Time zone support in search

Time zone support in search

TL; DR: look at the new search query examples at the bottom of this post.

Our search has just gotten smarter! You can now look for leads in a specific time zone (e.g. target people from the East Coast by typing timezone:ET) or sort the leads by a time zone offset (it means you can order them from East to West and first focus on the ones who will be out of their offices soon).

These are both useful keywords, but the most important addition might be the local_time. You can type local_time > 9am local_time < 5pm and Close will only show you the leads that are most likely to be at the office! No more calling poor Europeans at 4 p.m. PDT (i.e. 1 a.m. in Germany)!

We determine the most likely time zone by looking at leads' addresses and phone numbers. We also built an open source library to make it easier for others (https://github.com/elasticsales/tz-trout).

This feature has proven to be a good learning experience for us, with one conclusion standing out: time zones are hard. Their names and abbreviations are not unique (e.g. CST can stand for Central Standard Time or China Standard Time) and the tools to match geographical and phone data to specific time zone identifiers are incomplete.

Some countries observe DST (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time), some used to, some never did, and some places are just plain ridiculous (looking at you, Indiana). DSTs change quite randomly in different countries and we didn’t want to settle for being an hour off. It was a challenging problem to solve, but luckily, that’s the type we like.

Here’s a few search queries that could make your day a little nicer:

  • Show leads where local time is between 9am and 5pm and sort them from East to West: local_time > 9am local_time < 5pm sort:-timezone_offset
  • Show leads whose addresses indicate PDT (e.g. California during daylight savings time): address_timezone: PDT
  • Show leads whose phone numbers indicate EDT (e.g. New York during daylight savings time): phone_timezone: EDT

Happy selling—regardless of the time zone your leads are in!