Let’s be honest: engaging leads is often easier said than done.
Conventional wisdom says that only 2% of your traffic will fill out a form or request information once they land on-site.
Also, consider that a staggering 94% of sales reps agree that they often get “one chance” to deliver value to their customers.
So when someone does decide to reach out, time is of the essence.
Think about it. Chances are your leads are doing independent research and browsing your competitors’ sites as well. The longer the lag-time in communication, the more likely they are to bounce or lose interest.
The takeaway? The sooner you’re able to get in touch with leads and prospects on their terms, the better.
As a result, tons of sales scheduling and calendar tools have emerged to help companies grab the attention of leads faster. This encourages speedier back-and-forth and gets reps talking to leads ASAP.
However, the fine details of how you embed and present your availability to prospects has a huge impact on your ability to win deals and manage your reps’ schedules.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything sales managers need to know about embedding a calendar on landing pages (and how to do it the right way).
3 ways to embed a calendar on your landing pages
Integrating a meeting calendar on-site might seem pretty straightforward.
Visitors pick a time to get in touch. Information gets filled out. Your reps receive a notification.
If only it were that simple, right?
Below are three distinctly different approaches to embedding calendars on-site. Note that these strategies might seem identical at a glance but are anything but once we get into the nitty-gritty.
1. Embedding a calendar prior to form submission (“calendar-first”)
Let’s start with what we’ll refer to as a “calendar-first” approach.
In short, leads and prospects schedule a date and time to get in touch prior to filling out a form.
The benefit of calendar-first scheduling is that your reps are immediately able to hop on a call with your prospects with minimal legwork involved on your visitors’ part.
For example, you can worry less about folks dropping out of your funnel due to lengthy opt-in forms. This approach is also good news for reps who thrive on the phone and would rather spend time actually talking to leads first and foremost versus researching them.
2. Embedding a calendar after a form submission
No secrets here. This approach presents a calendar to leads after they’ve filled out a form or provided information.
The obvious upside here is that you can gather more meaningful information on your leads, making it easier to route them to relevant reps and likewise understand which talking points to emphasize (think: pain points, specific product features and so on).
Even the smallest bit of background on your leads can help guide your reps’ approach to closing and make them feel more comfortable when they get on that call.
3. Presenting a calendar upon a form submission
This approach is similar to the one above, the only difference being that the calendar entry is an optional part of your leads’ form submission.
True, requiring your leads to pick a date and time to submit their information does present more potential for people to bounce if they’re not ready to commit to a call. That said, this approach ensures that your reps aren’t dealing with tire-kickers. By exclusively accepting leads that are eager to hop on a call, the process of qualifying and closing them is much more direct.
Bear in mind that each of these approaches to embedding a calendar enables you to gather and route leads to your reps.
Picking which one is “best” is certainly subjective, but there are distinct advantages and disadvantages of each.
And hey, that actually leads us to our next point!
Why “calendar-first” could be costing you valuable leads
“You might think that calendar-first would get you more bookings,” notes Gaines Murfee, Product Manager at Chili Piper. “Turns out a lot of people find that’s not the case.”
“If someone gets to the end of a calendar-first flow and then drops off, you don’t have any of their valuable information captured,” Mufree continues. “In other words, you have no lead data or ability to effectively follow-up.”
Sure, embedding a calendar that gets your leads talking to reps ASAP might seem like a proactive move.
But is doing so worth the potential drawbacks? Consider the following pitfalls of not gathering ample information via forms prior to routing.
You’re not actually qualifying your leads
Reality check: not all leads necessarily need to talk to your sales team.
This rings true if they’re in the “just browsing” phase of the customer journey or are a poor fit demographic-wise (think: lack of budget, located where your team can’t support them).
Ideally, you should have a good idea of what your ideal customers look like. Even based on just a few form fields, you can decide whether or not someone matches up with your buyer personas.
Potential lead ownership errors
Calendar-first scheduling simply doesn’t provide proper context to qualify leads for your reps, let alone route leads properly.
Figuring out which member of your team should handle any given lead is a challenge without at least some background information. With no rules established (think: location, company size, industry, etc…), you’re essentially playing roulette with your reps.
It’s a lose-lose situation. Not only are your reps unable to play to their strengths, but your leads can often be routed to the wrong sales reps or to people who might be a poor fit background-wise to speak to the prospects use case.
Let’s look at another problem scenario. Assume you have a lead who has previously spoken to someone on your team and they’re following up for another meeting: it would make the most sense for that lead to be routed to that same rep, right?
Without defined rules of engagement, calendar-first requests could result in situations where connecting to that familiar rep doesn’t happen. This translates to poor customer experience.
Embedded calendars could bog down your site
This really depends on which type of calendar you’re using for your landing pages, but it bears repeating.
Calendar embeds can potentially slow down pages or cause difficulty in rendering certain site elements. This is especially true when thinking about leads landing on your site via mobile.
The correlation between long load times and lower conversation rates is well-documented. If you’re trying to hit visitors with a calendar from the word “go,” they could bounce before they even have a chance to understand what your product or service is all about.
Why presenting a calendar after a form submission makes more sense
On the flip side, embedding a calendar that presents itself after a form submission is a good option for many businesses.
Because once somebody has taken the time to fill out a form, booking a meeting is a no-brainer.
And if you think that forms are a turn-off for the average customer, think again.
For starters, note that 61% of buyers note that reps who provide relevant information about products and services are more likely to create a positive sales experience.
Spoiler alert: that information comes via form submissions.
Research from SuperOffice actually notes that longer forms with more entries and detailed fields actually boosted their leads by 50% versus shorter ones.
Of course, what works for one marketer doesn’t necessarily work for another. The key takeaway here is that leads are more than happy to hand over information if it means they have their needs met in exchange for it.
This also provides an extra opportunity for reps to reach out to leads by already having that lead capture information handy.
“Even if someone doesn’t book immediately after a form submission, a rep can still follow-up with them,” notes Murfee. “We’ve found that ~70% of prospects on average will book after completing a form regardless.”
Beyond simply creating a better experience for buyers, taking a form-first approach means avoiding the pitfalls we talked about earlier.
For example, leads can be qualified and routed based on parameters established in form entries such as company size and region. By taking just a couple minutes of your leads’ time, you can provide your reps with a bird’s-eye view of your visitors’ wants and needs. This is definitely a step up from sending in your reps into a call totally cold.
When might calendars after form submissions fall short?
Listen: embedding a calendar after a form submission isn’t the be-all, end-all of effective lead capture.
For starters, embedding a calendar after a form submission requires you to pay close attention to how your leads are routed and assigned.
You don’t want to run into a situation where your routing platform is sending people to the wrong reps. Reps shouldn’t have to fight over leads, nor should they be stuck looking at a calendar with no calls while their teammates are fully booked.
Embedding a calendar after a form submission may also lead to a drop-off in leads as prospects are required to fill out two forms (think: one for a demo request, another for landing page form fields). This sort of “extra work” can hurt your conversion rate.
That’s why it’s so important to find a tool that addresses these potential shortcomings. That’s where Chili Piper comes in.
The benefits of embedding a calendar with Chili Piper
As we noted earlier, companies today are spoiled for choice when it comes to tools that gather leads and schedule those ever-so-valuable meetings.
To wrap things up, let’s talk about how Chili Piper’s platform excels at getting more high-quality leads booked in your reps’ calendars.
In-depth reporting and analytics
In short, Chili Piper’s platform gives you full visibility of your funnel.
For example, you can track everything from redirects to PPC conversions from Google & Linkedin ads and beyond. This can help you understand where your leads are coming from and likewise which marketing channels are driving your MQLs.
Beyond that, you can measure and optimize your conversion rate by understanding drop-off points in your funnel.
Built-in alerts and follow-ups
Food for thought: companies that respond within an hour are seven times more likely to have a positive experience with buyers versus those who play the waiting game.
It’s no secret that timing matters when it comes to sales. The same rules apply to follow-ups and establishing a sales cadence that makes sense based on your customers’ needs.
Alerts and follow-ups in Chili Piper empower you to ensure timely communication and likewise reduce lost leads. With a pulse on who’s converted and who hasn’t, there’s less second-guessing who your reps need to get in touch with at any given time.
Capture all leads (whether they book or not)
Even if someone doesn’t wind up booking a meeting, Chili Piper still captures leads and their essential information.
And because Chili Piper pops up after a form submission, all data is properly submitted to your marketing automation platforms and CRM.
This allows you to capture valuable information such as UTM parameters and GCLID for lead attribution, filling in the gaps for your sales team regarding crucial customer details. These data points make for effective outreach and meeting prep as your reps have a more comprehensive understanding of their leads.
Establish UTM parameters
Some leads have special properties that your team will want to keep track of (think: unique lead sources, campaigns, sources, medium, content, etc…). By capturing lead information upon form submission and engaging prospects on-site with Chili Piper, it’s a cinch to hand off leads to other reps without tons of note-taking.
This enables you to align your lead capturing efforts without other ad campaigns, ensuring that you get a better ROI for both.
Oh, and consider that you can’t gather UTM parameters and key customer details with a calendar alone.
Unless your leads book actual meetings, you’re losing on low-hanging lead capture opportunities. On the flip side, Chili Piper enables you to gather those UTM values in conjunction with tools like Google Analytics to track your goals and conversions.
Take your team’s availability into account
Anything you can do to reduce stress in your reps’ lives is a major plus.
With Chili Piper, leads are routed based on routing rules assigned by your admins. From round robin routing to territories to named account models and beyond, Chili Piper can handle it. Based on form submission data, our platform determines the following to connect prospects with the right rep:
- Is the lead qualified?
- Who should the meeting in question go to?
- Who is available?
This ensures that you respect your team’s time and that reps are only assigned to calls that make sense for their individual schedules. No double-bookings, no reps being swarmed with calls while others are waiting around.
Rather than require reps to constantly confer and review their conversations with customers, they’ll automatically know “what’s next” based on alerts and notifications within our platform.
Simple and straightforward installation
No surprises here. You can set up Chili Piper’s platform in just a few steps, not a few weeks or months. Rather than having to worry about a front end dev team maintaining and scaling implementation, you can get started sooner rather than later.
And did we mention that Chili Piper works on both desktop and mobile devices?
Integrations with your favorite tools
Finally, Chili Piper doesn’t disappoint when it comes to integrations.
From your favorite marketing tools to your current lead capture forms, using Chili Piper means taking advantage of the tools that you already know and love.
For example, our Salesforce integration automatically captures your leads’ information and lets you establish custom rules for routing. This ensures that your leads are sent to the right people based on the parameters defined by your team.
Chili Piper also integrates with any landing page and web forms including Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, Unbounce, Instapage, and more! This means you can seamlessly integrate our platform into your landing page without starting from scratch or worrying about replacing what’s already working for your lead capture process.
And with that, we wrap up our guide!
Are you making the most of your on-site calendars?
There are tons of variables to consider when it comes to embedding a calendar on your landing pages.
What comes first? How much information do you need? What’s considered a “good” lead?
As long as you’re working toward creating a seamless, streamlined system for qualifying leads and routing them to relevant reps, you’re on the right track.
And hey, Chili Piper can help you do both and then some.
Learn more about our calendar solution and see what Chili Piper looks like in action: