Buying B2B Lead Lists – Pros, Cons & Better Alternatives
13. July 2021

Buying B2B Lead Lists – Pros, Cons & Better Alternatives

The Struggle With High-Quality Lead Lists in B2B

Lead lists refer to huge datasets of contact directory used by businesses to do cold calls in order to sell their product. It is a common practice among B2B businesses to buy B2B lead lists as part of their lead generation agenda, but that does not mean it is fruitful for all of them. In fact, a survey conducted by CSO Insights concluded that almost 68 percent of companies have trouble generating high-quality B2B lead lists. Converting MQLs to SQLs is a hard job, even for big companies, which is why businesses are interested in searching for more effective alternatives.

One of the reasons why buying lead lists from address vendors isn’t the way to go is because it relies on static data meaning that the data is generated once and is not updated with time. The entirety of static B2B lead lists data becomes obsolete with time and in the end most of the companies are left with wasted investment and no progress. 

Why You Should Never Buy Lead Lists

Purchasing B2B lead lists comes with massive risks attached that influence your B2B sales and marketing activities. So, it can bring loss to the company as a whole in several ways.

First off, outdated data is used in the lists, and you will be wasting money on data that is unfit for the purpose you are buying it for. Furthermore, the global data regulations like the GDPR in EU and CAN-SPAM in the US are very active – buying from non-compliant providers can put your business in surveillance of national and international data legislators which is dangerous for any company. Additionally, if you purchase a B2B lead list, there’s no way finding out how many companies have used the same addresses before. That increases your chance of being marked as spam which can lead to a bad reputation.

What Happens When You Buy B2B Lead Lists?

Buying B2B lead lists from third parties like address vendors might not give you the exact information your company needs. In order to connect with other businesses, your contact list needs to be specific and tailored to your target audience. Still, most sellers of B2B lead lists cannot alter the list to such specification. Instead, you will be given a generic list of different companies based on simple filters such as industry.

The problem? You have no guarantee that any of these contacts will be into your business or offer. In other words, there are only a few filters, if any, when using bought B2B lead lists. In order to reach your targeted audience, there is a clear need to improve the filters for specificity.

Let’s say you’ve found a good lead list with a lot of potential interested buyers, now what? Once they have a lead list, companies start off into cold calls, which are usually turned down by others since they are not 100 % personalized. Plus, you can get into trouble when contacting companies without making sure your product is relevant to them. Hence, you need to be careful with bought B2B lead lists. 

Pros and Cons of B2B Lead Lists


The lead lists use depends on when it is needed. Every company wants a partner that can help boost its sales and bring about revenues. If you purchase raw lead lists, it will save your business time and energy that can be utilized on employee management or other profit maximizing strategy.

When a business outsources the generation of lead lists, it can have the option of not creating a separate business unit, which can save costs and reduce the overhead expenses for business operations. The money saved can be used to increase other business operations. In addition, you can focus on your content, work more on value at all steps, strengthen your social media presence and increase efficiency of each partner company.


These lists might seem good for businesses, and their generation might seem efficient, but address vendors usually have little knowledge about your products and services. Thus, bought lead lists can lead to backing off and not generate revenue as effectively as you might think.

Moreover, there is higher risk and threat that your business can face regarding confidential data after outsourcing to address vendors. Also, your business can face competition because those B2B lead lists are not necessarily exclusive and have been sold multiple times.

Lead lists might seem the easy way to go as you spend money and immediately see results. The problem is that you only receive static data. Soon, addresses and information will be outdated and you might not even be allowed to use the lead list anymore.

Why You Should Rather Invest in a Prospecting Tool

Of course, you need to reach out to your target audience in order to keep them interested. Remember all the presentations in school or at work where someone spoke in a redundant, monotonous tone? Did you care to pay attention?

Same is the case with generic B2B lead lists. A generalized, monotonous marketing message, blowing your own trumpet would only have a negative impact on potential buyers. They would subconsciously categorize your brand or service as annoying, causing counter effective results.

You need to treat your potential customers as a priority. It has huge business value in B2B. The focus on what the customer wants is highly necessary and if that is the central point of focus for all stakeholders, that can generate massive profits. Whenever customer needs are met, more sales are seen as customer valued rise. The businesses that are customer centric have seen reduction in the cost to serve and increase in satisfaction, if they ensure their customers have a successful set-up and in general good customer care.

So, where to find customers that would care about your message? The answer is simple: prospecting tools. It is vital that companies move away from bought B2B lead lists and innovate their customer engagement. Customer engagement innovations revolve around understanding your customer base, their psyche, and their demands. Using prospecting tools or sales intelligence can help develop connections between your sales team and your customers. Similarly, when hunting for new customers, these tools can give you relevant and fresh insights into your potential customers and make sure you match their needs.

Social media has further made customer engagement easier. Platform such as LinkedIn (or Xing in Germany) give you the opportunity to try social selling. By sharing relevant content among mutual, you can connect directly with your target audience, potential buyers or customers. Try personal branding to be seen as an expert in your business – people will automatically trust you more. 

What Does a Prospecting Tool do?

Prospecting or digital sales tools can be used to generate high-quality B2B lead lists. To put it simply, a prospecting tool – like Echobot for example – delivers you a more refined B2B lead list with warm leads. Through thorough calculations and algorithms, prospecting tools manage to generate B2B lead lists categorically or according to your requirements. A prospecting tool and sales intelligence will not only help you find leads but will also help turn them into customers.

These tools are equipped with features that show you for example when a new product is launched or there is a change in management. If you rely on such events in your calls, it’s called “trigger event selling” and has a better chance to win over prospects.

Furthermore, prospecting tools can send you automatic emails to inform you about new sales opportunities – there no faster way to get informed! If your business needs to find certain business of a certain industry, prospecting tools can filter these out. More filter options also include company size, location, postal code, news and even keywords on website or social media.

Sure, you have to buy these tools first and often prices seem quite high. But: Digital sales tools have several advantages. You might find them costly initially, but ROI will be met soon.

Pros and Cons of Prospecting Tool


It is imperative to find potential new customers that exactly fit your target audience. Instead of delivering a long, static list of contacts, most of whom would not even be interested, prospecting tools focus on warm B2B leads. This is done through a huge set of filters which narrows down your B2B lead list to the best fitting companies

Example Use Cases that Work with a Prospecting Tool


Data Privacy Page


Usually, a company has to inform website visitors which host they’re using, what kind of software is currently used and more

Who profits?

Companies see which target companies outsource their data to a competitor


Search in: Data Privacy Page

Website Keyword: Amazon Web Services

Country: Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Good to know

You can alter your query according to your needs. Use keywords for the data privacy page such as: “LinkedIn”, “Google”, “Analytics”, “Magento” or whatever is of interest to your business!


Job Offers Page


When a company writes about certain tool knowledge in their job offers, a prospecting tool can track that and see what kind of tools are generally used in a company

Who profits?

Companies that offer consulting to the tools in use in a company


Trigger Event: Job Offer

Keyword in Trigger Event: Microsoft Dynamics

Industry: Recruiting Services

Good to know

You can alter your query according to your needs. Use keywords for the job offers page such as “Microsoft Dynamics", “Abas”, “SAP” or whatever is of interest to your business!

As a result, it will save you valuable time and money, which can be reinvested somewhere else e.g. content, ads and much more. Prospecting or digital sales tools usually crawl online company information and give you an overview afterwards of what’s relevant to you.

Moreover, an important aspect of prospecting tools is: their data is dynamic. Dynamic data means that the data constantly updated as soon as a company publishes anything new online. With time, new contacts with potential benefits will be added, while those no longer useful will be removed from the list. With dynamic data it becomes easier to keep in touch with businesses you already have some progress with as it helps you understand their current pains and needs.


Yes, a prospecting tool might cost a bit more. But: while sales tools are more costly, they also guarantee better results. Prospecting tools cut down hours wasted searching for information online and calling the wrong companies.

What’s the Difference between Bought Lead Lists and Prospecting Tools?

When you buy B2B lead lists, the data in it is long and unfiltered, so it takes a lot of time and human capital to filter out the relevant data. The use of bought, static B2B lead lists has proven to waste company resources and money that could have been used elsewhere. Their success rate is low and not really desirable for your business.

On the other hand, prospecting tools will deliver refined B2B leads. Such a tool can filter out the data according to your very own requirement which will save a lot of time, energy, and money.

Digital sales and prospecting tools provide you with a list of good-fit contacts and highly relevant business information. The data is dynamic, specified and filtered, which benefits you enormously. Digital tools seem to cost more than buying static lead lists, but in the end, they save a lot of company time and money.


Lead Lists

Prospecting Tool


Long lists of unfiltered contacts/companies that might or might not be interested in your business

Tool providing you with high-quality leads that you can filter according to your needs


Provides you with all the stakeholder’s contact information

Provides you with a list of good-fit contacts that are altered to their needs


Long and unfiltered;

one-time usage, static list with generic info

Specific and filtered; can cost more than lead lists but delivers dynamic, up-to-date results


Used for cold calling or social selling, but mostly not personal

Used for cold calling, networking or social selling as well but highly individualized

Conclusion: Prospecting Tools are the Way to Go

While buying B2B lead lists is quite popular in the B2B market, it about time that we leave outdated methods for better alternatives. Instead of wasting time on standard cold calls to a random list of companies, it is better to focus only on contacts that matter.

Lucky for businesses, there are efficient prospecting and digital sales tools like Echobot TARGET that make the job of filtering contacts a lot easier. Instead of wasting time on buying lead lists that do not even guarantee any potential customers, you should invest need in prospecting tools.

They can not only filter your contacts meeting your needs, but also organize them according to their potential. Contacts that fit better with your requirements are put higher on the list while others are prioritized less. As a result, such tools make it easier for you to know how to manage your energy and resources based on the prospect.

The static data from bought B2B lead lists should be dropped as it’s outdated and in order to stay up-to-date, companies should use prospecting tools with dynamic data more in order to improve their sales pipelines. Static data is a modern-day death sentence to the success of any organization. Dynamic data enables a customer centric business, progressive persona profiling, better business wide communication and much more.

We hope this article was helpful for you to make a decision for your own. If you have any more questions concerning prospecting tools vs. buying lead lists, contact us a!

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