5 Ideas for Prospect List Building

Back in the very early days of Hannon Hill we had six customers of which two were in higher education. Now, even though it wasn’t enough to be statistically significant, these two colleges loved the product and provided great feedback (usage is oxygen for a product). Sensing an opportunity in higher education, I bought a giant book from Barnes & Noble that reviewed every college and university in the United States (over 4,000 schools). We divided the book in half and started calling people involved with managing all the public facing .edu websites. Today, hundreds of colleges and universities use Hannon Hill to manage thousands of websites and millions of web pages.

Here are five ideas for prospect list building:

  1. Look for lists of fast-growing companies like the Inc. 5000 or the Deloitte Fast 500
  2. Research tradeshow attendees and exhibitors like Dreamforce or SaaStr Annual
  3. Implement an email finding tool like Email Hunter
  4. Use crowdsourcing tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to flesh out prospect fields
  5. With the lists, run prospecting campaigns on a sales acceleration platform like SalesLoft

Prospect list building is a critical part of the startup process. Just remember: nothing happens until something is sold.

What else? What are some more ideas for prospect list building?

2 thoughts on “5 Ideas for Prospect List Building

  1. How China and US works differently is very interesting , Chinese companies build a product and scale up very very fast internationally. I would like to add that insight to this blog for readers .Chinese use grey methods so if some of u think this is wrong approach , kindly excuse I am just adding a different view to help other entrepreneurs.
    Here in China there are following methods
    1)Alibaba paid membership
    2)Buy data for that product includes alibaba, tradeshow attendes et all for a very cheap price like say 500$ sold in QQ groups.
    3)There are also other websites here who offer paid memberships and constantly update all data for every buyer who buys similar product from China.
    How do they execute ?
    Army of fresh college female interns who everyday mass email all of these leads with emails like this
    Dear friend,
    Good morning. This is a lovely girl named Jean from XXXXXX Inc 🙂

    And guess what however silly it appears initially to most of us , it actually works , people respond just to talk with them thinking how silly let me have some fun but end up buying .China taught me so much just so so much on how to scale up .If you want a different way of doing things China offers plenty.Choose wisely though 🙂

  2. A brilliant post. Thanks for the priceless advice. We’re going to incorporate some of these methods into our sales process. ᐧ

    Best Regards, KP Co-founder & CEO, BICAD Winner of World Prezi Design Challenge

    On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 10:06 PM, David Cummings on Startups wrote:

    > David Cummings posted: “Back in the very early days of Hannon Hill we had > six customers of which two were in higher education. Now, even though it > wasn’t enough to be statistically significant, these two colleges loved the > product and provided great feedback (usage is oxygen for” >

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