it’s a one or two-man shop, I’d be very wary of using them.  Try to stick with a group that’s a large, established, legitimate company.

These are some good places to start breaking down what your list is like now and how to set up a regular digest of new contacts.  Keeping contacts coming in is important, obviously, as you’d eventually run out of people to sell to if you only used what you already had.

Contact us for more information on the processes and tools to build high-quality B2B marketing lists.