Pipedrive, the CRM platform provider, just celebrated a major milestone. It turned 10 years old this year and just unveiled a brand-new user experience along with a number of new features. Raj Sabhhlok also became the new CEO.
Sabholk joins Pipedrive following a successful stint as president of SaaS business application provider at Zoho for 10 years. Small Business Trends caught up with Sabholk to discuss his vision for Pipedrive, Pipedrive offering for SBMS, the state of CRM, the impact of COVID-19 and more.
The interview follows the lineup of new offerings.
Pipedrive CRM Updates User Experience
Pipedrive, has announced a redesign of its user experience (UX) feature to coincide with the company’s 10th anniversary this year. The redesign of the Customer relationship management’s (CRM) platform offers tweaked and revamped features for its customers.
The main menu of the dashboard has changed its orientation towards a sidebar freeing up room for additional options. It also includes a search bar, quick add button, sales assistant and account settings. The enhanced search functionality now allows for quick access, update and follow up. The add button helps to speed up the creation of new deals, activities or contacts without having to leave the current screen.
The menu features a Leads Inbox and Deal Pipeline on top. These are accompanied by frequently used features like email, contacts, calendar, and Insights offering seamless navigation and ease of use. This all comes with a new intuitive UX providing customers faster access to all of Pipedrive’s features along with scalability. According to Pipedrive, this will help users to implement the products that will make the biggest impact on their Return On Investment (ROI).
“Sales is a team sport involving different departments in a business and we connect the team together. Our goal has always been to provide our customers with powerful, yet easy to use tools that help them do their job faster and more effectively,” said Krishna Panicker, VP of Product, Pipedrive.
More Control, Predictability and Flexibility in Engagement
The redesigned features also come with two new launches, Insights and Sales Docs. Insights offer customers the ability to track sales data and trends to inform sales and outreach. It comes with an interactive dashboard for enhanced tracking, metrics to filter results and customize data visualization. Sales Docs, a beta tool, for its part streamlines and automates sales-related documents for better impact.
With Insights, users get customizable sales reports and interactive dashboards. It helps track various sales metrics, including sales performance, conversion, duration, progress, and sales activities. Insights also allow users to filter results and choose preferred data visualization. For example, the Deal performance report helps to improve the sales process and efficiency by providing valuable insights. This includes metrics on the number of opportunities won or lost and why, deal progress, and sales cycle duration.
Furthermore, with insights, the report data can be converted by the visual dashboard for easy interpretation of the trends and processes. You can share this data across teams and stakeholders.
Sales Docs is a toolbox to streamline and automate how sales teams create, send, and manage sales-related documents. Touted to be particularly useful for remote sales it comes with trackable quotes, proposals, and contracts available directly within the CRM. It comes with real-time notifications on actions taken, auto-fill sales templates and documents with Pipedrive data and Google Drive integration. It can also backup data on Google sheets.
Support and Availability
Pipedrive’s integration options include sending Slack notifications in Pipedrive, create QuickBooks invoices and create new deals in Pipedrive for new Facebook Leads Ads. Pipedrive says it can integrate its solutions with over 150 applications. And the support also includes Sales Assistant, Pipedrive’s Artificial Intelligence.
Sales Assistant automates repetitive administrative tasks to help eliminate redundant tasks. This comes with performance tips, automation recommendations, notifications and analytics on performance trends.
Pipedrive’s pricing comes in four tiers: essential, advanced, professional and enterprise. The essential package comes with a $12.50 monthly subscription. The robust enterprise package comes with a $99 monthly subscription and includes a customized onboarding and support for your in-house CRM. All plans except the enterprise package have a 14-day free trial option for businesses to check out all of the features.
All plans come with 24/7 support and they are general data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant to protect privacy. Pipedrive can be also be accessed via mobile devices compatible with both Android and iOS devices.
CRM: Keeping Up with Your Customers
Your business is literally built on the relations you have with your customers. And the success of your business hinges on the relationship you have with your customers. Your relationship with your customers is defined by the level of sales, marketing and operations efforts you conduct to meet the needs of your clientele.
Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps you take the pulse of these relationships. With an efficient CRM you can gain a better understanding of your engagement with customers and prospects. It gives insights on your sales process, how customers engage with you, identifies which marketing efforts are working and other aspects.
In a nutshell, CRM helps manage the information that will help inform your business decisions. It affects key segments that keep your business running such as your customer service, marketing, human resources, sales and operations. In contrast, lack of clarity in your relationships with customers means you rely on your gut to make important business decisions.
A good CRM on the other hand offers real insights that can delve into specifics and help isolate issues. This in return will help you focus on issues that need tweaking. At the end of the day, customer satisfaction comes from understanding the needs of your customers. And CRM is designed to do just that.
Interview with Raj Sabhlok
Small Business Trends: What’s the greatest lesson you learned working in the corporate world that’s helped you to succeed?
Raj Sabhlok: You can only be successful if you are doing what you love.
Small Business Trends: What exciting things can we expect from Pipedrive in the next 12 months?
Raj Sabhlok: There are lots of exciting things happening over the next year. We have just launched our revamped UX and came out with new navigation that better reflects how salespeople think and work, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently in their job. Over the coming months, we will keep developing our recently launched Insights, a very sophisticated and customizable sales reports platform with interactive dashboards for tracking various sales metrics, and high-level data visualization and sharing features.
This fall will be very busy with Pipedrive. At the beginning of the fall, we will come out with various product updates that are particularly useful for remote sales. We will launch native integrations with Zoom and MS Team. Also, a full version of Sales Docs (currently in beta) will come out which automates everything related to sales documents – allowing users to create, send, manage, and digitally sign quotes, proposals, and contracts.
In September we will have our biggest product launch, which is related to leads and lead management. Our recent State of Sales study showed that 54% of salespeople struggle with prospecting. Pipedrive’s new Lead Suite will have a number of useful tools that are specifically developed to help our customers with finding high-quality leads. Probably the most interesting feature is Prospector, which will include 400 million constantly updated leads that our customers can filter by country, industry, size, or estimated revenue of the company.
Then in 2021, we will come out with a more robust marketing automation tool. A few months ago, Pipedrive acquired a marketing automation company, Mailigen, which added a lot of know-how in the area. Using their years of experience, we’re developing a tool that facilitates smooth cooperation between marketing and sales teams.
Other key areas in 2021 are a Sales Coach that helps customers to identify their success patterns, and data quality control and forecasting tools. In addition, we will come out with a new goals’ management feature and an AI-based leads assessment tool.
Small Business Trends: What is the greatest lesson you learned at Zoho that you would like to continue as CEO in Pipedrive?
Raj Sabhlok: Being the head of the company does not mean that you have to be an expert in every field. The key to success is to gather around you people who know their area and actually love what they do. As a manager, I have always aimed to be an enabler, seeking to give people the freedom to achieve their goals, thereby getting the best out of them. This is one of the pillars of Pipedrive’s exceptional work environment and strong organizational culture. Employees have a lot of flexibility to choose what they work on and at the same time take responsibility for their deliverables. This is a very strong motivator for doing your job as well. I look forward to fostering this work environment at Pipedrive.
Small Business Trends: Has the pandemic led to particular shifts in the market place?
Raj Sabhlok: Although the SMBs were hit the hardest by COVID-19, surprisingly for Pipedrive the drop was not as sharp as we might have expected. Fortunately, we just experienced a momentary downturn and now our business is returning to pre-crisis levels. Pipedrive reacted with agility and quickly implemented a number of measures to help our customers to survive the shock to their businesses and get through the worst months. We also started to notice a trend of new sign-ups by companies that had used ‘larger’ CRMs. Companies were reviewing and reassessing their tools and realized that Pipedrive is a powerful yet very easy to use platform with a number of features that support salespeople working remotely. All this was available for them at a lower price than they were paying before, which was a clear bonus during uncertain times.
Small Business Trends: What is Pipedrive’s current vision? How are your offerings and innovations enabling businesses to grapple with the paradigm shift?
Raj Sabhlok: Ten years ago, Pipedrive set out to raise the industry standard for CRM usability and productivity by building a tool that actually reflects how the mind of a salesperson works. Our goal has always been to make sales professionals’ lives easier and help them to sell better. We will continue expanding our product portfolio wider and include tools for other revenue-creating functions in the business. We’re also looking to go deeper into areas we’re already in, providing more sophisticated and automated sales tools to ensure our customers achieve better results even faster.
Small Business Trends: How do you feel about your current offerings and future offerings for small businesses?
Raj Sabhlok: Small and medium-sized businesses have been at the core of Pipedrive’s customer base. And, while today we can address the needs of larger sales teams, we continue to make sure that SMBs can benefit from our innovations. We’ve also tried to target our pricing as fairly as possible, building it around tiers to not lockout our smaller customers with higher prices or with features they don’t need.
Small Business Trends: The CRM sector is currently booming and cloud solutions are in demand due to the COVID pandemic. What differentiates Pipedrive from other CRM platforms?
Raj Sabhlok: We have several features that we developed especially for helping our customers adjust to remote work. However, I believe our strength lies in solving the pain points that sales professionals face, no matter what is going on in the world. Finding high-quality leads, reducing time spent on repetitive administrative tasks, closing deals faster, and improving their sales results and deal conversion rates. These are the struggles that Pipedrive aims to solve.
Small Business Trends: What areas do you see Pipedrive moving towards in order to address customers’ needs in the post-COVID-19 era?
Raj Sabhlok: As businesses go through many changes, one of the key challenges that sales professionals will definitely face during the times ahead is prospecting and finding up-to-date leads. Pipedrive’s new Lead Suite with sophisticated lead-generation features such as LeadBooster chatbot, live chat, and web forms will tackle exactly this problem and help Pipedrive users to get up-to-date and relevant leads easier and faster.
Small Business Trends: Will Pipedrive be offering CRM solutions catering to the needs of small businesses? If so how would you tell them how Pipedrive stacks against others in the market?
Raj Sabhlok: Pipedrive has a number of characteristics that make it especially suitable for smaller companies. Being easy to set up and use is massively important as small businesses do not have the resources for multiple-day training or hiring an expert to get their CRM up and running. We also have the Pipedrive Academy, which is a great free resource with sales tips and product tutorials that also has a number of useful articles that are written for small businesses. It’s possible for everyone to contribute to the community, with thousands of sales and marketing professionals giving great advice and sharing useful experiences every day.
For small businesses, it is also extremely important to have a CRM that is easily customizable. Every sales team’s way of doing sales is different and this should also be reflected in their CRM. Pipedrive is highly customizable, allowing each small business to create sales pipeline stages, filters, automation, and dashboards that are relevant to them. Additionally, Pipedrive’s integrations mean it can work with more than 200 other popular tools, allowing small businesses to use the tools they need and prefer.
Small Business Trends: What do you see the Pipedrive’s experience looking like in five years?
Raj Sabhlok: In short, Pipedrive will be a broad offering that does many ‘jobs’ for small businesses, from sales to marketing and beyond. All of our solutions will continue to have the ‘Pipedrive magic’ which means that our offerings will deliver instant value to customers. Finally, while pretty UIs will continue to be important, automation will be paramount and be at the core of our offering in the future.