Be a hero to your sales team with this Slack hack

Let’s face it – marketing and sales operations can be thankless work. When we generate quality leads we’re “doing our jobs”. We toil away making slow, methodical progress – progress often unseen by the rest of the company.

Would you like to be the hero for a change?  To make a, quick, high-visibility impact with your sales team?

Of course you do! If so, give this hack a try.

With a bit of coding you can create a “hot” lead notification using Clearbit and Slack.

It’s a fun project for a Friday afternoon or a hackathon – we know from experience that sales teams love it.

Use Clearbit’s sweet API to learn more about your leads

What does your sales team do when gophillyeagles998@hotmail.com signs up for a 30-day trial?

Nothing! Your lead-scoring system ignores hotmail accounts.

Now suppose gophillyeagles998@hotmail.com is CEO of a 100-person company in Chicago (where he is the only Eagles fan) and he’s using a personal email account to test our your app.

ooooooops! Your sales team just missed an opportunity to engage a white-hot lead.

Clearbit helps solve this problem. Send Clearbit’s API an email address and it returns information about a lead such as:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Title
  • Company size
  • Industry

With a bit of hacking you can use the API to build a lead notification system in Slack.

Why you’ll be a hero for the VP of Sales

Slack “interrupts” sales reps to call immediately

Most sales teams know an ideal time to call a qualified lead – usually within minutes of signup or after a specific event. Since we all live in Slack they can get an instant notification to take action.

Miss fewer good leads who use a free email account

Some qualified leads will test your product with a personal email account. Identify and give them some extra love to make sure they have a good experience.

Qualify leads based on company size, role, etc.

Sometimes you only have an email address. Sure, you can manually look up businesses based on email domains or ask for additional information but this is a hassle.

With Clearbit’s API you can quickly qualify leads on simple metrics like “send me a Slack notification if company size is greater than 30”.

Add “conversation starters” context

Good sales reps look for anything relevant to get closer to a lead or start a conversation. With a Slack notification it is all there at their fingertips.

“You’re an Eagles fan too? Man, sure glad Chip Kelly is gone. Must be lonely there in Chicago”.

“Since you’re in manufacturing I’m guess you signed up to take advantage of our partnerships in Asia, correct?”

How it works

Send Clearbit an email address from your app (or a separate code hack), determine if the lead is qualified and post to Slack

slack_notify

How to setup

Some custom dev work – but don’t be afraid

Ok, ok, I know. Developer time is the scarcest resource at your company and they’re already overworked. This hack does take some custom dev work but:

  • The Slack and Clearbit APIs are well-documented and written by developers for developers – speaking as one myself, we like working with these type of tools.
  • Even junior level server-side developers can do it. It makes for a fun Friday project or hackathon.
  • You can give developers some very specific requirements about what you want by following the steps below – this will save them a ton of time.

If all else fails just find a bored developer and learn her favorite Starbucks drink – you’d be surprised what you can get done with a nice word and a $5 Latte.

Step 1 – Sign up for a Clearbit account.

They have a free version with limited API calls. The paid plans will pay for itself if you get 1-2 new deals/month from doing this.

Step 2 – Document which fields you want from Clearbit

Login and visit https://dashboard.clearbit.com/docs#enrichment-api and identify what Person and Company information you want in Slack.

Start with just a few of the most important ones – and understand that Clearbit usually only has a subset of this data.

clearbit api

Step 3 – Identify your threshold for qualified leads

Write down the qualification rules for leads.

e.g. “only create a Slack notification if metrics.employees > 50

Step 4 – Create a dedicated Slack Channel for the notifications

slack channel

Step 5 – Send this to your developer

Give your developer the Clearbit login credentials and the requirements you created in Step 2 and Step 3.

(And we’ll be oh-so flattered if you send her the URL to this blog post as well.)

Developer resources

In addition to the Clearbit and Slack APIs there is clearbit-slack on Github. You can also ask us any questions or suggest other resources in the comments below.

Bonus: User predictive analytics to include in-app behavior

This a simple approach for quickly alerting sales teams about qualified leads through Slack. It is a great way to get started if your sales team isn’t identifying and contacting leads quickly.

Add your customer’s in-app behavior to qualify leads better and arm sales with more customer data

Adding predictive analytics based on user behavior is far more effective – especially if you get >10 leads/day. We can do this for you. The benefits of predictive analytics are:

  • Better qualification based on what your best customers have done in the past.
  • More effective “call now” notifications the moment customers are ready to buy.

Predictive analytics does this more effectively than building and managing a pile of lead scoring rules. Best of all we can do this for you so you don’t have to hire a data scientist. And we can do this for you.

 

Did I mention we can do this for you?

  • Hey Kevin this is one of those hacks that makes you think why the heck has no one thought of this before?! Love it.

    I mean the future of lead scoring is so young and it made me think how far could sales org go in automating this. Anyway your post got me thinking and here are two other use-cases that may complement the Clearbit hack–it just depends on how well you know what predicts a good customer:

    1) Use a similar API hack to Datanyze.com (a company that provides real-time data on the technologies that any website uses) so that when a chosen company criteria meets your target customer (i.e. >50 employees, located in DC, and implemented MixPanel within 24 hours) to send a Slack lead notification. This would be more for a digital agency/consultancy that provides MixPanel implementations services. But since Datanyze tracks thousands of web technologies you could get super-granular.

    2) Use an API to ReplyApp.io so that when lead criteria is found (either through Clearbit or Datanyze) to automatically begin an automated, 1-to-1 “drip” email outreach until that person replies. In the Datanyze case, you could program the ReplyApp automated script to “drip” based on specific technology. For example if there were six prospects that matched the “>50 employee company in DC that just decided to pilot MixPanel” criteria, the subsequent emails would personalize emails to each prospect. If the new tech was KISSMetrics or Segment a second script could automate that drip too.

    Anyway with the combination of lead scoring, predictive analytics, automation and APIs the time is ripe for a new breed of data services. We are living in quite exciting times!