How to Build a Highly Targeted List of Prospects

Gary Wellington
March 9, 2017

Landing a B2B sale can be a long and difficult journey if you aren’t equipped with the right gear. Building a prospect list is one of the most valuable things you can do to streamline the sales process and make your life a whole lot easier.

So, how do you go about building a highly targeted prospect list?

It’s easier said than done, but with the tips below you’ll be able to put together a successful list of prospects in no time. All it takes is a little determination and elbow grease.

Let’s get started.

Identify Your Ideal Customers

The first thing you’re going to need to do is figure out who your dream customer really is. Aim high, but also remember to be realistic. We’d all like to work with the Dalai Lama, but let’s be honest—that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

The last thing you want to do is waste your time on the wrong kind of accounts. To avoid doing this, you should start considering the specific things you’re looking for in an account. This could include the company size, geographical location and industry.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of ideal customer traits, it’s time to decide what will make these companies a good fit. Think of this process like dating. What are your requirements for a long, happy relationship? 

A good fit can include anything from speaking the same language as you, to having a similar vision or the desire for a long-term relationship. You don’t want to be knee-deep in the relationship only to realize that something serious is getting in the way of success.

Get Going on Your Research

Now that you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in an account, it’s time to start actually building a prospect list. Armed with your list of make-it-or-break-it customer traits, it’s time to start researching for companies that match them.

Using a sales lead tool can provide you with a reliable place to start looking. Tools like LinkedIn can also give you valuable information about your customers. Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, but with a little faith and determination you can find the right fit.

When researching, identify the specific people that you should be reaching out to. Make note of the decision makers in these companies so you’re not stuck talking with someone who has no say in the sale. This will help you with the all-important communication step that’s coming up later. 

It’s All About Those Referrals

Take advantage of your existing network by asking them for referrals. People in your network that you’ve met at events or even online can be a valuable asset in referring you to new customers.

Share with them the things you’re looking for in a customer and let them know you’re open to their referrals. Remember—don’t settle for second best. Go out and get the customers that fit your business’ ideals. It’s always worth the trouble.

Start a Conversation

So, you’ve done your research, narrowed down your list of ideal customers and identified the key people to contact. What now? This is when you get to flex your sales muscles. The next step is to start a conversation with the decision makers. 

You need to be patient, because this part is going to take some serious trial and error. It’s important to get a feel for how certain people prefer to be contacted. Some may be more traditional and prefer a phone call, while others may want you to Tweet at them.

It all depends.

Going with the tried and true method of cold calling to start out is always a safe bet. When cold calling potential customers, your number one focus should be getting people onto your website.

This may not always happen the first or even second time, so don’t get discouraged.


We know that landing a B2B sale can be a headache sometimes. By building a prospect list that is well thought out and highly targeted, the whole process will run much smoother.

Keep in mind that it takes work to find the perfect customer match for you, but when you do the sale will be that much sweeter. What are you waiting for? Get to building that list already!

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