Marketing demand gen - blog - header


Sales needs marketing-qualified leads. Marketing delivers more of them with Calendly.


Thad Thompson, March 22, 2022

Marketing teams face many challenges, but demand generation has to be one of the toughest and most stressful. 

That’s not just one marketer’s opinion. According to Hubspot’s 2021 State of Marketing report,  61% of marketers say lead gen is their biggest challenge. What’s more, over half of them spend at least 50% of their budget on it — a huge chunk of resources when you consider the responsibilities marketing teams have.

It’s about MQLs, not just leads

Marketing teams can’t provide just leads. In the B2B world, nearly 75% of leads aren’t ready to talk to a sales rep

After connecting with potential customers, the real priority is engaging them further to see if they rise to the level of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). You must find actionable leads who are on the buyer’s journey and, more importantly, actively interested in your solution. Then comes the back-and-forth communications to schedule a demo. 

When there’s too much friction in the process, even the highest-scoring leads can drop out of the sales funnel and never make it to your sales team.


Automate demand generation and gain more qualified leads

Wouldn’t it be better to deliver MQLs directly to your sales team automatically? You can with Calendly. 

Calendly’s scheduling automation helps you streamline the lead qualification process. Your Calendly landing page can be a marketing demand generation tool that delivers actual meetings with high-intent prospects — self-selected MQLs — directly to your sales team. Team scheduling features automate your lead routing process and make your lead qualification process more efficient. You can even use Calendly to align and collaborate with the many external partners who keep modern marketing teams functioning. 


4 stress-free ways to deliver MQLs

Let’s look at the ways Calendly lets marketing teams bridge the gap between interested MQLs and the sales teams who convert them.

1. Embed Calendly into your website

The MQL process usually starts in one of two places: replies to a large-scale outreach campaign, or form fills from your website. 

In either case, your team must go through the tedious process of reviewing and/or following up with each response to determine whether the lead is ready for sales follow-up. Qualifying leads require the additional scheduling email dance to determine when the prospect and a sales rep are both available — and more opportunities for the prospect to lose interest. While many teams have internal metrics such as always responding to a form fill within five minutes, that still means time wasted trying to set up a meeting. 

A more efficient method of gaining MQLs is embedding Calendly in your website — a “schedule a demo” option instead of a “contact sales” form.

Atlassian embeds Calendly in its website linked to a CTA to let prospects book a personalized demo session of its Halp solution.

With Calendly embedded in your website, you give potential customers — at the peak of their interest — a direct connection to your sales team. No campaign or scheduling email needed. That access to availability is critical for improving your team’s speed-to-lead metrics. As one of our own demand generation leaders puts it:

"Why worry about sending a response within five minutes of a form fill when you can book a meeting with sales within five seconds of a form fill?"

Garrett Scott, Head of Marketing Growth and Demand Generation, Calendly

Pro tip: Combine your embed with sales enrichment tools to create a targeted experience. For example, Clearbit can determine where your site visitors work based on their IP address. Visitors from high-value prospect companies view a customized site that includes your Calendly landing page. (This tactic is also useful in account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns.)

Further reading

2. Make Calendly your email CTA

Before the email marketers get mad, I’m not suggesting you do away with outreach campaigns. Far from it! Calendly is a great way to boost MQLs in any email marketing plan. 

Instead of asking prospects to “learn more” or “contact us,” streamline the process by asking them to “meet now.” Then, direct the call-to-action (CTA) to your scheduling page or an Event Type. As with the website embed, your most interested prospects will contact you. Why not skip the internal scheduling work and put them in direct contact with your sales team?

Pro tip: Try using different Event Types for each campaign. Specific event types align the meeting with a particular campaign’s goal and help you track MQL sources more closely.

Calendly web page CTA example

What’s great about the Calendly-as-CTA approach is that it works with any number of email campaign types and stages. Offering meeting opportunities in nurture, re-engagement, and even welcome emails helps you connect with prospects at any point in the buyer’s journey and elevate them to an MQL.

Source: Doug Dosberg, Founder, HeyTaco

Related reading: The marketing automation shift that continues to empower sales teams to close more deals


3. Automate lead routing with team meetings

Of course, depending on self-selecting MQLs may be too passive for most marketing teams. Just because a lead wants to talk to sales doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good opportunity for growing your business. 

Fortunately, Calendly doesn’t only automate scheduling at the front end of your marketing efforts. You can also use Calendly on the back end to enhance your qualification process with automated real-time lead routing. 

When a high-intent prospect requests a meeting through your website embed or email CTA, you can connect them with a sales development representative (SDR) instead of directly with the sales team. Calendly’s round robin team scheduling feature gives you multiple options for routing the lead to an SDR. You can connect the lead with the next available SDR to improve response times. Or, you can distribute meeting requests equally around the team to balance the members’ workloads. The SDR can then meet the prospect, compare them against your organization’s MQL criteria, and either qualify the lead for sales or put them into a nurture cycle for future follow-up.




Either way, you save your SDRs the time and effort of finding who is available to meet at a convenient time for the prospect. And by building in another qualification layer, your sales team remains focused on building relationships with the prospects most likely to convert.

To learn more about how teams use Calendly, check out this webinar.


4. Align your marketing partners

If lead generation is a major challenge for marketers, then coordinating everyone inside and outside your company involved in the lead generation process is not far behind.

Modern marketing teams aren’t self-contained units anymore. 60% of marketers have reported an increase in partnering with outside teams. They must collaborate with external partners to successfully deliver the MQLs their sales team needs.

With so many moving pieces, scheduling becomes a huge headache. It’s not just because so many people are spread across different teams and time zones (and even countries). These agencies are outside of your team’s work cadence. They aren’t familiar with your workflows and the commonly known optimal times to meet which aren’t on any calendar.

Calendly’s collective scheduling feature helps you keep everyone connected and working toward your goals. This Event Type lets you define when all of your team members can meet. It’s a great way to schedule recurring status meetings, check-ins, and other updates with your external partners that require participation from your entire team.


The best part? You never have to worry about a team member missing out, because the collective event limits any bookings to those available hours. Calendly ensures you always find the shared availability to connect and collaborate. It’s no wonder that during 12 months, use of our collective scheduling grew by over 34% with marketing and sales users.


An essential tool for successful marketing teams

It’s increasingly complicated to forge connections between the leads marketing teams qualify and sales teams close. Schedules are full, pipeline goals are growing, and any amount of friction can stop the sales funnel cold. 

Related reading: 21 pro tips to transform you into a Calendly power user

Shared availability is critical for success in marketing and demand generation. Calendly helps you find it more easily so you can deliver the MQLs and revenue opportunities that make your organization successful.


Ready to see how Calendly makes demand generation more efficient? Sign up for free today.

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Thad Thompson biography
Thad Thompson

Thad is a Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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