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Cold Outreach: Building a Sales Prospecting List

Once you’ve determined a target market and the potential prospects who would benefit most from it - it’s time to take a closer look at your options for building a strong prospecting list.

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Prospecting is one of the most important stages in your sales process. To do it well, you must be prepared. One of the best ways to prepare is with a sales prospecting list. 

Essential to running a successful outbound campaign, a sales prospecting list can help you and your sales team reach your target audience of potential buyers. More than that, your contact list can also prepare your sales reps with the right tools and messaging that will further the selling relationship with those contacts.

This list can make or break your outbound campaign, so it’s important you pay close attention to where your information is coming from. 

What is a Sales Prospecting List?

Sales prospecting refers to the act of searching for and nurturing new, best-fit sales opportunities through targeted lead generation strategies. 

Your sales prospecting list should contain the contact information of the prospect, their company, and other relevant information needed for your prospecting activities. This list will help your sales reps prioritize which leads to nurture throughout your qualification process and which ones are no longer a good fit. 

Your prospecting list usually takes the form of a datasheet or spreadsheet, depending on your company size and the resources you have available. Once you have qualified a prospect in this list, they should be considered a lead. Managing your outreach will be much easier if this list contains clean and accurate information on targeted contacts. 

When determining this list, make sure you target your ideal customer profiles, otherwise, you will be wasting valuable time chasing down an account that won’t convert. There are a variety of market intelligence tools, surveys, and websites you can use to learn more about your contacts and how your offering will help them BEFORE building your list. 

What Should My Prospecting List Contain?

To reach the correct point of contact and personalize your message to them, you need to know exactly who you’re contacting. 

Your prospecting list should contain all of the basic information needed to make contact plus any information that is relevant to understand their needs and challenges better. We’ve found that the strongest lists contain these data points of personal and company information. 

When it comes to company information, we often prefer to collect multiple contacts for the same account, depending on who is the decision-maker and who else has influence in the purchase decision. If this is needed, be sure to fill out the information for all contacts. 

The key to prospecting and managing your list is to stay organized. The more information you can gather about your prospect, the better. Be sure to add a column for any additional data points. Every detail can be used to personalize your cold email templates and direct conversations for the best results. 

How to Build Your Sales Prospecting List

Developing a solid prospecting list has the potential to help you attract more customers and increase revenue. But collecting contact information individually can get tedious – fast. So, now that you know what information is needed, how do you find it?

  1. Purchasing Your Prospecting List 

Every successful cold calling and lead generation strategy starts with a quality sales leads database. Many companies choose to purchase prospect data from large data providers. But, you need to be critical of the lists they purchase because they often contain outdated information. 

Bad data may include contacts who no longer working for the same company (hello great resignation), phone numbers, emails that have changed, or even companies that have since been acquired. This translates to your sales team wasting a lot of time chasing dead leads, and this impact on productivity is costly. 

If you are looking to purchase your prospecting list, the cost will vary based on the number of leads you are looking for, the type of data, what niche you are in, and how easily sourced your contacts are. Companies like ZoomInfo or are highly rated but can run expensive for information that might not be double-checked for accuracy. 

Lead generation companies, like here at Superhuman Prospecting, are your best bet when it comes to purchasing a leads list. 

We use a variety of sources, databases, tools, and expert researchers to generate a custom leads list of your target client profiles. All of our prospecting lists are manually checked to ensure that all criteria were met with the highest quality. 

In addition to sourcing quality sales leads, we also provide data cleansing services or we can enrich your current prospect list to provide phone numbers, emails, LinkedIn links, or any other additional contact information you require. Our team of expert researchers can also source unique or more specific B2B contacts that are harder to find using traditional methods.

  1. Capturing Information From Your Website 

An easy way to find prospect information is by adding a contact form or other gated content forms to your website. This could also take place on a landing page or other website form through advertising.

Since people are giving you their information willingly, the data you collect is largely accurate and up to date–assuming the user didn’t provide a spam email to download gated content. After your readers sign up for your content, you can automatically add them to your database. 

  1. Using Email 

The market currently has several email marketing tools that can help make your prospect list-building experience easier. These email tools gather all the information regarding your prospects, with some allowing you to transfer the prospect list to various other database platforms. Most email marketing tools also allow users to send out multiple emails at once, making it easier for your sales reps. 

  1. Reviewing Existing Client Information 

Asking your happy clients for referrals is one of the best ways to gather other leads. While often neglected through the fear of rejection or a bad review, referrals are one of the best lead generation strategies out there.
Nothing can boost your company’s credibility like a good referral. It doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. When closing a sale, be sure to ask your buyer if they know anyone who might appreciate your product or service. This normally takes very little time and maybe extremely useful in gaining information. 

  1. Scrape Your Social Media 

Social media can be a powerful tool with a staggering amount of information. Sites like LinkedIn are great for this, as you can specify which industry, company size, and even the geographic location your target contacts are in.  Here, you can connect with users that encounter your social media profiles, join social media groups to tap into niche communities, and engage in relevant conversations. You can also use content to leverage your connections. Develop a strong social media profile with content aimed at your ideal customer profile.

With almost 600 million users, LinkedIn has become one of the most valuable channels for professionals to connect – especially in the B2B domain. While you could use the platform for active networking and social selling, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has much more to offer to create your lead list. However, it’s important to note that you still need to cross-reference your research because users don’t always update the platform in a timely manner.

Double-checking for accuracy is important when contacting your leads list because you never want to hurt your reputation or email domain. For example, if all of your emails are bouncing from your prospects’ inboxes, chances are it will harm your email deliverability score and could result in spamming others. 

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