Using scraping for new leads and business development purposes
Today I was sharing with a founder how I am using scraping for getting new leads and business development purposes. It has been at the core of how I find new leads, get information to prepare for initial calls, segment leads, etc.
Coincidentally, today a company that is heavily using scraping on their core business Plaid was acquired by Visa by over $5Bn.
As such, I though sharing a couple of points on how I use scraping in business development efforts could help founders in the seed phase of their startups
Why you should use scraping for business development purposes?
In the early days of the startup, you need several leads to close a sale. Maybe because your conversion still sucks, you are starting with an outbound process which has a low conversion, etc. You might also need much more leads, because you just had a breakthrough (e.g., you identified a customer segment that worked) and you want to double down and have more of those leads that seem to be converting well. For that you need to have cost-effective and quick ways to find more leads.
Fortunately, there is a lot of public available and free information that you can leverage on, but this information is either not organize or it takes a lot of time to manually use it.
Given that, scraping can be a great tool as it enables you to automatically grab public available information “while you are sleeping”. There is even information that might be in the code, but not showed graphically in the page and that you can view and automatically scrap it. A good example is the download breakdown by country for a specific app provided by sensor tower that is publicly available on their page code, but is not shown today in the page.
Unfortunately, majority of BD folks are not tech savvy, though google sheet has very easy ways for you to do it (check here for information about how to do web scraping using google sheet). Also tech founders don’t seem to be using scraping as a tool to get new leads/commercial information, as they don’t see it as part of the “product” they are developing or are lost in the sales process.
In case you are not doing it yet, I strongly recommend to think in ways to include it on your sales process (within a legal context) so you can accelerate your activities. For me it has been a game changer activity. Below an example of how you could use it, just to make it more concrete
Example of how you can use it
Imagine you want to know which apps are the top download apps in a Brazil so you can do focus your BD activities on those apps/developers. There are millions of apps out there. Appannie, Sensortower, Google Play and other similar aggregators, provide top downloads information for free (screenshot below example of AppAnnie).
You could easily have a scrapping tool that can help you generating this information so you could identify the right leads to talk with.
This is not a legal advise nor a recommendation to do anything illegal. Some of these companies might sell data/or might prohibit you from scraping the information.