Shawn Finder, CEO of Autoklose, and David Rostan, VP of Sales & Marketing at Calendly, joined us to discuss the ins and outs of sales automation and how it helps you book more demos. We’re breaking down every tip, hack and formula they shared as well as answers to all your questions.
You can also watch the recap of the webinar here:
What is sales and scheduling automation?
Automation takes away those tedious tasks that an SDR hates. It allows you to fill the top of the funnel quickly while still offering a personalized and engaging approach. As a sales rep, if you only follow up once or twice with a prospect, they usually don’t reply and you’re left to assume they’re not interested. But the truth is, a sequence of tailored and personal emails sent automatically over the buyer’s journey nurtures the prospect until they are ready to purchase.
Similarly, using scheduling automation, as soon as a prospect is ready to move forward in the buying process, they can book a time to discuss the product or service. There’s no lag between when the prospect is interested and when you land on a time to meet with them and arrange the details. You still have full control over your schedule and when people book with you, but you both save time by eliminating the back and forth. And as a result of giving prospects the opportunity to schedule at the height of their interest, they convert at a higher rate, so you book more demos and win more deals.
Sales teams started adopting these smarter workflows because it made the whole organization more efficient and cost effective. Trading five or six emails and going back and forth trying to find a time for a call can take hours per prospect. If you can save a rep 10–15 hours a week in prospecting and communicating with leads, that’s a huge win. Those 15 hours saved can be spent actually meeting with leads and closing them, which is money in the bank.
How Autoklose created a “meet me at the demo” automated workflow
As a product, Autoklose provides a database of enterprises and campaign management software. You can create perfectly tailored email sequences for your prospects that provide helpful solutions to their key pain points, inspire their curiosity and call them to action.
Before using Calendly, it took 6–8 emails for Autoklose reps to get a call scheduled. They spent entirely too much time going back and forth and coordinating the details. Now, using Calendly in their campaigns and offering their Zoom link within the scheduling flow, they just see the bookings roll in and meet the customer at the demo.
“When we see an email roll in saying a Calendly event is booked, the sales team is ringing the bell like it’s another demo. It makes it very easy.”—Shawn Finder, CEO and Founder, Autoklose
Other ways to use scheduling automation in your sales cycle
Autoklose integrated Calendly using our API so that they can grab any of their scheduling links within the product to populate their emails. Most often, they use these links as CTAs.
For instance, in one of their cold email campaigns, after nurturing, they link to a scheduling page featuring two event types: a 15-minute call and a 30–minute demo so that leads can choose their own path. It makes better use of sales reps’ times because leads are essentially qualifying themselves. If a lead has just a couple questions, they’re not quite ready to demo, but they can get their questions answered and become more purchase-ready. Those who qualify themselves are more product aware and purchase-ready, so now demos are higher quality too.
They also use the built-in round robin feature to automate assignment of demos to their reps. This pools availability of the sales reps you choose and gives your leads more opportunities to talk to someone as soon as possible. It also removes competition between sales reps so they aren’t all fighting for leads. Instead the distribution is automated so it’s happening in the background and creating a more fair playing field.
Autoklose also creates follow-up sequences for missed Calendly events like demos, discovery calls, webinars, etc. As soon as that prospect is a no-show, Autoklose triggers a campaign to them to check in. They’ve also used Calendly during conferences to network and sell over a couple days with event attendees.
As a result of a lot of A/B testing, Autoklose decided to link to Calendly as the main CTA on their sales page. Formerly, they had an inquiry form for a demo that went to email and then they’d have to respond to the email with a link to book the demo. So now they include Calendly directly on the website as a “Book a Demo” button and they’ve seen a 19% higher conversion to booked and attended demos.
How does automation impact your team?
Automated communication helps prospects stay excited and show up prepared so they experience a more successful demo. Built-in scheduling form questions pre-qualify leads and even pipe back into your CRM or sales automation tool to customize your communications to them. Buffers keep your meetings from getting stacked too close and running into one another. There’s so much more efficiency powering your workflow when you automate.
Autoklose’s results, show what a one-two punch sales and scheduling automation truly is. Their sales team has so much more time back in their days since they’ve reduced needless emails and no-shows and eliminated double-bookings. Now they spend their time selling to the right prospects. Their team used to average 14 demos a week per rep, and with the addition of Calendly they increased to 25–30 demos a week. After using Calendly’s API to integrate directly, this conversion rate went up even more. They also experience better qualified calls and more efficient internal logistics.
“Calendly saves us hours and hours a week booking demos.”—Shawn Finder, CEO and Founder, Autoklose
Simply put, automation drives more revenue through your pipeline.
How to set up the Autoklose + Calendly integration
Step 1 – Go to Calendly to snag your API key
Step 2 – Paste in the key in Integrations within Autoklose
Step 3 – Add Calendly links to your campaign sequences to start booking more calls, and tracking lead engagement in your sales automation tool.
Step 4 – Watch those meetings roll in!
Still have questions? We’ve shared our answers to some FAQs below. If you don’t find your question there, drop us a comment!
- How can I get started?
- How do I get people to show up to my demos?
- Use compelling copy in your emails and sales pages that features the prospect and their pain point at the center. Tell them how you will make them a hero with your solution. Then keep them excited with a nurture campaign. You can even include a demo teaser video! Send them email or text reminders so they add the demo to their calendar and don’t forget to attend.
- What are some ways to incorporate my scheduling link into my sales campaigns?
- There’s endless ways to share your scheduling link: link out from a web form as the CTA on the confirmation page or add Calendly directly to your website and use the scheduling form to qualify. You can include it in the footer or your help center articles or extend a link in a chat window. Add it to your email signature, even share on social for networking and coaching (soft selling) opportunities.
- How do I make my automation less “automated-sounding?”
- It’s simpler than it sounds. Write emails like a human, send them with automation. Emails from individuals versus a company feel more personal, as well as using plain text versus heavy digital assets. Write concisely and talk about the client, not yourself. Name their potential challenge and how they can become the hero of their office with the solution you offer.
- Can I use automated scheduling for any stage of my sales pipeline?
- Absolutely! That’s what makes scheduling automation most successful—when you use it at every stage of the funnel. Use a scheduling tool for your discovery call, demo, pricing call, technical support call, and any other meeting that is a part of your sales process. This significantly reduces the time it takes to close that lead. You want to give the best experience to everyone your company touches, and you don’t need to just use scheduling automation for sales. You can also use it for quick questions with an account manager, interviewing customers for research or content, connecting customers with the onboarding team and for fielding high priority support tickets.
- What sets Calendly apart as a scheduling automation tool?
- First and foremost, it provides the best experience to your leads. Calendly has a clean, simple interface that makes it easy for people to convert, which is the most important thing. It’s also extremely flexible and this is paramount. When considering a scheduling tool, ask yourself, can you share your schedule in direct emails and in automated communications, on your website, on social media, in digital documents and signatures—all with the same beautiful experience? We offer countless integrations, including Autoklose, Salesforce, Intercom, Zoom, Zapier and more. Calendly also has quick time to value. It takes less than an hour to set up and start using it. We work for any size team and grow with you.