Join SUMO at Midwest Dreamin’ 2024

Calling all dreamers! SUMO Scheduler is excited to announce our participation in Midwest Dreamin’ 2024 as Platinum Sponsors! Join us at booth #1, where we’ll be showcasing our latest innovations and participating in the thrilling Demo Jam.

But that’s not all! We’re teaming up with Work-relay (a Neostella product) to host an amazing Happy Hour. Just a short 7-minute walk from the venue, The Local Minneapolis is the perfect spot to unwind and swap stories with fellow dreamers in an old-world tavern atmosphere.

Let’s make Midwest Dreamin’ truly unforgettable!

The details:

📅 When: July 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
📍 Where: The Local Minneapolis, 931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls, MN 55402
🍹 Beer, signature cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, and light bites

To join us for this fantastic evening, please fill out the participation form. See you there!

SUMO Scheduler Shines at Southeast Dreamin’ 2024 in Atlanta!

We are thrilled to share that SUMO Scheduler had an unforgettable time as a Platinum Sponsor at Southeast Dreamin’ 2024! This fantastic event took place on June 27-28 in the heart of Atlanta, GA, and was a brilliant opportunity to connect with the vibrant Salesforce Community.

Our booth buzzed with excitement as we met countless friends and partners, showcasing our latest innovations and exchanging invaluable insights.

In addition to all the excitement, SUMO loves giving back to the Salesforce Community. Our Senior Solution Engineer, Chantell Armstrong, led a fantastic class for Salesforce consultants and admins. Attendees learned how to implement Salesforce native scheduling for their clients and stakeholders. A big thank you to Chantell for her commitment to the community!

SUMO Scheduler's Senior Solution Engineer, Chantell Armstrong, led a fantastic class for Salesforce consultants and admins at Southeast Dreamin 2024

The standout moment of our participation was definitely the Demo Jam. We wowed the audience with the power and versatility of SUMO Scheduler, leaving everyone excited about what we can do.

Southeast Dreamin 2024 - Demo Jam

But the fun didn’t stop there! We also hosted an epic Happy Hour, which drew in over 70 attendees. It was a night filled with great conversations, hearty laughter, and genuine camaraderie. It was the perfect setting to unwind and strengthen our bonds within the community.

A huge thank you to everyone who visited our booth, cheered us on at the Demo Jam, and joined us for the Happy Hour. Your enthusiasm and support made this event truly special. We can’t wait to see you all again next year!

SUMO Scheduler shined as Platinum Sponsor at Texas Dreamin’

We are delighted to share that SUMO Scheduler had an incredible experience as a Platinum Sponsor at Texas Dreamin’ 2024! The event, held on May 30-31 in Austin, TX, was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the vibrant Salesforce Community.

At booth #13, we connected with countless friends and partners, showcasing our latest innovations and exchanging valuable insights.

The highlight of our participation was undoubtedly the Demo Jam, where we demonstrated the power and versatility of SUMO Scheduler to an enthusiastic audience.

Additionally, we hosted a memorable Happy Hour at Lucille Patio Lounge, where we enjoyed great conversations, laughter, and camaraderie. It was a wonderful opportunity to unwind and strengthen our bonds with the community.

Thank you to everyone who visited our booth, joined us for the Demo Jam, and attended our Happy Hour. Your support and enthusiasm made this event truly special. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

SUMO Scheduler rocks Salesforce World Tour NYC (April)

SUMO Scheduler recently participated in the Salesforce World Tour NYC 2024. Our team enjoyed meeting numerous friends and partners at our booth #230, where we had the opportunity to discuss our innovative customer engagement platform. It was a pleasure to demonstrate how SUMO Scheduler is enhancing scheduling solutions.

SUMO Scheduler team at  Salesforce World Tour NYC 2024

A highlight of the event was the Happy Hour we co-hosted with Orion Global Solutions and Sprout Social. The gathering took place at Creatures at Selina Rooftop, located in the heart of Manhattan. The evening was filled with engaging conversations and new connections, providing a great conclusion to the day’s activities at the conference.

We appreciate everyone who visited our booth and joined us for the Happy Hour. Your support made the event special. We look forward to seeing you at the next Salesforce World Tour.

Streamline your workflow: 5 reasons to acquire a scheduling solution

“From maximizing productivity to delighting customers with punctuality, Scheduling solutions are the secret sauce for thriving in 2024’s business world.”

According to the World Economic Forum, 34% of all business-related tasks are performed by machines, with the remaining 66% performed by humans.

As businesses look to invest in modern technology that can guarantee maximum output in the most efficient way, scheduling platforms have emerged as a round-the-clock, multitasking maestros, effortlessly juggling a multitude of responsibilities.

In this blog, we discuss the 5 biggest reasons why your business may be ready to acquire a Scheduling Solution, and all the cost-effective benefits that come with it!

Why Does It Matter?

Batman has Alfred, Frodo has Sam, and a smoothly operating business in 2024 is likely to possess a scheduling solution. Here are some statistics to take into consideration:

  • The appointment scheduling software market is predicted to reach $633.47 million by 2025 (PR Newswire)
  • 78% of customers are more likely to buy from a business if they receive customized services (VentaVid)
  • Implementing appointment scheduling software can potentially boost revenue by 30% to 45% (Marketsplash)
  • A whopping 94% of customers would be more likely to find a new business, especially if it has its own booking schedule website (GetApp).
Batman has Alfred, Frodo has Sam, and a smoothly operating business in 2024 is likely to possess a scheduling solution.

In addition to being a highly profitable sector, Scheduling Platforms offer boundless potential for growth and remarkably consistent levels of client satisfaction.

But why should a developing business invest in a Scheduling Platform in 2024?
Within the rapidly-developing world of technology, are they a reliable long-term solution?

Most importantly, are they compatible with any kind of business?
Let’s find out!

1. You Want Efficiency in Operations

“Imagine your local coffeehouse, or luxury retail store, or even a university”.

Regardless of the industry, each of these businesses relies on regular customer visits and consistent transactions. Any missed appointments, meetings, follow-ups or requests can lead to lesser visits, and thus, lower income.

A scheduling solution can organize any type of appointment: in-person, phone, video, and web conference, to make sure a business never loses a client due to a lack of time.

2. You Want Something Easy to Implement

“The locals have decided to invest in a scheduling solution, but…”

Due to age, experience, or simply preferences, many business owners and managers are less inclined towards cumbersome, keyword-heavy solutions. They seek user-friendly, swiftly implementable solutions that evolve with their business needs.

SUMO’s Appointment Scheduler provides a user-friendly interface that not only gives an at-a-glance view of all customer interactions, but also the ability to personalize appointments for each individual client.

3. You Want Robust Scalability

“Business is booming, and the “locals” are looking to scale up”.

Whether launching a new retail chain or expanding with another branch, venturing into new investments introduces a fresh set of challenges, including heightened demands on time management operations.

Scheduling platforms can easily accommodate business growth and expansion by utilizing a flexible set of tools and solutions that adapt to evolving needs and increasing demand.

4. You Want Business Optimization

“The locals have gone global. Why use a Scheduler now?”

For businesses leveraging hierarchical structures with multiple managerial tiers, Scheduling Platforms offer an array of tailored solutions to optimize operations even further.

Solutions like Assignment Engine can ensure that a prospect meets with the right specialist, at the right location, at the right time, giving those specialists more control than ever before.

5. You Want 360-degree Transparency

“The business has become simply too large. Is it still worth it?”

For businesses leveraging hierarchical structures with multiple managerial tiers, Scheduling Platforms offer an array of tailored solutions to optimize operations even further.

SUMO’s Multi-Calendar allows a business to gain complete visibility & control over its entire workforce. With detailed Analytics, Reminder Engines, and Waitlist management, it empowers the business to grow even larger!

What Are The Benefits?

Whether you own a small business, an NGO, or an enterprise, scheduling solutions are versatile, efficient assistants that can help employees, managers and owners to optimize and upscale business operations.

Scheduling solutions can assist a business in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Optimizing resources like time efficiently through automation
  • Improving productivity & reducing down-time through time management
  • Reducing major costs through investing in existing, long-term solution
  • Enhancing customer satisfaction through personalized communication

Where Can You Start?

SUMO Scheduler is a powerful online appointment scheduling solution that automates record creation and maximizes performance, all within the Salesforce platform.

With a state-of-the-art interface, SUMO provides a 360-degree view of every interaction or meeting, which offers visibility into the entire scheduling process, all within the Salesforce Organization where the software collects and protects sensitive and essential information.

With actionable results and customer success stories like the ones below, business owners have truly found a game-changing solution.

Results Across All Industries

This global financial services client credits the SUMO Platform for helping them save up to 25% of the time by eliminating manual effort and minimizing scheduling errors.

This health engagement provider deployed a customized platform that allowed its staff to match individual patients to specialist team members, greatly reducing downtime.

This renowned university has seen a dramatic increase in output with manual tasks being eliminated across all departments, from management to specialist employee positions.

This National Bank’s implementation of SUMO Scheduler allowed customers to schedule appointments with advisors at their convenience, increasing efficiency and positively affecting revenue.

Join these and 100s of other businesses that have utilized SUMO Scheduler’s secure, reliable, and game-changing scheduling platform.

Book your free demo to learn more about SUMO Scheduler, and take your business to the next level in 2024.

Leverage Salesforce flow automation to reduce sales rep workload & facilitate your company’s sales process

The role of the modern Salesforce administrator has evolved to encompass a broad set of responsibilities. Today’s admin is expected to collaborate with sales and marketing leadership to optimize technologies and processes that drive revenue growth, improve customer experience and ensure data integrity. To do so, they must have a deep understanding of their business’s go-to-market processes, customer needs, and the software technologies that turn company strategy into action.

In this article, we will explore the importance of modern Salesforce administrators and how they can leverage Salesforce automation alongside native applications to foster improved customer engagement, drive team collaboration and improve data management.

1. Email Automation: Automate Customer Engagement & Calls to Action

Automated scheduling platforms have revolutionized the sales and support processes by streamlining appointment booking, reducing manual workload for sales and support teams and providing customers with convenient self-service options that enhance their experience.

Salesforce admins can help their businesses to drive sales process efficiency and velocity by leveraging tools such as SUMO Scheduler alongside Salesforce’s flows and email alert capabilities to automatically send appointment invitations to prospects and customers. Salesforce Flows can be written to control when the invite is sent based upon the completion of specific data fields on the contact record. This can be done by creating a trigger that monitors changes to relevant fields on the participant record and launches the flow.

By automating this process, you can ensure that potential customers are always given the opportunity to schedule an appointment when they are ready, without the need for manual intervention from your sales team. This can help to improve conversion rates and streamline the sales process, ultimately leading to more successful outcomes for your organization.

Examples of process improvements:

  • Record update triggers flow to send emails with an invite link.
  • Implement automation to route support tickets to the appropriate agents or teams based on their expertise or workload.
  • Set up automated processes to calculate and update opportunity forecast based on historical data and sales trends, etc.

2. Automated Subject Updates – Make Your Appointments Stand Out On Customers’ Calendars

Customer-facing meetings are the lifeblood of any sales and support rep’s business – Missed or canceled appointments directly impact their goals and bottom line. Fortunately, by leveraging simple Salesforce flows in conjunction with appointment scheduling automation, admins can help their customer-facing teams reduce cancellations and increase appointment participations.

One way to do this is by updating the appointment subject to include the participant’s name and phone number. This makes it easier for clients to identify important appointments with your team, ensuring that they remain top of mind. This is important because most clients use their external calendar as the source of truth, and updating the subject line with this information provides greater flexibility and transparency for both parties involved. This is especially important if the client is juggling multiple appointments and needs to quickly reference the details of each one.

Source: SUMO comes with many email templates out of the box that you can customize to fit your needs.

Updating the appointment subject line also takes into account any internal meetings that may be taking up the participant’s availability. By allowing for flexibility in scheduling, you can ensure that appointments are scheduled at a time that works for both the client and the participant, without the need for manual intervention.

At the same time, maintaining the meeting category within Salesforce allows you to keep accurate records and generate valuable insights into the sales process. You can still track the meeting category and other relevant data points within Salesforce, while ensuring that the end user doesn’t have to go to Salesforce to find the information they need.

Overall, updating the subject of the appointment to include the participant’s name and phone number while maintaining the meeting category within Salesforce is a powerful way to optimize your sales process and improve the end user experience. By providing accurate and efficient reporting while also personalizing the meeting experience, you can drive greater success for your organization and strengthen relationships with potential customers.

3. Using A Different Email Field

As a Salesforce admin, you understand that every customer has unique needs and requirements, and that flexibility is key when it comes to meeting those needs. That’s why the ability to use a different email field other than the standard Salesforce email field is a powerful tool for admins.

First, it allows Salesforce admins to provide greater customization for their clients and a more personalized experience that meets their specific needs.
For example, a client may want to use a specific email field for regulatory compliance or to meet internal company policies.

Second, it can help to improve the accuracy of notification delivery.
Sometimes, the standard Salesforce email field may not be the most accurate or up-to-date source of contact information for a participant. By allowing clients to choose a different email field for notifications, admins can ensure that notifications are delivered to the most accurate and up-to-date email address.

Source: Salesforce allows you to define and manage email addresses that can be used as the “from address” when sending an email through Salesforce.

Third, it can help to improve efficiency and automation.
By automating the process of selecting the appropriate email field for notifications, Salesforce admins can save time and reduce the risk of errors or manual input mistakes. For example, if a client wants to use a specific email field for notifications based on a certain set of criteria, this can be easily set up using flow automation, saving time and reducing the need for manual input.

Practical examples of the use of a different email field for notifications could include:

  • A client who wants to use a different email field for appointment notifications based on participant location, so that notifications are sent to a local email address.
  • A client who wants to use a different email field for appointment notifications based on the type of participant, such as a customer vs. a partner or vendor.
  • A client who wants to use a different email field for appointment notifications based on the type of appointment or meeting, such as a sales meeting vs. a training session.

Overall, the ability to use a different email field other than the standard Salesforce email field for SUMO Scheduler appointment notifications provides greater flexibility and customization for clients, improves accuracy and efficiency, and allows Salesforce admins to better meet the unique needs of their clients.

4. Automate lead creation in Salesforce when an appointment is booked

Leveraging a Salesforce native scheduling tool can help your sales team to automate the lead creation process and ensure that all prospect information and demographics are accurately captured in your CRM.

As soon as an appointment for service A is scheduled, the system will automatically generate a corresponding lead in Salesforce with all the relevant fields populated. It can save valuable time for both the sales rep and the admins while also ensuring that your sales org remains free of redundant contacts and data errors.

Let’s see some real Use Cases.

  • Medical Clinics:
    A medical clinic using Salesforce can integrate its appointment scheduling system with the CRM. When patients book appointments for specific services or treatments, a corresponding lead is automatically created in Salesforce. This lead can contain important patient information, appointment details, and the service required. This automation streamlines the patient onboarding process, reduces manual data entry for the clinic staff, and ensures accurate and up-to-date patient records.
  • Education Institutions:
    Educational organizations can use Salesforce to manage student admissions. When prospective students schedule appointments for campus tours or admissions consultations, the scheduling tool can trigger the creation of a lead in Salesforce. This lead can include the student’s contact information, academic interests, and appointment details. The automation helps admissions teams to efficiently track and manage prospective students, ensuring personalized interactions and a smoother enrollment process.
  • Financial Services:
    Financial institutions can leverage Salesforce to automate lead creation when clients request consultations or financial advice. When clients schedule appointments with financial advisors through an online scheduling tool, a lead is automatically generated in Salesforce with relevant client information and appointment details. This automation allows financial advisors to have a complete view of client interactions, track follow-ups, and provide personalized financial advice.

By automating lead creation in Salesforce when appointments are booked, businesses across various industries can enhance their sales processes, improve customer experience, and optimize their CRM data management.

In conclusion, automated scheduling flows on Salesforce can be used to make work more simple and reliable, especially when it is used with the automated online scheduling application SUMO Scheduler. The combination of these two tools provides a seamless and efficient scheduling process that saves time, reduces errors, and improves customer satisfaction. Businesses that want to streamline their scheduling process and improve their performance should consider using automated scheduling flows on Salesforce with SUMO Scheduler.

By embracing automation, Salesforce administrators can drive significant improvements in efficiency, productivity, and overall business performance. So why wait? Join the automation revolution today and take your sales team to the next level!

Join SUMO Scheduler at the Salesforce World Tour NYC!

Take your business to new heights with SUMO Scheduler and Salesforce at the World Tour NYC on May 4th, 2023!

Whether you join us online or in-person, we’re excited to bring you amazing education opportunities, inspiring speakers and technologies that will help you to better engage customers and grow your business.

Don’t forget to stop by our booth (#154) to say hi to our team and learn more about SUMO.

For updates, join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and visit our blog.

10 Tips To Improve Your Hiring Process

With the start of the new year, for whatever reason, many companies will be looking to add new team members to their organizations. Bringing new people onboard at your organization is an expensive proposition. Not only do you want to get it right the first time, but you want to bring the ‘right’ person on board as quickly as possible.

The old adage says that it’s “cheaper to keep her”. The same is true in business as it is in your personal life. Hiring the wrong person not only creates a period of time where work isn’t being done either efficiently or the way it ‘should’ be done, but all the administrative time involved with hiring, and all the training time used just goes straight down the drain. With an eye towards saving you money, and with another firmly focused on making systems more efficient, we’ve come up with ten ways you can improve your hiring processes.

1 – Foster Partnerships with Other Hiring Managers

One of the things that separates great business people from run-of-the-mill business people is the ability to delegate responsibilities to trusted partners. When you’re busy working ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business you’re wasting time and effort. When you’re able to hand off important tasks that need to be done ‘right’ to a trusted partner, efficiency goes up, and more importantly, you’re able to work in your business, doing the things that make you money rather than doing things that steal time away from productivity.

Find a recruiting partner that you can trust to send qualified candidates your way. Sales funnels need to constantly have fresh new leads trickle into the top of the funnel in order to keep sales pumping out of the bottom. Your candidate hiring funnel is no different, and one way in which you can keep the candidates coming into your funnel is to work with a recruiting partner that places highly qualified candidates for the roles you need filled in that very same funnel.

2 – Utilize Available Data to Estimate the Hiring Cycle Length

When working with hiring managers, one of the key points that needs to be addressed in your discussions is just how long it will take in order to fill the position you’re needing to hire for. The timeframe you want the process to take may be unrealistic. Relying on solid data and having a data-driven approach to the process can not only provide realistic expectations, but it can also hold everyone involved accountable for the metric markers that need to be reached in order for the process to come to fruition.

In order to have realistic hiring expectations, look at past hiring cycles for how long they lasted. Consider how many submissions were received for similar positions. Determine just how many viable candidates were available for these previous positions. Review how long the process took from start to finish. Once you know the raw numbers with each associated step of your process, you can come up with a solid timeframe that can be expected for this new hiring cycle.

3 – Maintain a Talent Funnel

As mentioned in point one, sales funnels and hiring funnels aren’t so different from each other. In a sales funnel you need fresh leads constantly in order for the funnel to provide a steady revenue stream. You also need to have a strategy to interact with your prospects and move them down the funnel from cold to warm to hot to purchase. Similarly, you need to constantly be adding new potential hires to your funnel. You also need to interact with them along the way and not only determine their viability as a candidate, but also keep them interested in becoming a part of your organization, especially if their a candidate that seems to be a good fit.

In order to keep a Talent Funnel fresh, make sure that you regularly post engaging and informative content about your company. Creating organic traffic to your site and social media platforms not only keeps potential clientele interested, it signals to potential hiring candidates that you’re a company that has something to say and that you’re relevant in the marketplace.

4 – Utilize Your Social Media Networks

Your social media networks can be used for more than the organic content creation many companies use them for. These networks can also be used in order to find hidden gems in the market that may not be actively looking for a new opportunity, but might just be a perfect candidate for that hard to fill position that you’re desperate to get filled. Social media can shoulder much of the burden of finding new candidates for you, while the rest of your hiring team can focus on other necessary tasks and steps in the process. Translation? You can delegate finding great candidates to your social media networks.

How does that work? One of the best things in marketing, word-of-mouth, can also be utilized in your hiring process. When you have influential people who trust your company saying good things about you, and maybe even about your openings, you can bet that top talent that might not have been in the job market before but heard about your opening will start listening.

5 – Create Your Job Openings in Advance

One of the steps in the hiring process that can be a colossal time suck is the actual production and distribution of job postings. A wise person once said, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” With that in mind, plan for eventual openings at your organization. Plan to have to fill even the most secure positions that you would never dream you’d need to fill. Put together job descriptions and responsibilities in advance. When a position opens, you’ll be a step ahead in the process simply by already having your job posting ready to roll.

You can use templates to get yourself started. Focus on the true core responsibilities for each position. Make sure that you’re covering your company culture as well, because ‘fit’ is something that too few people take into account when hiring.

6 – Move the Recruiting Process Along Faster with Scheduling Tools

When you’ve got your recruiting strategy streamlined, take the time to also streamline any administrative tasks that might need to be undertaken in the process. One such task you could consider is Scheduling Automation. Being able to coordinate multiple candidate schedules and the schedules of your hiring team can be an arduous process if you aren’t taking advantage of available scheduling tools.

It’s not rare to have multiple candidates active in your hiring pipeline. You may need to balance multiple schedules for multiple interviews and not having a capable tool to find available times can be a drain on your administrative resources. We’re looking for ways to speed up your hiring process, which in turn will increase your profitability. This step is not to be ignored. It’s essential to shaving crucial time off of your hiring process and freeing up the administrative time needed for it.

7 – Automation and Reminders

Much of the hiring process mirrors the sales cycle. Why? You’re selling your available position and organization to candidates, and they’re selling themselves to you too. Whether we realize it or not, hiring is sales. As such, one of the biggest ways to lose out on a sale is for you to no-show an appointment or conversely for your prospect to no-show said appointment. Automation and reminders need to be a standard part of the hiring process.

Make sure that every person involved in the hiring process, especially where interviews are concerned, is aware of every meeting they need to attend. Additionally, make sure that the where and when of the meetings/interviews are clearly communicated. Finally, make sure that regular reminders go out to everyone involved so that no one is uttering “oh no!” over a “no show”.

8 – Customize Your Interview Workflow

Interviews aren’t like snapback ball caps. One size does not fit all. Did you estimate that an interview would take 30 minutes but you booked an hour’s worth of time? Fail. Did you estimate an interview would take 30 minutes but you find you’re still speaking with your candidate an hour later? Fail. Stick to the timeframes you specify.

Also, have you overcommitted your time in the past? Booked too many interviews to the point that you can’t fit them all in? Take stock of your interview process. Determine how much time you truly need to, and can spend on each interview, and book the time accordingly.

9 – Track Your Metrics

Sumo Scheduler’s Analytics Builder can help you build customized reports to quickly track previous and upcoming interviews. You can keep track of interview cancellations and reschedules or even view the hiring process’s progress. These reports can help you with insights into how time is being used and whether it’s being used efficiently.

We previously discussed how analytical data can help to improve your hiring process. Metrics like these can provide a great foundation for setting realistic expectations for the hiring process. They can also illuminate areas of your process that can be improved.

10 – Integrate SUMO Scheduler with Your Hiring Process

We’ve discussed many ways that you can improve your hiring process. One of the easiest ways to improve it, is to integrate SUMO Scheduler with your process. SUMO’s robust platform can help you integrate virtually every step we’ve discussed from robust Calendar APIs that integrate with multiple calendar types, to Scheduling Automation and Instant Booking tools, to power Data Analytics tools.

For more information on Sumo Scheduler book a free consult with an expert!

How to Help Marketing Generate More Qualified Leads with Automated Scheduling

Sales and Marketing alignment can be challenging, especially in large enterprises. Getting teams on the same page about targeting the right audiences, effectively creating conversions, and generating more sales is possible with the right strategy and tools. The most crucial part is ensuring that both teams agree on acquisition goals and deliverables while attracting the right customers. 

recent survey shows that organizations prioritizing alignment between sales and marketing achieved revenue goals 27% faster with a 36% higher customer retention rate than companies where team alignment wasn’t a priority. 

If your marketing and sales teams can agree on who to consider a high-quality lead, marketing can effectively find and deliver these leads to sales for conversion. A marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a prospect who is most likely to become a customer based on a predetermined set of characteristics including various demographic and business attributes along with the number of initial interactions with your brand such as website visits, open emails, social media likes, and more.

Generating MQLs and converting them into customers can get complicated without automation that minimizes time-consuming and error-prone manual processes. Even highly qualified leads can quickly lose interest in your brand if they wait to schedule a call and can’t effectively access your teams and resources. 

Learn more about SUMO’s Event & Course Scheduling

4 Ways to deliver more MQLs with smart automation

Integrate a scheduling calendar with your website, social media, and email

As lead generation begins with a prospect’s first-time engagement with your website, social media, or email campaign, it’s essential to offer an opportunity to connect at the peak of their interest. A form fill is not ideal because it adds an extra step of verifying the prospect’s and sales rep’s availability for a call and does not provide them with the assurance that someone will get back to them within a reasonable time frame. Even a 5-minute delay can increase the risk of prospects losing interest and going elsewhere.

Embedding SUMO’s Online Scheduler on your website, and adding a “Schedule a Call” or a “sign up for an event” link to an outbound email campaign are highly effective ways to connect your sales and marketing teams with new prospects. Our self-scheduling tools empower customers to book appointments directly on sales reps’ calendars, automatically filling their schedules while removing the headache of appointment coordination from the sales process. This frees up sales teams to spend more time doing what they do best – selling.

Automate lead management with Salesforce native functionality

It’s understandable that not every person who hits a “Schedule a Call” button is a good match for your company’s products or services as it’s hard to gauge the true level of a new prospect’s interest from their first interaction with your brand. Once submitted, the information they enter still needs to go through your customer relationship management system (CRM) for further verification and qualification. 

Luckily, SUMO’s native Salesforce functionality offers intelligent field mapping and record creation that can make your lead qualification process more efficient and effective. The software automatically creates leads and contacts for new prospects while simultaneously capturing demographic information through customizable data fields. These capabilities, when combined with SUMO’s powerful assignment logic, empower your team to better understand lead profiles while ensuring that appointments are assigned to the right sales resource.

Align internal teams and resources

Sales and Marketing alignment requires that everyone involved in the lead generation process stays on the same page. As teams partner with each other and outside teams and vendors, it’s imperative to have an infrastructure that allows for seamless, headache-free coordination of the internal and external resources.

SUMO’s Multi-Calendar tool offers an easy-to-navigate 360-degree view of customer meetings and experiential marketing events. The calendar provides powerful filtering tools that sales leaders, marketing directors, and individual contributors can leverage to manage all of their customer-facing activities across multiple teams, locations, and venues.

Stay on-brand with customizable templates and designs

A unified brand makes a great first impression. That’s why all custom-facing collateral and messaging should align with your company’s brand.
SUMO’s highly customizable scheduling tools make it easy for marketing teams to design all customer-facing scheduling websites, appointment invitations, and reminders to their exact specifications. Content graphics, colors, and fonts can be managed through the software’s admin settings to ensure that all outbound messaging is constant and up to date. No design skills or software needed!

Successful marketing and sales alignment start with the right tool!

As your company continues to grow and schedules become more hectic, forging a sustainable connection between sales and marketing in their ultimate search for high-quality prospects can be a complicated and time-consuming task. With the right tool at your disposal, you can considerably improve shared availability and bring teams together. SUMO helps your marketing teams find more qualified leads and automatically hand them off to the sales for final conversion. And the result is an ironed-out demand generation process that ensures the expansion of your sales pipeline while generating more revenue for your entire organization. 

Does Your Sales Team Need More Qualified Leads? Let’s chat! Click here to learn more or book a free consult with an expert!

10 Essential Elements of Successful Customer Engagement

In today’s highly saturated, digital first landscape, customer expectations are rapidly evolving. Tech-savvy consumers want their relationship with companies to be more meaningful, with direct access to human resources and support when and where they need them. Smart businesses have recognized this trend and are modernizing their engagement strategies to feature technologies that connect staff and customers. As a result, they are seeing a significant increase in sales, customer satisfaction ratings, and retention.

This article will help you to better understand how a customer engagement software platform can help your company to improve its strategy and provide you with guidelines to help you choose the right solution for your company.

What software tools should you onboard as part of your customer engagement strategy?

The best customer engagement technologies satisfy a wide range of business use cases. These applications automate the sales, support, and service appointment scheduling processes to help companies grow their sales pipelines, increase their marketing outreach and improve customer support response times. They tackle essential administration tasks such as lead/contact creation, CRM data integration, and analytics reporting. Most importantly, they integrate with existing technologies to create a seamless customer experience while improving operational efficiencies.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most important elements of a successful customer engagement platform.

Robust Automation

Independent studies have found that companies that have integrated customer engagement tools to their website and social media pages have increased their monthly customer interactions by over 70%. When polled, these customers stated that they are far more likely to interact with a company online vs traditional outbound marketing, telemarketing, or ad campaigns. They want the ability to visit a company’s website and to choose engagement options such as a quick virtual call with a customer service agent, schedule a one-on-one appointment with a sales consultant, or to attend a live product event. Applications such as SUMO Scheduler, a leading Salesforce native customer engagement platform, make it easy for companies to integrate these capabilities into their existing digital marketing platform.

Seamless Integration

An effective engagement platform offers simple, out-of-the-box integration with your existing customer relationship management system (CRM) to keep previously stored information untouched and secure. If you use Salesforce as your main CRM, choose a native Salesforce platform like SUMO Scheduler to seamlessly connect to your database via an API and ensure a smooth transition.

Single Panel View

The capability to recognize customer information across multiple communication channels and bring it together is an important element of a successful customer engagement platform. SUMO’s omnichannel approach brings data points and customer information gathered during the appointment and event scheduling processes directly into Salesforce without the need for a connector or integration. This powerful feature enables teams to make intelligent, data-driven decisions fast and takes the guesswork out of your engagement strategy.

All-in-One Calendar

In addition to leveraging Salesforce as a single source of truth, it’s important to see how your team interacts with your customers, and how often meetings get attended, rescheduled, or canceled. SUMO offers a powerful Multi Calendar that integrates with your Salesforce and organizes disparate team calendars into a single master calendar. With features like location selector, color coding, drag&drop rescheduling, no-show warning indicator, proximity search, and automated reminders, you can rest assured that your team has all it needs to effectively connect with your customers.

Ability to Self-Schedule in a 24-Hour Format

The ability to self-schedule is another useful perk that comes with automation. Look for a platform that lets your customers schedule calls with your team on their own time, from any device, and in any location. SUMO does it all for you. As today’s consumers choose companies that make interactions simple, the ability to book a meeting outside of normal business hours can drastically improve the number of customer interactions and allows your teams to become more effective in closing deals and engaging with clients.

Simple Integration with Online Conferencing Tools

In today’s world of anytime connectivity, it’s no surprise that video conferencing became an integral part of everyday business. According to SISCO, video will comprise 82% of all IP traffic by the end of 2022. Additionally, inadequate work conferencing practices can result in up to $34 billion in losses annually due to low productivity and lost time. Since video conferencing is not going anywhere in the near future, it’s important to ensure that a customer engagement platform you choose can integrate with multiple conferencing tools. SUMO’s recent release offers powerful integrations with Zoom and Microsoft Teams, so you can access all of your scheduled meetings right from your conferencing platform and connect with call participants faster.

User-Friendly Experience

How you make your customers feel determines the success of your engagement with them. A meaningful user experience where everyone enjoys interacting with your company keeps your following loyal and retention strong. A smooth user experience defines customer journeys that are conducive to your engagement strategy. With adjustable templates that match your brand’s look and feel, SUMO offers full customization and provides highly configurable admin tools to match your brand’s voice and appearance.

Ability to Scale

Depending on your business requirements, you want to be able to modify your customer service strategy by selecting only the tools and features you need so you can later scale them up or down depending on your company’s goals. This is important in order to retain the quality of your customer service during expansion without sacrificing operational efficiency. With SUMO’s customizable offerings, you can select necessary features and products and change them at a later time as your company grows.

Powerful Analytics Tools

Teams that utilize insights from their customer interactions to make educated, data-driven decisions have an upper hand in today’s market. Customer analytics not only decreases service costs but also helps firms personalize messaging and build a robust engagement strategy. With half-a-dozen out-of-the-box dashboards available in SUMO’s Analytics and Reports Builder, you can track staff utilization rates, appointment volume, and other trends grouped by specific location, region, or group of regions. Most importantly, SUMO’s advanced analytics capabilities allow your teams to understand if current efforts make a difference in your overall engagement strategy and what needs to be done to improve them.

Enhanced Security

In a world where consumers demand everyday convenience and protection, security must become an essential part of any new integration. People expect seamless experiences across all channels without having to worry about their personal data being compromised. SUMO takes privacy and security seriously. Our platform is fully compliant with ISO, HIPAA, and GDPR and ensures responsible data collection and distribution. We utilize a multitenant environment that protects your data from cross-pollination while maintaining maximum performance. We routinely back up your data at the server level and constantly monitor and protect it. Our staff is immediately alerted if any potential issues are detected, which allows us to proactively resolve any vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

Conclusion

As your business continues to focus on improving customer service, investing in an engagement platform like SUMO can empower your teams to deliver better results in terms of customer satisfaction and operational efficiencies. In the end, a happy customer and a productive team are the main cornerstones of business stability and vitality. A successful customer engagement platform can ensure that your company can thrive in any economic condition.

Ready to explore how SUMO can help you boost your customer engagement? Click here to learn more or book a free consult with an expert!

5 Ways To Turbocharge the Impact of Your Customer Meetings with Data

Top companies are leveraging data and analytics to maximize the impact of their customer-facing meetings. SUMO Scheduler, a customer engagement platform that includes online appointment scheduling, event scheduling, and queue scheduling, has seen firsthand how its customers have benefited from leveraging data in their day-today customer engagements. Check out a few ways they’ve identified how data can be incorporated into a company’s automated appointment and event scheduling process to increase sales, ensure customer retention, and improve employee satisfaction.

1. Know Thy Customer

Gathering key customer demographics during the appointment scheduling process provides your sales and service teams with critical information that can help them plan more impactful meetings. Salesforce native applications, such as SUMO Scheduler, can push information from your custom scheduling flow to the Salesforce record for easy reference and reporting.

2. Educated Buyers Are Active Buyers

Knowledge is power, especially in the sales process. Companies are leveraging file upload/download capabilities within their appointment scheduling processes to provide prospective clients with the information that they need to make informed product decisions or to apply for services. By doing so, they are removing decision-making barriers and speeding up the sales process.

PRO TIP
Implement a Salesforce native appointment and event scheduling application that offers file-sharing capabilities. Not only will you see the direct benefits of an educated customer but you can store files directly within your org for easy access.

3. Meet Your Customers Where They Live

Today’s customer expects companies to provide them with multiple methods for scheduling a meeting with a live person. From online chatbots to website scheduling portals to social media listings, tech-savvy buyers want to engage with your team on their terms.

4. Optimize Your Sales/Customer Engagement Process

Leverage Salesforce Analytics and reporting tools to drive improvements in your sales customer retention processes. By analyzing appointment data trends such as the number of meetings, status, and outcome and pairing them with key sales metrics such as stage duration and conversion rate, sales managers can pinpoint opportunities for improvement and drive meaningful change in their organizations.

PRO TIP
The changes that result from this data can lead to a significant boost in productivity, employee/customer satisfaction, and profit. Make sure that your scheduling application leverages Salesforce object reporting to maximize your reporting capabilities.

5. Maximize Your Most Valuable Resources

A company’s most valuable resource is its people. Nothing is more frustrating to a sales or customer service manager than underutilized talent. By combining Salesforce analytics, dashboards, and appointment scheduling software, managers can have a real-time view of staff appointment availability and utilization so that they can make informed decisions regarding staffing and role assignments. This optimization, in combination with empowering customers to schedule directly on staff calendars, ensures that sales and customer service representatives spend more time in front of clients.

PRO TIP
In order to maximize staff utilization, a scheduling application should utilize advanced appointment assignment logic that offers employee availability such as skill, role, availability, territory, and location.

Original text: SalesForce AppExchange

Meet SUMO 15

SUMO Scheduler, a top-rated appointment scheduling software application has announced the release of SUMO 15.

The latest release delivers new capabilities aimed to simplify customer engagement and includes the following features:

Invite Manager

  • Room & Resource Search: Users can now assign rooms & resources to email invites and appointment links. In admin, the “User Search” tab has been updated to “Search”, and now includes the ability for administrators to include Column Headings and Criteria to search for Rooms or Resources.
  • Hide Rooms and Resources: Admins may now turn off the Room & Resource sections.
  • Auto-Assign Room: Added ability to auto-assign rooms based on capacity, location and availability within appointment modules.
  • Buffer Time Enhancement: Admins may now disable the ability for Pre and Post buffer times to overlap. Settings are available at the process level.
  • Quick Create New Records: Added ability to quickly create new records for Lead and Contact from the Instant Booker New Appointment button.

Multi-Calendar

  • Display Buffer Times: Buffer times are now visible on the Day View calendar.
  • Community Registration Widget added for Events: New Registration Widget is available for Communities that allow attendees to register for an Event directly from the Community.
  • Appointment Source: You can now track where an Appointment was booked from Instant Booker, Email Invite, Appointment Link, Online Scheduler, Event Link, Multi-Calendar.

Admin Updates

  • Advance Notice to Cancel/Reschedule Appointments: New setting that allows Admins to limit when a participant can cancel/reschedule an appointment.
  • Limit # of Times a Participant Can Reschedule an Appointment: You may now define the # of times a participant can reschedule an appointment based on type.
  • Country and State Dependent Picklist: Admins now have the ability to add State & Country Picklists to the Online Scheduler and Invite Manager Templates.

You can view the full release notes for SUMO15.

How To Keep Your Prospects Hot Through Automated Appointment Scheduling & Engagement

As your sales team works closely with marketing to establish a steady stream of prospects, you may ask yourself if the leads it generates are qualified and how long it takes to convert them into customers. It’s a well-known fact that not every lead is a good quality lead. In the end, your success largely depends on the responsiveness of your account managers and their ability to quickly schedule appointments with potential customers.

Overcoming Sales Hurdles

According to Glenister Research, only 25% of marketing-generated leads are typically hot enough to become sales qualified. Additionally, there’s a 10X drop in lead qualification when you wait longer than 5-10 minutes to respond. That’s why instead of spending time and energy working with prospects who aren’t ready to buy, you need to have an efficient system that prioritizes highly-qualified leads and offers clear and error-free lines of communication.

SUMO’s Appointment and Event Scheduling tools are designed to bridge the gap between your sales teams and future customers, generate more qualified prospects, and reduce lead response time. Our Salesforce-native platform eliminates manual effort allowing your staff to schedule calls fast enough to keep prospects interested and efficiently move them through the sales funnel.

Automated Self-Scheduling for Lead Management

In today’s age of digital transformation, many businesses are still relying on manual lead capture processes, antiquated spreadsheets, and multiple calendars to manage their sales funnels.

SUMO modernizes your sales process by automating lead, contact, and record creation directly in your Salesforce CRM as prospects book appointments directly on your sales reps’ calendars. This drastically reduces the amount of time that sales reps spend on administration tasks, eliminates scheduling conflicts, and frees them up to do what they do best, meet with customers.

SUMO Scheduler goes far beyond its simple and easy-to-use interface. Our self-scheduling feature helps your prospects automatically set up appointments without having to wait for a rep to call them. They can easily schedule appointments, reschedule calls, select staff availability, and upload attachments on their own time and from any device.

Every action taken by your prospects inside our intuitive web-based platform is automatically linked to their Salesforce record allowing your sales team to accurately estimate their lead status and prioritize meetings based on a prospect’s level of interest.

Our customers report that eliminating the manual aspect of lead management with SUMO has saved their teams 35% of their time which they can now spend on what matters the most – selling and engaging with prospects!

“The amount of appointments that we are able to make has increased by over 70%. My agents no longer have to play the game of back and forth to try to find a time that works for both parties. This app has been a game-changer for our organization. My agents are now able to concentrate on other clients and communications knowing that they can send the scheduling message and the client is able to self-serve.”

Kerry Hoisington
Director of Customer Experience, Careerstep

Helping Marketing Generate More Leads

SUMO not only simplifies lead nurturing by removing lengthy manual tasks from the scheduling process but also centralizes lead generation by extending its integration across all marketing channels helping your advertising campaigns achieve better results.

For example, your marketing team just launched a social media campaign to showcase your latest product with a call to action to schedule a demo. SUMO offers a custom scheduling link that matches the prospect with an appropriate staff member immediately upon submitting the contact form. As soon as the request for a demo has been received, your sales rep gets notified to reach out to the prospect.

If your company uses paid advertising to attract potential clients, SUMO can help here too. Our online scheduler can be easily embedded into paid ads banner, encouraging prospects to schedule a meeting at their key point of interest. You can also redirect your prospects from an ad to a custom landing page so they can learn more about your brand and convert faster. The possibilities are limitless.

Bottom Line

SUMO offers a white-glove automation service that elegantly hands prospects to your sales team from any inbound channel. The only obstacle that stands in the way is an outdated manual process that must be eliminated if companies are serious about improving their lead generation and nurturing. Now is the time to make the change and raise the standards.

At the end of the day, providing excellent service is what matters the most, and it all starts with the very first interaction a potential customer makes with your brand. SUMO is here to help build a trustworthy relationship with your prospects from day one. Ready to make the shift and bring your scheduling process to the next level of success? Click here to learn more or book a free consult with an expert!

We are excited to announce our SUMO 14 Product Release

SUMO Scheduler, a top-rated appointment scheduling software application has announced the release of SUMO 14. The application includes new features and enhancements.

SUMO is the only appointment scheduler that helps organizations grow their business with automation. Through a combination of smart booking modules, advanced scheduling features, and powerful analytics tools, SUMO offers a simple, fast, and effective user experience that results in significant productivity improvements for both service providers and customers.

The latest release delivers new capabilities aimed to simplify customer engagement and highlights the following areas of focus:

Microsoft Teams Connector

  • Microsoft users can now connect their Microsoft Teams account to SUMO to dynamically generate a Microsoft Teams Meeting when an Appointment is scheduled or rescheduled.

Multi-Calendar Updates

  • The multi-calendar continues to be enhanced and now includes the ability to mirror users connected calendars, showing appointments/events that were created both on the connected calendar -AND- via SUMO.
  • Also, we’ve made additional performance updates to the Multi-Calendar, further improving speed to load.

Analytics

  • This release includes new Event & Course reports to help you easily run analytics on Event & Course usage and performance at Company, Manager and User level.

Admin Updates

  • Limit the number of appointments that customers can book with users, resource pools, services, and more.
  • You may now merge fields from the “SUMO Additional Info” object (formerly “SUMO Event” object) into email templates.
  • The ability to associate an Event to a Category was previously required, and is now not required.

You can view the full release notes for SUMO 14.

ABOUT SUMO

SUMO Customer Engagement Platform is changing the way organizations engage with their customers. By offering cutting-edge technology and automated appointment scheduling solutions, SUMO allows enterprise-level sales and support teams to focus on what matters the most – generating new business and improving customer experience instead of managing existing appointments and routine administrative tasks.

SUMO’s omnichannel platform with powerful features such as automated reminders, customizable self-scheduling sites, and Salesforce-native analytics tools, guarantees an appointment with no overlap on any device and in any time zone. Trusted by leading organizations such as Amazon, Concur, and First Data to deliver an exceptional customer experience, SUMO completely automates appointment scheduling and delivers simple yet effective solutions for continuous business growth.

Want to start using SUMO? Click here to schedule a demo.

SUMO Launches Powerful New Features for Its Automated Online Scheduling Applications

SUMO Scheduler, a leading provider of Salesforce native appointment, event and course scheduling software, has announced its latest product release,  SUMO12.

The company has made significant enhancements to its Invite Manager, Online Scheduler, Event & Course Scheduler and Multi-calendar modules.

The latest release underscores SUMO’s mission to provide the most powerful and user-friendly online scheduling tools available. Through a combination of smart booking modules, advanced scheduling features, and powerful analytics tools, SUMO offers a simple, fast, and effective user experience that results in significant productivity improvements, higher customer satisfaction ratings and increased revenue.

With a customer engagement strategy that focuses on acquiring leads and building brand advocates, enterprise-level organizations can now achieve the maximum return on their digital investments. This is possible with SUMO’s appointment event and course automation platforms – designed specifically to help organizations thrive in a competitive business environment.

The latest release delivers a broad spectrum of capabilities aimed to simplify customer engagement:

Online Scheduler

  • Automate ‘field-service’ bookings
  • More custom fields
  • Use participant’s video conference
  • Upload attachments
  • Let customers add participants

Invite Manager

  • Room and resource search
  • Use participant’s video conference
  • Time-shot intervals
  • Recurring appointments
  • Enhanced mobile functionality

Multi-Calendar

  • Single and recurring appointments
  • Drag-and-drop capability
  • Cancel and update reasons
  • Hover details
  • Right-click Menu

CEP Platform

  • ZOOM connector
  • 24-hour format
  • Duplicate rules
  • Limit appointments
  • Embed SUMO in Salesforce communities

Click here to view the full release notes for SUMO12.