Rent B2B Lists Or Build Your Own?

Rent B2B Lists or BuildI often receive questions from managers and executives regarding the idea of business to business lists for sales and whether this data should be built by these individuals or taken from an outside source.

The answer can depend on the type of list that a company is looking for, the business structure for the firm and whether this information needs to be gathered immediately or developed over time.

I would advise businesses to try to take an organic approach to building a database, as your own list will be comprised of the most relevant information that is out there. There is no list on the planet that compares to your own and other companies are not going to tailor this data to any entity in an effective manner.

However, this can differ if a company is not established, has few clients and would be categorized as a start-up business.

Start-up companies

If there is a start-up company and it does not have time to develop its own list through extensive research and cold calling, this business will have to rent from another firm.

The best way to clean a list is to mail to it. Executives and managers need to weigh their options on that one. They will get a lot of responses that may not be helpful, as a borrowed list could be perceived to be spam.

If another party is selling lists, that party is not minding this data with the same level of scrutiny that you are going to be going over it with. While you may take a find-tuned comb to a list, they might just compile it from recent calls and information that was previously collected.

You have to be really careful, as the best lists you can get now are the ones that people create for themselves that are motivated by a specific purpose, like an association list. This is a higher level list than one that would be obtained from a broker. It will provide a more targeted approach to a specific industry or vertical.

Find out what the list is for

If the list is going to be compiled internally, you have to determine exactly what it is that you want on the list for each specific region, territory and vertical.

If the list is going to be for property managers and back specialists, then building owners and chiropractor lists have to be cross referenced. This will generate a better product than just a generic list that can be found online.

There isn’t a set method for compiling this data, due to the fact that there are many levels in between each company and you have to determine this before trying to compile information about a specific type of business.

Level of effort for compiling the list

If it is an individual sales rep that is gathering the data then this process will take time.

A sales manager is going to have to put in more time than a single rep in order to get a list for his team, as he is in charge of providing data for more than just one salesperson.

A marketing manager is going to devote his time and energy into different areas, as he may want to get a broad list for the sales team.

Different questions to ask

Specific questions have to be answered before a company makes a decision.

How quickly do you want to start?

What verticals are you getting into?

How fast can you source lists without having to go to a bottom-rung list broker?

How can you leverage this for yourself as an individual rep and keep track of all this information?

What info do you want from the list. This can range from phone numbers to addresses, or people and their specific titles.

Sit down and answer these questions first, then you lean towards where you want to go.