An API is an application program interface that transfers data between two points. An easy way to think about APIs is that they act like waiters at a restaurant. The waiters, or the API, go between your table’s order (origin of data) and the kitchen (destination of the data) and deliver the food (data, processes, services) seamlessly back and forth between the two. What you end up with is the ability to use information from one place while in the setting of another. APIs are incredibly time-saving and allow businesses to move forward faster without having to reinvent a thousand wheels to get to where they want to go.APIs will become more and more interesting to salespeople and marketers because they’re changing the ways we build sales machines. With APIs, you can integrate with tons of different platforms, automate more processes and reduce your team sizes. This is what the future of sales machines looks like.
The power of many machines customized and rolled into one
It’s estimated that 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees use CRMs. Our CRMs let us see where everyone is in the funnel and help us make improved decisions about who to target. With APIs, our CRMs will become even more powerful as we find ways to integrate more resources and tools into them. What used to be a place to organize contact info can now become a hub for your sales activities thanks to APIs. A quick look at Salesforce’s App Exchange will show hundreds of integrations that you can add to your Salesforce account to allow you to customize and build your sales machine and it’s beneficial that your team explores the options.
Twillio is a great example of the way that APIs are integrating into platforms to improve them. One major way they’re doing so is through their call integrations. By integrating the call channel into CRMs, Twillio allows their users to make calls, record them and save them to records within CRMs to have all the information in one place. The most interesting part about Twillio? It runs in the background so it’s possible that you use it and you don’t even know it.
Automate as much as possible to accelerate your machine
A high-performance sales machine means that you can feed it more prospects each day and you’ll have more customers down the line. An excellent way to accelerate your machine is to incorporate APIs that can automate tasks for your team. When you automate tasks, you’ve learned patterns that your customers typically go through in their buyer journeys and you’ve set up systems that recognize them and deliver a predictable action. The time you save on repetitive manual tasks can be better used nurturing unique relationships or reaching out to more leads.
An easy way to dip your toe in the API and automation pool is to start with emails. With many CRMs now you can connect your email account so you can send emails from your address through your CRM. You can automate certain emails to go off after certain actions. For example, if someone subscribes to your email newsletter, you can automate an email thanking them or confirming their address right away.
Scale your sales, not your team
Before APIs, you’d need dozens of people if you wanted to get as much done in a day. Aside from being able to integrate into new products and services, APIs are changing the way we build our sales machines because they’re letting fewer people do more things. Think about how long it would take you to manually send 100 of the same emails to different people. Now you can do it with the click of a button. The time you save multiplies when you consider how you can use APIs in a variety of channels and touches. This means we can hire less people and still do more.
A great example of this is integrating VOIQ into your CRM. Most B2B marketing and sales teams don’t know how to prospect properly or they don’t have the time or perseverance to reach out to prospects via phone. When you integrate the call channel into your funnel, you’re adding value to your leads through automated sales qualification calls. With VOIQ, you tap into a network of thousands of on-demand sales agents who qualify your prospects for you. The information gathered during the calls is stored in your CRM so your team can close deals.
The only way to grow is to try new things and play around with different parts to make your sales machine the most efficient it can be. With the way we sell today, there is no one-size-fits-all sales machine that works for every business. Instead, you’ll have to experiment, measure and get feedback so you can decide to continue using a new part in your machine or if it’s best to try something else. The important thing is that you do something, and right now what you need to do is try out APIs and build the sales machine of the future today.