If your company has a Website, you can monitor who visits it using various services. Sites such as Pardot capture site visitors, integrating those results into Salesforce CRM. Another service, Etrigue, also integrates with Salesforce.com, as well as with Salesforce's AppExchange or Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
This is a passive opportunity; the contacts simply come to you. And it doesn't require someone to enter the data into your preferred customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Buy a List
You don't have to do the data collection yourself. You can buy and customize lists to suit your specific needs--for example, to target healthcare professionals earning more than $100,000.
Dun & Bradstreet's Hoovers is perhaps the best-known source, with over 85 million individuals in its database; also using the Dun & Bradstreet data is Zapdata. Yet another source of CRM prospects is InfoUSA, a member of Infogroup.
However, such lists are not without fault, even when purchased at a premium. You can expect to find some "bounces" even on the best of these services as people change jobs (or at least change their e-mail addresses). Perhaps up to 10% of the entries may be "bad," so plan accordingly.
As mentioned above, the terms of service for most social networks prohibit commercial use of the information contained in their sites. It might seem easy to obtain e-mail addresses from members of a particular social network, but this action violates the terms of service for most networks. Basically, you can use your fan page and solicit contacts by asking them to be your friend or to join your network, but you can't copy someone's information without their permission.
What about copying the contacts from a rival or former company? That is also disallowed, although the legal precedents are still being worked out in the courts. In some cases courts have found that a company's contact list on their social network site is public, while other courts have found that that is not the case.
Also, not every social network is the same. Facebook grants members only noncommercial rights, but LinkedIn is designed for professionals to use in building up contacts, so usage of its information for commercial use may be all right.
Use a Targeted Approach