B2B sales research and prospecting are not for everyone. It requires a high degree of discipline, self-direction, intuition, and organization in the pursuit of leads. Lead list building can be monotonous. Small details matter. Exceptional prospectors are similar to detectives in many ways. They always have eyes, ears, social media, and other channels open for clues on where they might sell their products or services. They are ready to act when recognize an opportunity. In other words, there’s a lot of investigation and “gumshoe detective” work involved in successful B2B sales lead research work.
Just as technology is helping police detectives do their work well, it’s helping B2B sales prospectors generate leads more accurately than ever before. There’s much more science to it now than there was a few years ago now that the internet has opened up new, creative ways to prospect. There are many segmented ways to obtain targeted B2B sales lead data, including:
- Demographic (e.g. Name, Title, Age)
- Geographic (Location)
- Firmographic (e.g. Size of company, Revenues, Industry)
- Technographic (e.g. Types of Technology Used, Bought, Platforms)
- Psychographic (e.g. Likes, Affinities)
- Social Graph (e.g. Connections, Introductions, Followers)
- Trigger Events (e.g. Promotion, New Job, Funding, Acquisition)
What is also useful to consider is targeting based on a combination of data sets, especially with human filters applied. Filters can often get closest to a company’s targets — their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) — by combining data sets such as those mentioned above into meaningful combinations.
For example, a Marketing Agency client specializing in Content Services may wish to target CMO’s and VP’s of Marketing [Demographic] at companies between $5-25M in revenue [Firmographic] in the SF Bay Area [Geographic] running WordPress [Technographic], and Blogging less than 5X per month [Trigger Event], and even semantically note the content of those blogs. Creating an accurate lead list with all these parameters is largely impossible for any stand-alone data tool, requiring the diligence of trained detective-like human to compile B2B sales leads accurately.
Successful prospectors will always need to draw upon his or her determination, discipline, and insights, using the best technology tools that help the lead investigation process and prospecting along.
Track Prospects as Their Information Changes
Your prospects’ situations, perspectives, occupations, and outlooks change over time just like a CSI case file. At a minimum, you need to be aware of when they change jobs, companies, or industries. Setting up job change alerts or organizing profiles you follow based on keywords are ways to keep yourself apprised of changes in a prospect’s situation. Always remember that clients starting in new companies can be some of your best leads for new customers. Keep up with key industries themselves, because your prospects in various industries are affected by those trends. Make the effort to keep information flowing by maintaining communication over time with your prospects. This can alert you to their changing needs and can lead to new prospects you can follow.
Sharp “Social Listening” Skills
Keeping your eyes and ears open when it comes to social media, and learning how to really “listen” to what you find on the various platforms is also essential detective work. You have to know how reliable each “narrator” is, who exaggerates situations, and who under-represents important events. Excellent social media listening can help you separate the warmer leads from the colder ones.
Some other things you might try include:
- Looking at your prospect’s social media account to identify people within their company who have offered recommendations. Learn more about these people, who may be influencers or prospects themselves.
- Watch your prospects’ groups and group activity. What are they commenting and talking about? This can offer important clues for new content ideas.
- Look at other profiles your prospect has viewed. This can not only give you valuable information about your possible competitors but also about people who may turn into leads themselves.
Use Lead Building Tools That Go the Extra Mile
Using outdated information wastes everyone’s time. There are lots of lead gen companies out there, so be sure to choose wisely. With our lead generation service at CIENCE, we identify through a collaborative process your ideal client profile, define the relevant data points that your sales reps, marketing team, and managers need to drive a successful outreach campaign — leveraging our human-driven, machine powered approach to deliver accurate and reliable contact and account data.
Our teams of researchers use CIENCE’s sophisticated software to find qualified prospects. These teams meticulously gather accurate, up-to date information to enrich databases and also determine validated contact information and social profiles for them. Or, they find, filter, and discover net new prospects to target. We use many tools that operate across the web, like our own CIENCE database to supply clients with B2B sales leads on a weekly basis. The result is a steady flow of leads for your sales team plus accurate information you need to get in touch with them.