Lead Generation Databases – Should You Buy or Build Your Own?

One of the most common questions we get asked at Virtual Sales is “Can we buy a database, to then have you undertake a lead generation campaign? “Of course you can” – is the typical answer from VSL!

We then develop a conversation to determine the desired key contacts that the company wishes to target.

All data suppliers, without exception, supply pretty much the same data sets – they will all offer 90% plus guarantees about the quality of the basic company information – namely company name, address, and main telephone number. What they won’t guarantee, and in today’s economic climate we don’t blame them, is the contact details. The main reasons for this are that people are moving from company to company either due to redundancy, merger or for personal reasons such as a career move.

If your lead generation campaign is to target senior decision makers, such as the Managing Director or Finance Director, then usually this information is provided by our data provider. We can even target HR and IT Directors as these are commonly collected contacts provided.

database(Image: Christian Ditaputratama (CC License))

Once you go beyond the mainstream contacts as above you are then entering the need to develop your own database. As an example, if an IT company has a product or solution that is aimed at the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or Chief Risk Officer (CRO) then Virtual Sales would recommend a data mapping campaign. The data mapping campaign will use a sourced data list and agreed to your own criteria i.e. Finance, Government, Automotive, Police Forces and Manufacturing with employee size 500 and above and for the UK.

From the sourced data VSL will then use marketing intelligence to find the desired contacts, using sites such as LinkedIn, Jigsaw, and the internet. We then verify these contacts by calling the companies and speaking to the contacts, at the same time, we pitch our client’s offerings. This in effect is a ‘double whammy’ and gives our clients good quality leads, almost as a by-product of the data mapping campaign.

We collect all contact details for the person, including direct dial telephone numbers and email address. These can then be used for email marketing to keep a regular contact, providing the contact has opted in and is happy to receive information from the client.

Most companies then move to the second wave of telemarketing activity and we use the information gathered in the data mapping phase to; re-contact the companies, have an intelligent conversation with the prospect and to nurture the contact until he/she is ready to be handed over either as a qualified lead or as an appointment.

In summary, yes, you can buy a database “off the shelf” which is fine for most campaigns but, if your need is to sell to contacts that are not normally collected by the data providers then, you should consider a data mapping campaign in the first instance before you start on trying to generate leads.

The key benefit is that you will have a data base that is well worth the investment – provided that is, you then do something with it!


Here is a testimonial from one of our clients where we have done bespoke data mapping campaigns:-

“Finding good quality databases for the level of decision makers in the industries we target is just about impossible in the UK and Europe. We engaged Virtual Sales to conduct a telemarketing campaign to contact companies in our target sectors to identify the correct contacts and qualify their interest in our solution. The brief was about building a database not lead generation but we wanted contacts that had at least some idea of what we offered and qualified they were the correct contact. Virtual Sales were professional throughout, took the time to understand our offer and communicated this professionally – the campaign was a huge success with a high quality database of senior decision makers we can now target in the knowledge they not only exist but are aware of our product and interested in hearing more. I would not hesitate to recommend Virtual Sales.”

Martin Collinson, Sales Director – EMEA (Safari Books Online)


For more details about how we can help you to build your own database, or to see how we can generate a functioning sales pipeline contact the VSL experts and watch as your company’s growth explodes!

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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.

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