The 10 Step Inbound Call Flow

What does a typical inbound call look like when using Callingly? How does Callingly take the new lead and put them in touch with the right team or rep? This document will walk you through the process.

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The 10 Step Inbound Call Flow

You know what a typical inbound call looks like: A lead dials in, likely sit on hold for a while, and then eventually, the phone rings to one of the available sales agents.

However, if all the lines are busy, the lead might be forced to leave a voicemail. If they bother to do this, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re interested in speaking with you. That means this person should be a high priority to call back. Yet, the next inbound call will ultimately take precedence because it’s simply impossible to ignore a phone ringing at you.

Callingly eases that by making inbound and outbound calls look the same from the perspective of a sales agent — while prioritizing them appropriately and maintaining those priorities.

So how does the inbound call flow work?

Below, we dive into details about each step, or you can click any step to jump straight to it.


A call comes in

Every call in Callingly starts with a new lead coming in from one of the lead sources you have integrated with your Callingly account. In the case of an inbound call, that lead source is a call to one of the phone numbers you’ve purchased from Callingly, specifically for inbound calls.

Note: You can use a number you own to make outbound calls, but you'll need to purchase one from Callingly to receive inbound calls. Take a look at the article Purchasing & Setting Up Phone Numbers for info about this.

The lead hears your welcome message

When a new lead calls in, they’ll hear a welcome message. By default, each number is set up to use the pre-recorded message:

Please wait while we connect you. This call may be recorded.

You can customize this message to your liking. After the welcome message plays, the lead will hear the phone ring. Alternatively, you can disable the welcome message and send the lead directly through.


The call is assigned

Callingly provides three options for the assignment of a new inbound call.

  • User. This allows all incoming calls for a specific telephone number to be assigned to a single user. You would use this when you want each user to have a personalized phone number. If the user doesn’t answer, the call will route to the fallback team. More on that below.
  • Team. This option allows you to send a single inbound phone number to a specific team for answering. You would use this when you want each team to have a different phone number, such as in a real estate company with one team selling homes and another selling offices.
  • IVR. This option allows you to set up a basic Interactive Voice Response system. You might use this if you want one main number that all leads call into, but you'd still like to leave them in control of who they speak to. In short, IVR allows you to assign a number (0-9) to individual users or teams, such as 1 for Pam, 2 for Michael, and 3 for the Sales Team. If a caller wants to speak directly with Pam, they press 1 to speak with her.
Note: If you use the IVR option, you must customize the Welcome Message to include the options menu.

We check the schedule

We check the schedules of everyone involved before sending the call through. Let's say you run a paper company with branches throughout New England.

When setting up the number for the Scranton office, you use Scranton as the primary team and choose to set the Stamford branch as the fallback team.

This means that Callingly will check the schedules of both the Scranton and Stamford teams — to be sure those teams are available to receive calls — and the individual users of the teams before choosing what to do next.


We call the lead owner

An inbound call might already have a lead owner. This would happen if they've called in before or submitted a form, sent an email, etc., and this information was synced in from the CRM.

If the incoming call is from a lead with an assigned owner and that owner is available, Callingly will send the call to the lead owner first, allowing 30 seconds for the lead owner to answer. If the lead owner is unavailable, Callingly will treat the call as if they didn't answer, meaning it will move to the next step of the call process.

Note: While this is the default setting, you can change this, choosing to have only the team called or only the lead owner called.

If nobody answers, we call the team

If the lead owner is unavailable or the lead doesn't have an owner, Callingly will call the rest of the team that the lead is assigned to in order of priority. Priority is set up when you're creating your team. Each user will have a priority 1-10. When we call the team, we'll start with Priority 1 and work our way to Priority 10.

Call routing can be done in one of two ways:

  • Simultaneous. Callingly will call everybody in the same priority group at the same time for 30 seconds. The first user to pick up gets the lead.
  • Round Robin. Callingly will call one user at a time for 30 seconds each until someone picks up. Callingly will automatically rotate the order of who gets called first to ensure a fair spread.
Note: If someone picks up who isn't the lead owner, they will become the new lead owner in Callingly. That data will also sync back to your lead source through the integration.*

*This is the default setting. It can be disabled or changed.


If nobody picks up, we call the fallback team

So Callingly has tried the lead owner, then the primary team, and now it's trying a second team? Does that mean this lead sits on hold for 10 minutes while nobody answers the phone?

Not likely.

The chosen fallback team will only be called if:

  • The lead owner was unavailable, didn't answer, or wasn't assigned, and
  • The primary team was unavailable or didn't answer.

The most likely scenario where the fallback team is called is one where the primary team is entirely unavailable, such as when a lead calls outside of business hours and an out-of-hours answering service fills in. If neither team is available, the call will go to voicemail, as we discuss in the next step.


If there is still no answer, the lead can leave a voicemail

If nobody answers, the lead will be sent to voicemail. The call will be directed to the voicemail box of the number that was called rather than the last person who Callingly tried to ring.


Let's say you've set up a phone number with IVR settings. A lead calls in and selects option 2 to speak with a specific user, Jim Halpert. After 30 seconds, Jim hasn't answered the phone, so Callingly attempts to call Jim's team. There is still no answer, so the lead is redirected to the mailbox of the main line rather than Jim Halpert's.

Tip: If you prefer that leads leave a voicemail with a specific user, it's best to have a unique call-in number for each user.

We schedule automated retries

The goal of Callingly is to ensure that every lead is put in touch with a user as quickly as possible. So if nobody picks up immediately, the system will automatically schedule outbound call attempts.

Every team has its own retry schedule that you can modify in the Team settings. You can have up to 10 retries, or you can turn retries off altogether. You can also control the time between each retry — be it minutes, hours, or days.

Tip: Check out the article Handling Retries & Followups for more information on retry settings.

The call recording is synced to your CRM

If you're integrated with a CRM, Callingly will upload the recording of the phone call back to the lead's record along with the results of the call. This ensures your lead information is continually updated.


Use Callingly to route calls to an answering service

If you use an external answering service to take messages during your team's off hours, you can use the answering service as your fallback team.

Common Questions

How does a lead get to Callingly?

Leads come automatically into Callingly from any of your integrations, usually lead sources and CRMs. For help with integrations, check out Getting Started With Integrations.

What happens if the user misses a call?

If no users on the team pick up the call, Callingly will wait and then try your fallback team. If still nobody answers, we send the call to voicemail so your team can call them back when available. We recommend creating an automation in your lead source that automatically includes these leads in your outbound call flow, so nobody forgets to call them back.

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