Presentation of a prospecting database
As the experts state “A prospecting database is a fleshed-out list of leads that have not become customers. These repositories usually contain segmentation details such as company size, turnover, contact job function, and business sector, and are vital for several reasons, including saving you time and improving your marketing targeting. This is why you shouldn’t take shortcuts when building and maintaining them.” OK! So basically it is like a regular database? Yeah, that can be said, but we use it for prospecting. As you know, prospecting is the first step and somehow the most important part of any business sales process! As we mentioned before, in the prospecting techniques for sales (backlink) “sales prospecting is the first step in the sales cycle. It is the process of identifying and communicating with suitable prospects using different techniques. It is an outbound activity that is to be done one on one.” Prospecting is where you try to find suitable potential customers to generate a specific number of leads in a specific time. For that, we need tools, information, strategies, techniques, plan, etc. and prospecting database is one of them.
In this article, we will talk about how to set up a prospecting file, how to use it in B2B and B2C marketing and why should you even consider using it. I am going to introduce some tips, and techniques that you might find very useful, right now or in the future, who knows?
Prospecting databases are so important that there are several different companies out there that marketers can use to supplement their CRM and always update and manage it. It can be said that LinkedIn is the top one in this field. This business-oriented social network, which is full of professionals in various fields, with more than 870 million users, is currently considered the world’s largest prospecting database. Not only one-third of B2B marketing traffic flows in this social network, but according to statistics, more than 50% of B2C buyers are also active in it. For this reason, I always advise marketers to increase their connections on LinkedIn and make people notice them and their brand by publishing valuable content and to be careful about what they publish on their company page.
However, setting up a prospecting database using LinkedIn is both difficult (if not impossible) and very time-consuming! Therefore, it is better to get the information needed to complete the CRM from the larger prospecting databases that sometimes hold the information of more than 200 to 300 million people. CUFinder is one of the most reliable examples of these databases. At a very reasonable cost, it can provide you with most of the information you need to build a personal prospecting database and refine your CRM while you are prospecting. Everything can be done more efficiently and quickly this way.
In the prospecting technique article, we said that the first step that should be taken before picking up the phone or writing an email is to create an ideal prospect profile. This not only saves salespeople time but also prevents any misunderstandings. Well, when you have this profile that contains a lot of details of the customer that you think is most beneficial to your business, it becomes much easier to build a prospect database, whether using LinkedIn itself or intermediary websites.
As bog.walaxy states “A digital prospecting database, AKA 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/her age, his/her gender, address, phone number, the name of the company where they work, their position, etc. Which means the information is oriented towards a B2C target. Implementing a prospecting database is part of your sales process. At the same time, a B2B prospecting database can include the name of the company, the company’s turnover, its sector of activity and industry, financial information, and the potential contacts present in the company.”
So as you see, a prospecting database is in fact a gigantic information vault that keeps so many information categories like contact information, industry, activities, etc. for the sales team to be able to do prospecting faster and more effectively. But how are we to set up a prospecting database in the best way possible?
How to set up a prospecting file?
Prospecting can be exhausting because you have to consider so many things at once. You need to create, manage and promote your profile, choose an effective distribution channel, determine a sales strategy, and finally set up your prospecting file. Here, we are going to describe how to set up your prospecting file so that it becomes easier for you to create and manage a prospecting database. This file greatly facilitates sales and removes many obstacles that may stand in the way of sales. Hey, how should we have one now?
There is no secret to acquiring new, profitable, and loyal customers. You just need a good prospecting plan that works! Most experts mention five steps to set up a prospecting file, and I’m going to describe them all here.
It might not seem like much, and you might think “Well, that’s obvious.” But believe me, many people skip this step. This makes them not know what or where they are going to reach. For example, if I want to set a goal for an ad, I say: “I have to reach a certain number of users for this ad during this period. (Acquisition objectives). For site X we must have to have traffic of 100,000 users per month (traffic goals). For the first quarter of 2023, the sales of a certain product must reach a certain amount, etc.” By doing this, the sales path can avoid deviation, because you get to know the problems, concerns, and intentions of your targets in this way, and the sales team can start providing solutions for these problems.
It is essential to have a target. for example, if our target is 12 to 17-year-old boys and girls who live in London and are Jewish, but at the same time we do not exclude the possibility of having a 25-year-old man from Lyon, France as our customers. other people who are not our targets may always be interested in our product or service. But most sales efforts should be focused on the same target population. For this, you need a persona maker, and luckily there are cool tools on the internet to create the perfect persona, such as Hubspot (make my persona), Userforge, Xtensio, Uxpressia, etc. You can use any of these programs you want, but the information you want to have in Persona is as below:
- First name and last name.
- His/her age.
- His/her place of residence
- His/her gender
- His/her marital status
- His/her title and performance in the company
- His/her needs
- His/her problems faced (what is in your field of work)
- How can you help in solving this problem?
- Why should he/she choose you?
Another thing to consider is the segmentation of goals. For example, the taste, problems, concerns, and worries of a financial manager are not the same as a marketing manager. Therefore, when you put them in two separate categories, the sales team can persuade each to buy the same product with specific marketing tricks. You can sort them by age, gender, profession, income, job status, activity, lifestyle, and hundreds of other criteria.
Choose your prospecting and distribution channel
Well, now that you have identified your targets, you need to determine which platform you are going to communicate on. What are you going to use for your prospecting plan, for example, what kind of content are you going to repost on your company page? How does this content on LinkedIn or Google Ads help you and your team and how much budget do you have for this? There are always free tools like social networks, but maybe you prefer to work with tools like Google Ads and Pay-per-Click advertisements. The platform you choose depends on you and your business features.
Think about your prospecting campaigns
Now that you’ve identified both your target and your platform, it’s time to think about your prospecting campaign. What message are you going to send to prospects, what is the best date to send it, what is going to happen, who is responsible for this, etc. At this stage, you will only prepare a document containing the answers to these questions. Having a written document is always better than not having one, especially when everyone is too busy to think straight.
Measure your KPIs and set up a follow-up of your actions
I know, I know, it is so hard to work with data and so many of you hate that, but still, you are to work with them to make sure that you are on the correct path. You need to analyze your campaigns to see if they work or if you are just wasting money, time, and resources. It also lets you make sure that you defined the correct goals or not. Analyze and measure your KPI and see if you could exceed your expectations, if you did, it is time to set new goals. Personally suggest having an eye on
- The amount of business
- The number of new customers
- The prospects who became customers
- The traffic to your site (if you have one)
- The level of influence
Convert and retain
Well, now that you’ve found your prospects, it’s time to make sure they become your real customers. It is better to be very careful with your sales funnel. We have reviewed the Prospecting Funnel thoroughly, you can check this article. Each customer may be in one of the stages of your sales funnel, that’s why you need to give each of them the right message at the right time. A prospecting funnel not only can convert visitors to customers, but you can also go further and make them advocate for your brand, especially for the product they bought from you. You can easily manage your campaigns with it. If it is created and implemented correctly, you will practically have an automatic marketing tool.
These are the 5 steps we use to create a prospecting file. Do you know other steps to be taken? Tell me in the comments below.
The B2B prospecting database
First, what is B2B?
Organizational marketing or B2B marketing is a set of steps that a company must follow when it plans to sell its product or service to another company or organization. The company’s activities on the Internet are very important in this style of marketing. But the truth is that corporate marketing has a long history and companies have always offered their products and services to other companies.
Long before the Internet was introduced, and even today, B2B business was conducted through private electronic data interchange or EDI channels, and these channels continue to operate today. Much of B2B business began through these channels, but the emerging electronic B2B interactions are becoming more and more dependent on the Internet.
B2B marketing is not necessarily more complicated than other marketing techniques. However, to be able to plan a successful strategy, you should pay attention to several things:
- Building relationships
- Technical interactions
- Intensive business negotiations
- Great attention to customer service
B2B marketing, like any other type of marketing, has its advantages and disadvantages, which I will discuss below.
- Easier delivery of product or service
In B2B marketing, you are not going to put your products in a window shop and you are not going to go through the trouble that B2C businesses take to present your products. To promote the product in this type of marketing, you can more easily introduce and present the product online. Since another business is interested in using your services and products as a customer, due to the relative familiarity of the business representative with your business and your products, you will probably get through most of the basic negotiation points faster.
- more profit
Businesses that go for B2B marketing end up either selling their products totally or their pricing is very profitable; therefore, you will get more profit in B2B businesses.
- more security
In B2C marketing, you may face the risk that you will have a good income this month, but not much income next month. But in B2B businesses, you will sign a contract with your customer, which will assure you that you will earn a certain amount of money during a certain period.
- You have to work harder to find prospects and convert them into real customers
In B2B marketing, you will generally have fewer customers compared to B2C marketing; because in B2C marketing, the whole society can be included in your customer category, but in B2B marketing, only certain businesses can be your customers. Of course, by finding one customer in B2B marketing, you might be able to make as much profit as dozens of customers in B2C marketing. But, you have to work harder to find a qualified and loyal customer at the end of the day.
Marketing without a strategy just wastes financial and human resources. Strategy is like a torch that illuminates the path for you to know which direction you should move according to the needs of your business.
For example, your brand may need to attract new customers, and your B2B marketing strategy may be the same for a while; or maybe you already have enough customers to cover your expenses and make a significant profit and design a marketing strategy for branding. The B2B marketing strategy should be designed based on the current situation and business needs, and the following steps will help you in this process:
1- Determining business goals and needs
2- Determining your persona and potential customers
3- Determining marketing channels and platforms
4- Strategy designing
5- Content producing and distribution
6- Checking the results and improving the processes
Keep in mind that if you decide to do B2B marketing, don’t forget to design an attractive and efficient website and optimize it for search engines like Google. It is also possible that depending on the type of business you have, in some strategies, activity in social networks will lead to greater success.
So, about that B2B prospecting database, I am not going to tell you how to set it up, we already talked about that. Instead, you need to know that since our prospects are other businesses in B2B marketing, we have two data types in our prospecting database. General data like contact information like email address, Phone number of the company, and the other category are the company’s employees’ data. The second category can also be used in B2C marketing, but the difference here is that we concentrate on the people with higher positions like the CEO and managers AKA the decision-makers in the B2B prospecting database. It also is vital to start your marketing in more formal channels like email in B2B marketing, I mean you are talking to hotshots here not the janitor, so the more formal the better results you can expect.
Of course, in so many cases the CEO or the managers may never respond to your initial email, that is when we try other ways like their social media accounts or sending SMS or message them on LinkedIn. There are some cases that they do not respond even then, that is when we need the contact information of employees with lower positions, to help us reach out to their managers. Another thing that makes the B2B prospecting database a bit more sensitive is the limitation you have for offering different services and products, for the customers’ interests and industries they work in defined. You cannot promote some healthcare services to people in the computer business. Another point is that the demographic features are not really that important in the B2B prospecting database. It doesn’t really matter if the prospects are male, female, old, young, have a diploma or a Ph.D., etc.
The B2C prospecting database
Just like the section above, let’s see what B2C is.
Consumer marketing, B2C marketing, or Business to Customer Marketing is a way of marketing where your business (now it can be a company, online store, shop, etc.) is on one side of the deal and the customer as a person is on the other side. You see, B2C marketing is always happening around you and you deal with it daily because most of the businesses t around us follow this type of marketing.
Maybe now you think that it is happening all around us in the market and maybe it is not that complicated. I mean, buying and selling have always been there, isn’t it? Yes, but let me tell you that there are many methods of selling the product, finding the target community, and converting prospects into actual customers to make people support a business and make purchases from them. If you use professional B2C marketing methods in your business, you can make great progress and this is where your difference from other stores becomes clear (people can smell professionalism). Your business doesn’t have to be large to use marketing methods, carrying out the principles of marketing methods even in small businesses leads to progress.
Many businesses focus on B2C marketing. Because they use different strategies to attract prospects. Let’s see why this marketing type is important:
- Running B2C campaigns increases website traffic.
- Using B2C campaigns increases the conversion rate.
- This type of marketing provides opportunities for closer interaction with customers.
- B2C marketing improves your website’s ranking in search results.
- Branding principles are more likely to succeed using B2C marketing.
Let’s take a look at this type’s prospecting database and then see what the difference between B2B and B2C marketing is.
So the B2C prospecting database is totally different from the other (if not the opposite). I mean on B2B, we are working with other companies so it is only natural if the data we are gathering be more general and fewer. We are having fewer customers but sell more amount of one product or service. At the same time, B2C marketing is much less limited, in terms of offering different products. As we mentioned you are to offer products and services to businesses that are related to what they do. That is not the case in B2C marketing, thankfully we are working with real people here. You can offer them various things, from a new kind of soap to a new catering service you just launched (the options are limitless).
The thing is that, unlike B2B, a B2C prospecting database we only have one data category, the customers’ information like their phone number, email address, job, etc. We do not focus on CEOs and managers in this database, everyone is equal and everyone is equally important here. The other thing is that in B2C business we can use informal ways to message the prospects first. since so many people may not be checking their email as much as they check their LinkedIn messages.
The other thing about the B2C prospecting databases is that demographic features are so important in them. It is vital to categorize your prospects based on their age, sex, education, etc. I mean it is stupid to offer a sports car seat cover to an 80-year-old woman. It simply does not work, so maybe it is better to eliminate this person from that database and move her to the seniors’ services category.
B2B and B2C marketing concentrate on logical process-oriented purchasing decisions and emotion-based purchasing decisions. Each of these marketing methods has specific strategies:
- Buying in B2C is faster, but due to the involvement of several people in the sales process in B2B, customers need to spend more time.
- Everyday language is used to communicate more effectively with customers in B2C marketing, but in B2B type, industrial and professional language is more common.
- B2B customers mostly search for technical and specialized solutions and their purchases are based on their logic. But in B2C marketing, customers buy more based on feelings. For example, they consider the price and beauty of the product rather than where and how they are going to use it and what problem it is going to solve.
- Contracts and transactions in the B2B model are long-term. But contracts in the B2C model are short-term.
- In B2B marketing, a group of people must be convinced to buy. But in the B2C type, only the same customer should be satisfied with his purchase.
- long and specialized texts should be used to convince customers in B2B business. But in the B2C type, short and general explanations are sufficient.
- Costs in B2B marketing are more than in B2C, and this is why customers in B2B need more complete explanations to make the right decision.
- To attract businesses in the B2B model, it is necessary to spend a lot of money and use more extensive advertising than in B2C.
Why set up a prospecting database?
It doesn’t matter if you are in B2B or B2C business and prefer inbound marketing or outbound type, prospecting is a challenging process in all of the marketing categories. That is why we are to use a lot of techniques and tools for that and a prospecting database is one of them. This database has so many advantages that make using it so profitable.
One of them is that it gives you a full view of the market, other benefits are retaining customer details. Let’s be honest here, you or anyone else cannot remember key personal and professional details about every customer they interact with, and time makes everything worse. A prospecting database would make everything much easier and more effective. I mean think that you meet or talk to a customer or prospect for the third time and you ask how their cousin is. They will then remember that they said she is at a hospital the last time they met you and think “this man really cares about his customers.” But the thing that happened was that you noted that her cousin is at the hospital in your prospecting database. That makes prospects trust you much easier. You can also note prospects and customer meeting times to prevent missing or being late (time management).
Another reason that companies may tend to invest in prospecting database is to improve their outcome. It is natural, you can manage times, prospect data, and finding the data you need in a short time can actually affect your outcome. You have a reliable source to make a perfect relationship with your customer. Another benefit is boosted customer service. Just as I said, it might be inefficient to try marketing on some prospects that your team has no information on. With a prospecting database, everything will be much easier fore your sales team, they have a reliable source that makes those hard prospects trust you. Also, it is so important for call centers, customer services, etc, to have a sales database to have strong relationships with the customers, who knows how many of them will turn loyal?
The prospect is the first step in the sales process, which acts as your road map and actually continues even after the purchase is made to make sure that the potential customer becomes a loyal customer and, in the best case, a strong advocate for your brand. But according to many salespeople, this is the most challenging stage of sales. For this reason, they use different tools for successful prospecting. One of the most vital tools is the prospecting database, which can help you and your sales team in many ways. Fortunately, this database can be used in different types of marketing, including business-to-business and business-to-customer, and in each case, it has differences such as data model, important data, usage method, etc.
What is a prospecting database?
A prospect database is an organized archive of your potential customers who are qualified based on various standards such as target industry, location, and other demographics.
What prospecting means?
Prospecting is the first step in the sales process, which contains identifying potential customers AKA prospects.
What is a prospecting tool?
A sales prospecting tool is a software platform that helps your sales team automate or simplify tasks associated with the lead qualification.
What are the best prospecting techniques?
Calling warm prospects