Why Agency New Business Prospect Lists Need The Human Touch
It can be tough to search for new opportunities while maintaining your current client load, and creating solid prospect lists is equally as tough.
Across the board, it can be difficult to know how to prospect for new business effectively. Where do you even begin?
To start, here are some basic steps to target your outreach: RSW/US Webinar – Insider Tips to Building Targeted Prospect lists
Great, so you’ve narrowed down the type and size of company you want to target. What next?
The business world is ever-changing and constantly speeding up.
Most of the information you need is on the internet, so it should be easy to find what you are looking for, right?
To save time and money, it may seem like a good idea to purchase ready-made prospect lists online.
While these can give you something to work with, that “something” is more likely to cause you extra time and hassle when things like the phone numbers, emails or even mailing addresses are inaccurate.
This is where a good old-fashioned human is still your best bet.
B2B Prospect Databases
I actually use a B2B prospect database in my list-building research.
They are a great starting point, but are severely lacking in dimension.
Many of the leading databases are built using web tracking tools that record data based on an individual’s online activity (email, web browsing, etc.).
While tools like these can produce a large amount of data, they are not overly accurate.
The data is only as good as the tool, which is only as good as its programming, which can only do what it is told.
That goes for what you get out of it as well.
These databases and their list services will only give you exactly what you ask for.
If you use the wrong keywords, you don’t get what you really want.
Likewise, their industry breakdowns may not fit your specialty, and you may end up with a list of companies that are not the right fit.
Business Social Media Platforms
Say you have found a company you think would be a great fit, and now you need to find the right person to reach out to.
Member-based social media platforms are great resources to nail down your ideal contact… until they aren’t.
Unfortunately, the data on these sites is only as good as the information each member chooses to share.
Sometimes people get fired or laid off and don’t want to advertise it, so their reported employment status is inaccurate.
Sometimes people change jobs and simply forget to update their profile.
Sometimes an individual will create multiple profiles and only update one of them regularly.
The variables are endless, and the web platform cannot tell you which information is accurate.
My Recommendation: Put a Human on the Task
Technology is created and driven by humans, so it may seem counter-intuitive to use a human to vet its information, but the bottom line is:
Technology is not good at intuiting and self-correcting. In short, it doesn’t really know what it is looking at.
Trusting your list building to an experienced online researcher, or someone internal who knows your vertical/verticals well, who can navigate resources and analyze data, is the most effective way to get the information you need.
Not only will this person have a full understanding of what you are looking for in a way a computer never will, but they are also capable of cross-referencing multiple data sources to find the most accurate information on your target companies and contacts.
It may take a little extra time and possibly money to get your list, but when you get it you can hit the ground running.