Integrating With a 3rd party CRM Sofware
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company's interaction with current and potential future customers. How do we manage those interactions you ask - using a software. There are bunch of CRM products out in the internet, but my top picks consist of Salesforce, Insightly and Zoho. In this tutorial we are going to focus on the last one.
About Zoho CRM
Zoho is a SaaS-based CRM software solution designed to manage sales, marketing, contacts, customer support and other business functions. Unlike the other premium CRMs we listed in the first paragraph, Zoho is distinguished by the fact that it is free while having up to 10 users.
Integrating Zoho CRM with Route4Me
Once you turn your leads to contacts you are ready to integrate them into the business. In this tutorial we will export contacts to the Route4Me Address Book using the Zoho API and Route4Me PHP SDK.
All you need is to use Get Contact method from the Zoho API and 2 methods from the Route4Me API - Forward Geocoding and Create a Location
|Route4Me||Create a Location||https://www.route4me.com/api.v4/address_book.php||POST|
Retrieving Data from Zoho CRM
Retrieving data from Zoho is really easy as long as the api is well documented. This is how to retrieve contacts:
- GET /contacts
If everything was alright, xml returned will look like this:
Sending Data to Route4Me
Once you finished gathering data from the above response, you're ready to send them to Route4Me. For this to complete we need to geocode address and then to send it along with the other data using Create a Location method.
Geocoding an address
As long as we need to pin the contact on the map, we need to geocode its address, in other words we want to get latitude and longitude out of the address.
What we do up there in the code block is that we send an address to Route4Me API providing access to only valid API Key and tell it to return response in the xml format. If everything was alright, you can expect the following response:
With this response we are getting valid address, latitude and longitude. And we are on the next step.
Creating a Location
Now that we geocoded the contact address we can pass it to the "Create a Location" method along with other data.
In this tutorial we learned how to send Zoho contact to Route4Me. You might consider other integrations too, for example sending orders to Route4Me, Attaching CRM products and invoices to route addresses... And you can do the integration vice versa - ex. Sending Route4Me address book contacts to Zoho, creating CRM events before starting a route, Sending a report to CRM when a route is completed...