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 firstname.lastname@example.org signs up for a 30-day trial?
Nothing! Your lead-scoring system ignores hotmail accounts.
Now suppose email@example.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:
- Company size
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
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.
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
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.)
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?