How to Create Sales Prospecting Lists? 5 Best Tools in 2023
A prospecting list contains all the information of your potential prospects, from their full names and designations to email addresses. Generating an accurate email list requires a deep understanding of the industry and the targeted audiences.
A sales rep's first and foremost responsibility is to feed the sales pipeline with the most relevant leads with correct information. And a constant flow of relevant leads is very crucial for a business's growth.
If you are wondering how to create a sales prospecting list, you've come to the right place. This blog post will give you a detailed insight into the process of list building with a step-by-step guide.
Don't forget to check out the best 5 sales prospecting tools to build a sales prospecting list in 2023.
Let's get going!
Sales prospecting List: What is It?
A sales prospecting list is a sheet filled with important information (name, contact details, and email address) of a potential customer. B2B sales reps use these lists to communicate (cold calls and emails) with prospective customers to increase sales.
These lists contain pre-verified and intent-based leads, so the chances of conversions are way much higher, unlike cold calling to random prospects. Using a highly targeted list also helps maintain positive customer relationships and build a trustable brand image.
In order to make a sales prospecting list to be successful, it needs to contain the following:
- GDPR-compliant B2B data
- Buyer persona details
- Verified email addresses
- Phone number
- Relevant ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) data
6 Steps to Creating a Highly Targeted Sales Prospecting List
1. Research and Learn Your Product
Once you know what you are selling (product) or providing (service), you can truly offer value to your ideal prospects. You must know your offering in detail to bypass a lengthy onboarding process.
An exceptional sales rep should know the following:
- Use cases
- Feature sets
- Success stories
According to Harvard Business Review data, the departmental store company Dillard's has seen 5% sales growth (increase in conversions) for each hour a sales rep spent on training.
So it proves that irrespective of the industry, sales reps with in-depth knowledge about their products generate more sales.
Before creating a list of prospects, ask yourself:
What solutions does your product offer to the customers? Are there any discrepancies in your product that leads to losing deals? Can you explain your product to your grandparents (or a child or person without prior experience)? And, what makes your product/service stand out from the competitors?
The answers to these above-mentioned questions will help you to identify the driving force for sales and will help to create an intent-based prospect list.
2. Research Your Prospects; Build Buyer Persona
The next obvious step is knowing your audience. If you don't know who you are selling your product/service to, it's impossible to generate qualified leads that drive sales. This process will also help you build the sales prospecting list format.
According to marketing and sales experts, looking at some of your current customers is best to create the structure of your buyer persona.
Research whether your best customers work in a particular industry or a set of industries.
What job titles do your best customers hold? Are they in managerial positions, senior managers, policymakers, or any other vertical?
Try to find a pattern of whether your customers come from companies of similar sizes. If not, you can divide them into a few categories — SMB (Small to Medium Business) with 1-50 employees, SME (Small to Medium sized Enterprise) with 51-200 employees, and large corporations/MNCs with more than 200 employees.
What is your best customers' average estimated revenue in any year? Does it vary within a wide range or fall under a single category?
Pain Points/Reason to Opt for Your Service (or Product)
What are the main reasons that drive them to your business? Are the problems somewhat the same for all your best customers or not?
What kind of customers have the best referral potential? Which customers have brought new customers through referrals?
Does your customers' brand value impact your business? How much revenue and customer growth have you seen for that? It is helping you drive more sales for your business.
3. Start Building the Email List
There is no set-piece method for creating a sales prospect list. You can add or remove a few sections from the above-mentioned list to create your buyer persona.
Using .vcf or .CSV file is recommended to create your prospecting list in Google Spreadsheet or Excel Sheet. Although maintaining a spreadsheet is cost-effective, it takes a lot of time and leaves room for errors.
Using a sales automation or list-building tool is best to create error-free and targeted leads. Some of the best tools for sales prospecting list-building tools are Hunter, Voila Norbert, Lusha, FindThatLead, etc.
On that note, investing in CRM software to automate sales prospecting helps you generate maximum ROI from outreach campaigns. Zoho, HubSpot, and Pipedrive are some of the best CRMs today.
4. Update Email List: Enhance Data Accuracy
Once you've generated a lead list, it's time to enhance the data accuracy and remove dead email addresses and spam traps from the list.
Lead verification helps you improve your campaigns' deliverability, email open rates, and conversion rates. Remove dead phone numbers, irrelevant leads, and outdated emails to chip in fresh leads.
You can also opt for a sales intelligence tool such as Outreach, Apollo, Zoominfo SalesOS, etc., to introduce new leads and relevant data to your campaigns.
5. Launch Lead Gen Campaigns
Lunch various modes of lead generation, such as B2B marketing campaigns, SEO practices, website forms, newsletters, and webinars. Sometimes businesses invest in paid advertisements on LinkedIn, Facebook, and ESPs to generate leads.
Make sure you add compelling CTAs to attract more audiences. Moreover, you can offer informative guides such as product walkthroughs, free eBooks, templates, webinars, etc., to generate contact details from prospects.
6. Execute Lead Scoring: Segment Prospecting List
This is the last and most important step to creating an effective sales prospecting list. Once you have collected your prospects' data, categorize your audience based on their intention, sales journey, probability of buying, etc.
Segmentation of your list will help you create more personalized campaigns based on their intent.
Should You Buy or Build Your Prospecting lists?
Although many B2B businesses prefer buying readymade email lists from third-party platforms, it is advisable to build your list.
Of course, buying a pre-made list is easier and time-saving, but it does more harm than good for the business.
- Email addresses in a bought list are being contacted several times.
- The list may contain dead email addresses and spam traps.
- The contacts might not be your target audience.
- Your Ip may get penalized or blocklisted.
Moreover, you could be breaking the codes of the GDPR act. Using a readymade list can negatively impact your deliverability rates, conversions, and brand reputation.
Use a lead gen tool to acquire highly-targeted and industry-specific leads so you can reach your target audience to drive sales.
5 Best Sales Prospecting Tools to Build Sales Prospecting Lists in 2023
1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn is the world's largest social media platform for professionals. So it is an obvious choice for finding relevant leads.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the best tools for acquiring prospecting leads. It offers advanced search filters and offers detailed, industry-specific information about each prospect.
It also offers InMail credits to send cold emails to your potential customers within LinkedIn.
This SaaS B2B sales prospecting tool helps find relevant leads for prospecting. It performs company-specific research based on the companies that visit your website, even if they don't fill up any sign-in form.
Leadfeeder also offers a Chrome Extension (Leadfeeder Tracker), and you can perform lead generation within your CRM platform. Its warm lead generation and ideal customer profile features make it stand apart.
If you are looking for lead gen tools that can find out competitors' prospects, BuiltWith is the perfect solution for you. It offers multi-channel led generation and offers fresh leads to help you scale.
You can also research your competitors' insights, such as company size, tools they use, budget, and contact details.
4. Voila Norbert
Using Voila Norbert, you can search any email address by your prospect's first name. All you have to do is fill in their name and the name of the organization they work for, and you will get access to their professional email address.
It also offers a Gmail plugin, so you don't have to swipe through tabs to find a lead. This plugin lets you schedule cold emails, automate follow-ups, and set reminders.
The last pick on our list is Hunter. It is a lead gen tool with a Google Chrome extension. It is particularly helpful to bring out email addresses from domain names.
It also deployed a scoring system to find active email addresses. Even if you can't find a prospect's email address, Hunter finds the domain's email format to help you acquire the desired email addresses.
The more detailed a prospecting list with valid and relevant information, the better. While creating a prospecting list, ensure it contains the full name, telephone number, job title, industry, address, relevant achievements, etc.
We'd recommend using a sales prospecting tool synced with an email marketing tool to automate B2B marketing from lead generation to sending follow-up emails and let the sales team and marketing team focus on customers and the sales process.
Never compromise on list building and focus on intent-based lead research.
Cheers! See you soon.
Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at SmartLead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.