Hints and tips
How to build a targeted B2B prospect list
Posted on by experian
Estimated read time: 4 mins
Targeting is arguably the most important part of Business prospecting. You can have a brilliant product with a great offer and wonderful creative to sell it, but if it goes to someone who is just not going to be interested, none of this matters.
Targeting the right businesses with the right offer at the right time will substantially increase your chances of B2B prospecting success. But as well as maximising your opportunities for making a sale, careful targeting also saves you money by reducing waste, not to mention being good for the environment and for your reputation. Remember, ‘junk mail’ is only badly targeted prospecting.
Follow these simple steps, for the easiest, most cost-effective and profitable way to build a targeted business prospect list:
Step 1: Knowing your customers
First, think about who your existing customers are and build a picture of your best customers by looking at the information you have on them. Look at their business sector, size by turnover and employee number, geographical location and number of locations, ownership of products, purchasing behaviour and so on.
Step 2: Revealing look-a-like prospects
By building a list of new business prospects who most ‘look like’ your existing customers, you can target the people who share similar characteristics… and are therefore more likely to become your customers. It’s important to have a flexible database that allows you to refine the business prospect criteria. Applying selection filters on your data will add real depth and quality to your targeting. Other methods of finding out who your best prospects are include mailing a rented B2B prospect list and analysing the replies. You can also conduct research through a postal or telephone questionnaire.
Step 3: Segmenting your business prospects
Effective B2B prospecting is all about making the right offer to the right person at the right time. That said, your direct mail will still need to grab your reader’s attention, hold their interest, and compel them to the action you want. The way to do this is through an engaging proposition. ‘Segmenting’ means identifying a sub-group (or segment) of your prospects list that has a set of common needs. This will allow you to tailor your message to that need so they are more likely to be interested in your offer.
Step 4: Ensuring quality and accuracy
As well as using your own customer or prospect databases, you can buy or rent business lists to market to. There is a wide range of business lists and profile overlay databases for you to choose from. They are available from a variety of data providers, so you should be certain of the B2B lists’ quality before you use it. By doing this carefully you can save a lot of trouble with poor address quality.
Step 5: Buying B2B prospect data
Before you buy a business prospect list, be sure it gives you all the decision makers’ details, including address, telephone and email, and that these are updated regularly and are safe for you to contact. It means you can contact your new prospects with absolute confidence, improves your response rates and saves you time and money. Using an online B2B Prospect list builder that allows you to check the data before you buy will give you that final peace of mind that you’ve got the right