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List Building: A Pillar of Effective Teleprospecting


The key to any success is a strong foundation. A good education will prepare you for your ideal job; a sturdy structure for a new building; and open communication for a strong relationship. The same theory applies when you begin your teleprospecting campaign. As spoken about in my webcast, before you start your calling efforts, you need to establish who your target market is, develop a strong value statement, and develop a list of contacts to call.

List generation is one of the more crucial parts to receiving immediate success from your teleprospecting campaign.  There are several methods that our clients have to provide us with contacts, such as tradeshows, webinars, whitepaper downloads, or a Sales Reps' target account lists. More often than not, we are asked to generate our own list of contacts.

This can sometimes be overwhelming!  Where do you start, who do you target, what title am I looking for, how do I find them?!?  Throughout our years of teleprospecting, we have established quite an extensive database of contacts and organizations. But as times change, and people move on from organizations, our initial contacts may no longer be with the company, or we may be tasked to find contacts for a title that has yet to really establish itself within the workforce (oh how far Knowledge Management has come since 2008).

Before I get started, there are three areas that I use to seek out contacts; one is our own database, and the others are two list generating websites, NetProspex and Jigsaw.  Both of these sites have been very helpful for my list generating needs.  They allow me to search by Industry, Revenue Size, Employee Size, Location, and Title. One feature that I really like about NetProspex is that I can upload a CSV file of target companies that I want to pull contacts from, rather than pulling names for a general list of organizations. A feature that I like about Jigsaw is that it awards me points for updating and creating my own contacts. This helps tremendously to build my points and generate lists at no cost to my organization.

When I begin my list building tasks the first thing I need to establish is who the target market is. What industry has a need for the product, but more often than not, I start with what size organization should I target. This can be based either on number of employees or revenue.  If the value of your solution is heavily reliant on providing synergy across different groups within an organization or increasing the efficiency of an employee's day, your focus may want to start on targeting organizations with a larger employee size.  Just as equally important to keep in mind is the revenue size. Based on the cost of the solution, you need to target organizations that can justify the initial spend prior to receiving the ROI.

Once you have established your target organization, now comes the more challenging part, finding the right contacts. Both NetProspex and Jigsaw allow you to search by Job Function and Job Level. My suggestion when building lists is to pull at least three contacts for each organization. As title roles can vary within an organization, don't rely on one contact as the right person. For example, Director of Security can have one of two roles, physical security or IT security. When pulling contacts, try to get as specific as possible but also include a Director level or VP/C-Level contact to reach out to as well. Even though you may more often than not speak with their admins, they are a great source of knowledge and can point you in the right direction.  

Lastly, if you are using a list provider like Jigsaw or NetProspex, keep an eye on the validation date. Given that there has been a lot of turner over and reduction in the workforce of the past two years, try to find a contact that has been validated within the last 6 months.

Even though list building can be time consuming, it is very important to provide your teleprospecting team with the foundation /contacts that they need to do well at their job. You want to avoid your team from spending too much navigating throughout an organization and to focus their time and efforts having quality conversations.

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About the Author   |   Ilona Jazdowska

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