Pipedrive Review: Smart sales CRM to smash your revenue targets

22nd November 2020

TL;DR

Pipedrive turns your website into a lead generation machine and sales team into world class closers. It does so by funneling enquiries from web forms and chatbots into a made-to-measure pipeline, and its CRM putting your entire sales team on a single page, making sure every action they take counts. Sound too good to be true? We find out…



Loved

  • Workflow automation
  • Prioritises sales tasks
  • Low cost
  • Mobile app

Loathed

  • Customer support
  • Buggy integrations

The Story

What is Pipedrive?

Everything about Pipedrive is designed to help your sell more efficiently and more often.

This goal starts by connecting with interested parties who visit your website, feeding qualified leads and full sales chats into a well-oiled pipeline. No lead is then left to go cold, as Pipedrive’s automated tasks and timely reminders organise your sales team in a way that’s highly visual and easy to use. There’s no room for excuses either, as reps can make calls, send follow-up emails, schedule meetings and forecast deals all in one place - with AI assistance to boot.

The result? Pipedrive claims to up the close rate of its customers by 30%, contributing to $24B worth of closed deals, and counting!


Timo Rein and Urmas Purde

Meet the Maker:
Timo Rein and Urmas Purde

Founded in 2010, Pipedrive set out to be the world’s most user-friendly CRM platform. It’s focus: salespeople, rather than sales managers. This meant a shift from spreadsheets and manual workarounds to conversational website lead generation and beautiful visual pipelines.

Their own careers in sales meant Timo and Urmas were well placed to spot this gap in the sales CRM market. Together with fellow co-founders Martin Henk, Ragnar Sass and Martin Tajur, they’ve built the tools needed to bring a ready supply of warm leads, automate repetitive tasks and consistently close. A world away from leaky funnels or top-down tools.

Fast forward to today and Pipedrive is a deal-maker for almost 100,000 small businesses.

The Product

How we tested Pipedrive

I’m not coming to Pipedrive completely cold. I had dabbled in the software about 3 years ago and can compare it as a paid user to both Salesforce and HubSpot’s sales module when shifting advertising space in a former life.

Pipedrive’s 30-day free trial was the perfect opportunity to interrogate its features and put it through its paces.

Relying on charming sales reps with bulging contact will no longer cut it. Successful modern sales teams all rely on a steady flow of high-quality inbound leads, robust processes and ruthless focus. Pipedrive promised all three, so I was particularly keen to see just how far it had come since my last stint with it.


Getting started with Pipedrive

I took Pipeline for a test drive via its free 30-day trial. The quick sign-up asks your level of experience with sales software but I don’t think this has any bearing on the onboarding process.

You can start simple by following the step-by-step guide or jump straight in and customise your pipeline. Syncing your contacts, email and calendar are super easy if you’re using Google or MS Office, or involve a bit of wiggle work if not.

Pipedrive is extremely intuitive by design. Pipedrive uses easy-to-understand symbols and colours to enable users to quickly interpret what’s being shown. Core pages are logically structured and easy to navigate. Icons point you in the right direction for key tasks and drag-and-drop functionality makes customisation a breeze.

All this is incredibly important, as the more intuitive the software, the greater the odds of every member of the team using it properly and to its full potential.

Features you’ll love

  • 🤝 Manage leads and deals

    Oh the joy of a well-organised sales pipeline!

    Like most sales SaaS, Pipedrive runs off kanban boards and lead scoring to help you prioritise your sales efforts.

    Pipedrive   example funnel   Surges.co

    Just about everything you see here can be customised to suit your pipeline and choregraph your team. For example, leads can be set to ‘hot’, ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ with a single click, different pipelines and products can be reflected, leads can be assigned a potential value and win probability, and workflow automation can free up recurring tasks to help you to focus on what matters most. You’re in full control.

    Pipedrive   example leads   Surges.co

    What Pipedrive does best, however, is break every lead into a series of predictable tasks for predictable results. You set the rules of engagement and tasks can be easily assigned to team members, with notifications when follow-up actions are due. Because everything is visualised, everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them and get the support they need for peak performance. No more rogue reps or people dragging their feet, meaning your potential customers get the warm welcome they deserve!

  • 💬 Turn conversations into conversions

    Get ready for a flurry of inbound leads via Pipedrive’s LeadBooster plugin ($32 p/m add-on).

    It’s said that 70% of purchasing decisions are made before a prospect even makes contact with a company. Help potential customers to do their homework and address any lingering fears with chatbots, live chat and web forms. These uninstructive tools can also help convert passing visitors, drawn to your site by a great piece of content marketing and keen to know more.

    Working in a similar fashion to HubSpot or Intercom, Pipedrive integrates your site with your CRM, so leads can be handled automatically or pre-qualified and passed to the relevant sales rep, complete with full conversation history. The fact that all leads are pooled into a single inbox makes it impossible to miss them.

    This add-on is a must if you’re driving decent traffic and want to pick the lowest hanging fruit.

  • 📈 Track every interaction

    Track more. Grow together. Sell.

    Pipedrive is a treasure trove of data. The dashboard provides an overview of your entire sales function, with the ability to zoom in on individual team members, leads and deals. You can compare performance, decipher different levels of performance, and better coach your team towards their targets. You can also track the effectiveness of different approaches, comparing different forms, scripts and pipelines, as well as the reasons behind a lost sale. No hiding place, no cracks to fall down.

    With so much data, it’s easy to spot any reps who are struggling to embrace Pipedrive and need more support.

    You can cut all of this as you please. As an owner or team manager, it’s easy to flick between a bird’s eye view of your pipeline and drill down to an individual lead or team member level, giving you full sight of your sales efforts. When it comes to reporting upwards, Pipedrive also forecasts your revenue and predicts close dates. The longer you stick with it, the smarter it gets!

  • 🤖 Automate tedious tasks

    Multitasking is hard. Pipedrive makes it unnecessary.

    If you’re going to scale you’re going to need more hands on deck. Set and forget your recurring tasks with Pipedrive’s workflow automation. Always be closing with 24/7 welcome emails. Assign pre-qualified leads to different reps and use AI to help convert them, shuffling your to-do list to show what matters most.

    Because Pipedrive’s scheduling tool connects to your calendar and feeds into the main dashboard, overdue or urgent actions appear at the top of this page or can be set to highlight red, making ‘deal rotting’ far less likely. You can also schedule activities directly from your inbox.

  • 📱 The Pipedrive mobile app

    More often than not sales calls are made away from a desk. Your device doesn’t matter with Pipedrive’s ace mobile app. Use it to:

    • Take voice-to-text call notes
    • Automatically add call logging to your deals
    • Prioritise your to-do list, wherever you are
    • Access contacts and quickly recap on meeting prep
    • See which contacts are near you in the real world

    Should you forget anything, the app’s push notifications will send a helpful reminder.

Things to consider

  • Fully customisable

    Unlike its enterprise counterparts, Pipedrive is your flexible friend. If you can see it you can shape it to your own needs thanks to the drag-and-drop interface and neat touches such as multi-country selling - Pipedrive speaks over 10 languages and can handle all major currencies. This is absolutely crucial to getting everybody onboard in my opinion. Your sales software is only as strong as the weakest link, so it needs to work for every member of your team and reflect the realities of your pipelines.

  • Pipedrive marketplace

    For everything else there’s Pipedrive marketplace.

    Connect Pipedrive to your other marketing tools to supercharge your sales. There’s 150+ apps, covering bots and messaging, lead generation, accounting, contracts and a Zapier add-on, opening up a world of possibilities. API access allows you to develop custom features, such as integrations with call centres.

  • The occasional bug

    Pipedrive isn’t without its demons. Whilst it has a relatively good two-way sync with the Google suite (email and CRM), it can be buggy when it comes to Office 365 and Outlook. This reliability issue is perhaps the most common complaint lodged against Pipedrive, as well the minimal integration it offers with other CRM platforms.

Pipedrive Pricing

from $15 per month

As per the competition, Pipedrive’s pricing is on a per user basis. A simple pricing structure, with three tiers, spending more unlocks more features, such as workflow automation, deal forecasting, shared sales inboxes and advanced customisation and reporting.

Access to the core Pipedrive CRM (used to be free!) starts at $15 per month, with no credit card required to use the free trial.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: pricing changes. New features have been added, others closed, and some simply rebranded since my last visit. This repackaging can leave some users worse off and needing to upgrade to a more expensive tier for the same or watered-down features. The only way to avoid this is to honor the original price users subscribe to, something many other marketing tools do.


Pipedrive Alternatives

Pipedrive is an extremely cost-effective and user-friendly alternative to Salesforce and HubSpot’s Sales Module.

For 50% of the cost, you can automate your workflows and personalise your outreach and closing at scale. All offer more or less the same features - website-based lead capture, email follow-ups, sales team co-ordination – but where Pipedrive really excels is how user-friendly it is. From drag-and-drop customisation and visual dashboards to on-the-go note taking, Pipedrive has a psychological edge by helping you to focus on what’s most important to closing, here and now.

Pipedrive Support   👍  or   👎

Support queries are likely to arise from the aforementioned integration bugs rather than the tiny learning curve to Pipedrive.

I found Pipedrive’s support to be extremely quick (answering within 2 hours) but sadly unqualified to answer questions. There seems to be a real disconnect between the Support function and other departments, resulting in issues not being directly answered and reps seemingly happy to leave issues outstanding. This is a real shame, especially as it’s so avoidable.

The Verdict

Surges score

87%

Teamwork makes the dream work. However, getting everybody working in tandem– in the same way, towards the same goals – is easier said than done. When firing up Pipedrive, you’ll always land on a single, streamlined view of your sales process and a list of tasks for the day. It provides clarity on what’s expected of each person and their performance against targets and when you split up mammoth tasks into short-term goals, the rewards can be very satisfying. No more unreliable sales spreadsheets and annoying admin!

Pipedrive squeezes out every last ounce of productivity from your sales team by focusing the actions that drive deals towards completion. The interface leaves no doubt what is expected of each team member and organises their attention on the activities that matter most. By streamlining features and presenting them in a visual manner, it means all members of the team can easily follow instructions and maximise their contribution to the bottom line.

For management, it grants an immediate and accurate view of current performance against targets – both at an individual level and as a company. Features such as web forms, email integration, conversation tracking and easy reporting, means Pipedrive can be airlifted into any sales department without needing to rely on technical support. There’s a lot to be said for its ease of use and economy of effort.

For small sales teams, this will be enough. Selling is a team sport and Pipedrive does an excellent job of optimising team effort. You’ll need another CRM system to handle you other contacts and perform marketing activities but with 100 possible integrations, the two systems should play ball most of the time. I commented on the widely-reported bugs that exist when venturing outside of G-Suite and the customer support that can be lacking.

All in all, Pipedrive CRM promises to be an inexpensive, intuitive and highly effective way of improving the performance of your sales function and automating repetitive tasks. For a lot of companies it’ll be an invaluable sales companion and real revenue-changer. Well worth checking out if you’re looking to close more and smash those targets.

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