13 scheduling tools for salespeople

by Ramin Assemi

Scheduling sales calls or meetings can be frustrating, unproductive, and costly. With the maxed-out schedules of contemporary workaholics (us included), it’s difficult to find a common opening that fits for all parties involved. To put it bluntly, coordinating time can be a real b*tch.

Now obviously we’re not the first to feel the pain of this procedure. Most people on the workforce have been there; and ongoing, universal problems typically demand resolution. Recently, some intelligent heads got fed up enough to do just that. Luckily for us (and you), modern solutions come in litters.

Here are 13 scheduling apps that will essentially poise as your personal, virtual secretary, to help reduce one of the biggest time-wasters in sales.

1. Calendly

A fully automated scheduling tool that’s easy to use and saves time both for you and your prospects.

Simply set your own availability preferences, share the link, and your prospects can choose an open slot that fits for them too. Calendly syncs to your calendar of choice, and you can set different time durations (e.g., 15mins, 30mins, 1hr) so clients will have options.

You’ll cut down on phonetag, giving yourself more time to convert opps. And customers will be impressed by the smooth design and charming experience.

scheduling-tool-calendly

Free basic version available? Yes
Free trial available? Yes (14 days)
Pricing: Starts at $10.00/month per person (teams of 5 or more get a group discount)

2. Clara Labs

Taking automation to the next level, Clara Labs is a virtual employee that’s trained by real-life EAs and generated by machine intelligence. Other perks of using Clara? Feeling like a total boss, according to one journalist's review.

To make an appointment, cc clara@yourdomain.com, just as you would with a flesh-and-blood assistant. The natural language interface makes it virtually (ha) impossible to tell that the sender is computer generated, and with human supervision, mistakes are minimal.

Man and machine come together in a seamless platform of scheduling perfection. They just recently (February 2017) released version 2.0 with improved accuracy, a visual dashboard and other improvements.

scheduling-tool-claralabs

Free basic version available? For now
Free trial available? 2 weeks
Pricing: Starts at $99

3. x.ai

Another human imposter.

x.ai is a homosapien-masked, machine entity that goes by the name, Amy. She’s an AI persona that schedules meetings like any other personal assistant.

Again, simply cc Amy on an email and she takes the reigns, finding a best mutual time to meet based off your data. Both parties receive an invite, and boom: the meeting is set.

When annual meetings approach the thousands, Amy will save you a tremendous amount of time ... and money.

(Best part is, no one will know they’re corresponding with a machine.)

scheduling-tool-xai

Free basic version available? For now
Free trial available? For now
Pricing: Free for all while in beta

4. Assistant.to

With zero forms to fill out and no sign-ups, Assistant.to is a free apendage for Chrome that resides in Gmail.

Users drop available dates and times from their Google Calendar into the body of an email, and upon receipt, your prospect chooses the most convenient slot.

You’ll book more meetings—faster—while eliminating the back-and-forth. And you won’t lose uncertain prospects to the frustration of involved communication.

Bonus: It also remembers your most common meeting places, so you can schedule in mere moments. Converting timezones? Don’t worry. Taken care of.

scheduling-tool-assistantio

Pricing: Free for all Gmail users

5. Uber Conference

Conference calls for dummies/everyone.

With no PINs or downloads, UberConference gives you dedicated, individual numbers and URLs for every call.

At a specified date and time, all parties dial in to the UberConference number provided in a calendar invitation, et voila: screen sharing, doc sharing, presentations ... even see who’s talking and quickly view their social profiles.

Also, it can be used in conjunction with Assistant.to. When you enter an UberConference number into Assistant.to, recipients can choose available times to conference. The invite even includes the number to dial in so it converts time zones between you and your prospects!

Invites work with any calendar system, on any device.

Less stress. Smooth sailing.

scheduling-tool-uberconference

Free basic version available? Yes
Free trial available? No
Pricing: Plans start at $10/month

6. Mixmax

Allegedly the “future of email,” especially for salespeople.

Send Google Calendar event invites within Gmail using Mixmax, an email and calendar productivity suite.

You can propose meeting times without the risk of double booking, set reminders to follow up on important threads, and use a send later feature that allows you to set a future time and date to ship online correspondence. Even attach files from Dropbox and Box, seamlessly.

They also offer email tracking to see precisely when your prospect opened the message. Multiple recipients? All. Trackable. You’ll know who opened the email and when. No guessing. And one email, instead of ten.

Quickly draft templates for a fire-and-go approach that saves you time, and all the rest.

scheduling-tool-mixmatch

Free basic version available? Yes
Free trial available? No
Pricing: Plans start at $9/month

7. Need To Meet

If you feel the pain of scheduling for groups of people, then NeedToMeet is where it’s at.

With a custom link or NeedToMeet invite, poll your group to help find mutually convenient meeting times by creating event pages with multiple dates and discussing details for whatever it is that you’re scheduling.

No more incessant emailing with several people. No more rechecking your agenda. Just a plain calendar with easy selections. And participants can even see which people chose which opening, so those with more availability can adapt to those with less.

It’s collaboration made easy.

scheduling-tool-needtomeet

Pricing: Free

8. Schedule Once

This is a most comprehensive and complete solution for the entire customer lifecycle, with a two-way system that eliminates the to-and-fro of confirming a time to meet.

They boast a 3x increase in conversion rates, and a 2x acceleration in time-to-engagement.

First, create a booking page with availability preferences to schedule demos, consultations, or follow-ups and link it to your prospect. They can then book on your page—from any device—and the meeting is swiftly added to everyone’s calendar.

With ScheduleOnce, you’ll only have to schedule a meeting, well ... once. And they have a laundry list of additional features (time-zone conversion, group sessions, reports and many more) that make this tool attractive.

scheduling-tool-scheduleonce

Free basic version available? No
Free trial available? Yes (14 days)
Pricing: Plans start at $5/user/month (1 booking page per user per month and requires purchase of sms credits and a connector)

9. Acuity

Automate prospect meetings, cancellations, reminders, even payments with Acuity.

Clients can see real-time calendar availability and self select a time that works best for you both. On your end, set multiple calendars and time-blocks for different appointments, or blackout certain dates altogether.

It integrates well with Google, Outlook, iCal and Office365, and has an embed option for those of you with your own website. Get notified when a new appointment is booked. Then, from your phone, tell Acuity to update your calendars.

It’s as simple as that.

schedulingtool-acuity

Free basic version available? Yes
Free trial available? Yes (14 days)
Pricing: Plans start at $10/month

10. Genee

If one of your three wishes is to streamline appointment scheduling, then consider it granted.

Genee is a mobile and web scheduling app that works across Google, Outlook, and iCloud via email, text, and twitter.

All you need do is cc the Genee email (including event time and location—can be general or specific) and it messages all attendees with suggestions based on preference and availability.

A personal assistant ... without having (or paying for) a personal assistant.

scheduling-tool-genee

Pricing: Free

11. Pick

This app is rightly titled, as it helps you select meeting times and dates that work best for all attendees by comparing availabilities, regardless of email domain.

Pick identifies the best mutual time, then schedules a meeting using email. And it also provides you with a special URL so you can share it with last-minute participants (a prospect’s spouse, business partner, whatever).

The best part is the mobile scheduling aspect, which makes it easy to set meetings on the go; so even if you’re on the treadmill you can create an opportunity, mid-stride, no sweat.

scheduling-tool-pic

Pricing: free for Google and Office 365 users

12. World Clock

Dealing with clients—and team members—across different countries and timezones can make scheduling rather difficult. Even simply converting times online can be cumbersome.

That’s where World Clock Meeting Planner comes in.

Quickly compare times across multiple cities to find a meeting that fits for everyone involved, without having to Google each city to determine the time zone.

You’ll spend less time scheduling the meetings, and more time having them.

scheduling-tool-worldtime

Pricing: Free for all

13. Doodle

Since this app cooperates with many calendars, it eliminates the need to switch between them to check availability.

You can propose dates directly from the Doodle calendar, polling participants for the best mutual time to connect. It also automatically syncs appointments to your preferred calendar to help reduce conflicting bookings.

Super convenient when you’re scheduling calls with multiple parties.

scheduling-tool-doodle

Free basic version available? Yes
Free trial available? Yes (30 days)
Pricing: Plans start at $39/year

Automation versus self-scheduling

So. After dropping this lengthy list, let’s discuss the merits of actually using these apps versus self-scheduling, which, apparently, some people still prefer.

Sure, clients may appreciate an email with the personal touch, tailored specifically to them with references to something said during your conversation. But is it worth the time?

For most cases in today’s business, it’s definitely not. From response rate to final conversions, automated scheduling tools provide a substantial advantage against the manual maneuver. And there’s plenty of data to prove it.

Professionalism, at little to no cost

Plus there’s the added veil of professionalism draped over these communications (think the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz). Receiving correspondence from a personal assistant projects a certain level of success; surely things are working out if you can afford to hire someone to coordinate your meetings, your time.

Virgin founder Richard Branson will be the first to back this up. When he was a still just a penniless teenager in high school trying to start a student magazine, he stumbled upon a way to have a PA, free of charge.

A young Richard Branson once he upgraded from public phone booth to having a real landline

(A young Richard Branson at a later stage in his career where he could afford the expense of a dedicated phone line)

When using the school’s phone booth to obtain advertisers, he would call the operator and claim his call had been cut short. The operator would then connect him to his recipient, introducing him as Mr. Branson. The result? Instantly elevated credibility, even for a schoolboy—he landed interviews with even the biggest names in rock’n’roll, like Mick Jagger and John Lennon.

Essentially, this is what these AI apps do. So if you can’t afford to have your own personal assistant at this point in your career, you surely (and easily) can use any one of these programs to do the work in their stead.

It looks/acts/feels sophisticated, and since on average it takes humans around seven emails to set up a meeting, AI will save you time and make you more money.

Really, it’s a no-brainer

Find one that works for you. And use it.