Using Calendly

Using Calendly

Salesforce Scheduler vs. Calendly: Which appointment scheduling solution is right for you?

READ TIME: 9 MINUTES

Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson
Oct. 13, 2022

Sales teams need scheduling automation to save time for what they do best: converting leads, creating revenue, and fueling your company’s growth. Salesforce Scheduler (formerly Lightning Scheduler) and Calendly both help you book meetings and manage calendars. But they solve scheduling challenges and fit into your workflows differently.

Which is best for your team? Let’s compare Calendly vs. Salesforce Scheduler to help you decide.

Calendly overview — who is it for?

Calendly is a dedicated scheduling platform that helps you manage the entire meeting lifecycle. You don’t need any other platforms to schedule meetings with Calendly — it’s a standalone solution.

Calendly shows prospects the time slots when you can meet, and adds new appointments to both your calendar and your prospect’s automatically, so no one gets double-booked. Calendly also offers advanced features to make meetings run smoothly, including customizable communications (automated meeting reminders, notifications, and follow-ups), pre-meeting screening questions, and group meeting options.

Calendly is designed with flexibility in mind. It offers many features and integrations, so it’s perfect for teams who use a variety of business tools, calendars, and email platforms. The solution lets you share meeting details instantly throughout your tech stack. Calendly also helps teams perform better with features like lead routing, admin-managed templates, and scheduling analytics.

Best of all, Calendly is easy to use (the easiest-to-use appointment scheduling software, according to G2). Its intuitive, visually driven interface lets you connect calendars and set up meeting event types and communication workflows in minutes. That usability extends to your invitees, who can schedule, reschedule, or cancel meetings with just a few clicks.

 

Salesforce Scheduler — who is it for?

Salesforce Scheduler is an add-on feature within Salesforce, so it’s only available to existing platform users. While it’s not a dedicated scheduling solution, the tool does provide the basic appointment scheduling functionality teams need. You can set up meetings manually within Salesforce, or receive meeting requests through an embedded widget in your company’s website. 

While it doesn’t offer as many features or external integrations as Calendly, Salesforce Scheduler has some unique capabilities. Admins can assign team members different skill categories, which the tool uses to route new meeting requests. Because it’s not a standalone solution, Salesforce Scheduler is already well-embedded in most Salesforce workflows. The tool also lets you book rooms or other resources (for an additional fee) while booking a meeting time.

Salesforce Scheduler is ideal for teams who work in the platform exclusively and don’t want external solutions in their workflows. The tool can be added to several editions of Salesforce, but it’s not available for all versions, including Marketing, Small Business, Safety, Public Sector, Communications, Media, and Energy & Utilities.

Scheduling usability and features for Calendly vs. Salesforce Scheduler

You shouldn't have to worry about missing a meeting opportunity when you have an effective scheduling solution. Here’s how the features in Calendly and Salesforce Scheduler help you make sure you’re available. 

Managing calendars

The first step in connecting with prospects is keeping track of your appointments — no matter which calendar they’re on. 

That’s difficult with Salesforce Scheduler, because it connects directly only to Salesforce Calendar. Before booking a meeting, you’ll need to check any external calendars manually (or go through the time-consuming process of connecting them with an API).

Calendly is better for getting a complete picture of your availability. It lets you connect up to six calendars to your account, including Apple Calendar (iCloud), Google Calendar, and different calendars from Microsoft (Desktop, Office 365, Outlook.com, and Exchange). Plus, Calendly’s intuitive interface makes connecting calendars simple even for novice users.

Sharing availability

Once you have your schedule ready, you need to share your available times with prospects and partners. Calendly has many options here. You can create an individual booking page or team scheduling pages with different meeting types. You can then email or text your Calendly link directly to your invitees. Scheduling links can be copied from the solution, or placed directly in Gmail or LinkedIn Messenger with Calendly’s Chrome extension

If you want to let people from outside your organization book meetings directly from your website, it’s easy to embed Calendly within a page, as pop-up text, or as a pop-up widget. Calendly also integrates with multiple chatbot platforms, so you can easily share availability during live conversions with prospects and customers. 

Salesforce Scheduler has only two ways of sharing time slots for online scheduling — and they’re both complicated. You can embed the tool on a webpage as pop-up text, or add it to a chatbot. Either way involves adding a helper tool to Salesforce Scheduler to enable external booking, and an admin must set up a scheduling flow.

Otherwise, you can only book meetings in Salesforce Scheduler manually on behalf of your prospects. The tool doesn’t offer scheduling pages or shareable links.

Managing meetings

Schedules change constantly, so your scheduling solution needs to be flexible. When a person who booked time with you can’t meet, Calendly makes it easy for them to reschedule or cancel. Each meeting invite includes links to modify the appointment without any action needed from you or a team member. 

Similarly, Calendly’s mobile scheduling app for iOS and Android lets you update meetings on the go, no matter where you are. Salesforce Scheduler doesn't work on Salesforce’s mobile app. It doesn’t let you access meeting communication workflows, either.

Salesforce Scheduler only provides rescheduling options if your prospect booked the meeting through a website embed. If the meeting was booked manually in Salesforce, then the rescheduling must be done manually, too. That means not only more work, but also a greater risk of time-wasting no-shows.

Teamwork usability and features for Calendly vs. Salesforce Scheduler

Effective scheduling isn’t just about managing your own availability. Your solution should also support your team’s scheduling needs.

Team management

Sales reps (especially SDRs) face high volumes of meeting requests every day. You need tools to tackle the workload effectively. Salesforce Scheduler’s Automatic Resources Assignment feature automatically distributes meetings around your team. However, you don’t get much say in how those assignments happen. Instead, the tool uses a resource utilization score to evaluate workloads and attempts to assign meetings evenly.

When you want more control over team meeting assignments, Calendly is the way to go. The Round Robin feature lets you choose how new meetings should be shared around your team. Optimizing for availability automatically sends the meeting to the first available person, so you can reduce prospect wait times. Or, distribute meetings equally to balance team member workloads and avoid burnout.

Calendly also brings more flexibility to team meetings. Collective scheduling uncovers when all stakeholders at a prospect’s company and your team can meet at the same time. Group meetings are perfect for hosting demos and webinars. Calendly’s paid plans also come with tools that help you route leads and standardize scheduling practices.

Workflows

The more your team can automate admin functions, the more time they can spend closing deals. Calendly’s Workflows let you automate the communications surrounding your meetings, such as meeting reminders and confirmations, follow-up emails, and thank-you notes. The solution helps your team reduce time-wasting no-shows and last-minute cancellations without interrupting their day.

 

Salesforce Scheduler doesn't have that kind of automation. Any email reminders or confirmations must be created manually by the user, taking time away that could be spent with prospects.

Integrations for Calendly vs. Salesforce Scheduler 

Your team relies on all kinds of tools: CRMs, videoconferencing apps, email distribution platforms, pipeline tools, and more. When each one is updated with meeting details in real time, your team works more efficiently. 

That’s no problem for Calendly. In addition to connecting to Salesforce, Calendly’s extensive integrations include Hubspot, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, Slack, LinkedIn Messaging, and more. When you add Zapier, you can create connections with even more platforms and tools.

Salesforce Scheduler also features native a Zoom integration. But as an add-on to Salesforce, the tool has limited integrations outside the platform. You can make some external connections with an API.

Pricing for Calendly vs. Salesforce Scheduler

Deciding on a scheduling solution shouldn’t involve puzzling over a lot of numbers. Salesforce Scheduler can’t work without a paid Salesforce account, so you’d need to factor in the pricing tiers of different Salesforce editions. It’s an expensive scheduling option if you don’t already have Salesforce. You can learn more on Salesforce’s pricing page

Calendly keeps pricing simple. The Basic free plan is available to any user, and includes many features right out of the box. When you need more functionality, Calendly offers plans from $8–16 per user per month with features specially built for teams — and no annual contract required. See Calendly’s pricing page for more details.

Why Salesforce users also need Calendly

Teams at all kinds of organizations — such as Lyft, Conductor, and Bitly — use Calendly and Salesforce to streamline their sales funnels and improve data hygiene. But the power of the Calendly + Salesforce integration isn’t the only reason teams opt to use both tools.

For one, while Salesforce itself is an incredibly powerful tool, many Salesforce users require more nuanced scheduling capabilities than an add-on tool like Salesforce Scheduler can provide — they need easily shareable scheduling links, team scheduling features, and integrations with the business platforms they use every day.

And two: it isn’t just an organization’s Salesforce users who need scheduling automation! Calendly is built for teams, and other teams throughout your organization — such as recruiting, customer success, marketing, and others — can benefit from implementing Calendly’s holistic solution across their functions as well. (Chances are, other individuals and teams throughout your organization are already taking advantage of Calendly’s advanced scheduling capabilities, and from a security standpoint, it may make sense to consolidate those accounts anyway!)

Add it up, and Calendly is the better choice when you need a dedicated scheduling solution. It comes with lots of features, flexibility, and integrations that help you save time and stay focused. And Calendly is easy to use, so you can start using it right away. 

Ready to see Calendly in action? Sign up for free today.

Thad Thompson

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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