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Using a Database to Source Potential Customers

    Searching databases for new sales leads is better suited for business-to-business (B2B). The benefit of searching a database to identify and pursue potential customers is that you’re not putting word out there about your company and just waiting. You know exactly who you’re going after and who you have to talk to in order to win accounts, even if cold calling sucks.

    But at least cold calling gives you the advantage of building rapport with your potential customer, which opens up the pathway for a future deal or you learn what similar customers you’re targeting are truly looking for which you can use to tweak your sales pitch and offerings to other potential customers.

    Since cold calling potential customers is a numbers game and therefore is a long and arduous process, the one thing you don’t want to waste time on is going through pages and pages of google search results to look for potential customers; not to mention, the hard part is knowing the keywords to search on google in the first place. This is when leveraging a database can save you time and more importantly, help you find customers that have more likelihood of saying yes to your sales pitch.

    What you need to know:

    1. Which database should you go with and how much does it cost?
    2. How do you use the database to identify your potential customers?
    3. You have a list of contacts – now what? How do you cold call and convert leads into customers?

    Let’s explore each question.

    1. Which database is right for you and how much does it cost?

    Make sure that the database you subscribe to specializes in your industry. I talked to a few database customer representatives while assessing which database suited my line of work, and unfortunately, what they advertise is not 100% accurate.

    Look at the cost for each database listed below and choose the one that fits your budget.

    Next, call or live chat the database and ask which industries they specialize in. Describe the industry and type of customer you’re looking for and find out how many leads they have in their database that match that profile.

    Below is a list of all the reputable and sizeable databases to consider for your business and how much each costs:

      • Boasts 40 million contacts across 10 countries
      • $1,800/year per user
      • Specializes in “all” industries
      • Focus on IT sector
      • $20,000 per year + additional user license for $1,500
      • In depth information about the target leads
      • Acquired another database, Rainking, so increasing data size
      • Has 250+ “researches” that call and confirm and update the contact details in their database every 60 days
      • Clearly lays out the industries they specialize in, which are: IT, Software, Advertising, Merchant Services, Commercial Cleaning, Education and Training, Research and Consulting, Hospitality, Logistics, Healthcare, Financial Services, Manufacturing & Distribution
      • Provides additional software add-ons to convert leads into customers and to maintain relationships with customers
      • Reviews are very polarized – on Yelp, on Trustlink
      • ~$15,000 for 3 months
      • 40 million leads across 300 sectors
      • Starting at $9/lead
      • Mostly public company data, limited private company data
      • Screening allows you to search for a variety of mix and match criteria
      • Used mainly by Finance professionals but is not limited to Finance folks
      • ~$24,000 + ~$5,000/additional user
      • Backed by the largest commercial database, Dun & Bradstreet, has over 100 million contacts in 1,000+ industries
      • Subscription includes access to private company information
      • ~1.20/lead
      • 20 million business contacts in “just about every industry”
      • Markets themselves as the affordable alternative to Hoovers
      • Pricing ranges from $49/month for 200 – $129/month for 2500 (or enterprise level), which is $0.25 – $0.05/lead, respectively
      • Global contacts in various industries
      • [Waiting for pricing info]
      • Sourced from US & Canada yellowpages and other repositories (doesn’t seem to have contact person info; just businesses)
      • Starting at $99/month
      • Specializes in email list (not phone numbers)
      • Ranges from $0.25/lead to $0.05/lead based on package size or you can get the total list by industry – pricing varies depending on size of data by industry
      • Boasts “unmatched accuracy” of emails
      • Markets themselves as the affordable alternative to
      • Starting at $999/month
    • Linkedin Sales Navigator
      • $800/year/user
      • $100/month/user for 100 contacts
      • 91 million contacts worldwide
      • ~$2,000 for 1,000 contacts; i.e. $2/lead (which it sounds like you can negotiate down the price of)
      • 32 million contacts worldwide
      • $99/month/user

    2. How to use the database to turn leads into customers

    The first thing to do after you sign up for a database is to look on the website for a guided tour/video of how to use it. If you can’t locate it, call their customer representative and ask to walk you through how to use it.

    That’s the easy part.

    You don’t want to spend all your time prospecting leads. You should know exactly the profile of your target customers. Your customer profile should include the following characteristics:

    • Industry
    • Service/Product offering
    • Size, i.e. average revenue
    • Geography
    • Online or offline
    • How your product or service fits with their needs

    Example 1) Steel OEM manufacturing company that revenues $10 million/year on the West Coast of North America that would need specialty paint from my company.

    Example 2) A company of realtors that specialize in first time home buyers in downtown San Diego that make a total pooled revenue of $3 million/year that need an online CRM tool that my company offers.

    Once you have the customer profile, use this to screen for your leads.

    3. How to convert your leads into customers (How to cold call)

    Once you have your prospects’ contact details, begin cold calling. Remember that it’s okay to sound like an idiot. You only get better by trying over and over again. Know that going in you’ll have a lot of No’s before you hear a Yes, but the ones that separate the successful entrepreneurs from the rest are that they keep trying and don’t stop until they see their vision come to life.

    So, I’ve curated the following posts that are punchy and to the point but have substance that can teach you a thing or two about crafting the sales pitch and how to cold call effectively:


    If you need to read more, then by all means, search for them yourself. But I’d suggest at this point, enough reading and preparing, start calling!


    1. Find the database that fits within your budget and one that has a sizeable database of contacts in your industry. Do a free trial.
    2. Profile your customer and identify the prospective leads and their contact details from the database.
    3. Craft the sales pitch and have an online or physical information pack that you can provide them.
    4. Cold call or email. Schedule to meet in person.
    5. Track them and follow up.

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