The Ultimate Guide to Using Barbour ABI or Glenigan

We’ve put together all our blogs on construction marketing intelligence services such as Barbour ABI and Glenigan, to give you the ultimate guide to choosing and using them, to support the lead generation strategy of your building products or construction business.

In this guide we’ll cover:


How does Construction Marketing Intelligence (Barbour ABI & Glenigan) work?

Construction market intelligence is a great source of new leads for building products businesses. As far as a centralised source of new project leads – it doesn’t get better than this. But sometimes the paywall puts a pause on further consideration. But when you have done everything else and you’re still having trouble generating leads, where do you turn? Maybe you’ve called all the companies you can find in directories. Your network is quiet. The phones haven’t rung in a while.

For the last 80 years (when Barbour ABI, the market leader in construction intelligence, first started) they’ve been a central part of the industry. They aren’t a cheap and fast solution. Construction market intelligence deserves thought and consideration before subscribing.

If you’re considering them, then you’re probably wondering: how do they find these projects? If they can find them, then can’t you do it yourself? Let’s take a look at how they do it.

What are they?

Construction market intelligence companies like Barbour ABI and Glenigan provide subscribers with searchable databases of construction projects in the UK along with details about these projects. They have many details including timelines, project types, materials required, size, and budget. They also give you contact details for contractors, architects, engineers, and many other roles working on these projects.

How do they find the information?

The construction planning system requires new projects to be submitted and approved before they can be started. The planning permission system gives construction market intelligence companies a reliable source through which every construction large project must pass. This provides research teams with the resource they need to make a comprehensive list of all the new construction jobs being planned or underway in the UK.

Refurbishment and renovation projects constitute a large portion of the UK construction sector but don’t necessarily come through the planning system. Will they be listed? These projects require a bit more research, but the teams at construction market intelligence companies are on it. They are more difficult to find, and some of them are missed, but as many as can be found are listed.

After the information on a project is initially uploaded to the database it must be updated with any changes to the timeline, budget, or scope of the project. This is where the extensive team of researchers comes in again to follow up on projects and update listings with any changes. These changes are reflected in the database and subscribers following those jobs can see the adjustments and change their outreach plan accordingly.

What information do they supply?

From these applications they gather:

  • Project locations
  • Category/type of project
  • Project stage
  • Timing
  • Materials
  • Budget
  • Contacts

This way you know where, when, and what is being planned and specified for every project in the country. And not to mention the contact details of key decision-makers. But with great power comes great responsibility. If you come off too strong you risk joining the rest of the project vultures who inundate architects with cold calls and cold emails as soon as a project is listed. There are good and bad ways to initiate these conversations, and in the information age, where product info can be found online at the customer’s convenience, disruptive calls or emails aren’t necessarily the best route.

How have they changed over the years?

We’ve discussed their core offering, but there’s more too. As the services have grown, so have their services. Market intelligence is more than new projects and contact details. Now you can access detailed market reports outlining market trends and analysis of the residential, offices, industrial, hotel & leisure and retail sectors.  These reports cover the whole of the UK and are usually available at a small additional cost.

How is this helpful?

Theoretically, you could do this yourself – but it would take years of phone calls, relationship building, and extensive spreadsheets. It’s a full-time job. With construction market intelligence companies, you’re paying for the convenience of having it all done for you. Many building product businesses have decided it’s worth it.

How helpful is depends on the system you have in place to use this information. If you sign up thinking it will be a magic bullet for customer acquisition, you’ll be disappointed. Unfortunately, small companies are the ones who make this mistake the most. And they are the ones who can afford it the least.

What you’re paying for is intelligence, not a marketing service. If you’re a company that needs help with its sales and marketing, you may need to focus on those capabilities separately.

If you already have a strong sales and marketing strategy in place, then construction market intelligence like Barbour ABI or Glenigan can give you a host of new opportunities and contacts. The meaty information they provide can lead to a serious increase in revenue for those who know how to use it.

If you find yourself in a position where you’d like to take advantage of this resource, but don’t think you have the capability to make the most of it, some companies have sprung up just to help companies of every size and development stage use the Construction Market Intelligence to its full potential.

One new such service is Project Prospecta. We’re glad you found us.

Read on to find out more

That was a short introduction to construction market intelligence, how it works and where it comes from. It’s one of the most comprehensive, specific, and up-to-date lead generation tools available to construction product companies. If you’re thinking: “that sounds impressive” – it is. Barbour ABI, Glenigan, and some smaller companies offer great services, with lots of potential for future work opportunities. But it’s not a substitute for a sales and marketing strategy. You can grow your business with market intelligence, but not without a plan for how to use it.

If you’ve decided that you want to partner with a construction market intelligence company then read on to find out some factors you should consider before subscribing.

5 Great Questions to Ask Before Subscribing to Barbour ABI or Glenigan

Construction market intelligence like Barbour ABI or Glenigan are staples in the building products business and they offer a ton of value to sales and marketing departments.

But it’s good to ask a few questions about these services before pursuing them.

Here are a few to help you get started.

  1. What’s the cost?

This is the obvious question. But let’s break it down a bit.

There are two costs here. The cost of getting Barbour ABI or Glenigan, and the cost of not getting it.

What I mean is, finding new leads costs money. Employing salespeople. Hiring marketers to improve your website. Often, Barbour ABI or Glenigan is significantly cheaper than these options.

If you have the resource to make the most of the subscription, you’ll likely make back your investment.

Especially if you have a great strategy for implementation.

  1. What will your searches be?

You want to make sure your search terms will turn up a good number of contacts. It probably will but talk to a representative just to make sure. Have them run a search with your criteria. You wouldn’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t turn up a good number of results.

There’s an easy way to make sure you’ll get good quality leads. Barbour ABI offers “10 Free Leads” so you can test the quality of the results. That would be a good place to start.

  1. What does follow-up look like?

There are a few different ways to do this. Some of them are more complicated or expensive than others.

Sales capacity – does your current team have the time to follow up more leads? Are they sitting around with nothing to do? This may be just the thing. But if they’re slammed you may have to hire someone else.

Call Centres – cold calling isn’t dead! There are still call centres that offer services for Barbour ABI or Glenigan subscribers like Build Momentum.

Project Prospecta – sure, we’ll throw our hat in the ring. Project Prospecta is a lead nurturing email automation tool for Barbour ABI subscribers. It handles all the initiation and outreach for you, and only alerts you about highly qualified leads.

  1. Will your CRM do the job?

You can get lots of great contacts from the Barbour ABI or Glenigan databases. But do you have a good CRM to store them in?

If you do, you can add all these fresh contacts to your email database, track conversations, and even website activity.

This is one way to make sure the value of this construction market intelligence doesn’t slip through your fingers. These leads can continue to be nurtured and may develop into profitable relationships in the future.

With a subscription to Barbour ABI or Glenigan, you can fill your contact database with great contacts. This is worth the subscription price by itself.

  1. It takes a team to make a play

If Barbour ABI or Glenigan is going to be your next play for business growth, you must have the team behind you.

Who is going to be the Barbour ABI or Glenigan champion? Pick someone you know will “nerd out” on it. Learn the ins and outs. And be able to teach the rest of the guys.

The worst is just to drop it on them and expect them to figure out how to use it well.

Are they worth it?

Is Barbour ABI or Glenigan “worth it”? It depends on the plan you have in place to use it. It very well could be your best investment all year.

Once you’ve signed up and deep-dived into the data to find some leads for your business it’s important to know how to manage, process and use the leads to maximise your ROI.

A few thoughts on how to manage Barbour ABI or Glenigan leads

It’s great to subscribe to Barbour ABI or Glenigan. But what’s the next step?

Don’t develop a case of leaky funnel syndrome. Make sure you have a great plan in place to nurture the leads that Barbour ABI or Glenigan generates.

Think about these questions: who’s in charge of managing these leads? Sales or marketing? Does marketing warm the leads first? At what point will they hand them over to the sales team?

Don’t let your success with Barbour ABI or Glenigan be undermined by an unclear process.

Here are a few tips for building a lead management strategy.


Someone’s going to need to get the leads out of the Barbour ABI system and enter them into the CRM. Should each sales rep engage them directly or should there be a lead warming campaign set up by your marketing department?

After that, what does follow up look like? If you map out each conversation you may have better success.

This type of plan guarantees that sales and marketing have clearly defined roles and expectations. A seamless strategy is great for the team, and leads have a better chance of converting when every conversation is personal and purposeful.


Save some time. Save your searches in Barbour ABI or Glenigan and refer to them. Here’s a great article about creating saved searches: Searching for a Project.

Also, you may want to set up notifications. Then you get a helpful reminder about your new leads. This is a great way to stay on track.


The easier your follow-up process the better. Automation can make it as smooth as possible. Maybe you want to write a series of 3 emails for each new prospect to receive as you enter them into your database. Maybe you want to automatically send a thank you note after a phone conversation. Automation is great for both sales and marketing.

Just a quick note, the best emails are not the fanciest ones. For well-researched tips about email marketing check out this article from HubSpot: Plain Text verse Html

And for some more tips on email automation check out this blog on the subject: How to automate your email marketing for your construction business

What’s your plan for Barbour ABI or Glenigan leads?

Whatever it is – the most important thing is to have one. And to make sure it’s implemented.

It’s not an easy thing to do.

However, Project Prospecta has established a system for doing this and offers it to all Barbour ABI subscribers. We utilize automation for most of this and a creative team for email writing. The workflow starts when relevant Barbour leads are identified and brought into Project Prospecta. We then use website tracking and lead scoring to identify the most interesting prospects and let you know. This way you identify every good fit prospect that comes through Barbour and can nurture that relationship before your sales team makes contact.

Because of this, we’re uniquely positioned to see how building products and construction companies are using Barbour ABI, the successes they have but also the mistakes they make. To help you avoid the same errors, here are 3 common mistakes we regularly see, so you can ensure you don’t make them too.


3 Mistakes Sales Reps Make with Barbour ABI and Glenigan Leads

Barbour ABI and Glenigan provide a lot of valuable data. A LOT. So much that sometimes it goes unused or underutilized.

Who wouldn’t find 1000 leads overwhelming?

Does this sound familiar? Of course, you want new business, but it’s not easy when you have a pool of 1000 contacts to sort through. This is when Project Prospecta can be helpful.

But there is still a lot you can do with these contacts.

Here are a few common mistakes sales reps make with Barbour ABI and Glenigan leads, and a few thoughts on how to fix them.

  1. Don’t forget to follow them up

This. Is. Essential. But strangely, often forgotten.

Perhaps because when you have so much work, you don’t even really get started. So, break up your Barbour search into manageable chunks that you can respond to. Because if you do make contact, and they do reach back out, you don’t want to miss it.

Who would miss an inquiry? More people than you think.

Here are a few statistics from HubSpot research about response time for following up with leads:

  • The average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours
  • Only 37% of companies responded to their leads within an hour
  • 16% of companies responded within one to 24 hours
  • 24% of companies took more than 24 hours
  • 23% of the companies never responded at all

And most of all, don’t forget to use it.

  1. Avoid a weak performance in the second half

Even if you do perform well in the initial phase of researching prospects and making contact, there’s the second half of the match where you have to keep going.

Some people told me they’ve given Barbour ABI and Glenigan a shot. What they mean is they sent out an e-Shot or email blast. And didn’t see a response so they thought it didn’t work.

This type of approach may work when you’re working with lists of over 10,000 contacts. And maybe when you’re selling something like a pair of shoes. But probably not when you’re trying to talk to architects or engineers about building products.

In this industry, it’s better to see every piece of communication as an investment in the trust between your prospects and your business. Build trust. One email at a time.

That’s how email nurturing campaigns work. They build on each other.

This is the type of approach that Project Prospecta takes, and it works well, because it feeds interest gradually, rather than gambling on having a few instant wins.

  1. Don’t be overly general

You could talk to everyone in the Barbour database, but you’re not going to be able to be personal enough to have an authentically personal tone and talk to their real pain points.

When this is the case, you have generic conversations.

Try pre-empting the problems that a specific set of people face. Make those people your search criteria in Barbour ABI or Glenigan. Create a campaign around that very problem. And see what the response is to that.

Still, it’s not easy to manage all of this. Whether you’re a sales director at a large company or a small business owner, whose most valuable employee is curled up at your feet waiting to be taken for a walk. In this case Project Prospecta can help.

Extra Tip – Don’t get complacent

When you have a lot to do, it’s easy to skip the nurturing process. It’s natural to take one good shot at a prospect. And when you don’t find much success, it’s easy to let Barbour ABI or Glenigan fall by the wayside. I get it. You can develop a system that would help you to stay on track by following these steps. Also, we’ll be writing more posts about how to do be effective with email marketing.

If you’d rather have us help, Project Prospecta may be useful. This new marketing technology can initiate personalized outreach, track engagement, and qualify prospects so you can talk to only the most interested leads. This is a great way to make the most of Barbour ABI and use it effectively to grow your business.

One common frustration

One common frustration among Barbour ABI or Glenigan subscribers is this: too many leads!

Not a bad problem to have.

However, the gap between raw data and optimum usage waited to be filled. Until Leigh Simpson founded Project Prospecta.

Here’s how it happened.

Project Prospecta Origin Story



I interviewed Founder Leigh Simpson about where the idea for Project Prospecta came from. He shares his inspiration in the video above. Check it out!

Here were my key take-aways:

  1. Barbour ABI is great at what they do

Barbour has been providing invaluable details about construction projects for years, and Leigh has been using them for decades.

  1. It contains invaluable information

42,000 jobs are added or updated every week. This information is useful to sales teams, but with such a large amount of it, the challenge is figuring out where to start.

  1. Great minds think divergently

The idea for Project Prospecta came about as Leigh chatted with Simon Rhodes of Barbour ABI over dinner. Rather than rehashing the same solutions to optimize the data for use, they started to consider new ways to do this.

  1. The goal is to help businesses generate leads

At the end of the day, businesses subscribe to Barbour ABI to help them generate leads. The information itself won’t generate leads; it needs to be utilized. Project Prospecta was the next step, that would help businesses make the best use of the information.

  1. It’s a cyborg solution

Automation is used to do tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming. But humans do the marketing parts that can’t be. So, it’s more of a cyborg than anything.

Project Prospecta includes automation, lead scoring, and website tracking, but combines that with creativity and human feeling. This, according to the experts, is the winning combo for sales and marketing tech.

If you’re interested in using Project Prospecta to warm your leads and generate revenue book a meeting with the link below.

Free Project Prospecta consultation

Before you go it’s important to clear up any questions, or concerns you may have about construction marketing intelligence. That way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and how it will fit into your current lead generation practices.

Misconceptions About Automation for Barbour ABI & Glenigan

When you suggest using technology to scale marketing for a construction or building product company, what response do you think you’d get?

“We aren’t ready for that”, “that won’t work for us”, or “I don’t like the idea of “bots” spamming our prospects”.

These are all valid perspectives. But the conversation needs to be had. Will automated marketing solutions be adopted sooner or later? Will they be adopted as an initiative to pioneer new ground? Or in a desperate response to lost market share?

Let’s clear up some misconceptions around automated marketing for Barbour ABI and Glenigan subscribers so that this conversation can happen sooner rather than later.

Automation supplements (doesn’t replace) humans

Automation is not here to take over. It can’t replace most human roles. But it can supplement your team’s energy and efforts and provide greater scalability and capacity.

Imagine your sales and marketing team could reach more relevant prospects, and do a better job following up with them, all through some straightforward automated applications. This would allow your humans to be more human, while your machines take care of the mundane things that employees would rather not do anyway.

On top of this, automation can do things that humans just plain can’t. And it’s not that humans aren’t “smart” enough. It’s just that humans don’t have the time to consistently contribute the attention to detail that automation can, evaluate the same quantity of information, or do as much repetitive work.

This is very relevant when it comes to large construction project databases like Barbour ABI and Glenigan. These are the environments where automation shines. There is so much information in these databases that only a robot can make the most of this.

By freeing up time for your team, you can allow them to engage more fully with the creative work that goes into your marketing. Good concepts, good writing, and creative executions are crucial to the success of your marketing.

Automation isn’t competing with humans. It’s giving them more powerful tools and freeing them up for new initiatives. In fact, according to McKinsey, “automation could raise productivity growth globally by 0.8 to 1.4% annually”.

Automation doesn’t mean spam

There are a few things that would flag outreach as spam.

  • poor timing
  • generic wording

Both concerns can be addressed by humans using automated platforms.


Automation can initiate outreach every few days, avoid weekends, and delay communication, based on previous engagement. Of course, any contacts who want to opt out must be allowed to do so in alignment with GDPR. So, setting up bots to respect the human need for space is only dependant on having respectful humans setting them up.


If the automation is too generic, it’s because the writers aren’t thinking specifically enough, or utilizing personalization features.

Human creativity is required to bring automation to life. Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana was created by a team including a playwright, poet, and novelist, to make sure it had the right tone. Confident, but not arrogant. The same is required for emails, smart content, or chatbots in your organization. Again, giving marketing automation an appropriate personality is dependent on the creative team behind it.

Another important element to make automation messaging more personal is personalization. This can be simple things, like using your prospects first name in an email subject line. But it can also mean choosing a different message for a prospect based on previous website interactions and content engagement. Studies show personalized content is dramatically more effective than non-personalized content.

How can I use automation?

The future is not a spam fest. Automation won’t lead to being bludgeoned by huge amounts of impersonal messages. It will be about relevant, timely, personal messages, delivered at times and locations that are convenient for the customer. That’s what automation makes possible.

It allows humans to enjoy their work more, as they spend their time engaging prospects and coming up with campaign concepts.

And it allows companies to get a better ROI on large databases like Barbour ABI and Glenigan by utilizing the vast amounts of data for more extensive and more targeted marketing strategies, carried out by human-guided automation tools.

For Barbour ABI subscribers, Project Prospecta is just that. A powerful tool to carry out large-scale, personalized marketing and lead scoring campaigns. This can transform a huge pool of prospects into a shortlist of warm leads who already know a good bit about you and your product, so you can sell to people who want to hear from you.

Book a Demo: Discover how Project Prospecta can Assist Construction Marketing Intelligence

Construction marketing intelligence services such as Barbour ABI and Glenigan can give you a wealth of leads to follow up on. If used well they can revitalise the lead generation process of any building product or construction company.

But for most businesses, the sheer volume of leads can overwhelm their sales and marketing functions.

This is where Project Prospecta can help. Using the automation and marketing services of Project Prospecta in conjunction with Barbour ABI’s intelligence is the best way to manage and maximise your lead generation practices and ensure a steady stream of manageable and qualified leads are produced for your business.

Book a demo to find out how it can work for your business.

Free Project Prospecta consultation


Interested? Then get in touch…

Or call us now on +44 (0) 1952 897097