Use an API for Sales Prospecting- Automate finding sales leads

Sales ProspectingAPI for Sales Prospecting

I have a lot of friends that work in sales and spend an awful lot of time (manually) trying to find new sales leads.  There are a lot of sources out there (LinkedIn, Hoovers, InfoUSA, etc. ) which allow you to use a web browser for searching through their database.  Others open up access to their data by way of an webservice API.

The Clearbit prospect API allows you to find people and bring back demographics as well as email address.  The video demonstrates two examples where I of the Propector and Autocomplete Clearbit APIs.

Prospector and Autocomplete API

AutoHotKey GUI menu for API web service- Connecting to SilverPop via API

GUI menu for API web service

GUI menu for API web service

For years we have relied on using a browser for interacting with our client (SilverPop) servers.  I had heard that SilverPop had an API for doing much of the same thing but was always “too busy” to take the time to investigate.  At some point I started playing with it and was amazed at how much time could be saved.  After you get passed the “hand-shake” between your computer and the server, the rest is pretty easy.  You simply pass XML to tell the remote servers what action you want to achieve.

I then created an AutoHotKey GUI menu for API web service  which streamlined submitting the XML.

 

Here is the AutoHotkey script for GUI menu for API web service

 

Loading contacts to SilverPop via API call & SFTP file transfer

API call & SFTP file transfer

API call & SFTP file transfer

API call & SFTP file transfer

Loading our contact lists into Engage via their Web interface (browser) takes around 7-9 minutes of focused attention per list.  Doing the same thing with an API call and Secure File Transfer (SFTP) takes seconds!  The below video demonstrates the process from using web scraping to grab the name /ID on our SharePoint server to uploading the file to Engage, creating the name in Engage and tying the new name to the contact list.  The video is longer because I also have it wait for the data job to complete and then write an email confirming the process is complete.

The API call & SFTP file transfer is free with Engage/SilverPop but it isn’t well promoted (on their website nor by their representatives.  Spending a bit of time to get it working is well worth the investment. For the SFTP file transfer I’m using WinSCP but any SFTP program will do.

 

 

API call & SFTP file transfer

API Call and – SFTP file transfer

Easy way to export all of your ZOHO contacts- API call’s are a life saver!

export zoho contacts

You wouldn’t think that exporting contacts from an online CRM would be difficult however when I went to export ZOHO contacts, it sure went out of their way to!  I also found trying to update them (via the web interface) time consuming and frustrating.  I wrote an API call that automated the exporting of contacts from my account.

The below video documents how the API call automated my export ZOHO contacts and then builds a hyperlink which allows me to easily link back to an individual record.  API / Web services are similar to but different than web scraping in that the API call allows you to be very specific with your query and doesn’t return all the HTML content (which greatly increases the size of the payload)

Export ZOHO contacts

ZOHO API Call-Exporting all Records

You might find this Kindle book interesting if you’re migrating your database to the cloud.