Want to make Close work with your favorite apps? Watch this webinar with Alison Grove from Zapier and our Director of Business Development, Kevin Ramani.
We've recently expanded the scope of possibilities to connect all your Close data into other applications using Zapier. It's easy to do, requires no technical skills, but enables you to create powerful custom integrations for your favorite sales software.
There's a multitude of possibilities to make Close work with your favorite apps and save you time. No webinar could cover all the possibilities, but it should be a good starting point to get your ideas started.
Alison: Hi, my name is Alison, I have the privilege of our community here at Zapier and today I'm really excited to get a chance to talk with Kevin from Close. How are you doing today, Kevin?
Kevin: Doing great, thank you Alison.
Alison: Good. Close is a really awesome, awesome app, and I'm going to let Kevin talk about it in a bit here before we really get going.
Kevin: Close is the ultimate inside sales tool. If you're familiar with using other CRMs and have had the frustrations of having to deal with tons and tons of data entry and having to log your calls and having to log your emails and all your communication, Close is the answer to that problem. Close seamlessly integrates all your calls and all your emails into the CRM, so that you can build your relationships seamlessly without having to do any work at all.
Our main mission when we first started Close is to help sales people be more successful. And to do that we knew that communication was the key, and therefore we made a platform that automatially syncs your emails and a platform that actually makes calls right out of the app.
The other aspect of this is data-entry. And in order to minimize data-entry one of the first integrations we ever did was with Zapier. Because these guys allowed us to easily communicate and sync with a multitude of amazing apps out there. So that's why we're here today to showcase that relationship.
Alison: Yeah I think for anyone who has done any bit of sales or marketing or anything that involves building relationships and talking with people - and I know that even for myself as well - when you talk to so many people every day and you've got a lot of moving pieces, data-entry is one of the last things you want to worry about.
The most important thing is having that conversation, building that relationship. And then having to deal with that data-entry, whatever that data-entry might be, even if it's just casually grabbing their information at the start is just an added piece that no one wants to do.
So I'm excited to talk through a couple of ways today where we can both help people bridge the gap between other aspects of their business and get information in and out of Close, because it's just so important to focus on that customer relationship and so much less on how you're moving data, where data is going, and hopefully this will save people a lot of time. And I know that that's part of what you guys already have going on. So when we can add something on top of that, I think it's really going to be very beneficial for everyone.
So I'm going to share my screen here, and Kevin and I are going to talk through a couple of things.
Importing data from web forms into Close
The first thing I want to tackle today is probably one of the most basic things that people in sales and marketing and other sorts of lead gen do, that's dealing with forms and initially grabbing information from people.
I would love to hear from you, Kevin, how you guys are seeing forms to collect information and get that into Close.
Kevin: That's a good question. When you are first starting out with a new CRM, the most important thing is getting your data in there. It's easy to take take any CRM and import your data into Close. You usually do a CSV import, or one-time import from another CRM, but, what about ongoing? What about as leads are coming in, and when I say lead, I'm talking specifically about people signing up on your website, signing up on your newsletters, people that you are going to be actively engaging with, your prospects, the people you sell to.
That's an extremely important aspect, and again, going into the 'keeping your data-entry to a minimum', we worked with Zapier to build the right integrations so that customers of ours can quickly use something like a Wufoo or Typeform, or just a simple formbuilder, and automatically push that data into Close.
And Alison will show you how exactly you can simply build this integration with Zapier.
Alison: Yes, forms are actually one of the most used things we see across Zapier, because they're so flexible like Kevin said. There's just so many different things you can do with forms. So no matter what type of business you have, or what type of lead or contact you're trying to get, these forms out there - we're looking at typeform right here on the screen, but there's tons of different form builders out there, so no matter what you use, you could probably connect it to Close via Zapier.
It's just such a simple way to grab information right off your website. And we create that lead virtually automatically.
And this is going to happen: It's a one-to-one connection, so anytime you have a new entry on a form (whether it's typeform, wufoo, whatever that might be, and we'll look at some other ones here in just a second), it's going to automatically create this new lead.
And it's very simple to set up, you can see as I go through here, it takes you no more than one or two minutes. And then once it's done, anytime anyone puts an entry on that form, wherever that form is, it's going to automatically create that lead in Close
So you can spend more time doing the things you need to be doing and less time worrying about manual data-entry.
So when we look at this on the screen, it means that anytime anyone fills out my form, I'm going to create a new lead in Close.
And I can match up the information from one to another, so you never worry about are the right pieces of data into the right spot in Close?
All I have to do is say: okay, when someone fills out this particular form (and when you connect your account, whether, again, typeform, wufoo, whatever that might be), whenever you connect it to Zapier, we're going to be able to see all your forms, and you can select the form that you want to look at right here.
So that's one step. And then the second step is basically just saying: ok, I want certain information to go over and create my lead in Close.
So when I click on 'Insert fields' here, I'm going to see all that information coming over from my form. I see I've got the name here in the name field, I've got the email address...
Depending upon what your form has, you may have a form with a lot of information on it. And you can match that up too. You can see all kinds of information here.
So all I need to do is click on this 'Insert field' button, and I'm going to match up that information just like you see there, to go right over to create that lead in Close.
And when I scroll down all the way here to the bottom, you can fill out as many of these fields as you want, or as few of them as you want. It's totally up to you.
You can see we've got 'Notes' fields here, we even got 'Custom fields' to Close. So if you wanted to put in 'Industry' or whatever that custom field might be...
[9:25] When I test out what that zap might potentially look like, and I click on my action sample here, I'll see exactly what's going to go over to Close.
And you can see I've got about as basic a sample information as I can go, but it would be that person's email address, name and phone number, that would automatically create that lead, so I don't have to worry about it.
The form does its work. Automatically sends it over to Close. And I can make those phone calls, send those emails, however my normal workflow goes in Close.
You don't have to worry about "Well, now I got to check my form today to see if anyone has entered information to my form... and now I've got to take that information and copy it over to Close...". You don't have to do that anymore. Zapier will do that for you.
And like I said... we looked at typeform there, but Zapier connects tons of different form types: wufoo, typeform, gravity forms, or just about anything you can probably use or think of, like unbounce landing pages, anything like that... you can connect it directly to Close from Zapier.
And Zapier will automatically do that work for you, and you can spend your time doing the stuff you need to be doing, and less time doing that data-entry.
Feeding contacts from Close into your email marketing solution (e.g. MailChimp, Aweber, etc)
So that's forms. And I think another really popular use of automations with Close is email marketing. And I'm sure that Kevin has seen this a lot and has some good tips to share as well.
Kevin: Definitely! A lot of our customers use email marketing tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact, and one of the challenges there is you need to get the list of your email from your CRM. Because ultimately your CRM is the repository.
So just like that Close is a repository for your leads, your contact information and emails, and you want to be able to send that data into your email marketing tool to be able to send out things like newsletters or marketing campaigns.
We internally do this as well. We use MailChimp and we use Zapier to send our leads or our emails from Close to mailchimp, in order to do our monthly newsletter.
So if you are our customer of Close, or you ever signed up for Close, you're going to get a monthly newsletter from us where you're going to get product announcements, information about new features, and tons and tons of useful sales content.
So it's so simple that we get to use this where every month we send an updated list from Close to MailChimp. And you can do this more frequently. And then from MailChimp we build those nice newsletters and we send them out. And this can be done with other tools as well.
So it's a really useful way to have your CRM, then send your data to your email marketing platform.
Alison: Yeah, and you can even create this as a workflow. Just like we were looking at sending your form information to creating a new lead, once that new lead is created in Close it will automatically send that person over to your email marketing platform as a subscriber.
So we try to take as much work out of this as possible, so you can focus on the important stuff; the closing, the relationship building.
And leave the sort of data-entry, or even remembering to do it, I think that's another important thing, like, getting new leads, you're dealing with those people and sometimes it might slip your mind that you actually have to add them to your email marketing platform.
So this is another way that we can say: alright, when I get this new lead, I want to add them as a subscriber to our email marketing platform.
This works exactly like the form example we just looked at. But instead of information going into Close, we're going to take information out of it.
So we say: anytime that we get a new lead, we're going to just add them to our MailChimp list, or any MailChimp list that we might want to.
And it looks exactly like the form example... except here, we've actually got some options here for Close triggers.
If you have a specific thing that you want to look at. Queries we look at, I imagine, Kevin do you guys, is there a specific that you guys would call somebody's options here. Like, you know, 'Created call' etc?
Kevin: Yeah, we create Smart Views using search filters. And this is one of the highlights of Close, to be able to narrow and filter data any way you want, so you can actually intelligently send data to other tools using Zapier.
You can actually, what you see over there, those are Smart Views. [link to smart views help article] Those are saved filters that you have previously created in your Close account.
Alison: Yeah, so you don't necessarily have to send every new lead to your MailChimp list. You can create a filter and then only those new leads that match the certain filter will then be sent over to MailChimp.
So you can do them all, because you can see the default is to say: we're going to use all new leads that are created.
But you can also filter that down, which is really helpful. Because sometimes you don't necessarily want to send people over to your email marketing list.
Or, at the same time, you could also set up several of these apps, and change this filter to whatever you might want, that might correspond to a specific list in your marketing platform.
So you can say: when someone matches a certain criteria here in that filter from Close, I want them to go over to this specific list in MailChimp.
So you can set up as many of those as you want, which is also really helpful.
Kevin: One great example of this is in your CRM you typically have 'status', that tells you whether this is a good lead / bad lead / not interested / good fit / further along in sales process / early in sales process / etc.
You can use these Smart Views to just send all these leads that are newly created but also have the filter that they're also currently in status A.
So once they move to another status, or if they are no longer in a particular status, they will not be sent to your email marketing platform via Zapier.
So let's say you talked with a lead and found out they're not a good fit for your product or service, you can mark them as 'Bad fit' in your Close account and that email is no longer sent by Zapier to MailChimp.
Alison: Yeah, so there are several different ways how you can segment this out.
You could even send a zap to unsubscribe someone from a MailChimp list.
That's another way to quickly organize your information. That would be here in the custom filters. And you can filter on 'Status' label. So that's also really helpful.
So that's about what information you want to trigger on in Close.
And then just like the form example, you can match up certain fields from Close to MailChimp.
So the obvious one here is the email address.
So I click on insert fields, I match up 'email address'.
We have a couple of other options here. Whether or not you want to use double opt-in.
If you're using MailChimps Automation feature when someone comes on board, and you can trigger that from here.
You can even put people in a specific group, so it's just a really easy way to deal with your email marketing list without having to actually having to touch it.
So you can do all of your work in Close and then let Zapier handle the rest.
And while we've been talking about MailChimp here, we integrate with just about any email marketing platform out there. Aweber, Constant Contact, GetResponse, MadMimi, Drip, Intercome, Active Campaign, etc. you name it. You don't necessarily have to use MailChimp, whatever email marketing solution you use, it almost certainly works with Zapier.
Connecting your team collaboration tools with Close
The last thing that I want to talk about, something that is near and dear to our heart, is team collaboration.
You probably have to deal with other team mates that might not be on the sales team or be involved with what you're doing, but might need to be involved with a certain portion of it.
Kevin: One example for this is making sure that everybody is on the same page.
We internally use a chat tool called HipChat. Very similar to Slack.
We have multiple chat rooms for different topics and departments.
And one of the team chat rooms is the sales chat room.
And every time there is a new lead in Close (which gets send to Close via the web form on our website using Zapier) it gets sent to our HipChat 'Sales' room.
So all our sales people can see in real-time what leads are coming in.
And in some cases there is more context about a particular lead that a normal sales person might not know about. For example, let's say a lead comes in and it's a particular company who our CEO knows about. And if he's monitoring the chat room he can comment in the chat room and say: "Hey I actually know these guys, so make sure you mention that in your sales pitch to them." And that suddenly makes your sales process more effective.
That's just one example of it.
We also send, everytime we close deals or win opportunities, we send that into another chat room and this allows the rest of our team the progress our sales team is making.
This makes it so people celebrate even when they're remote or they're around the country or around the world, they get to celebrate the wins that we have.
Alison: Yeah, and we do a lot of the same at Zapier since we're all distributed all over the world. No two people work together.
We use this type of automation to make sure that we're all on the same page.
Using the sales data, anyone can stay updated at any time. And once again, you're no longer dependant on remembering to tell a team mate. Or if you forget and there's really valuable information in so many of these things, I think the CEO example is perfect, everyone has different relationships with different people. But when you're all on the same page, I might know someone, Kevin might know that Kevin might not know.
And if he was quickly alerted to that, then we can touch base on that and make that whole process easier, probably even close that sale a lot quicker and a lot better, because we are all on the same page as a team.
So this again is a really simple automation to set up and once it's done you never have to worry about it again.
And your new leads are going to pipe right over into the team collaboration tool of choice, whether that's Slack, HipChat, maybe a task management tool, whatever that might be.
So just like email marketing this looks virtually the same as far as setup of the zap.
And going through what that looks like and how long it takes. So here we're basically saying, every time we get a new lead, we're going to send a message to Slack.
And just like the email marketing example, you can use these filters here, maybe there's only certain leads that you want to trigger on, or that you want certain teams to know about, or maybe even certain triggers here or certain leads that you would want to go into a certain room in your chat tool or anything like that.
There's multitude of ways how you can filter that.
And as far as matching that up, you can have a little fun with this.
So anytime I get a new lead in Close I want that to go into my 'Sales' channel in Slack. And then I can leave any sort of message.
So I've actually typed this myself, and say: Anytime we get a new lead, it's going to automatically send that message to Slack. It says: "Hey y'all, we have a new 'Status label'" (So whatever your label for that lead might be, that's also going into the message. So if the lead status is 'qualified lead', then the chat message will say "Hey y'all, we have a new qualified lead").
Not all leads are created equal, and this is a really easy way to communicate that.
And then I can say the name of that person and the email address, and you could actually input anything from this dropdown that you see here, which is a lot of information...
I just tried to keep it as simple as possible to demonstrate it. But there's so much you could put in there, so the sky is the limit, you can create that message to be anything that you might want.
And then once that's done, anytime you get a new lead in Close, it's going to automatically send that over to... Slack/Trello/Asana/Basecamp/Podio/HipChat/etc. Whatever tool you use, there's probably a solution in Zapier for you.
You saw it takes just a couple of minutes to set it up and it's automatically going to pipe in there and you don't have to worry about it anymore.
I think we've given people some good ideas and examples of what's possible with Zapier and Close together. There's a lot more, but you can contact us if you have questions, ideas or check out our website for more information. Is there anything else you would like to share, Kevin?
Kevin: What's exciting is, as you saw that when Alison was showing you the list of possible things you can do, a lot of those things are recently added to the possible ways of accessing data from Close. Before it was a little bit more limited. A lot of times, even I don't know what all the options are. I can't even imagine, because our customers are more creative than us when it comes to making all these integrations work. But what I can tell you is, if you are looking for any kind of integration or any kind of connection using Zapier, reach out to us as well. And we'll be happy to help any way we can.
Alison: Yeah, we just crossed the two million zap potential not to long ago at Zapier. So there are now over two million potential zaps that can be created. With that being said I imagine that you guys actually have a way better idea of, because you're talking to your own users every day about different ways of using automations in really creative ways. And with two million plus, I imagine there's something that we can come up with that will be helpful for anybody out there.
Thank you for doing taht Kevin, I think that's really awesome. I think you guys wil have a really good idea of what all the possibilities that can be done with Close are, because you're hearing about that every day. So thank you so much for joining us. That was fun. It's so exciting to show off all the ways that we can help, especially because it can be done so quickly and can save everyone so much time, which always gets us excited.
Thank you for joining us.
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