Brian Carrol provides a strong reminder in one of his latest posts:

On building the Lists for B2B Lead Generation Programs

He confirms what we have seen in hundreds of customers.

1.  Pay attention to the leads and lists you have already invested marketing money to create and cull.  There is a lot of energy in that database and it is one of the greatest underutilized assets in sales and marketing.


2.  Bring the right people into a list building effort that will help you truly create actionable leads.

The Current Sales and Marketing Database – The “Lead Swamp”tm

Nearly every company we talk to has some sort of sales and marketing database.  We have seen them with as little as 5,000 contacts to well over 1 million.

While talking with hundreds of companies about how much their database has been leveraged, we consistently confirm that less than 10% of the database contacts have ever had a phone call or meeting with a company sales person.  Marketing professes to have “touched” more than half.  Contacts are in there because they appear to fit the company’s ideal profile of a customer and someone proactively researched or telemarketed the company to find the right people or the contacts themselves have given their name in exchange for content, gifts, or a desire to know more about the company.

With such a small portion reached, and yet there are good reasons why they are there, you can see why we call it the “Lead Swamp”.  John Gantz, the Chief Research Officer at IDG Group, first described this with us as he explained the tactics his teams used to take to find the oozing potential from such an enourmous list.

The first thing we do with our customers is to help their salespeople leverage the “Lead Swamp” and tap into its potential.  Using WarpSales, they are able to have live, qualifying conversations with more than 40-50% of the database within 4-6 months.  They do this with their existing sales teams, not supplmental resources.

Building New Lists

Brian drives another good point.  Plan ahead and bring in the best resources possible to clearly define what the ideal list should contain, and have a resource(s) that can incorporate the data along with the other company lists in your CRM, Newsletter, Sales and Marketing, Accounting and other company databases.

We will also share more insight we have on third party lists, which you must choose carefully, since we rarely see sales successes coming from them.