Building a high-value prospect list is vital to your success in sales.

Why? Because if you want to gain a competitive edge, there are few things as powerful as a well-researched prospect list. This is true across all verticals and industries.

Not only does a well-researched prospect list give you an edge over your competitors, but it also speeds up your sales process and can bump up your win rate.  

Unfortunately, building a prospect list can be one of the most time-consuming activities for B2B sales teams.

Most sales reps think of prospect list building as something you can either do quickly or do well—but rarely both. That is, unless you have the right tricks (and tools) up your sleeve.

Wondering if it’s possible to build a prospect list quickly without sacrificing quality? Let’s look at a few different ways to build a prospect list, including several approaches that will help you build a list in under an hour.

What is a Prospect List?

A prospect list is a database that contains information on people and organizations that have the potential to become future customers. 

A B2B prospect list includes accurate details about organizations that have the potential to become your customers. This data might be stored in your CRM or a spreadsheet.

The best prospect lists are highly targeted, relevant to your business, and compiled around your ideal customer profile (ICP). 

Building a Prospect List vs. Generating Leads: What’s the Difference?

There’s often confusion around what separates a prospect list from a list of sales leads, so let’s take a moment to clarify some definitions.

First off, are “prospects” and “leads” the same thing? While some sales reps like to use these terms interchangeably, others note an important difference between the two.

Here’s the most important thing to know about prospects: A prospect is any person or business that matches your ideal customer profile or one of your buyer personas.

Prospects are typically considered more qualified than generic leads. So while a lead may or may not fit your ideal customer profile, a prospect always does.

A prospect might be someone who has expressed interest in your product or service, engaged with your brand in some capacity, or shares the qualities of your best customers.

Leads can get on your radar via a range of different channels. This includes people who visit your website, interact with your social media pages, or enter an email address in exchange for a lead magnet.

In other words, a prospect list is a list of qualified prospects with the potential to buy, while a lead list contains a range of contacts from various sources who may or may not turn out to be prospects.

getting to know potential customers

Since you have more information about your prospects upfront than you do for generic leads, a list of prospects tends to be more detailed than a list of leads. You’re more likely to include notes about prospects’ buying patterns, online habits, and best times to contact them.

Remember, just because someone is interested in your content or posts, doesn’t mean they’re a viable prospect. A smart sales team uses lead scoring and qualification frameworks to determine which ones are sales-ready, which ones are kicking tires, and everything in between.

How Do You Build a B2B Prospect List?

In order to build relationships with potential customers, your sales team needs to know how to build a prospect list quickly and effectively. This involves collecting data and contact information for sales outreach.

There are a few different ways to approach building a B2B prospect list:

  • You can manually build a list from scratch.
  • You can purchase a list of prospects
  • You can outsource the task to a prospecting specialist
  • You can automate the process of creating a prospect list

The Traditional Way: Putting Together a Prospect List Manually

What goes into manually building a B2B prospect list? Much like lead generation, creating a list of prospects involves collecting data and contact information for sales outreach.

Prospecting starts with researching and identifying companies that match your ideal customer profile. From there, you’ve got to figure out who the decision-makers are and locate their contact information so you can reach out.

One of the biggest benefits of building your own list of prospects from scratch is that it’s unique. The information on it belongs solely to you. And if you’ve done your homework properly, a manually built prospect list is also likely to be accurate and high-value.

But manually creating a prospect list takes time—and lots of it. The research process is rigorous and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve put together some ideas below that will help you speed up the process and build a prospect list in less than one hour.

3 Faster Ways to Build a Sales Prospect List (In Under an Hour!)

There are three major ways to automate prospect lists to find your ideal customers in under an hour: purchasing a list of prospects, outsourcing the task to a lead generation company, or using the right tools to build your own list in record time.

Need a list of solid prospects ASAP but don’t have hours (or days!) to spend building a list on your own? Here’s how you can get your hands on a high-quality prospect list without spending tons of time on research.

3 Faster Ways to Build a Sales Prospect List

1. Buy a Prospect List

Objectively, buying a list of prospects is the easiest option—in that it’s completely hands-off. But easiest doesn’t always mean best

Sure, purchasing a list of leads relieves you of the stress of building a prospect list from scratch. The bulk of the grunt work is already done and all you need to do is start reaching out. 

However, there are several downsides to this approach. Not only is buying a prospect list often expensive but there’s also no guarantee the data you’re purchasing is reliable or relevant. Prospect details change over time and the premade lists you can buy might not contain updated contact information.

Even worse, some unscrupulous companies will sell the same list to multiple bidders. If you’re working from the same list of prospects as competitors in your industry, then you’ll struggle to stand out or make any headway.

Plus, buying a list makes it difficult for your team to create targeted outreach campaigns. Even if the contact data you receive is up to date, you could end up wasting money on leads that aren’t precisely tailored to your ideal customer profile.

2. Outsource Prospecting to a Third Party

Outsourcing your prospect list building saves your sales team time, but it’s also a bit of a gamble. Not all lead generation companies and professionals are created equal. The risk is that you might end up with a list of low-quality leads or unverified contact data.

Of course, it is possible to hire a company dedicated to building you a custom list of prospects. If you’re considering outsourcing, your best bet is to find an established, reliable lead gen company with a reputation for producing results.

3. Use Prospecting Tools to Create Your List

Why is building a prospect list using automation the best possible option? The best prospecting tools save your sales team time and energy that can be better spent on building connections.

Not only does sales automation save you time, but it can also improve your sales numbers. Businesses that automate aspects of their sales process generate an average of 16% more leads than companies that don’t use automation.

automating lead generation

Using a tool like Datanyze makes it possible to build high-value, up-to-date, GDPR-compliant prospect lists faster than ever. It’s an easy, quick, and scalable solution—plus it’s one of the most reliable ways to compile a list of prospect contact data.

As mentioned above, when you build your own list, your sales team doesn’t have to worry about the quality of leads or manually building a prospect list from scratch. You own the data so there’s no doubt about where it was sourced from or whether the prospects are relevant to your business.

Use Datanyze to Build Your Prospect List Quickly and Easily

If you’re looking for an easy way to build your prospect list faster than ever, Datanyze has got you covered. 

The Datanyze Google extension gives you access to prospect information with a few clicks—including up-to-date phone numbers and emails—so you can quickly build a high-value list.  This makes it easier for you to identify qualified leads, target prospects who are most likely to buy, and reach buyers faster than your competitors.

Ready to start building prospect lists quickly without sacrificing quality? Sign up for Datanyze here to start your free trial.