Updated December 2023
You cannot do outbound sales without first generating a list of qualified leads.
There are many ways to find leads, but not all are equal.
I recommend that you never buy pre-existing lead lists, as they often are outdated, and contain “spam traps” which will cause your emails to go to spam.
In this article, I will share 7 ways to find leads for B2B sales that actually work:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the best B2B lead database in the world.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can search for leads in any industry or location. They have over 25 filters that you can use to narrow your search.
You can make lists of highly relevant leads.
For example, if I wanted to find leads that are CEOs of mining companies in the US, then LinkedIn Sales Navigator would allow me to do this.
Other lead data tools, such as Apollo and ZoomInfo, are worse versions of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
The reason why LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the best is because LinkedIn is the only professional platform where people constantly update their profiles.
If someone starts a new company, or changes position, then they will update their LinkedIn profile. Other tools don’t have this type of real time accurate data, and are often just scraping old data from external sources.
The only problem with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is that they don’t give you the email addresses of their leads.
They instead only allow you to contact 50 leads per month directly through their platform, via their “InMail” system.
This is not ideal, as most salespeople need to contact more than 50 people per month.
Fortunately, there is a solution.
You can use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension to export your leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator with their email addresses.
And you can then email your leads directly.
Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension uses a proprietary email finding software to take the publicly available information from each lead, and then find their email addresses.
So even if the email addresses aren’t publicly available, you can still find their emails.
I recommend that you check out my article How To Generate B2B Leads On LinkedIn. In this article, I explain in more detail how you can use Emailchaser’s extension to export leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Upwork and Indeed are two of the biggest job sites in the world.
There are tens of thousands of companies posting new job ads on these platforms each week.
If a company is posting a job ad, then you know that they are already prepared to spend money on that service.
For example, if you are an SEO agency, you can look for companies that are hiring SEOs, and then cold email their founders to offer your services.
This allows you to target companies that are actively in need of your services, which will dramatically increase your response rate.
You can use Emailchaser’s Email Finder to find the email address of each company’s founder.
If you don’t want to spend hours manually finding founder email addresses, then you can hire someone on a site like OnlineJobs.ph and outsource this manual process to them.
I recommend that you check out my article 5 Best B2B Cold Email Templates That Get Responses. You can use one of these templates when reaching out to these founders.
Crunchbase and PitchBook are websites that allow you to find companies that recently raised funding.
Companies that recently raised funding are more likely to be investing heavily in growth and product. These are the types of companies that are more likely to buy your product or service, thus making them good leads to go after.
The below tweet shows Brex’s ex-Chief Revenue Officer talking about how they used PitchBook to find companies for their most successful outbound sales campaign:
1/ The best outbound campaign we ever ran at Brex (75% demo rate, 75% demo to close):— Sam Blond (@samdblond) January 9, 2023
Brex launched in 2018 as the first corporate card for startups. After launch, when we were still ~30 employees and near 0 rev, we ran the most successful outbound campaign I've ever seen.
Another way to find leads for sales is to look at who follows your competitors.
Anyone that follows a competitor company on social media is likely an existing customer of theirs.
My favourite way to do this is to look at my competitors’ company Twitter profiles, and then contact all of their followers.
Another effective way to find leads is to search Google & Twitter for “top companies in x category”.
For example, if you were building a newsletter software company, and all of your potential customers are people that own blogs, you could search Google for “top blogs in x category”.
You would then find dozens of articles highlighting relevant blogs that you can reach out to. You can use this method on Twitter as well.
In the below Tweet, Nathan Barry explains how he used this method to grow ConvertKit to over $100,000 in MRR:
My software company hit $1,500 MRR and then got stuck.— Nathan Barry (@nathanbarry) October 27, 2022
...Until I pivoted marketing tactics.
Here’s the exact method I used to scale to $100k MRR in the next 12 months: pic.twitter.com/9k8V1jMkh3
There are many review websites that list hundreds of companies by category.
For example, if you are looking for software companies, then you should check out G2 or Capterra.
If you are looking for tourism related companies, then try TripAdvisor.
Using review sites, you can find relevant companies to contact. I recommend that you use Emailchaser’s Email Finder tool to find the email addresses of the company owners.
YCombinator is the largest startup accelerator in the world.
They invest $500,000 into each startup. Companies such as Airbnb, Stripe and Dropbox have gone through YCombinator’s program.
YCombinator’s website lists all of the companies that they have invested in. This is a great place to find leads as all of these companies are recently funded.
I recommend that you use Emailchaser’s Email Finder tool to find the founders’ email addresses.
It’s important to send personalized cold emails to these founders. If your emails aren’t personalized, then you won’t receive responses.
The below video shows two YC Partners discussing how not to send cold emails:
Since most of the companies in YCombinator are software companies, you should check out my article The Best Cold Email Template For SaaS Companies.
There are many places to find sales leads online. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the best if you need a high volume of leads.
The answer depends on your market. If there are only a small number of potential customers, then you should make a list of relevant companies, and then send personalized cold emails.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the best way to find leads for outbound sales.
You can then use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension to export your leads with their email addresses.
It is important that you don’t buy existing email lists, as these lists are often inaccurate and contain “spam traps” which will cause your emails to go to spam.
If you are interested in using cold email to contact your leads, then I recommend that you first read my article Should You Send Cold Emails From Your Primary Domain?
Founder of Emailchaser.
I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.
When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.
Address: 151 Calle de San Francisco San Juan, Puerto Rico
Email: [email protected]
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