Chili Piper Distro for Salesforce

Calendaring vendor Chili Piper released its Distro app for Salesforce, providing revenue teams with automated lead routing and assignment.  Automated lead assignment improves speed to lead and bypasses spreadsheets, APEX code, and manual routing.  Marketing Qualified Leads can be distributed to sales reps when leads hit score thresholds or following events such as webinar attendance or downloading gated content.

Lead assignment details are synced with Salesforce, and users are notified via Slack or email.  In addition, a broad set of Salesforce record types are supported, including leads, contacts, accounts, cases, and opportunities.

Features include lead-to-account mapping, rule and trigger-based assignments, round-robin distribution, meeting reminders, and automated rescheduling.  The Distro Log provides a detailed breakdown of triggers, actions, and routes.

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial that high-growth companies optimize for efficiency in their marketing and sales processes without sacrificing on customer experience,” said Co-CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe.  “With Distro, revenue teams can effectively cover all of their routing and assignment needs while accelerating speed to lead.”

Chili Piper claims that it doubles top-of-the-funnel conversion rates.

A March 2011 article in The Harvard Business Review (“The Short Life of Online Sales Leads”) argued that speed to lead is critical for inbound leads.  Last year, XANT replicated the study las year and found that 57.1% of first call attempts took place after a week or more, and only 0.1% of inbound leads were responded to within five minutes.  However, firms that responded within those first five minutes had an 8X conversion rate versus later returned calls. 

A Lead Connect study found that 78% of companies that respond first to a demo request end up winning the deal.  Thus, firms that act immediately by returning a call or scheduling a meeting have a clear market advantage over firms with scheduling/call-back friction.

Chili Piper conducted a study earlier this year and found that 28.1% of demo requests submitted via chatbots or webforms to tech firms received no response after a week, and only 45% of requests were responded to within one hour.

Chili Piper studied response rates across technology firms.  Demo requests were placed via chatbots and web forms.

“In the past, marketers at leading organizations such as HubSpot and Vendasta have preached five minutes to two hours as the sweet spot for follow-up.  We, however, disagree,” blogged Chili Piper Content Marketing Manager Kelli Diffenderfer.  “In this day and age, responses should be instant.  And there’s absolutely no reason they can’t be.  If you’re not responding immediately, you’re losing out on a significant amount of revenue.”

Automated lead distribution and routing allows prospects to go from buyer research to an inbound inquiry to a scheduled meeting with a few clicks on a landing page or the corporate website, bypassing the delays inherent to traditional lead routing.

Yet, eleven years after the HBR first published its research, inbound response rates remain slow, with 26.8% of tech firms taking one to twenty-four hours to respond and 28.1% failing to respond.

“Distro for Salesforce is a welcome addition to AppExchange, as they power digital transformation for customers by simplifying lead management, improving conversion rates, and accelerating speed to lead,” said Woodson Martin, GM of Salesforce AppExchange. “AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs.”

Distro is priced at $20 per user per month.  Chili Piper does not offer any discounts.

Distro supports automated lead routing and distribution based on triggered events including Lead Score thresholds.

Additional information about Chili Piper is available on the GZ Consulting blog and the Chili Piper website.

Informa Takes Stake in OEM Partner Totem

UK-based events and intelligence company Informa announced a pair of transactions. The bigger of the two, its acquisition of B2B content syndication vendor NetLine, was covered in my blog earlier this week.

Informa also announced that it has taken a stake in UK event tech company Totem, an existing partner of its Informa Connect division.  In April, the firms launched ConnectMe, a bespoke licensing of Totem’s platform to support Informa’s virtual and hybrid events.

“With the launch of ConnectMe with Totem, Informa is preparing itself for the next stage in the events experience, one in which we can seamlessly curate and blend the physical and virtual, ensuring the two are complementary, not competitive. 

ConnectMe will ensure that we can cater for varying levels of audience readiness to re-enter physical spaces by ensuring that neither physical nor virtual audiences feel they are excluded from a truly optimal experience.  In 2021 and beyond, that is the service we aim to achieve, and ConnectMe will help us to do it.”

Informa Connect CMO Isobel Peck in April

Informa Connect hosts in-person and virtual events and training, online communities, digital content, and marketing services for the Finance, Biotech/Pharma, and other specialist markets.

“Totem has been an important partner over the last 18 months, and we’re pleased to be deepening this relationship,” said Informa Connect CEO Andrew Mullins.  “We want to keep enhancing our in-person events, adding smart features, technologies, and apps that give our customers an even better experience.  With Totem, we have a partner that is equally committed to outstanding experiences and bringing new innovation to events.”

Wrapping digital intelligence around trade shows is a logical extension of the digitization of sales and marketing. Live events came to a halt in 2020 and are still reeling, but in 2022 we should begin to see them re-emerge. Events should be hybrid, with digital content sharing from the event floor to virtual attendees.

Event attendees also should improve data capture. Loading a trade show scanned file from the exhibition floor has always been subject to delays, with reps following up a week later (if at all) to determine whether there was interest. Calendaring service Chili Piper recently announced Chili Events for setting up trade show meetings prior to an event and follow-up meetings with reps directly from the floor. It is a matter of striking while the iron is hot.

Informa did not disclose the pricing for either deal or the extent of its investment in Totem.

Chili Distro

Last week I wrote about Chili Events, the new event calendaring service from Chili Piper. Today, I am profiling their new Distro service which acts as a “one-stop-shop for lead qualification, routing, distribution, and booking.”  Distro routes and assigns multiple Salesforce objects in real-time, including leads, contacts, opportunities, cases, and accounts.

Distro expedites the inbound lead process by immediately routing prospects and customers to the correct sales rep. In addition, Distro supports lead-to-account matching so that inbound prospects are assigned to the proper account owner when applicable.

“Whether a lead comes through your organization’s web form or from an offline source, routing can get quite tedious,” explained Chili Piper in the product announcement.  “With the launch of Distro, teams can create intelligent rules to decide which lead gets routed to which rep (or group of reps) on the team. With this intuitive technology, hand-raisers will have the ability to book a meeting instantly, while buyers who need more nurturing are automatically assigned to the appropriate sales rep for follow-up.”

Chili Piper Distro qualifies, routes, and schedules meetings.

If rules do not assign a lead, round-robin assignments ensure that reps receive an equal number of leads.

Chili Piper has been busy with new product releases.  A few weeks ago, Chili Piper announced Chili Events, an Event Meetings Management solution for in-person conferences and trade shows.  The product lets Chili gather engagement data from events and manage pre-conference meetings on the floor as well as post-event meetings with reps. 

The firm also announced a HubSpot integration earlier this month.

“Today, capturing existing demand for a product or service, in real-time, is vital; yet, ensuring each lead is routed and assigned correctly is way harder than it needs to be. With Distro, we can help B2B sales and marketing teams automate the first step in a meaningful engagement and prevent leads from falling out of the marketing funnel. This is a crucial step for increasing inbound conversion rates and boosting revenue generation.”

Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe

Inbound and event lead management address the issue of speed-to-lead with which many B2B organizations struggle.  The average time for lead follow-up is 42 hours.  Automating the process greatly increases the likelihood of scheduling a meeting and converting leads to subsequent stages.

“Chili Piper allows you to connect inbound leads with a rep at the moment they’re interested,” blogged Senior Marketing Manager Maggie Aland.  “This increases your inbound conversion rates and prevents leads from falling out of the marketing funnel.”

Chili Distro is only available for Salesforce.

Chili Events

The name of the game in Revenue Acceleration is Digital Engagement. There are many forms of engagement that are now being captured (emails, chat, meetings, webinars, etc.), but offline events seemed to be beyond the scope of capture; however, Chili Piper, the calendaring company, has designed tools for scheduling meetings at trade shows and from trade show floors.

The new Chili Events service offers an “all-in-one Event Meetings Management solution for generating more meetings and maximizing ROI from in-person conferences and trade shows.”  In short, Chili is looking to facilitate meetings and gather engagement data from in-person events.

As in-person events return, it is vital to gather registration data as event attendees are likely to be part of the demand unit.  According to Chili Piper, “81% of conference and trade show attendees have buying authority.”

“In-person events are hugely important for B2B revenue teams,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe.  “With Chili Events, we’re making it possible for marketing and sales to not just automate booking conference and trade show meetings with key prospects and customers, but to treat those meetings like any other digital touchpoint in the customer journey, with quantifiable results and data.”

Chili Event Reminders support a rescheduling link.

Chili Events features include URLs to pre-book meetings, meeting space availability, unified meeting calendars, automated reminders and rescheduling via email and SMS, and an event management dashboard.  Chili Events are integrated with GSuite and Outlook365. Additionally, check-ins and no-shows are synced to Salesforce Campaigns.

Chili Events also supports meeting scheduling from trade booth floors via QR codes for mobile phones, computers at the booth, or register on the prospect’s behalf via Chili’s Instant Booker Scheduler.

Engagement intelligence supports multiple revenue acceleration features including engagement scoring, deal health signals, and deal risk alerts. It can also be used to identify and upload missing contacts in the CRM and build out the buying committee.

Chili Piper and Calendly Funding Rounds

Meeting Automation vendor Chili Piper closed on its $33 million “Series Spicy” led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture capital fund.  The Series B raised total funding to $54.4 million, most of which was raised over the last nine months.

The additional funds will be used to accelerate product development and global expansion.  The round will also help them build out its sales, marketing, and customer success teams.

“We’re excited to partner with Tiger Global, one of the most successful and prolific software investors in the world,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe. “With hundreds of customers and tens of thousands of reps using Chili Piper adding spice to their calendaring efforts daily, we thought, why not raise $33 million to ensure we up our Scoville game?”

Chili Piper Funding (Source: Crunchbase)

Like many SalesTech companies, Chili Piper enjoyed pandemic tailwinds as businesses went remote and looked to streamline their calendaring.

“We’re proud to have so many customers scheduling meetings and optimizing their calendars with Chili Piper’s Instant Booker.  We know some people can’t handle how hot our platform is, but believe me, once you use software as pungent as this, you’ll never go back,” said CPO Alina Vandenberghe.

Chili Piper positions itself as a Meeting Lifecycle Automation company.  Beyond booking meetings, it handles inbound meeting requests, sets up follow-up conversations, and maximizes the value of meetings.  Meeting workflow features include setting and sharing agendas, booking next steps, logging notes and follow-up actions, and syncing with the CRM.

“Before we launched our inbound solution, Concierge, every company had accepted the industry standard 40% conversion rate on inbound demo requests — meaning that 60 out of every 100 inbound meeting requests (aka inbound leads) never converted into a held meeting.  The biggest culprit was speed to lead.  The moment a prospect submits a meeting request form on your website, you should be connecting to get a meeting on their calendar.”

Chili Piper Website, “What is Meeting Lifecycle Automation?

Chili Piper, founded in 2016, has 101 employees across 22 countries.  The company is structured as a fully remote organization.

Customers include Gong, Spotify, Intuit, Twilio, and Airbnb. Expect more spicy pepper puns in the coming months.

Chili Piper isn’t the only Meeting Management vendor to be gaining attention from the VCs. In January, Calendly closed on a $350 million Series B with OpenView Venture Partners and Iqoniq Capital.  The funding round valued the Atlanta-based scheduling firm at greater than $3 billion.  Last year, it doubled its subscription revenue to $70 million and grew its user base to ten million.  

Calendly has been profitable since 2016.  Nigerian immigrant Tope Awotona founded Calendly after a series of failed businesses.

The funds will be used to provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees.  It will also fund ongoing product innovation, including expanded appointment setting enhancements and integrations.  The firm plans to double its headcount (at 200 in January) and continue to build out its R&D operations in Kyiv.

As a freemium service, users can test out Calendly and license the service for either $8 or $12 per month.  The service is generalized, supporting business people, teachers, contractors, and freelancers.  It offers integrations with calendars (e.g. Outlook, Exchange, Google Calendar), video conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting, JoinMe), and payment services (PayPal, Stripe).  Calendly offers apps for Android, iOS, Outlook, Chrome, and Firefox.

“We really see ourselves as a leading orchestration platform,” explained Awotona.  “What that means is that we really want to remain extensible and flexible.  We want our users to bring their own best-in-class products.  We think about this in an agnostic way.”

“Calendly has a vision increasingly to be a central part of the meeting life cycle,” said Blake Bartlett, a partner at Openview. “What happens before, during, and after the meeting.  Historically, the obvious was before the meeting, but now it’s looking at integrations, automations, and other things so that it all magically happens.  But moving into the rest of the lifecycle is a lot of opportunity but also many players.”