How to find someone’s phone number: a guide for B2B sales reps

How to find someone’s phone number_ a guide for B2B sales reps
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David Chevalier
by David Chevalier

2 Min. Read

How to find someone’s phone number? 

This question is as old as time (or at least, as old as phones are). 

Calling a prospect – when as part of a multi-touch outreach process – can often be the difference between a sale and a lead going cold. Did you know that a few extra phone calls can increase the likelihood of a deal closing by a whopping 70%

That said, anyone who says it’s as easy as picking up the phone is…lying? First of all, you’ve got to find a person’s phone number – and that’s often a process where even the best sales reps can run into trouble. 

Hunting down a phone number takes a significant amount of time. Precious time that could be spent, you know, selling. And if you don’t find the right number straight off the bat you’re looking at low connection rates and even more time wasted. Which as we all know translates into less revenue for the company, and less revenue for you. 

The good news? We’ve built the solution – in fact, Surfe was built out of our founders facing the same pain points you do today when you’re prospecting. And as most of B2B prospecting takes place on LinkedIn, we’ve built the solution directly into it. 

In this blog post, we’ll run you through why contact discovery is so hard today and why having a CRM with accurate data matters. Then we’ll get onto the good stuff. We’ll show you how to find someone’s B2B phone number on LinkedIn with Surfe step-by-step and answer any questions you have about compliance. 

In this article, we’ll cover: 

Ready? Let’s dive in👇

The problem with traditional contact discovery 

What is contact discovery? 

Contact discovery is what you do every time you find a lead’s contact details, and then make checks to make sure they’re accurate. When you’re searching for contact details, we’ll take a guess that you’re prioritizing email addresses and phone numbers above all else. 

Contact discovery can take one of two routes: 

The free route: if you don’t want to pay to find someone’s contact details, you’re likely using a number of avenues to find the right information: 

  • Google search
  • Social media platforms 
  • Company websites 
  • Phone number lookup services 
  • Whitepages (a digital phone book – like the yellow pages)
  • Public record sites, people search engines and online directories

Then, once you’ve found a phone number you think might do the job, you’re going to want to do a reverse phone number lookup to see if it’s accurate. This involves entering the phone number to a reverse phone lookup tool, and seeing if the right person’s name comes up.

The paid route: if you, or your company, are willing to invest in a tool, you might find yourself using something like: 

  • Apollo
  • RocketReach
  • Dropcontact
  • Hunter 

These usually ask you to put your lead’s name into a search bar, and the tool will pull up all the details it can find. They’re a lot more simple to use, but aren’t guaranteed to find the right information.

Common challenges of finding a phone number

As you can see from the processes above, finding a phone number isn’t easy. Either you pay for a tool – which won’t necessarily give you what you need – or you go through a painstaking process trawling through endless search engines and tools. We don’t even want to think about how many tabs you’ll have up. There are worries here about accuracy, too – using just one search function or tool at a time isn’t the most reliable way of finding the right phone number. 

Then, you have to manually put the data into your CRM. Again, that’s more time spent *not* selling – and there’s room for human error too. Making sure that your CRM data is up-to-date and accurate is so important, but it’s difficult. People change jobs, get promoted, change their phone numbers….if your CRM hasn’t kept up, that’s more time wasted on contact details that don’t work, or vital opportunities for personalisation down the drain. 

To make sure your sales process is the best it can be, you need to make sure your data is accurate.

9 in to enrichment tools

Why having accurate and efficient data management matters 

Let’s dig a little deeper into accuracy for a moment. Having correct, easily accessible contact data in your CRM is so, so important. Sales is impossible without it. 

Plus, the more gaps there are in your data, the less likely you’re able to adopt a true multi-touch approach – that’s hitting a prospect’s email, LinkedIn, and phone number to get their attention. It’s like knitting a jumper and leaving an arm off, or cooking a steak and chips and not including a bearnaise sauce: your prospect will be left cold, and unsatisfied. 

Let’s take an example. You’re about to use your best cold calling pitch and call a number that you’re not sure is accurate. Time to choose your own adventure: what happens next? 

  1. You get through to the prospect. Happy days! 
  2. The number doesn’t work. Time wasted. 
  3. The number’s incorrect. Maybe it’s a number attached to a work phone – and this work phone now belongs to someone else. At best, this will be embarrassing. At worst, it could lose you the sale before you’ve even started. 

Bad sales data has an impact on your reputation and revenue. The more time you waste on activities like these, the less efficient you are. Less time, less money.

9 in to enrichment tools

How to find someone’s B2B phone number on LinkedIn with Surfe

The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. Lead generation tool Surfe streamlines finding someone’s phone number online so well, you’ll barely notice you’re doing it. Let’s take a look: 

Automated data capture: when you add a contact on LinkedIn, Surfe automatically runs the contact through its intelligent enrichment cascade. It works through Apollo, RocketReach, Dropcontact, and Hunter – plus, you can add any other tools you like – until it finds the right phone number. By aggregating several tools there’s more chance of finding the number and more chance of it being accurate. 

Tip: Surfe’s an email finder as well as a phone number finder. Two birds, one stone. 

Integration with major CRMs: Surfe integrates with all major CRMs, like HubSpot and Pipedrive – plus Google Sheets if that’s more your thing. It automatically exports the contact information you’ve just found to your chosen CRM. No more manual processes with room for human error, or duplicate contacts mysteriously appearing in your database. 

Once you’ve found a phone number and exported it to your CRM- which takes about 30 seconds, by the way – you can also use our Aircall integration to call your new contact without leaving LinkedIn. Just don’t blame us if your fingers drop off from lack of use.

Phone cascade

How Surfe works: a step-by-step process 

Signing up for search tool Surfe is super easy. And did we mention the pricing? Here’s how to find someone’s phone number with their name for free:

  • Head to the Surfe website and sign up for Surfe 
  • Install the Surfe Chrome extension 
  • Surfe will open LinkedIn. Hit ‘get started’ and choose the right CRM for you
  • Go back to LinkedIn and allow access to your CRM. Done! 

Now let’s look at finding and syncing phone numbers to your CRM: 

  • Go to your chosen lead’s profile and click ‘search’. Their contact details should come up straight away (you can also automate this step in the Surfe dashboard) and automatically populate your CRM. 
  • Want to do it in bulk? Go to your lead lists on Sales Navigator, select all contacts in the list, and click ‘export to CRM’.
Sales Nav Export Email Export in Bulk landscape

Don’t panic! We’ve got data accuracy and compliance covered 

Data accuracy and compliance are super interesting (said no one ever) and super important (said everyone ever). You’ll be pleased to know we’ve got it covered: 

ISO27001 certified: this means we hit all the strictest requirements for managing and protecting sensitive data. We’re committed to water-tight security controls, conduct regular risk assessments and are proactive about information security. You can trust us to handle your data: it’s in safe hands. 

GDPR compliant: we make sure we’re GDPR compliant as both a data processor and a data controller. We’re super-strict about data protection and handle it responsibly and transparently. Peace of mind for you, and for your business. 

Let’s wrap it up! 

Get your prospects on the phone, and you’ve got a chance to charm them with your wit, humour, and stellar B2B solution that’s going to make all their (career-related) dreams come true. 

But as we’ve seen, getting hold of them isn’t always that simple. Antiquated methods of searching for phone numbers include trawling through Google, social media, and any number of websites and tools dedicated to just that. If you’re lucky, your company will pay for a tool – but even these don’t guarantee success or accuracy. 

Fortunately, we can now say goodbye to the problems of old and hello to a speedier way of finding phone numbers. Surfe’s two-pronged attack – automated data capture and seamless CRM integration – turns finding phone numbers from a tedious, inefficient task to something so speedy you’ll barely register it, with no worries about data accuracy and compliance. We’ve made your day easier – now it’s time to give your prospect a call, and do the same for them 🤙

Surfe is trusted

Start finding phone numbers for free

Surfe makes finding phone numbers and adding them to your CRM so easy, you’ll barely notice it. All it takes is a couple of clicks.

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FAQs about finding someone’s phone number 

How to find someone’s phone number? 

Follow these steps to find someone’s phone number: 

  1. Use Google Search, social media sites like LinkedIn, company websites, phone number lookup services like IPQS, public record sites, or directories like Whitepages. 
  2. Next, try a paid tool like RocketReach or Apollo to see if these can find the phone number. 
  3. Make sure to verify that the phone number that you find is accurate. You can do this by running a reverse phone number search (including the area code) or cross-referencing multiple sources. 
  4. Automate the process with free tools like Surfe, which uses a multi-cascade approach across four different tools – plus any other tools you’d like to add – to find and verify phone numbers in real-time. 

How to find a phone number for free?

If you don’t want to pay to find someone’s Android phone or iPhone number, follow these steps: 

  1. Use search engines like Google Search or Bing. Search for your lead’s name and their physical address for the most accurate results. 
  2. Try social media. Check LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to see if your prospect’s phone number is there. 
  3. Search company websites. Visit the website of the company you’re targeting, and go to their ‘contact us’ page. 
  4. Use a tool like Surfe to automatically find and verify someone’s phone number. It’s free, and will integrate the phone number into your CRM. 

How to find a mobile number by name for free? 

Surfe is a free tool you can use to find a mobile number for free – and all you need is your contact’s name. To find the mobile number:

  1. Tick the ‘search for mobile’ box in Surfe’s search bar. This will use one extra credit to search for a mobile phone number, as well as a landline.
  2. If you don’t see this option, you can turn on Mobile Enrichment in the Surfe Dashboard. 

Surfe aggregates RocketReach and Apollo to find mobile numbers, so you can be sure your number is accurate. Plus, there’s no need to worry – we’re GDPR-compliant and ISO27001 certified. 

How to find someone’s cell phone number on Instagram? 

Plenty of businesses have social media accounts like Instagram. It’s a good social media app to find people and check for their phone numbers. Just head to a company’s account, and click ‘Contact’. You’ll find their company phone number here. 

Note that you cannot find someone’s phone number from their personal social media profile. Instead, there are other social media apps for you to try. Take LinkedIn, for example. Business professionals may have added their phone number to their personal profiles. If not, use a free tool like Surfe, which automates finding a phone number by aggregating up to four contact searching tools. 

How to find someone’s new cell phone number for free? 

B2B sales reps sometimes find that the business contact number they have for a prospect is outdated. In this case, it’s best to use Google search, social media sites, company websites and phone number lookup services like Intelius to find people and their new phone number. If you don’t mind paying for a tool, RocketReach or Apollo are good options. 

A free tool like Surfe can automate finding someone’s new phone number for you. Simply find your contact on LinkedIn, and click search. Their contact information should come up straight away. Once you’ve found the new phone number, make sure to update your CRM to make sure your data is accurate and up-to-date. If you want to automate keeping your CRM data accurate, a tool like Surfe will do the job for you.