Much of B2B marketing takes place on a far more targeted scale than mass market consumer marketing. Rather than promoting your offer to millions of potential consumers you’re far more likely to be targeting a far smaller niche or potential business prospects.
These business prospects are companies who have the realistic potential to buy your products or services – not just a random collection of business names. Prospects are potential leads and customers who you can keep approaching over time, or prospecting, to provide a healthy supply of new custom for your business.
There are several proven methods you can use to help you create your b2b prospect database:
Field sales staff – If you have a field sales force out on the road, make sure they are trained in the importance of not just selling to leads or existing customers, but identifying potential new prospects as well. Your sales team could use down time between appointments to travel their area looking for potential new businesses on business parks, high streets and industrial estates.
Competitors – Take a look at who your competitors sell to, and see if these companies could potentially purchase form you as well (or instead). Many business websites show a client list you could work from.
Existing Customers – These can be a good source of referral and recommendation. Your contact in a larger organisation may be able to identify their opposite numbers in other departments or sites.
Enquiries – Make sure you track all of the enquiries which come into your office, no matter who receives them. Issue all staff with properly formatted message pads to make sure you collect all the details you need from enquiries, and set up ah efficient system of contacting and following up these valuable leads.
Trade Press – Read your trade press, or the publications your customers are likely to read, to find news of businesses on the up and changes in staff, which could turn into prospects for your business.
New & Changing Businesses – Identify and target new start-ups in your area, businesses that move premises or change in ownership, using a marketing service like www.selectabase.co.uk/startupsplus. All these events can stimulate purchasing and present a new opportunity for your business to become a supplier.
Because a prospect list is such an important tool for your business, you should invest time and effort in building the list. In fact creating your prospect list should become an everyday activity that’s contributed to by everyone in your business team.