A few weeks ago we had the chance to talk with Adam Needles, a writer, marketing veteran and academic who focuses on the ways in which brand strategy meets technology and innovation. He’s currently working on his MBA, but keeps a regular and in-depth blog with snippets of his forthcoming thesis and book.

His most recent post, “Online Compiled Lead Sourcing Providers: Assessing Their Value and Understanding Their Evolution,” explores the history and current state of the lead cycle, and the changes that have taken place in the process. Among the points made is the recognition that sales and marketing are becoming increasingly aligned.

The rapid ‘death’ of the consultative sale means that marketing organizations increasingly are playing a more-pervasive role in the lifecycle of leads – blurring the traditional lines between marketing and sales organizations.

This “blurring” – or alignment – is a major tenet of Sales 2.0, and it’s great to see folks like Adam making it part of their repertoire of discussion. We were able to speak to this particular evolution, and he explains how InsideView adds value to the lead and deal-closing process:

Why rely purely on public records or traditional address lists when the Web freely offers a wealth of information about prospects, often self-updated – particularly via social media?  Moreover, what more can you learn about leads that takes your insights from pure demographic information to more-contextual ethnographic and behavioral insights? That is, in part, the concept behind InsideView, which is…focused on improving the conversion of leads via online compiled lead sourcing providers – a push toward improving the ‘relative truth’ of lead information.

That last point is spot-on, and lead information is constantly being informed by new information and social Web data – the latest being Twitter, which has the potential to give short and constant insight into any given lead. It’s exciting to be a part of bettering the sales process through working towards complete lead sourcing.

Or as Adam puts it: the truth.