Chili Piper Flips Sales Dynamics & Puts the Lead in Control

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Christopher Sirk
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‘Speed to lead’ is critical. Once it’s gone, it can be difficult to re-establish a lead’s interest. Chili Piper seeks to keep things moving from A (lead found) to B (deal closed) with its integrated, intuitive scheduling and calendar solution. 

The app’s raison d'être is to ‘pipe’ qualified leads to sales as fast as possible, for the spiciest results. It’s a straightforward tool, inspired by the founders’ frustration with bundled legacy sales software, and an overarching desire to empower the customer.

Why Chili Piper is a straight shooter

Chili Piper was founded in 2016, but the idea behind the app had been percolating for years beforehand. 

As app co-founder and CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe explains in a refreshingly candid story, back in the day, it was the software vendors, i.e. the ‘sellers,’ who were in control. Proprietary, on-site deployments and implementation costs would result in users getting locked in; canceling or changing your service incurred a big financial penalty. 

This was the era where legacy vendors would make you buy bundled products with tools you didn’t need. Chili Piper aims for the opposite, offering transparent and simple pricing for their de-coupled Scheduling and Events products. 

While working his previous job, as the CIO at telecommunications startup LightSquared, Vandenberghe got a dose of how lousy it feels to buy from sellers who have all the power. At the same time, he realized that the status quo was gonna go up in smoke soon (He cites Slack, founded in 2009, as a bellwether for the buyer-first trend). 

Vandenberghe foresaw the future of digital tools to be simpler, modular, and flexible: three words which certainly describe Chili Piper, an app with clear features, customization options, and collaborative tools for staying nimble.

Scheduling a sale: Chili Piper Inbound 

Many times, when someone fills out a web form, the lead is passed on to sales, but sometimes reps don’t have the time to respond until it’s too late: Time is lost sifting through duplicate requests, spam, and not-very-serious inquiries. Then there’s the phone tag, leave-a-voicemail, and email back-and-forth shuffle: “anytime works for me... except that time and that time.”

Chili Piper Inbound gets rid of the need to haggle an appointment time through email. Instead, after filling out a form, a qualified lead gets a simple, attractive JavaScript form to select a date and time that works best for them. And just like that, the appointment is set.  

You can set up rules for advanced lead qualification and distribution, so reps receive a well-balanced, expertise-appropriate workload. CRM integration allows you to sort leads by different industries and company sizes, plus allows leads in the middle of an “opportunity” (i.e. pending deal) to book meetings directly with the” opportunity owner” (i.e. whichever agent or manager is in charge of a lead’s account). 

With Chili Piper, you can include your availability calendar directly in your emails to prospects who can then schedule themselves a meeting with one simple click. Additionally, when leads fill out a web form but forget to fill out the appointment booking, or don’t get qualified according to your criteria, you can use round robin rules, or “assign to owner” rules to follow-up with them anyway.  

Collaborative selling tools

To further increase the potential for inbound conversions, Chili Piper offers collaborative tools for collaborative selling and full team visibility. 

The app lets you easily re-route calls from one Sales Development Rep to another, or to an Account Executive, to make sure the right person takes the call. You can assign geographical territories to specific reps, and set up round robin rules and account-based ownership.

Reporting tools show how many people filled out forms and booked meetings, as well as your no-show, cancellation, and reschedule rates. You can use your data to tweak and customize meeting reminders to improve show rates. 

There’s a ton of integrations to check out as well. A few key ones include messaging platform Intercom, Salesforce, and HubSpot CRM.

Collaborative sales inbox

Chili Piper’s developers have been working to expand the app’s team tools further. There’s now a collaborative inbox for sales reps, which is currently in beta.

The tool lets you @ other team members and keeps a running chat on the sidebar of your inbox (very much in line with, say, Google Docs). So when you need to bring in other team members to get info or a second opinion, you can keep everything within the same email thread, without messy CC’ing or app switching.

You can also update opportunities and pipeline stages from your inbox, as well as create and manage action tasks for follow-ups, opportunities, deal stages, and more. This lets you stay on top of what needs to be done from email, the channel most of us still use to do our most important work.

Event management 

Chili Piper has expanded its reach beyond inbound sales into event planning. The Chili Piper Events management tool offers scheduling for one-on-one and B2B meetings at events, throwing a powerful tool to event managers and field marketing managers. 

Using the Chili Piper Events management tool, prospects can book meetings with one-click. You can use the tool to book specific conference rooms and keep track of room schedules (thus avoiding any hyper-awkward double-bookings), and set up special events with capacity limits and reminders. 

The Check-in app lets reps manage all meetings on the event floor. You can also use integration with CRM to measure event ROI (including pipelines created or stages progressed, deals closed, and overall bookings made).

Sales dynamics 2020: the age of “Revenue Acceleration”

We now live in a business environment where inbound prospects have many choices and limited time. We’re in the middle of a hyper-competitive trend Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe refers to as “fighting for attention,” where “revenue teams need to act FAST in order to keep leads engaged and convert them”. By allowing leads to schedule their own meetings with sales reps, Chili Piper adds its own zest to this revenue-acceleration trend.

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