Square launches IFTTT channel, lets your transactions trigger almost anything

by Simon Cohen on July 24, 2014

Square launches IFTTT channel, lets your transactions trigger almost anything

Here’s a conditional statement for you:

IF you haven’t tried out IFTTT (If This Then That), THEN you are missing out on one of the most incredibly useful tools ever invented.

Especially if you’re a Square mobile payments user.

No idea what I’m babbling about? Here’s the IFTTT 101:

If This Then That lets you create so-called “recipes.” These are essentially instructions for the web-based IFTTT to automate certain actions between the services IFTTT supports. It can be as simple as “Whenever I get a new email in Gmail, send me a text.” The beauty of IFTTT is that because it supports over 119 different services (known on IFTTT as channels), you can create an almost unlimited combination of recipes that can automate everything from your home lightbulbs to your Instagram account.

Now, thanks to the addition of the Square channel, you can add mobile payments to the list.

A perfect example for the busy entrepreneur is the “Settlements made via Square add a row to a spreadsheet” recipe which connects Square transactions with Google Drive. So now, not only would you get the automatic transaction confirmations from Square itself, you’d also get a constantly up-to-date spreadsheet that you could use with your existing formulas to track your business.

How useful any IFTTT channel is depends entirely on the number of triggers it supports, and each channel is different. The Square channel offers:

Any new payment
This Trigger fires every time a new payment posts to your Square Merchant account.
New payment over a specific amount
This Trigger fires every time a new payment over an amount you specify posts to your Square Merchant account.
Any new refund
This Trigger fires every time a new refund posts to your Square Merchant account.
New refund over a specific amount
This Trigger fires every time a new refund over an amount you specify posts to your Square Merchant account.
Any new settlement
This Trigger fires every time a new settlement is posted to your Square Merchant account.
Don’t forget, even though IFTTT recipes are limited to automation between two channels, you can create and “stack” as many recipes as you want, which could result in some fairly sophisticated workflows.
IFTTT is rapidly becoming the favorite glue in the Internet of Things universe, at least from a consumer perspective. It may not possess the kind of extensibility that enterprise solutions have, but that’s why it’s a perfect fit for Square, which is itself a response to the difficulties created by typical enterprise payment systems.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they’re gone!  

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Is sales automation the missing piece to turbocharging revenues?

by VentureBeat Staff on July 24, 2014


Is sales automation the missing piece to turbocharging revenues?

This sponsored post is produced in association with CoPilot

Talk to any sales rep in the tech world, and you’ll hear about the gap. It’s the gap between marketing and CRM. While maybe not as big as the Grand Canyon, that gap is big enough to hold the mile-high frustrations of countless sales representatives who’d love to spend more time selling and less time in task management.

The gap is understandable when you look at where the focus has been until now. Marketing automation has been honed for years with platforms like Marketo, Eloqua, and today’s platforms like Autopilot making the jobs of marketers more efficient and streamlined. But these platforms are intended to build and execute multi-channel campaigns. They remain the turf of the marketing team.

At the same time, CRM tools like Salesforce and their competitors help sales teams manage pipeline and forecasting. For sure, they incorporate automation, but generally speaking, these automated capabilities do more to support organizational management rather than the real sales work of interfacing with customers or prospects. They simply don’t do a good job of automating outbound prospecting.

Reducing the grunt work of sales

Here’s the reality: For many sales reps on the front lines, conducting day-to-day business through a CRM means countless numbers of tasks that need to be manually implemented. And after each individual task, the sales rep needs to create and schedule an additional follow-up task. All these distinct activities end up compounding one another and chewing up huge amounts of time, from tracking leads to managing email, scheduling follow-ups, and reporting. Not only does productivity get beaten down; so does morale.

Now, imagine the grunt work taken out of the sales rep’s job. Imagine that he or she can stop being a taskmaster and spend more time creating opportunities, qualifying leads and closing business. This is where sales automation comes in, the third spoke on the CRM/marketing automation/sales automation wheel. 

Entrants in sales automation like the platform CoPilot are designed to automatically engage prospects through outbound drip campaigns created by the sales team then automatically follow up based on behavior and deliver only engaged prospects into the sale’s person’s inbox.

Redefining productivity 

The hopes for sales automation are big. Some suggest it will change how sales professionals define a productive day. For example, those in sales have long been taught that a good sales rep can perform 50 to 100 activities per day. Advocates of automation see a world where that can turn into 500 or even 1,000 activities per day — but where most of these tasks are automated, increasing the number of warm leads and freeing time for meaningful engagement with prospects.

There’s also the hope that sales teams can apply learning based on tracking and outcomes. Let’s say a top-performing sales rep is getting a 48 percent open rate when the rest of the team is averaging 33 percent. With automation, the vision is to leverage the most compelling content and automate the hell out of it.

The ultimate driver is for increased revenue and company growth. That’s hard to argue with, and it’s my belief that sales automation will become one of the essential factors in getting there.

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Here’s why the Internet of things just became very interesting

by Michael Stiller, Rayner Turley, & Mark Krivis; NASDAQ QMX July 24, 2014 Read the full article →

Avast acquires Czech mobile dev shop Inmite

by Ruth Reader July 24, 2014 Read the full article →