Calendly Routes Success to Smith.ai
Smith.ai provides virtual receptionist and sales outreach solutions for small and midsize service-based operations. Its live, North America-based agents answer calls, texts, and website chats; follow up with new leads and existing clients; qualify leads; intake new clients; book appointments; and accept payments.
The Los Altos, Calif.-based company saw its business grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as clients and potential clients looked to reduce the cost of having humans available to answer incoming customer communications.
“We saw a large need for small business owners to have effective, affordable communications with potential clients and existing clients,” says Maddy Martin, Smith.ai’s senior vice president of growth. “One of the great struggles they had is that they weren’t able to be around to pick up the phone or answer messages. That was hurting their business.”
At the same time, though, inefficient lead flow was hurting Smith.ai’s business, causing the same bottlenecks and missed opportunities that the company tries to prevent for its own customers.
“We were seeing a lot of incoming leads come through that we had to determine whether they were direct sales leads or partner sales leads, whether they were large-volume leads to go to a special Big Deals team, or they were smaller deals that could go to a different set of salespeople,” Martin says.
Smith.ai had been working with Calendly to allow its clients and prospects to schedule appointments, but many of those appointments were assigned at random rather than going to a specialist for a particular type of prospect or client. Smith.ai decided it was time to start looking for intelligent contact routing solutions to enhance its responsiveness.
The company had a long-standing relationship with Calendly and looked to that vendor first. “Calendly has always been our scheduling solution; we have recommended it to our clients,” Martin says.
Calendly was already developing a routing solution when Smith.ai started its search. But the Calendly routing solution was still in beta, prompting Smith.ai to look elsewhere. “We were a little gun-shy about a beta.”
Competing solutions were too cumbersome or too expensive, Martin recalls, so Smith.ai reversed course and decided to give Calendly’s beta release a try.
The solution is now out of beta and part of Calendly’s wider platform. It includes data so that previous contacts are automatically routed to the same sales reps with whom they already engaged. Others are routed to the appropriate sales reps depending on their types of business or industry.
“The results have been tremendous,” Martin says, pointing first to a 26 percent increase in website bookings. “Part of that is because there is clarity. When someone shares a little bit of information, then is asked a relevant question, they feel they are in the right place. You don’t want to be dropped into a calendar unnecessarily.”
If a prospect doesn’t choose an industry from the solution’s drop-down list, it could indicate that Smith.ai isn’t a good fit, Martin adds. “The higher booking rate is also a result of sending the right leads through the funnel.”
The routing feature also resulted in a 20 percent boost in meetings with current and prospective customers, Martin says. “That is a massive statistic for us because we have a high volume of leads. Marketing supplies the majority of leads that are going to the sales team.”
The 20 percent increase indicates that marketing is now forwarding higher-quality leads using the Calendly routing feature, Martin explains.
Then the sales reps have more complete information about the contacts, so they are qualifying leads faster. Matching the right salesperson with the right lead also helps ensure that meetings booked start down the right path.
Martin says Smith.ai is extremely happy with the Calendly solution and is even looking to expand it out to its client onboarding and client success teams.
Since deploying Calendly's routing solution, Smith.ai has seen the following results:
- website bookings have increased 26 percent;
- meetings with current and prospective customers have increased 20 percent; and
- partner calls have increased 360 percent.