Cold Email · · 6 min read

The Rolodex Revolution: Upgrading to a B2B Lead Database

Step up your B2B sales strategy with our guide on B2B lead databases. We share everything from creation to choosing the right option for your needs.

b2b lead database

Businesses that sell to businesses thrive on connections. These connections might be made organically, but many require a dedicated B2B lead generation strategy. That strategy all starts with a B2B lead database. A collection of contact information that could take a stranger into a sale.

In this article, we’ll share precisely what a B2B lead database is, how you can begin to create one yourself, and the leading B2B lead databases on the market.

  • What Is A B2B Lead Database?
  • How To Create A B2B Lead Database
  • The 5 Best B2B Lead Databases

What Is A B2B Lead Database?

Your B2B lead database is the modern-day equivalent of a Rolodex chocked full of contacts and information. A modern B2B lead database is stored online or on a business’s server. They include:

  • Information on current leads
  • Information on prospective leads
  • Historical information on customer purchase patterns.

There are also B2B lead databases, offered by third parties, that sell particular individuals' information. These databases are invaluable when it comes to prospecting and seeking new people to reach out to. They won’t have all of the information listed above from the start. Instead, you’ll receive their contact details so you can reach out.

Many B2B lead databases will hold information on specific clients. It will contain pertinent information so that anyone that needs to talk with the client has all of the facts at their fingertips.

They can’t remember what they last ordered? It’s in the database. How long have they been a client? It’s in the database.

These databases are invaluable when it comes to both marketing and sales. Marketing departments can use the data within them to plan personalized campaigns. These could be related to customer purchase history and their typical consumer behavior. Sales can use the same information to push for repeat business and cross-selling opportunities.

Many businesses will have this information somewhere within their ecosystem. A much smaller number will be actively managing all of this data in one coherent system that is accessible company-wide. That’s where your business can take a proactive approach and gain the upper hand against your competitors.

How To Create A B2B Lead Database

The first step is to gather all of the necessary information. This information is mandatory but you can always add to it. Removing elements will only reduce the effectiveness of the database in the future.

  • Business Name.
  • Contact First Name And Surname - ideally, this is the decision maker.
  • Contact Details - including physical address, phone number, email address, and any other contact options.
  • Marketing History - if they’re a current customer, what have they engaged with? If they’re a prospect, what have you tried so far? You should also include what their reaction was toward the specific marketing activity.
  • Purchase History - including product information, purchase date, and quantities.
  • Proposed Sales And Marketing Activity - include dates where possible to act as reminders to the relevant teams.

This should be the minimum information that you include on all contacts within the database. If you’re creating this from scratch by yourself, you might begin to build this into a spreadsheet or other typical software. The important part is that it is accessible to everyone that needs information.

With a system in place, now it’s a matter of regularly collecting data and keeping the system up to date.

The 5 Best B2B Lead Databases

Crafting your own system is a big undertaking, as is regularly maintaining it. Rather than going down the DIY route, there are lots of specialized B2B lead databases available. Many of them include lead procurement, so your system can begin to fill itself with contacts from the moment you sign up. That’s an integral part of your scaling plan.



ZoomInfo is a huge B2B lead database that houses upwards of 150 million email addresses (each verified) alongside 65 million phone numbers. Chances are that if you’re looking for someone’s contact details, ZoomInfo has them. Some big names are using ZoomInfo, including Zoom, Google, T-Mobile, and Snowflake.

The majority of ZoomInfo’s information is gathered from public records, annual reports, and websites. So technically, you might be able to gather the same information but with a far greater amount of effort. They also claim to use a specialized piece of web scraping tech. This tech can collect information that is “technically” not available to the public.

Pricing: ZoomInfo can be accessed for free but with the caveat that you part with your own information. You have to install an Outlook extension that harvests your information and feeds it into the database for others to access. On the free plan, you can download 10 contacts a month.

The paid plans are aimed at organizations with a high turnover, exceptional levels of growth, and those that won’t flinch at the price point.

Starting from $14,995 a year, businesses can access all of the information about specific individuals within companies, export data in bulk, create filters with notifications, and access detailed company information.



108 million organizations around the world have their information within Uplead. The aim is to make contacting the right person a breeze. Thanks to their real-time email verification, you can feel confident when sending a cold email. There’s a long list of integrations with typical tech stack products such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, and cold email software tools.

Pricing: There’s a free trial that allows you to spend 5 credits and download 5 contacts. Beyond that, plans scale based on a volume of credits. The essentials package gives you 2,040 credits annually at $74 a month; other packages offer more credits at better rates.



RocketReach offers information on 700 million individuals across 35 million companies. The verified information can be found using their advanced contact search feature. If you’re a regular on LinkedIn, the dedicated extension will make finding leads on the social platform a breeze. As with other options in the list, RocketReach integrates with a whole host of software.

Pricing: Starting from $39 a month for 1,200 annual lookups per user. If you want to integrate with HubSpot or Zapier, you’ll need to opt for the Pro level which is $99 a month for 3,600 annual lookups. focuses on finding the right email address for professionals. It’s an invaluable tool for cold email outreach, with over 100 million email addresses residing in their database. Thanks to a robust selection of integrations, you can often save those leads straight into your CRM. If you’re focused on a particular company,’s custom domain tracking will certainly prove popular.

Pricing: The free version of the plan gives you 25 searches a month and 50 verifications. Paid plans include considerably more features and options, and they start from $39 a month for 500 searches and 1000 verifications.



With 250 million contacts across 60 million companies, Apollo boasts one of the largest B2B lead databases in the world. You’ll recognize some features from other popular CRMs. Including automated workflows to develop whole campaigns. The handy Chrome extension makes for quick access wherever you are on the web. The recommendation system helps keep your sales strategies streamlined.

Pricing: Every Apollo plan offers unlimited email credits. That includes the free plan. Paid plans start from $39 a month and include 300 mobile credits and 3000 export credits. When you access a paid plan you unlock open-ended sequencing, uncapped sending limits, A/B testing, and impressive options such as their AI-assisted email writing tool.

Key Takeaways

The right database is likely going to be the database that holds the right information for you. If you’re in the market for paid lead information, one of the options above will be great for you. Looking to develop your own database? Expect to put in more effort but receive a greater degree of tailoring to your business.

  • B2B lead databases can both hold current client information and offer new prospect information.
  • The best options will seamlessly integrate with your current tech stack.
  • The more data you can hold in your database, the more useful it will be across the company.

Once you’ve got your leads, you need to begin the process of contacting them. That’s where Instantly comes in. Its dedicated cold email software gives you the best chance of making a genuine connection with a prospect. You can get started for free today!

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