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Building a Prospect List to Improve Sales Prospecting

Having a good prospect list can be a huge factor in the level of success when sales prospecting. What we say during our prospecting or the cold call script that we use has a big impact on how well our conversations go. But if we are not working from a good list of target prospects, our valuable time could be wasted on the wrong prospects. As a result, if we spend some time on building a good target list, we can greatly improve our probability for success.

Identify Ideal Prospect

The first step in building a good target list is to identify what our ideal prospect looks like.  While we maybe able to sell our products to a large or very diverse market of prospects, it is likely that our products or services fit best or better with a particular segment.

We should identify what this segment looks like in terms of characteristics and build our prospect list around those as focusing primarily on that segment will yield the best results.   This does not mean that we will not sell to the other segments, but from an outbound sales perspective, we should focus on the prospects that fit best as they will be more likely to purchase.

To identify what our ideal prospect looks like, we can look at five characteristics and determine what ideal prospects look like for our products or services.

  • Geography:  We need to think about what geographic area we should focus on.  Again, we can likely sell our products and services everywhere or at least in a very large area.  But if we focused our effort in one particular area, we can improve sales prospecting results.
  • Size:  Identify what size of company fits best with what we have to offer or identify what size of business will be the easiest to do business with.  Identifying a range of either annual revenue or employee count is a good way to narrow this down.
  • Industry:  When building a prospect list, identify what industries fit best with your products or services.  Is there one or two industries that gain more business value when consuming your products than others?
  • Title:  Identify the best title or individual that you should connect.  There is likely a certain individual in the organization in terms of level and functional department that you should focus on.
  • Current state:  A key thing to identify for your prospect list is the ideal current state for your prospects.  This would be details for your prospect’s current environment in the area where your products or services fit.


Build Primary List

Once you know what your ideal prospect looks like, you can begin to build a primary target list.  This could be a brain dump of all of the prospects that you know about or already have a relationship with.  Think of this as your warm list.

Build Secondary List

Once you have gone through or have identified your warm prospects, you can use different services to build a mass cold list.  For example, there are services that allow you to build a list by going online an inputting your ideal prospect characteristics and can produce a list of thousands of target prospects in a matter of minutes.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to build prospect list.

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This article was published on Saturday 21 January, 2012.
Back to main topic: Sales Prospecting
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Building Your Cold Call Email Strategy
Get to the Decision Maker for Sales Maximization
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Keys to Powerful Sales Messages

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