Whether your endeavor is focused on business-to-business or business-to-consumer marketing, lead generation tools are a key part of the sales and business development cycle. Lead generation tools are helpful in that they allow you to search for businesses based on the criteria you enter into their system. There are always companies wanting to buy your products or services; you just have to know where to find them.
The two most popular services are Hoovers (a Dun & Bradstreet company) and Salesgenie (operated by Infogroup), both of which require an annual subscription. They are similar in price; both perform the same basic functions and each has a huge database of companies throughout the USA.
Another tool I’ve found to be very helpful is LinkedIn.com. Although LinkedIn is not a lead generation tool per se, it does provide the ability to look up companies and contacts within a particular business. We keep our company profile current, as an easy — and inexpensive — business-to-business networking tool: information current: http://www.linkedin.
A big advantage with LinkedIn is the accuracy of the self-service information it provides. On LinkedIn, users and companies update their own information (company they work for, job title, job description etc.) as opposed to the services that need staff regularly update: calling into ABC company and asking who works there, what they do and so on. The accuracy of the information on LinkedIn ultimately cuts down on research time, because you know what the specific contact does and you don’t waste time speaking with a non-decision maker.
I have used both Hoovers and Salesgenie our work here at Imaginuity Interactive. From a paid subscription service perspective, Hoovers wins hands down.
NEXT BLOG: The pros and cons of Hoovers vs. Salesgenie, and which subscription service may be right for your business.