Gathering valuable information enables you to build targeted niche lists, track emerging companies in specific markets, and segment larger sectors or lists. After all, the best list is the one nobody else has.

Good list building affects all aspects of business, including the funnel and pipeline. Collecting the names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and social data, creates that holistic record. However, building a quality, accurate, and targeted list requires planning.

The latest RingLead ebook, List Building: How to Build the Best Lists EVER will discuss the steps necessary to build complete, clean lists that enable you to target and reach your audience better than ever before. Here are the insights from this ebook.

1. Establish A Methodology

The best way to build targeted lists that are holistic, clean and complete is to establish a list building methodology. List generation is an ongoing strategy because data is ever changing. Therefore, it’s not a one-time event.

2. Collaborate 

Get all of your key stakeholders together thinking about your list goals and process before you go out and start building it. Stakeholders include your team as well as other teams impacted by your list building efforts. Include those who have built successful lists before, such as your list vendor or high level salespeople, to weigh in and provide insight.

3. Standardize Your Data

Set the standard for how your data is organized in your lists. For example, will your contact’s title be organized as VP of Sales or VP, Sales? This may seems like the same title, but to a CRM, it’s two different formats, and therefore, two different titles.

4. Check Your Data

If you’re buying a list and half of those contacts are already in your CRM, you’re wasting your money on the list. This is considered a duplicate. A strong list vendor and/or integration with your CRM will help you find, merge and ensure a single, updated record. No longer are you paying for the same contact data twice.

5. Gather Only What You Need

Don’t buy more data than you need. For example, if you buy a list that can last you an entire year, but you’re only going to use it for a few months, then you are not only wasting money, but you’re guaranteeing that the data will sit and decay. Buy data as you need it.

6. Ensure Data Quality Over Quantity

Data quality outweighs any list size. If you have 100,000 emails, but only 10 percent are accurate, then the large size of your list doesn’t matter. Completeness and accuracy outweigh quantity. Completeness is what you seek.

7. Understand Your Audience

Before you can start building a list, you must know your target audience. Who do you sell to? Even more, knowing your target means understanding their biggest challenges. According to Debbie Madden, CEO of Stride, “Consider your target as a group of people who share specific needs and reference each other.”

8. Get Targeted

Today, the contact data available can be more targeted and specific than ever before. For example, if you’re looking for every single person that is certified in a specific software, and there are 500 of them, you want that list of 500. All 500 contacts not only gives you a complete list, but it enables you to map the entire market.

9. Determine Multiple Points Of Contact

If you pull lists of salespeople because that’s your prospect, don’t forget to include other important prospects such as that salesperson’s boss, bosses or colleagues. A two or three-prong sales outreach approach enables you to reach out to all of these prospects.

10. Obtain Real-time data

Today’s web research technology can index millions of websites across the Internet – including B2B social media, case studies, press releases, job postings and much more. The result is a fresh, accurate list of companies and contacts using specific B2B technology products. Request this from your list vendor.

11. Include Your CRM

Your list building strategy should also include your CRM from the start. These cannot be independent. As you are gathering and using the data, plan to push it into your system. Keep the two connected as much as possible.

12. Own Your Data

The list you build, you should keep. It must be your intellectual property. You should be able to keep your old results as well as highlight all new results. This way, you will find contact data as it emerges, and you can be the first to reach out and build a relationship.

The only way to do the best job is to first dream about the possibilities. In a perfect world, what lists would you have? If you want to segment your target list in an ideal way, where would you start? Start big and great lists will follow.