« | Main | »

Sources of Lists or Databases for Your Business-to-Business Lead Generation

Blog Post of the WeekList BlogsA big part of a business-to-business sales lead generation success is having a database or list of the right companies, and the right contacts at those companies, to target with your direct marketing.

Your in-house database of customers, sales rep additions and past inquiries is often your best source of new business sales leads.

However, business-to-business marketers often need additional companies and contacts to market to in order to get enough qualified leads into the sales pipeline.

The good news is that there are lots of business-to-business lists or databases available.

Some are categorized as “rental lists” which are generally “rented” for limited, usually one-time, use.

Rental lists are often appropriate for single touch direct marketing campaigns. Or for testing response from new markets, industries or niches.

A good place to start looking for these rental lists is NextMark, which lets you search more than 60,000 mailing lists, email lists, and telephone lists from hundreds of vendors.

However, for best results, I usually recommend that B2B marketers use ongoing, multi-touch campaigns aimed at well-targeted groups of prospective companies and contacts.

Fortunately there are a number of B2B database companies that allow you to buy a license for ongoing use of the company and contact information you select from their databases. This ongoing use is typically limited by the license to a single year. Some of these companies also provide access to their entire database for ongoing use, on an annual or monthly subscription basis.

Here’s a sampling of companies that offer licenses to their B2B databases for ongoing use:

  • Experian’s database includes 16 million U.S.A. businesses.
  • FirmaGraphix’s database includes approximately19 million U.S.A. business records and 26 million contact names.
  • GuideStar’s database of non-profits gives you access to 3.3 million contacts at more than 5,000 organizations.
  • Harris InfoSource’s Selectory Database includes 15 million businesses in the U.S.A. and Canada.
  • Harte Hanks CI database profiles up to 10 different technology areas at more than 650,000 North American locations, and includes more than 1.5 million technology decision makers and influencers at over 600,000 small to medium businesses and large enterprises throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe.
  • InfoUSA database includes more than14 million US businesses.
  • Jigsaw is an online directory of more than 7 million business contacts.
  • MeritDirect’s B2bBase includes over 60 million names compiled from more than 500 B2B and hi-tech lists.
  • Netprospex is a relatively new source of contacts (over 2,400,000 accurate business contacts across 350,000 companies) including difficult-to-find mid-management decision makers across North American businesses.
  • Scott’s Directories Canadian corporate database includes 162,000 companies as well as medical, government and association databases.
  • Zapdata gives you access to D&B’s business information on 14 million US companies.
  • ZoomInfo allows you to access profiles and contact information for more than 37 million people and 3.5 million companies.

As you can see, some of these databases cover virtually every business. Others focus on specific industries or niches.

Which of these or other B2B lists or databases have you used for lead generation?

Please share your comments about these or other marketing databases or lists you have used for B2B lead generation:

  • Which have you had the most success with, and why?
  • Which are best for reaching specific industries or job functions?
  • Which do you recommend against, and why?


After 20 years in this business, I’ve used almost every one of these lists. Each one has its good points and bad points. Jigsaw is cheap and instant! But you have to wade through alot of junk and you have to know exactly what you’re going after and then you may or may not get the right contact. So, I recommend asking yourself 2 important questions: 1. How much is MY time and expertise worth? 2. How long can I afford to wait to get my message to the right buyer? The answers to both of those questions led me the ReachForce. It is worth it to pay ReachForce to find precisely the right buyers for my products because I save money with a very targeted and accurate list. And, I don’t have to wait months for campaigns to kick in. Full disclosure – I blog for http://www.theb2blead.com which is sponsored by ReachForce. However, the reason I started blogging for them is that I am a passionate customer. After years of working with lists, it has been a real pleasure to transition to highly targeted turnkey services.


Pam, thanks for your comment about ReachForce.

The tactic of modeling your best customers and prospects, then using that model to select other companies and contacts from B2B databases is proven.

Based on a quick look at its Web site, ReachForce seems facilitate the whole process (modeling to selection) as a Software as a Service (SaaS) application, either by modeling your CRM database or by modeling visitors to your Web site or blog.

Pam, how does ReachForce price its services?

Has anyone else used ReachForce and care to comment about your experience doing so?


By the way, if you already have the name and business of a contact, and only need or want to double-check the email address, you can do so for free here:


Hope this helps.


Thanks for the info. Very informative. I’m going to check out those sites.

I recently discovered JigSaw and think it’s a great online application. The registration was free and they give you some free credits to test drive it. Its very good for finding the right contacts at the right companies (which makes all the difference in the world).

I haven’t been using it very long but so far seems pretty impressive.



If you like Jigsaw for direct marketing lists, check out Zoominfo and NetProspex.

In a nutshell, Zoominfo searches the Internet for company and contact information. NetProspex combines Jigsaw’s business card exchange idea and Zoominfo’s data found on the web, then it checks everything for accuracy and deliverability.




Have you heard of or experienced salesgenie.com?

I am checking them out, they apparently will give you a 100 free leads for registering. Can’t seem to get a price for their service. Once (if) I register I’m sure I’ll see the pricing and packages etc. they offer.

Any thoughts?



Salesgenie.com is really InfoUSA in a different wrapper. My understanding is that it gives you access to the entire InfoUSA for a flat monthly fee.

(Trivia: This is the service that advertised on the SuperBowl a couple of years in a row.)

– Mac


[…] sales guru Mac McIntosh explains in a blog post last year, “Your in-house database of customers, sales rep additions and past inquiries is often your best […]


I came across your blog Mac and find it interesting. Thanks for the good list of consolidated B2B databases too. I think everyone might agree that it’s not the quantity of the B2B leads in a database that matters, it’s the quality. The quality of a contact can usually be judged on these parameters:

1) Age since last update
2) Availability of an email address
3) Availability of a phone number
4) Presence of other information such as address and company

It’s also worth while to note there are generally two types of databases depending on the source; crowd-based solutions or vendor-based solutions. Vendor-based solutions are compiled and, more importantly, managed by list vendors whereas crowd-based solutions are compiled and managed by the general public. Take Jigsaw for example, users upload contact information and update it as needed. I believe crowd-based solutions are much more effective since millions of contact managers (general public) update the information vs only a single contact manager (list vendor). The benefit to end users of using crowd-based solutions is two-fold; frequently updated and accurate contact information.

When looking for contacts also consider your end goal. Are you trying to build a list as a marketer or find a single point of contact as a sales person?

Like Pam, I should give full disclosure. I work for Lead Liaison, http://www.leadliaison.com, and we use a rating system layered on top of crowd-sourced solutions to provide millions of high quality contacts for sales and marketers. Our contact search capability is similar to Netprospex but different in that we provide a comprehensive sales and marketing solution that combines sales prospecting with lead generation and marketing automation into one revenue generation SaaS offering.

Thanks for letting us post and I hope our information was insightful.


The Market Base database comprehensively covers your B2B sales lead generation needs, providing telemarketing and email leads. Thanks for sharing this info!


[…] sales guru Mac McIntosh explains in a blog post last year, “Your in-house database of customers, sales rep additions and past inquiries is often your best […]


Post a comment

(Not displayed with comment.)

Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com