Increase Sales efficiency with Data Mining
Data mining can make a massive difference in startups. Most startups begin with an empty CRM, and sales hunters spend hours creating new accounts and new contacts. Having someone who masters data mining can save hours of tedious work. In this post, I’ll show you how data mining can increase your sales team efficiency.
What is Data Mining?
Websites organize elements in categories called classes. For example, on my site, my posts titles are all located in an “h3” class. Data mining is about retrieving the entire category that is loaded on the page. On Google Chrome, if you “Inspect” the page (right click, then hit “inspect”), you will see the website organization, as shown below.
Classes are similar to windows folders. A windows folder looks like this:
On a website, we call this path the XPath. To get an XPath, right click on the element and go to Copy > Copy XPath. Here is what I get when I copy the first post title’s XPath :
As I want to get all post titles, I need to replace “div” by “div”. Tweaking the XPath to get what you need can be tricky. In this example, as I selected the first post title, I knew that I had to get rid of a “1” somewhere.
Google Chrome extension: Data Miner
The Data Miner extension will retrieve all similar XPaths for you. As my website shows 10 posts per page, if we scrape all titles in this page, we will find 10 post titles. Thus, this is what I get by scraping my home page. Data Miner returns 10 post titles, as expected.
There are many data mining practical applications. Let’s say the sales director saw an event on the internet and believes that most attendees should be prospected by his sales team. Having a sales operations analyst able to scrape all attendees and double-check it with existing prospects within your database is very valuable. If not, each sales representatives will copy paste all attendees’ names in the system to check if it already exists. Even worst, it can result in many duplicates.
Scraping contacts can be effective as well. Let’s say your sales team lack prospects and spend too much time importing contacts into Salesforce. You could think of scraping these contacts. Moreover, the Data Miner extension let you add the Next Button XPath, meaning you can scrape entire websites/database. More generally, it will increase your overall efficiency as a sales operations or business analyst.