In the beginning, you know about five years ago, some smart sales types discovered the awesome power of mining social networks for leads. In a way it was like the early prospectors digging around and bumping into gold with little more than an idea and some hard work staking claims. (This post I wrote in 2010 about mining Twitter for leads remains one of my most shared posts)
But now we’ve moved past the point of crude social lead digging to a much more elegant phase in which prospective clients can be discovered, scored and nurtured using social networks and everyday relationship building tools.
In fact, the practice has become so accepted it now has several names – social selling and social lead targeting. (By the way I’ve curated a list of CRM tools at the bottom of this post that you might want to check out.)
As services such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter grow in importance so too have the tools that mine the rich set of sales data left in every interaction.
But, the big breakthrough in social selling occurred, in my opinion, when tools that mined social data started talking to each other.