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Three Steps for How to Develop Prospect Leads

Depending on where you are in the lead generation process, there are some very clear steps that you can take for how to develop prospect leads.

1. Identify Your Ideal Prospect Profile

One of the early steps in sales prospecting is to clearly identify what your ideal prospect looks like. While you can likely sell your product to everybody or to just about everybody, it is most effective if you can tighten your focus on the segment or segments that you fit best. This is important as time is very limited so it can help to spend our valuable time with the prospects that fit best with what we have to sell as those are the prospects that will have the highest probability of purchasing our products.

When trying to build out what the profile of our ideal prospect looks like, we will want to look at at least five different characteristics.

  • Geography: Try to figure out what geographic area or areas it makes the most sense for you to spend your valuable time performing sales prospecting.
  • Industry: Identify what industries fit best with your products or services. If there are a number of industries that fit well, you may want to identify what industries you can exclude from your activities to produce prospect leads.
  • Size: Identify what size of companies it makes the most sense for you to sell to. You can look at either revenue or employee count to measure up what businesses to target.
  • Title: Identify the right prospect to reach out to in terms of department and title.
  • Current state: One of the most important ideal prospect characteristics is to identify what the current state is for prospects that we fit well with in the areas that our product impact. For example, if we sell technology that helps to automate processes, we may want to only focus on prospects that are using manual processes.

2. Build Your Attack Lists

Once we have painted the picture for what our ideal prospect looks like, we can then build our attack lists as we work to produce prospect leads. We can take our ideal prospect characteristics and produce two attack lists.


  • Warm list: This is a list of all of the prospects that fit your ideal prospect and you know them by name or have some sort of connection with the business already. This can be your first list to work from and is your warm list.
  • Cold list: The next step is to use list building resources to build a mass list that is driven by our ideal prospect characteristics. This will be your cold attack list and can be broken down into smaller chunks that can be worked and focused on one at a time.

3. Connect with Your Prospects

Once you have your attack lists, you can then shift your time and energy toward connecting with your prospects as you work to produce prospect leads. There are a variety of tools available today for connecting with target prospects including the phone, social media, professional networking, email marketing, search engine optimization, direct mail, pay per click advertising, and more.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides cold calling coaching helping sales pros to produce prospect leads.

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This article was published on Sunday 26 February, 2012.
Back to main topic: Sales Prospecting
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Building a Prospect List to Improve Sales Prospecting
Three Steps for How to Find Prospects
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Benefits of Using a Prospecting Guide
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Building Your Cold Call Email Strategy
Get to the Decision Maker for Sales Maximization
Improve Over the Phone Sales
Keys to Powerful Sales Messages

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