Finding the Right Target Market for Telephone Prospecting
If you’re reading this post, chances are you don’t need to be convinced that the telephone is an effective way to reach new prospects and increase sales. But if you don’t know how to reach the people who are likely to want your product or service—or even who those people are—it’s not worth investing in a call campaign. So what do you do when you need a file of prospects and there simply is no “off the shelf” list to purchase? Of course, you could use inbound demand generation to develop and cultivate a list, but this requires a significant time investment. Most of the clients who hire us don’t have that luxury.
Luckily there are incredible resources on the internet now that can be pieced together to create and build lists. It still takes time and skill to navigate these resources, but by helping our clients build a list from the ground up we’ve found we can start qualifying prospects from the start.
For example, many of the list sources online can provide more than just basic information. We often start with a list from one of these vendors. Then we flesh out that information through research from the companies’ own websites, LinkedIn, Data.com, or other courses to add more intelligence to the list. Later we make phone calls to navigate through the company until we land on qualified prospects.
For example, we recently developed a list for a client interested in reaching prospects in Marketing at the VP-level or higher. Using some criteria from the client to narrow down the types of companies they were interested in reaching, we purchased a list from an online vendor that only included company names and contact information for the corporate headquarters. We then used Salesforce’s Data.com to search for names, email address, and phone numbers. Data.com allows you to filter searches by location, title level (e.g. Manager, Director, VP, C-level), the availability of information (e.g. only records that have both phone number and email address), and more. We used LinkedIn to fill in any gaps in information, and in doing so also discovered that some people had changed positions or taken over new roles at the company, allowing us update the list before calls even began. Once our Client Associates began using this list, the time we had invested to develop and qualify it beforehand made it a successful campaign.
You could certainly get to the same place by building your own prospect list through inbound demand generation, but the above approach will get you there much faster. With so many resources and tools available online, it just takes some creativity and legwork to efficiently develop a well-qualified list.