Outbound Strategy
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Build Your Own B2B Lead List: A Must-Have Sales Strategy

Discover the power of building your own B2B lead list. Take control of your marketing strategy and target your ideal clients. Find out more on our blog!
Kevin Warner
Founder & CEO
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B2B Lead Lists: Why You Should Build Your Own

Are you tired of wasting time and money on purchased B2B lead lists that never seem to deliver on their promises? It's time to take matters into your own hands and build your own lead lists. In this blog, we will dive deep into understanding B2B lead lists and their importance in targeted outreach. We will also explore the key differences between purchased and self-built lead lists, highlighting why building your own is more beneficial in the long run. You'll learn about the essential components of a B2B lead list and get a step-by-step guide on how to build one. Get ready to supercharge your marketing efforts with a self-built B2B lead list that delivers real results!

Understanding B2B Lead Lists

A high-quality B2B lead list serves as a valuable resource for sales outreach, comprising potential customers who match your ideal customer profiles. This list includes essential data points:

  • Industry
  • Company names and sizes
  • Location
  • Key decision-makers
  • Contact information like emails and phone numbers.

While these details are important and mandatory, a good-quality lead list goes beyond these basics, providing more comprehensive details about each prospect.

Make sure your lead list also includes the following details:

  • Job titles and roles - This information lets you know if you are speaking with a decision-making authority so you can engage and communicate with them effectively
  • Demographics and firmographics - Demographics data includes age, gender, and location, while firmographic data refers to company size, annual revenue, and industry. These details help you prioritize leads according to how aligned they are with your target market.
  • Lead source - This is the channel where you obtained the lead. Recording a lead's source enables you to evaluate your lead generation. Are you generating leads from the right sources? If not, what is preventing you from doing so?
  • Lead score - Assign a score or rating to each lead based on their potential value and likelihood of conversion. An efficient lead scoring system lets you concentrate your efforts on leads that have the greatest potential for sales success.
  • Interaction history - Maintain a log of every interaction or engagement you have with your leads, including emails, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and any other relevant points of contact. This history gives you valuable context for future conversations and makes it simple to personalize your interactions.
  • Notes and comments - Leave space on your sales lead list for notes and comments to serve as references for future interactions. This may include particular interests, challenges, or any other details obtained through discussions or research.
  • Segmentation tags or categories - Consider a tagging or categorization system for your lead list by grouping leads based on specific criteria. Segmenting leads lets you effortlessly conduct marketing campaigns and create customized messaging.
  • Opt-out or unsubscribe option - Ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Consider an opt-out or unsubscribe option for leads who do not wish to receive communications from you. By respecting their preferences, you can build trust while preventing any potential legal complications. This approach benefits both the salesperson and the prospect.

Drawing the Line: Purchased vs. Self-Built Lead Lists

Simply said, building your own lead list gives you greater control over lead quality and customization according to specific criteria. It's more cost-effective in the long run, helping ensure no resources are wasted on irrelevant leads. Moreover, self-built lists establish trust, maintain data privacy and compliance, and keep you aligned with your target audience.

This past decade, buying lead lists has soared in popularity. However, there are major drawbacks:

1. Poorly qualified or unqualified leads: When purchasing lead lists, it is common to work with leads that are not properly vetted or do not meet your specific criteria. As a result, you will have to invest considerable time manually reviewing these lists.

2. Outdated information: Many tools and providers who sell lead lists fail to consistently update them. This means that the information you receive may no longer be accurate or relevant, reducing the effectiveness of your outreach efforts.

3. Unverified email addresses: Email addresses included in purchased lead lists may not be verified. Consequently, when sending emails, there is a risk that they may end up in catch-all inboxes or fail to reach the intended recipients. This can greatly dampen your deliverability rates.

4. Potential legal issues: Depending on the country you operate in, contacting individuals whose email addresses were obtained from scraped lead lists could potentially violate laws such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). It is crucial to ensure compliance with relevant regulations to avoid legal consequences.

Considering these factors, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether buying lead lists is the right approach for your business.

Why Is Building Your Own Lead List More Beneficial?

One of the key advantages of building your own list is the ability to customize and target specific industries or demographics. By building your own list, you can ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date contact information for your target audience. Having full control over the quality of leads allows you to align your list with your ideal customer profile.

Additionally, self-built lead lists offer a higher level of exclusivity, as you are not sharing the same leads with competitors who may have purchased a similar list. Building your own lead list also enables ongoing nurturing and relationship-building, leading to more successful conversions and long-term customer relationships.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own B2B Lead List

The first step in building your own B2B lead list is to understand your target audience and define your ideal customer profile. Once you have defined your ideal customer, utilize online research and industry directories to identify potential leads. You can also use social media platforms and professional networking sites to connect with potential leads. Gather contact information through email outreach, phone calls, and networking events. Segment and organize your leads based on criteria such as industry, company size, and location. Lastly, regularly update and maintain your lead list to ensure accuracy and relevance.

Identify ICP and Buyer Personas

The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) provides a clear understanding of the best-fit clients for your business, while buyer personas will enhance your sales team's understanding of the ICP. By working together, these two components outline the essential characteristics of ideal prospects. The first step to determining your ICP is to look at your historical data. Grind down your lead qualification criteria by looking at which customers spent the most, have the most retention, and converted the fastest.

What is their common denominator? Factors such as industry, company size, location, and purchasing power should be considered, as well as purchase drivers and behavioral patterns. Building your own lead list gives you control over lead quality, so research and understand your target audience to tailor your messaging to their specific needs.

Utilize Existing Contacts

Do you have contacts right now who already fit in your lead list? It is a best practice to utilize existing contacts in building a B2B lead list. It saves time and resources by tapping into established business relationships, letting you target potential leads more effectively and access their networks to expand your reach. Never underestimate how valuable referrals from existing contacts can be!

Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research helps you identify target industries, companies, and decision-makers for your list. By researching market trends and competitors, you gain insights into potential customers' needs and pain points. Surveys and interviews with potential customers provide valuable data. Analyzing market data and industry reports reveals opportunities and gaps. Regularly updating and refining your market research ensures a relevant and effective B2B lead list.

Implement Lead Generation Tools

Implementing lead generation tools can automate the process of finding and collecting potential leads, saving you considerable time and effort. These tools help identify and gather contact information of potential clients in your target market, streamlining the lead generation process. With better organization and management of your B2B lead list, you can improve efficiency and ensure a steady flow of high-quality leads.

Leverage Sales Triggers and Intent Data

Sales triggers and intent data enable the identification of potential leads actively interested in products or services. By leveraging these, outreach efforts can be prioritized and focused on leads with higher conversion potential. This allows for tailored messaging and offers that resonate with each prospect's needs and interests. Building a B2B lead list using sales triggers and intent data provides more control over lead quality and relevance, while also offering valuable insights into target audience buying behavior and preferences.

So, what exactly are sales triggers? Sales triggers are events that indicate when a company may be ready to make a purchase. Various events can serve as sales triggers, such as:

  • Receiving new funding, indicating that the company now has an increased budget.
  • Appointing a new CEO, suggesting a potential change in direction for the company.
  • Hiring new employees, reflecting the company's confidence in its future growth prospects.

You can identify sales triggers by monitoring trade media specific to your industry or setting up Google Alerts. This method requires manual effort but can yield valuable insights.

Publish Compelling Content

In addition to B2B technology, there are alternative strategies to expand a B2B lead list such as creating and publishing high-quality content that aligns with your ICP. Compelling content plays a crucial role in engaging your target audience effectively. By tailoring your content to address their specific pain points and providing valuable solutions, you can capture their attention and keep them interested. Some popular forms of content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Webinars

Incorporating storytelling techniques makes your content more relatable and memorable. Additionally, you can provide this content in return for contact details like email addresses or phone numbers.

Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation

Optimizing your website for lead generation is crucial in increasing your chances of capturing valuable leads. Start by creating relevant and compelling content that appeals to your target audience. Strategically place lead capture forms on your website to collect visitor information. Implement call-to-action buttons and landing pages that encourage visitors to provide their contact details. Regularly analyze and optimize your website's performance for maximum lead generation effectiveness.

Network at Industry Events

Networking at industry events presents valuable opportunities to connect with potential leads in person. These events allow for face-to-face interactions and the chance to build relationships. Attendees often include decision-makers or influencers, making it a great way to gather contact information and qualify leads in real time. Building relationships at industry events can open doors to long-term partnerships and business opportunities.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Personal branding plays a huge role in sales. Encourage sales teams to interact with their potential customers on the platforms they frequently use. The greater amount of valuable content they share on these platforms, the more attention they will receive and the more potential customers they will attract. Also, building a B2B lead list through social media can be cost-effective compared to traditional methods, allowing companies to maximize their budget. Be sure to use social media analytics as these valuable insights can be used to optimize lead generation campaigns and generate a high-quality lead list.

Enrich Your Lead List Data

About a third of lead list data become obsolete after just a year. With bad data, reps end up wasting time calling people who have moved on from their previous roles, marketers panic because of massive bounce rates, and buyers end up giving their business to competitors because they do not know you. When building your own lead list, enrich it to make sure it is constantly up-to-date and as fresh as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are purchased email lists legal?

Purchasing an email list is not against the law; however, it may be considered illegal to use these lists for sending marketing messages to people who have not given explicit consent to receive such communication. The legality of this action is dependent on the local regulations in the jurisdiction where the email recipient lives.

When Should You Buy Leads?

Buying leads can be beneficial in certain situations, such as when you need to quickly expand your customer base or when you want to target a specific demographic or industry. It can save you time and effort in finding potential customers and allow you to focus on converting those leads into sales. However, it's important to note that the quality of purchased leads can vary, and not all leads may be relevant or interested in your products or services.

Take into consideration the cost-effectiveness of buying leads. If the cost per lead is reasonable and the potential return on investment is high, buying leads may be a viable option for your business. On the other hand, if the cost per lead is too high or if the quality of the leads is questionable, it may be more effective to invest in building your own lead list.


In conclusion, building your own B2B lead list offers distinct advantages over purchased lists. Customization and targeting ensure alignment with your ideal customer profile, increasing conversion chances and fostering long-term relationships. Exclusivity sets you apart from competitors, enabling ongoing nurturing. You gain control over lead quality and data accuracy, prioritizing high-value leads through efficient scoring systems.

Personalized interactions with prospects enhance engagements. The step-by-step guide provides a clear roadmap, from understanding your audience to leveraging sales triggers and intent data, creating compelling content, and enriching lead data. Embracing self-built lead lists empowers proactive, personalized, and compliant lead generation, propelling your business toward sustainable growth and success in the B2B landscape.

Simply said, building your own lead list gives you greater control over lead quality and customization according to specific criteria. It's more cost-effective in the long run, helping ensure no resources are wasted on irrelevant leads.

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