How to build a B2B prospect list

A prospect list is a list of potential clients who could benefit from your products/services of a business. These are the people that you will want to target with your marketing campaigns, with a view to turning them into clients.

You should aim to have a pipeline of prospect clients so that whenever one prospect is closed, you are already marketing to the next one.

Here is our step-by-step guide to building a prospect list for your business.

Identify what your ideal prospect looks like

  • Who is your ideal customer?
    • Review your existing client base to determine commonalities
    • Consider company size (turnover, employees, number of premises), market sector, geographic location etc.
    • Identify who is the key decision-maker within the company for your products/services – e.g. Finance Director, Director of Sales, Managing Director, HR Manager etc.

Build your prospect list

  • Identify potential prospects that meet your criteria above. Useful sources include:
    • Social media: LinkedIn and Twitter
    • Professional membership associations – membership directories
    • Local Chambers of Commerce – membership directories
    • Trade magazines and business press – advertisers and editorial content
    • Trade shows and exhibitions – exhibitor and delegate lists
    • Google search
    • Mailing houses – generally not recommended as the quality is often poor but these can be a useful starting point

Hone your prospect list

  • Research each company to check they are the right fit and gather all relevant contact details
  • Identify the key contacts – find out who your key contact is by telephoning the company or using the web (telephone is often quicker)

Develop a database for your prospect list

  • Record all your prospects in a CRM database – preferably one that will enable you to keep track of your business development activity

Identifying prospective clients can be a time-consuming task. However, building a list from scratch will ensure that your data is accurate and highly targeted. Your marketing campaigns will be more successful as a result so you will reap the rewards.

If you have any tips to share on how to build a prospect list please comment below.