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.

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.”

Exceed.AI Seed Round for AI Lead Conversions

AI Lead Conversion start-up Exceed.AI closed on a $4 million seed round led by Glilot Capital and West Fountain Global Fund.  Also participating were Alex Pinchev, former President of Red Hat, and Gur Shomron, the chairman of Israel’s WalkMe.  Funds will be deployed to expand into new markets and onboard additional marketing clients.

Exceed.AI pulls lead information from Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, and SugarCRM to assist with conversations.  Features include an AI chatbot, SMS chatbot, email response bot, CRM synchronization, and an automated meeting scheduler.  Exceed also offers rules-based lead qualification and the ability to respond to questions.  Exception handling features include out-of-office follow up and no-show follow up.

“Some of our clients have seen up to a 39.5% increase in qualified leads for the same marketing efforts they already undertake without additional headcount,” said CEO Ilan Kasan. “Our strength lies in our multi-channel approach.  We reach audiences where crucial conversations occur when marketing teams are qualifying their leads.”

Exceed research found that out of office follow up results in a fifty percent lift in lead qualification.  They recommend a “short, cheery” welcome back email two days after the lead returns to the office before resuming the previous drip campaign.

“In a perfect world, every lead gets engaged by a human, but human follow-up isn’t scalable, and sales reps give up on leads too quickly,” said the firm. “So the majority of your leads are left untouched and sales opportunities are missed.”

Exceed noted that 44% of reps give up after one or two touches, leaving many leads to go fallow.  Bots will continue the touches, waiting for engagement.

“Robots are very good at speed, working at scale, they never get tired, they never complain, they’re persistent and they can process huge amounts of information,” Kasan explained to Entrepreneur. “Humans are good at relationships, feeling empathy. They’re very good at understanding nuance in complex situations.  Everything the robots are good at, humans hate doing and actually are not that good at doing.  And everything that humans know to do, robots don’t know to do.  This in essence is a partnership whereby the robot will automate all the manual repetitive tasks so the humans can focus on doing what they know to do best, which is closing deals, having conversations and having relationships.”

Sales reps should focus on tasks that require “critical thinking and evaluation,” blogged Head of Marketing, Billy Attar.  Conversely, “all tasks that can be handled by automation should be automated.”

“As a Sales Manager, you need to maximize the time your reps spend on tasks that require real human insight – the insight only they are qualified to give, ultimately representing the value they bring to the company.  Those human insights include researching prospects and evaluating each leads’ needs, interests and objections, answering their asked and unstated questions… all the things that Sales Reps and SDRs are supposed to do.”

Exceed.AI Head of Marketing Billy Attar

Exceed.AI lists Demandbase, SugarCRM, Hearst, The YMCA, and Universal Robots as clients.  Exceed.AI is located in Israel and Sunnyvale, CA.

Monthly pricing starts at $1,500 for 20,000 leads and unlimited use cases (campaigns).

New SalesLoft Capabilities (Rainmaker Part II)

The Sales Navigator Side Panel supports key functionality with SalesLoft including icebreakers, introductions, connections, and profiles.
The Sales Navigator Side Panel supports key functionality with SalesLoft including icebreakers, introductions, connections, and profiles.

SalesLoft is quite pleased with its previously announced LinkedIn Sales Navigator partnership.  SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester noted that SalesLoft “worked extremely closely with their team” and that SalesLoft has the highest widget use amongst all of LinkedIn’s SNAP partners.  The Sales Navigator app supports real-time news, account information, introductions, ice breakers, connections, and recommended leads.  LinkedIn intelligence is delivered within SalesLoft’s Persona and Company Smart Panels.

“Our organization and thousands of others like us depend on LinkedIn daily for prospecting, insights, social selling, and the tools to build real, authentic relationships with your prospects and customers,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter.  “In many ways, SalesLoft’s technology has been built to be extremely complementary with that of LinkedIn.”

SalesLoft recently launched a meeting tool which integrates with Outlook and Gmail.  The new service provides calendar links to customers and prospects so they can quickly book time on the rep’s calendar.  Booked meetings are visible within both SalesLoft and Salesforce.  A booked meeting can trigger automation rules such as changing a cadence stage, marking as success, or moving to a cadence such as setting follow up meetings or kicking off a meeting prep cadence.

Calendar settings include default meeting length, daily meeting windows, time zone, and standard message.  Users may continue to use Calendly and Chili Piper for setting meetings.

Another new feature is live website tracking which captures who visited a corporate website and which pages were visited.  Initially, the functionality is cookie based, but SalesLoft will support IP tracking in the future.  Sales reps can use the tracking to leverage past activity (e.g. suggesting additional resources related to past research history) or calling prospects while they are live on a corporate site.

“Live Website Tracking brings a brand new prospect readiness cue to the surface by exposing live and historical website activity to SalesLoft.  When you combine the unspoken signal of website activity with the more explicit signal of email interaction and direct response, you move closer than ever to understanding what the prospect needs and where they are in their buying journey.”

  • SalesLoft Product Marketing Manager Sunshine Levin

SalesLoft has a single-price user model of $139 per month.  The subscription provides full platform capabilities with some dialer minute limits.  Volume discounts are available.

Part I of this article covered SalesLoft’s new App Directory.

Outreach Releases Meeting Scheduler

Outreach Meetings allow reps to select open blocks for a meeting and quickly insert them into a templated meeting invitation.
Outreach Meetings allow reps to select open blocks for a meeting and quickly insert them into a templated meeting invitation.

Sales enablement service Outreach now offers a meeting scheduler for Outlook and Exchange. The service, currently in beta, is scheduled for general availability in early April. Features include integrated calendaring, reusable meeting templates, Salesforce synchronization, and available meeting insertion into emails. A Google scheduler was previously launched.

Templates provide sales reps with reusable meeting setups and confirmations. Thus, information such as conference call details can be automatically included in confirmation messages.

By including public calendar links in emails, “prospects can easily find a time that works for them or reschedule meetings without additional back and forth,” blogged Chelsey Feldman, Outreach Product Storyteller. “You can even manage multiple schedules with the ability to book meetings on behalf of someone else, and reassign meeting owners without creating a new invitation.”

Calendaring can be a huge waste of time for sales reps. By integrating calendar functionality into Outreach and Google, sales reps have time freed up for more valuable account planning and sales activities. “Outreach Meetings enables salespeople to focus on closing deals rather than wasting valuable time managing the logistics of scheduling – and rescheduling – countless calls and meetings,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “Now that Outreach Meetings is integrated with both Google and Microsoft platforms, salespeople can instantly schedule appointments – and get back to the business of selling.”

Outreach claims that the Customer Success Team at Jitterbit, where reps schedule around 45 meetings per quarter, saves an hour or more per user each week due to the scheduling functionality.

Additional time savings will be achieved as Outreach builds follow-on capabilities into their meeting scheduler. Feldman listed the following roadmap features:

  • Intelligent automation for perfectly-timed reminders and no-show follow up
  • Features enabling you to follow up on meetings in a timely and actionable way
  • An integrated note taking solution so you can run your meeting with fewer extra tools
  • Analytics and insights on: the meetings you’re booking, holding, and rescheduling; upcoming meetings; and which emails are most successful at helping you book meetings

One feature, not mentioned, is round-robin scheduling.

Outreach noted that 20% of meetings fail because the prospect cancels or does not show up. Thus, managing this scenario in a future release will improve sales rep efficiency and reduce the number of lost or delayed opportunities.