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EPISODE 9

What’s Wrong With Calendly’s Homepage?

The TL;DR

Is your homepage sending the right message?

Robert Kaminski (Fletch) didn’t think so about Calendly and respectfully called them out on LinkedIn.

Jeff Hardison, Calendly’s Head of Product Marketing, defended himself in the comments. We invited them onto the show to continue the debate.

What’s working in B2B marketing:

MATCHING YOUR HOMEPAGE TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Let’s be real—your homepage isn’t just prime real estate. It’s the front line of your marketing battlefield.

In a world where most B2B SaaS homepages look alike, the ones hitting the mark are specifically tailored to an audience and what they’re looking for.

What’s not working in B2B marketing:

SELLING THE BENEFITS

Marketers and salespeople, especially in B2B SaaS, are over-indexing on this concept of selling the outcomes.

While it has a lot of merit, it might not be the right message. Instead, we’re putting too much emphasis on what closes the deal and forgetting about why someone came to the homepage in the first place.

The key takeaways

  • Messaging for business outcomes: Move beyond product features. Focus on the tangible impact on the business.
  • Homepage strategy: Don’t be misleading. Make sure your homepage communicates clearly who you’re for, and how’ll they’ll benefit.
  • Balancing PLG and Sales-led motions: Balance minimalism and compelling narratives to drive freemium adoption and bigger deals.

The things to listen for

[00:00] Intro

[05:12] Creating a separate storytelling mechanism for Calendly

[13:22] Motivating stakeholders and measuring success

[20:30] Balancing product-led and sales-led marketing

[34:42] Maintaining a product-led growth strategy

[40:58] Aligning marketing message with business goals

The recap

Why have B2B SaaS homepages gotten out of hand?

According to Robert Kaminski, it’s because marketing and sales teams are focusing on language that will close the deal. In fact, he called out Calendly on LinkedIn for what he considered less-than-great messaging.

Jeff Hardison, Calendly’s Head of Product Marketing, defended himself in the comments, so we brought them on the show to continue the debate.

Jeff Hardison saw Rob Kaminski’s LinkedIn post questioning some of the messaging on Calendly’s homepage, especially regarding business outcomes.

Instead of ignoring it, Jeff, known for his candid and fun approach, decided to jump into the fray. His goal was not just to defend, but to engage in a meaningful discussion, showing that big companies could also be transparent and open.

To get to the bottom of the problem, Rob and Jeff dive into why B2B SaaS homepages have become convoluted.

Rob pointed out the overemphasis on selling benefits and outcomes, often at the cost of clarity. The messaging tends to promise the world without grounding the user in what the product actually does. This over-promise and under-deliver strategy leads to user confusion and mistrust.

In his defense, Jeff provided a behind-the-scenes look at Calendly’s homepage strategy. Calendly, operating in a hybrid PLG (Product-Led Growth) and sales-led model, faces the challenge of catering to both individual users and large enterprises.

The top of the homepage is designed to capture immediate user interest with simple, direct messaging, while the lower sections attempt to address more complex business needs and outcomes.

The heart of the debate centered on striking a balance between simplicity and business outcomes. Jeff emphasized that most visitors do not scroll past the homepage’s hero section, meaning the top message must be clear and compelling. But for those who do scroll, there must be a narrative that addresses deeper business outcomes to cater to decision-makers in larger organizations.

Rob highlighted the need for a logical progression in messaging, starting from immediate benefits and leading up to business outcomes without making leaps that could confuse or alienate the user. He also suggested a more user-centric approach, perhaps even directing users explicitly to sections of the site relevant to their roles, like “Send this to your boss for more details.”

This episode of the Proof Point was more than just a discussion; it was a masterclass in B2B SaaS marketing strategy. Jeff and Rob’s candid exchange provided invaluable insights into the complexities of homepage messaging, the importance of user experience, and the necessity of ongoing experimentation.

If you remember anything from this episode, it should be this—clarity and user-centric design should be at the forefront of homepage messaging.

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