Whilst this piece is focussed on the legal sector, I believe what Paul says is relevant across all sectors. The key phrase here is "relationship intelligence" - there are many tools out there, but the obvious one of choice is Linkedin which will give the external view of who knows whom. You can take this a few steps further with Sales Navigator, sync it with a CRM such as Dynamics 365 and then you, in theory, will have all the relationship intelligence you will need. Assuming you have good relationship data in the first place.
This is brings us back to the age old challenge of data - if you have poor relationship data to start with, all the technology in the world is not going to solve this. Therefore at a very basic level, is your organisation "social" and by this I mean, are they at least connecting with clients, prospects, old school / college/ university friends on social to help give better "relationship intelligence" beyond just what is in the CRM system - if it is indeed in the CRM.
Yes, you can automate call reminders and follow ups, which is pretty standard in most CRM systems today, you can surface the relationship intelligence. There is even technology available in CRM such as Dynamics 365 which can tell what they were tweeting, commenting, blogging about in the last 12 hours if you want to get into really deep relationship intelligence and analytics. (It is their Social Engagement tool for those that are interested - you can connect with me to find out more). The question is, will the BD Director, Lawyer, Accountant, Sales Manager, Sales Rep and so on, know what to do with this new insight and how to build their sales conversations accordingly - typically, this is where there is a major gap in how to use the data in a meaningful way - assuming you know what you are looking for in the first instance.
So, yes, Relationship Intelligence and the tools that enable access to this are critical the 21st Century sales approach, the question is are your people in a position to understand what to do with it?
With the right relationship intelligence, business development leaders can not only select target clients, but also to manage how the firm approaches those prospects to close more business.