Social networking sites, financial reports, and industry news articles and blogs often contain free information concerning a particular company or contact that is valuable to sales professionals. This CRM Buyer report suggests that harvesting all the scattered information from social networks (free) and other content providers (paid) about these prospects can potentially be beneficial for the purposes of deploying more finely targeted sales and marketing campaigns.
"Various online sources, such as social networking sites, financial reports, industry news articles and blogs, often contain information concerning a particular company or contact that is valuable to sales professionals and, perhaps as important, is generally free of charge.
"The challenge that businesses face is being able to glean this information without spending extraordinary amounts of time and effort in locating and storing it, so that the data is accessible to the right selling team member at the right time. In order to discover the appropriate contact within a company, or supplement an incomplete profile entry that currently exists in a CRM solution, an increasing number of companies are arming their sales staff with online business directories and customer information aggregators for the purpose of discerning the quickest and most beneficial path to the decision-makers they seek to engage."