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How to Refine Your Prospect List Using ‘Best of’ Rankings

The Fortune 500, The Global 2000, The Most Innovative Companies. These are just a few of the lists that publications and established organizations publish to rank companies. The rankings are based on everything from business performance to company culture to diversity. While being ranked on one of these lists is a huge testament to the employee and leadership team’s hard work, it’s also a good way for sales teams to narrow down their prospect list.

Let’s take a look at the Forbes Cloud 100. This list recognizes leading cloud computing companies, from HR and marketing to security and infrastructure. Forbes ranked these companies by looking at revenue and funding. In other words, these companies have the budget for new software and should be on your prospect list.

Narrow your prospect list by applying filters to the Fortune 500, Forbes 100, etc. lists Click To Tweet

If your prospect lists have hundreds of companies, consider looking at notable ranking lists to narrow your focus. For instance, a sales rep focused on companies in the cloud computing industry could filter the companies from the Forbes Cloud 100 based on those that received funding in the last 6 months. This filter narrows down a list of 100 to 27. (See the top 10 from that list here.) With new funding, companies often have the budget, need and appropriate timeline for new services. The only missing part of the BANT criteria is authority — identifying who the key contact at the company is.


You can apply this approach to any ranking list. Companies looking to expand their sales internationally should consider segmenting the Inc. 5000 Europe list based on industry, specific country or business model.

Consider these scenarios. If you’re interested in energy companies, your resulting list would be 50 companies — that’s much more manageable than 5,000. If you’re targeting companies in France, your prospect list based on the Inc. 5000 Europe would be 85, with Crosscall and Le Slip Franais as the top results. When segmenting by business model, and specifically SaaS, there are 12 companies that match this search, with Teads and Showpad leading the list. By narrowing your focus based on specific criteria, you can spend more time on prospects that align with your ideal customer profile.

Next time Inc., Fortune, Standards & Poor’s or another organization releases a list of the top companies, take it one step beyond congratulating your customers that make the list. Use that list to guide your prospecting to find fast-growing, innovative companies that match your target customer.

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© Mattermark 2024. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.