Continuing my Lead Generation theme and creating sales growth, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss buying a list. Most people think buying leads is easy and straight forward. While it is simple, easy does not fit the description due to certain factors.
First, all lists are not created equal. There is a lot of junk in the marketplace and the lower the cost, the more you should question the source. A targeted customer list is your most valuable sales growth tool.
Second, data is not the same across available databases. Some databases really work at keeping their databases current and clean of junk. Unfortunately, these are the minority – so Buyer Beware!
Third, specifics are better for productivity reason than general information. And, the more targeted you get the more the price goes up. However, here is the big reason to buy a specific list – it saves you time and therefore the cost is a trade off.
Now there are factors or elements to consider when buying a prospect list and here is a list of factors to consider…
- Industry or SIC code – pick the industries you want to focus upon and use them in the list perimeters.
- Territory, State or Region – pick a list that covers the territory, state or region you work in that limits the list to just the area you sell within.
- Zip Codes – Another method of limiting the geographical area of your search criteria. Area Codes in phone numbers are another form of geographical separate for data.
- Size of the Organization – Here you can use the number of employees or annual sales/revenue to determine your prospect list.
- Headquarters or Branch/Division – Due to what you sell, the best accounts could be local headquarter locations where you can contact the top people easily for large account selling.
- Contact Names and More – Here you may want more specifics than just a name. It could be more important to have names with specific titles ( CEO, President, VP of Sales, Operations Manager or VP of Operations, Supply Chain VP, etc.) A direct phone number is the most valuable information you can get or make that the correct phone number.
There are other factors available depending upon the criteria you require for making contact with a potential customer. The good thing is the better database companies will offer you these opportunities – usually at an extra cost.
There is one additional factor that I must share with you. You need to be able to review the list and eliminate current customers or contact information you already have. Good database companies will allow for some type of review – either a full before you purchase review or a limited time exchange program after the purchase. You do not want to purchase a large list of current customers – your goal is to get new opportunities to grow your sales.