Guest post written by Romi Mahajan, President/Founder of KKM Group and Board Member of Socedo.

Anyone who is even minimally versed in “Sales” understands the tricky nature of a “Lead’s” transition into an “Opportunity.” Of course companies differ in their criteria and sales people often disagree as to the “stage” of a particular contact but in general the transition from Lead to Opportunity requires some sort of action on the part of the contact such that some propensity to buy is visible.

Traditionally these actions fall into a few categories- survey responses, white paper downloads click-throughs, and other similar events. By electing to perform and action with the attendant effort, the contact is indicating interest and is backing her interest up by expending energy. This continues to be a fairly good proxy for moving a contact to a different stage in your nurturing cycle but also implies that those not taking actions are not particularly interested.

Therein lays the problem. Since we can only measure further action on our own sites or via our own vehicles we have little knowledge of how much action this contact indeed took after the initial teaser. None of us has a window into everything! This is where Social Media comes in and where mining these networks for opportunities offers new possibilities and turns traditional lead gen on its head. After all, it is very likely that the contact person will opine about what she has learned (elsewhere) or what her immediate interests are on social networks; these follow-through actions are different than the ones we are used to but are equally valuable if not more valuable.

Great lead gen programs no doubt employ both traditional and social methods for nurturing. The art of uncovering opportunities requires exactly that sort of multi-pronged approach.

Good luck selling!

This is a guest post written by Romi Mahajan, who can be reached He is a Board Member of Socedo, runs a marketing and strategy advisory firm, is an angel investor and author, and advises Advaiya