Don’t you hate it when sales leads from your website get lost in your pile of emails?

Unless you’re reading email all day long (I gave up that dirty habit years ago), you’re often not going to respond until it’s too late. You’re in serious danger of losing those sales before you even get started.

How hard do you work to get those leads? How much do those leads cost to get? How fast do you lose them when you fail to respond faster than your competition? We didn’t know the answers until we started polling all of our lost leads over the last year and realized we were losing a lot of money on slow followups and failed followups after the first contact.

You can go out and lease and implement a fancy CRM like SalesForce, but for our small business, that was overkill…both on time and resources. We opted for the simple is better approach.

Scott Mann, our illustrious Chief Lead Wrangler, tasked me with finding a solution. We came up with super simple two-step process.

Tools Needed:

Step 1 – Text Me My Leads

Carbon copy email leads to our sales manager’s phones via SMS. This took about two seconds to set up on our Gravity Form on the website by adding our cell phone SMS email addresses to our contact form.

Not sure what your SMS email address is? Here’s a handy guide:

AT&T – YOURCELLNUMBER@mobile.att.net or YOURCELLNUMBER@txt.att.net
Sprint – YOURCELLNUMBER@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile – YOURCELLNUMBER@tmomail.net
Verizon – YOURCELLNUMBER@vtext.com

Make sure you replace YOURCELLNUMBER with your full phone number. Include the area code, and do not include hyphens, periods, or whatever else.

Now our website leads show up as a text message instantly so we can call in seconds.

Step 2 – Zapier My Leads to a Shared Spreadsheet in the Cloud

Our custom, incredibly simple DIY solution uses:

You’ll need a couple things to get started. For the purposes of this tutorial, you’ll need to be using Gravity Forms on your WordPress site. Zapier works great with other form types and other apps, but our site (and the WordPress sites we develop) use Gravity Forms.

You’ll also need a free Zapier account. You’ll be asked to sign up for a free trial because Zapier does offer some perks with paid accounts, but what we’re showing you will work just fine with the free account.

Setting up a Zap

Once set up with your Zapier account, you can now create some Zaps. For this little exercise, we start out with one of their existing templates to make it a little easier on us. Hit the “Make a New Zap” button to get started.

Trigger and Action

The template you will want to use is called “Save Gravity Forms Submissions to Google Spreadsheet”. Now you’ll set up your triggers (where the action begins) and your actions (what you want to have happen at the end).

Alternatively, simply set up Gravity Forms as the Trigger app and Google Docs as the Action app; also set “New Form Submission” as the trigger (should be the only option) and “Create Spreadsheet Row” as the action:

A screenshot of the trigger and action dialog, set to Gravity Forms New Form Submission as trigger and Google Docs Create Spreadsheet Row as action

Gravity Forms

Next, you will get a URL that you need to use to set up your Gravity Forms. The Zapier settings are found in the form’s settings:

Screenshot of Select a Gravity Forms account

Screenshot of Gravity Forms Zapier settings in WordPress

At this point, it may be a good idea to also fill out the form. Zapier requires you to do this so that it can read your form fields later on in the process, as well as collect some sample data for you to test with.

Google Docs

In order for Zapier to be able to write to your spreadsheet, you need to give it access to your Google account. It will automatically fill out the email address you signed up to Zapier with. If that address is not a Google account, you’ll need to add one. In fact, if you just sign up to Zapier with a Google account, you’re already halfway home!

Screenshot of a successful Google account link

Spreadsheet

Now you should be able to select the document. Make sure you are either an owner, or have edit rights if it’s a shared document.

Screenshot of the spreadsheet and worksheet selection

Load sample(s)

If you haven’t filled out the form after adding the Zapier feed in its settings, it will tell you to do this if you try to map the form fields to the spreadsheet fields. It will also check whether it has found your sample entry.

NOTE: At the time of writing there is a bug in this process. Hitting “All done!” when it successfully finds a sample may result in this subprocess to go back to step 1.

You can ignore this and close the dialog. You will need to refresh your page before you can continue the process, however.

Screenshot of the additional dialog that appears when Zapier can't find any Gravity Forms samples

Test the Zap

Once everything is set up, you can test the Zap with the sample data it has collected in a previous step.

NOTE: If you ran into the bug previously described, then odds are this bug will occur again. When we set this up, hitting the “Test Gravity Forms trigger” button was resulting in a “400 Error: Blank rows cannot be written; use delete instead.”. It seems that their test is sending a blank sample to Google Docs.

In order to get around this, manually add a value to one of the fields you’re not mapping (if any). This way, you’re sending at least one value and it will allow you to get by the test.

Name it!

Finally, you will need to give the Zap a name and enable it. And that’s all there is to it. Your contact form is now automatically sending data to your Google spreadsheet that you can share with as many members of your sales team as you’d like.

Here’s what the contact form on our website looks like with all of the fields filled out:

Screenshot of a contact form on our website filled out

And here is the Google Docs spreadsheet after we hit ‘Submit.’ All of the information ends up in one location, easy to find and easy to read!

Screenshot of the data from the previous screenshot in a Google Spredsheet

There’s nothing worse than losing a lead because it gets caught in the vortex that is your inbox. And we’re not judging your inbox, either!

This is just a quick, easy fix that can let you have a constant record of possible leads coming in, and this can be sales for you in the end.

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