Prospecting database : how to develop it from scratch ?
You want to know more about prospecting and in general: how to start a campaign? Today we’re telling you how to shape your prospecting database. Let’s go, let’s go 🚀.
Presentation of a prospecting database
A prospecting database, also known as a prospecting file 📊 is a big directory in which you have a list of contacts.
This contact list will have different information about your prospects such as:
- The first and last name of your prospect.
- His age.
- His gender.
- His address.
- His phone number.
- The name of the company where he works.
- His position.
You are then free to add additional information to these to flesh out your data. This information is oriented towards a BtoC target. Know that implementing a prospectiong database is part of your sales process.
As for the information of B2B leads, you can have :
- The name of the company.
- Its turnover.
- Its sector of activity.
- The potential contacts present in the company.
How to set up a prospecting file?
Setting up this database is an indispensable element 🔥 to take into account if you want your digital strategy to work. What you’re going to put in this list depends, of course, on your prospecting strategy.
There is one thing to consider when you are going to start developing this prospecting database. You need to define your persona in order to segment your prospects. Yes, this file is made in accordance with your audience. You want to grow? Create the ideal target corresponding to your product or service to achieve your goals.
Then, you’ll have to get your hands dirty (well, in most cases). First of all, you can create your own prospecting file, and this is completely free. You open your Excel file, Google Sheet (or another spreadsheet if you prefer) and you’ll type in the information you need.
But that’s not all, you can also totally use free directories to start putting in information about your potential prospects. On directories, prospecting is easy, you do a search on one and the software will automatically capture all the listings ✔️.
The BtoB prospecting database
As we told you a little earlier in this article, there are several methods in order to set up your prospecting database. And from now on, we are going to present you the BtoB prospecting file and how to make one both using free software but also paid ones 🤓.
Making qualified prospecting
Let’s not forget that you’re going to need a list of qualified prospects for your B2b sales. But in the end, what does “qualified leads” mean?
First of all, when we talk about qualified leads, they have to match your ideal customer profile, your persona.
The prospect itself is a potential customer who, thanks to the setting up of your persona, meets your criteria of “perfect customer”.
A perfect customer is defined as one who has successfully met criteria such as:
- The budget 💰.
- His need (and you meet it by offering him your product or service).
- His buying power.
- Decision-making authority.
In order to help you qualify your prospects, you should know that there are methods for qualifying and converting prospects. Those are powerful sales tools.
The CHAMP method
This acronym refers to CHallenges, Authority, Money and Priority.
As its name suggests, CHAMP is a B2b sales method that puts challenges (characterized by the friction points that your future client will encounter) first. Your product or service must therefore respond effectively to its “challenge”.
Regarding authority, it is about knowing if this person is able to say “yes” to your product or service or if there are other decision makers.
In terms of money 💸 it is about how much you are willing to receive when buying your solution.
Finally the priority is directly about the start of the implementation of your solution for the prospect.
The BANT method
This method is very classic 👓 in BtoB lead qualification. Its acronym stands for:
- Budget: What is the budget your prospect has?
- Authority : What is his role in the decision making (is there someone else influential in the company, who’s the decision-maker?)?
- Need: Does your product or service meet the prospect’s need?
- Timing: What is the prospect’s timeline for buying the product or service?
In the BANT method, the budget is given a special place. Indeed, it is a factor in the final purchase decision.
It is recognized that it is difficult to do business prospecting by asking directly about the budget. However, with indirect means, it can be done. Ask your prospect indirect questions such as, “What solutions have you implemented before and what were your costs?”
The BANT method, even though it was primarily used in the 1960s, continues to be a business strategy tool. With the digital evolution, of course, it will also need to innovate and evolve to match your own strategy.
The main drawback ❌ is certainly that it proves to be too direct when you are prospecting since you talk about the budget in the first place.
The SPIN method
This method was established in the 1970s by Neil Rackham. It is based on the fact that understanding the needs of the lead is essential for a sale. The principle is that the customer needs to be listened to 💖. It is opposed to some traditional marketing techniques, which are sometimes aggressive when prospecting. In the SPIN method, there are 4 main attractions:
- Situation: you need to know what the prospect’s situation is so you can contextualize it and get accurate information. You rely on facts, figures and statistics to give you an overview.
- Problem: you invite your prospect to communicate his problem, his need. You need to get to understand their pain points 😢.
- Implication: in relation to the previous step, your prospect will become aware of the consequences of his untreated pain point.
- Need-Payoff: this corresponds to the prospect’s need to be met.
This method is always used because it highlights the explicit needs of your prospects.
BtoB databases to use
You can use the INSEE database: the SIRENE database. This service compiles companies and their information in a small file of 28 million establishments (enough to find your happiness 🤗 and incidentally to establish you a nice database).
To be able to use this one, you just have to go to data.gouv and download what you need.
You don’t want to use the SIRENE database? No problem, you can also use the LinkedIn database. How do you do it? You type in a particular company or position and enter the information you need.
The BtoC prospecting database
Here it gets more complicated. Often when you type in your search bar, BtoC database, you will be offered to buy or rent a database. Is this a good idea 💡 ? Not sure and we’ll explain why.
There are companies that specialize in database management and will try to sell them to you. It’s true that you’ll have access to ready-made data, but will this data match your targets? Some of them will match your persona but you will not have fully exploitable qualified data.
As explained above, the first thing you need to do is create your persona so that when you start your targeting, you can convert at your best 🤑. If you have a non-qualitative data, not sure you can convert well. You can do customer file buying but we advise you to really customize yours.
So how do you do it? Create your own small file of prospects and start with your network. You can use the people you have already been in contact with before. Don’t leave out any details:
- Last name.
- First name.
- Phone number ☎️.
- E-mail address.
- The exchanges you had with these people…
If you have a website and form completion, use it to retrieve data.
LinkedIn can also be used at this time and you will have the opportunity to contact your prospects through messages (if you are in relationship with them) or if they are part of the same group as you.
Update your prospecting database
Obviously, as you prospect, your prospecting database is bound to change. It changes because some companies will close, others may change their sector of activity or simply no longer interest you. It is therefore necessary to clean and update your customer file.
Moreover, you can also add fields if during the course of your strategy, new information becomes important to you.
You can also try to do A/B testing. On two prospect files, you can very well do test mailings of a certain type with your first file and send other emails to your second list. You’ll also get insight into what converts 🤑 best in your campaigns. With A/B testing, it’s all about optimizing your marketing strategies.
Why set up a prospecting database?
The prospecting database is an integral part of your marketing strategy. And of course, you’re going to need to set up goals to achieve such as:
- Average sales.
- Actual customer acquisition.
To know these KPIs, you will need to know how many prospects have become customers. Are you starting to see where I’m going with this? Yes, so you will need a good customer database. You will know exactly how many prospects you have approached and subsequently how many of them have become customers.
This is one of the main tools you won’t be able to do without ☝️. No customer database, no customers, no customers, no business – simple as that.
Setting up that prospecting database is an integral part of the sales funnel. Not all of your prospects will convert and as the funnel progresses, this list will inevitably shrink. So do it right and do it for the sake of your business.
Setting this up will also allow you to learn more about your customers, and understanding them will give you the advantage of being able to satisfy them 😃.
If you want to reach-out 1000 leads, you should know that it is quite possible to do it in a very simple way on LinkedIn thanks to Waalaxy. Here’s one of the tactics.Discover Waalaxy 🪐
Let’s take it step by step:
- Log into your LinkedIn account and open the Waalaxy app.
- Do your LinkedIn search. Here, I chose to target 🎯 all CEOs.
- Let the import magic happen.
- Create your prospecting campaign/ choose the sequence that works for you.
- Write and personalize the message to your prospect.
- Start your campaign.
- Don’t touch anything else.
The tool will take care of sending your messages as you go along without you having to do anything. You can then concentrate on other more important tasks.
With Waalaxy, starting from scratch, you can start building your prospect list having developed all the prospect characteristics you need. And moreover, with its dashboard, you’ll have an overview of your actions.
If you want to prospect people you already have a relationship with 💑🏽, it’s the same thing, you can very well start an email campaign 📧 too. You just have to choose the sequence that you want the most or the one that fits your needs.
You can very well also opt for prospecting on multi-channel for your marketing campaigns.
Faq of the article prospecting database
In this article, you have seen how to create a database of BtoB and BtoC prospects and why to update it. All this starting from scratch. The data collected will serve you to propel 🚀 your business in order to get new leads.
Our tips for setting up your lead file
Remember, when you start out, it’s important to create your persona. Think about your segmentation criteria. Your typical customer is the most likely to buy your products. It’s not to repeat ourselves, but the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is measured by the relevance of its targeting 🎯.
As a marketer, you should create your own customer file. You can buy or rent it, but we stick to the fact that building a customer file yourself will be more beneficial for your business, product or service.
You can adjust this database as you go along. You will be able to remove information that is obsolete or to add information if it adds value to the qualification of your prospects.
The BtoB prospecting database
There are many ways to collect data in B2B companies, especially with the government website through the SIRENE database. The information you will need for the ABC of your prospect file are the following:
- The telephone numbers.
- The sector of activity of the company.
- The emails 📧.
- The decision makers in the company.
- The name of the company.
- Its turnover.
- Its naf code…
You can add others depending on the information you need. Remember that you can modify this list at any time to optimize the qualification of your data.
The BtoC customer file
The B2C customer file will perhaps take a little longer to set up (even if there are lists already all prepared and ready to be rented) because you will have to collect targeted data and subsequently qualify 💎 the data.
Using rental files, even if some of them have segmentation criteria, will not be viable in the long term.
Those that should appear in your prospecting files?
- First and last names.
- Postal addresses (if you can get them).
- Phone numbers.
- Their email address.
- Family status…
Again, free to bring the information you need so you can maximize 💰 your prospecting.
Building your customer records will take you time and won’t be optimized if you don’t have the right tools. Don’t forget your target demographics 🎯 so you can have better conversion rates.
In order for you to understand the stakes of a prospecting database, let us recap from A to Z :
- Define your persona (to have a solid customer base, you must go through this step).
- Create your prospecting file (you can find it on government sites) whether it is BtoB or BtoC.
- Use an automation software (like Waalaxy).
- Qualify your different prospects.
- Update the information on your prospects (enrich the information, or on the contrary, remove the ones you no longer use).
- Last but not least, do not rent files.
You can use very simple tools such as Excel (do you have memories of direct mail too?) or you can use beefier tools such as Waalaxy, a software that will help you in your marketing automation, to best help you prospect.
In each case, don’t forget that it is thanks to this that you will be able to calculate your return on investment (ROI) and know if you have reached your objectives or not.
So now you know everything about the prospecting database. Get your business off the ground 🚀.