Prospecting is all about having meaningful conversations with contacts who fit your ideal prospect profile.

It requires the effective use of cold emails, cold calls, and leveraging referrals. But all prospecting starts with one unique task…

List building.

It’s an area where the average salesperson has struggled forever. We’re here to make it easy. Below is a list of the 8 best list building sources on the internet

#1 – LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the single best source of sales leads on the internet. Due to its popularity, universal adoption, and self-updating nature, LinkedIn is the most accurate and up to date prospect database for finding leads.  Use the following methods to start building the best lists in LinkedIn:

Downside: you cannot export data or get contact information directly from LinkedIn.

#2 – Crunchbase

If you sell to technology companies (especially startups), then Crunchbase is your goldmine. It’s the number one source of a tech company and founder information on the web today. But how do you get the most of it? Here are a few ways to quickly get started:

Downside: Again there is no contact info (usually does provide a support or company-wide email address) and again you’ll be doing a lot of copy and paste to make your lists.

#3 – Awards Lists

Companies like to be recognized. It helps them for marketing and branding. You can use this to your advantage by finding the awards lists that contain your prospects. Here are a few examples:

Now you’ll obviously want to find the leads that mean the most for you but trust us, they’re out there!

#4 – Tradeshow Lists

Want to sell to medical device manufacturers? Then find the show or event where they go. Example: we sell to companies on AppExchange. What better list to pull than the salesforce.com Dreamforce sponsors list? If you have interns, have them copy and paste tradeshow leads into a spreadsheet or your CRM to get you kicked off. The best part is, you don’t even have to attend the event.

#5 – Competitor Client Lists

Another great way to generate lists is by leveraging the competition. Often, businesses will post their clients publicly or you’ll be able to find them with a little searching. In this case, you don’t have to identify the need, because these prospects have already implemented something similar to your service. Rather than attacking these prospects directly, you can also search look to sell to similar companies who have yet to use a similar service.

#6 – Builtwith

Builtwith.com helps you find companies that use a specific technology. Do you want to sell to Marketo users? There’s a list for that. Start by choosing the technology you’re interested in and Builtwith will return all the sites on the internet that use that technology. There is a range of filter options including traffic, location, company phone numbers and even some support or info@ email addresses.

#7 – SalesLoft

With SalesLoft, the timely prospecting process is streamlined to fit your busy schedule. The Prospector tool leverages LinkedIn and Google results to provide tailored lists of prospects at the click of a few buttons. And it automates a lot of the bottlenecks from #1 on this list.

You can search for prospects by geographic location, title, LinkedIn group, etc. You can easily export them into an Excel or Google spreadsheet taking the boring repetitive tasks out of prospecting and letting you focus on being creative.

#8 – Jigsaw & NetProspex

They’re crowdsourced databases with a decent level of accuracy. They’ll cost you a pretty penny and will be inaccurate often, but they are one of the fastest ways to get complete contact information for list generation purposes.

One more thing…

Many of these web locations will not include a phone number and email. We recommend grabbing the phone number from each company website and grabbing email using the Rapportive Email Guessing method.

Let us know your additions to this post. If they’re solid, we’ll add them in and mention you!