Building the Right List—and why it’s so important
What’s essential for a great call campaign? A great list.
With all else equal, VSA estimates that the quality of a prospect list is responsible for about 60-70% of a campaign’s success. It’s not surprising, therefore, that there are so many list building services available on the market—some of which come at a high price.
Ultimately, though, the most successful lead generation companies don’t rely on just one or two high-powered services or products. Instead, they design list-building methodologies that draw from the best aspects of several systems, combining and overlapping search criteria to fit the specific needs of their individual clients.
That’s a lesson that VSA has learned by experience, through our dedication to providing the best possible results to our clients. Here’s the story of how our current approach to list building came to be.
Beginning with the basics
Up until a few years ago, list building processes were mostly the same industrywide. Like most lead gen firms, VSA would use a list building service to obtain records and then sort, filter, and prioritize prospects according to several basic, easy-to-identify criteria: geography, industry code, revenue size, and a few others.
This worked well when our clients’ markets were simple to define—such as “all hospitals in California” or “US-based corporations with at least 500 employees”. But as our clients’ campaigns became more complex, the markets they were targeting started to become much more specific. For instance, they would only want to target companies that use a specific competitor’s product, or who made a certain percentage of their revenue through online sales.
Using our old system, this required BDRs to do a lot of additional qualifying on the phone. This prolonged conversations with prospects, resulting in fewer calls per hour and more wasted time. Additionally, our BDRs were often able to screen out unqualified decision makers only after managing to speak with them. Just getting these folks on the phone often required 5 or more attempts. On a large scale, this ate up a tremendous amount of dialing time.
As soon as we noticed these trends, VSA realized that we needed a more sophisticated list building system in order to deliver optimal results for complex clients. Something had to change.
Investing in combined tools
That’s when VSA set out on a mission to consistently build better lists. The first step was to invest in the highest-quality list building tools available, such as ZoomInfo® by DiscoverOrg. Next, VSA added additional tools that allow us to synthesize hundreds of data points about any given organization into a singular, highly-precise record.
Now we’re able to deliver highly customized lists that contain only the right prospects—no matter who those “right” prospects are to our clients.
Here are two examples:
Identifying stand-alone clinics
VSA recently started working with a company who provide on-site equipment rental to health clinics. This client wanted us to target stand-alone clinics only.
This turned out to be a difficult task; the healthcare industry features multiple levels of clinics, urgent care centers, and medical office buildings, and it can be difficult to determine who is who and which is which. Our initial results were unsatisfying—we simply weren’t reaching the right people.
Once we recognized this, though, VSA was able to turn things around quickly. We built on our client’s original search parameters by adding and combining several more criteria that were characteristic of stand-alone health clinics specifically. Now almost all of the prospects who we speak with are qualified—and we’re setting the right kinds of appointments.
Combining data from across the web
VSA recently began working with a client whose ecommerce offering provides a huge benefit to sellers of certain products that are currently available online only through Amazon. These companies tend to be difficult to identify, though—the client came to us only able to provide links to Amazon’s product pages for the merchandise in question. They needed a full list build, and didn’t know where to start.
After a quick test of our basic list-building methods, VSA realized that we’d only be able to uncover manufacturer phone numbers for about 30% of the list. Fortunately, though, there are now more advanced tools at our disposal.
We combined two such tools. One trawls through thousands of websites to collect and organize publicly-available data, and the other combines and integrates information pulled from hundreds of other list-building sources. By combining these two resources we were able to connect 75% of the original records to manufacturers with functional phone numbers—no small feat, especially since many are based overseas.
An essential investment
In the current B2B climate, most lead generation campaigns fall flat without a great list. There’s simply no time to waste on navigating through branching switchboards, or conducting on-the-fly research. This is all work that a great list can do for you.
Designing a process to create those lists is an essential investment. To reach the right targets in a complex market, you need a system that combines multiple sources and criteria and can qualify with pinpoint accuracy.
This requires not only the right technology, but also the right know-how. If you’re outsourcing, it requires a partner with both.