Updated December 2023
A lead source is a place where you can find leads.
Most lead sources are not accurate and often contain “spam traps” which cause your emails to go to spam.
In this article, I will share the top 10 lead sources for salespeople that are doing B2B outbound sales:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the largest lead database in the world.
It is also the most accurate since LinkedIn is one of the few platforms where people actively update their profiles.
With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can search for leads that are relevant to your offer. They have over 25 search filters that you can use to narrow your list.
For example, if you wanted to find founders of companies that are located in the United States that are in the renewable energy sector, then LinkedIn Sales Navigator would allow you to do this.
There are other lead database companies, such as Apollo and ZoomInfo, but these are worse versions of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The data in these tools isn’t as accurate as LinkedIn.
The only problem with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is that they don’t give you the email address of each lead.
Instead, they only let you messaging leads directly through their platform, via their “InMail” system. It gets even worse, since they only give you 50 InMail credits per month, meaning that you can only message 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.
Emailchaser has its own proprietary email finding software, so even though LinkedIn doesn’t give you the email address of each lead, Emailchaser’s extension finds the emails using publicly available information (name, website etc).
Using the extension, you can export your leads as a .csv file, and then upload them into your Sales CRM.
Job websites, such as Upwork and Indeed, are great places to find companies that need your services.
If a company posts a job ad, then that means that they are looking to spend money to solve a problem.
For example, if you own an SEO agency, then you could look for companies that are posting job ads for SEOs. You could then send cold emails to the owners of these companies and offer your SEO services.
You already know that they need this problem solved, so it’s just a question of convincing them that you are the right solution.
This can be a time consuming process, so I recommend that you hire someone from OnlineJobs.ph to do this manual work for you. You can also use Emailchaser’s Email Finder to find almost anyone’s email address.
Crunchbase is a website that allows you to see companies that recently raised funding.
This is a good lead source if you are looking to sell to recently funded companies.
The reason why salespeople often target recently funded companies is because they have money to spend and are in a growth phase, making them more likely to buy your product or service.
PitchBook is similar to Crunchbase.
You can find recently funded companies on PitchBook.
The below Tweet thread from Sam Blond discusses Brex’s most successful outbound sales campaign. They contacted 300 companies, and closed 169 of them as paying customers. They used PitchBook as their lead source in this 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.
You can search for “top companies in x category” on Google and Twitter to find leads.
For example, if you were building a Newsletter software, you could search Google for “top blogs in x category” to find a list of potential customers.
The following tweet thread from Nathan Barry discusses how he grew ConvertKit’s MRR to over $100,000 by using this method as his primary lead source:
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
Review sites can be a great lead source for certain industries.
For example, if you are selling a product that is built for SaaS companies, then you can find lists of SaaS companies on software review sites like Capterra and G2.
If you are selling a product or service for tourism companies, then TripAdvisor would be a good lead source.
If you are selling to startups, then YCombinator is a good lead source.
YCombinator is the world’s largest startup accelerator, and has funded over 4,000 companies.
You can see a list of YC companies on their website.
Selling to startups has its advantages and disadvantages. It is easier to get a startup to adopt your product, however, they are more likely to go out of business, so churn will be higher compared to selling to larger established companies.
Another lead source is your competitors’ audiences.
Anyone that follows your competitors on social media is likely an existing customer of theirs.
If someone is already a customer of your competitor, then you know that they have the problem that you solve.
My favourite way to find my competitors’ audiences is to see who follows their Twitter pages.
Twitter shows you who follows a page. You can contact the followers of these pages, one by one, to sell your product or service.
Google Maps is a good lead source if you are looking for local businesses.
For example, if your target market is plumbing companies, then you can google “plumbing companies in city”.
I recommend that you only reach out to companies with good reviews.
If a company doesn’t have good reviews, then they probably aren’t successful, and are less likely to buy your product or service.
Directories are websites that list companies by category.
For example, there are directories that list law firms, such as The Legal 500.
If you are doing outbound sales, then you could find a directory that is relevant to your industry, and reach out to the mentioned companies.
The answer to this question depends on your product or service. However, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is usually the best lead source for most salespeople.
There are some lead sources that are free, such as Google and certain directories. However, the best lead sources require payment.
The right lead source for your company depends on who your target customer is.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great option for most outbound sales campaigns. You can also use Emailchaser’s LinkedIn Email Finder extension to export your leads with their emails from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
If you need help building a lead list, then check out my article How To Build A Lead List For Sales.
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.
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