We meet Timo Rein, CEO and Co-founder of Pipedrive, to find out how the company aims to make British SMBs unstoppable
Founded in 2010, Pipedrive is one of Estonia’s biggest start-up success stories. The sales management software was born in Tallinn, but the software is now used by over 70,000 customers across 170 countries, and in 16 languages. With offices in New York, London, Lisbon, Tallinn and Tartu, and over 300 employees, Pipedrive is one of the world’s most rapidly growing Software-as-a-Service firms. Salespeople love Pipedrive because it’s easy to use and continually drives their sales activity. Pipedrive’s CEO Timo Rein tells us more:
What is Pipedrive in a nutshell and why was it started?
Pipedrive is the leading sales platform for ambitious, fast-scaling businesses. Business owners often struggle to know what sales are actually going-through. Pipedrive provides the easiest way to visualise your sales pipeline and progress sales with the right activities, so your efforts are effective and your closing rate increases. Leads and opportunities move through your pipeline in a number of stages as a deal gets closer to completion.
Back in 2010, my co-founder and I, both experienced sales managers, realised that the CRM landscape was full of software designed foremost to please senior management while ignoring the needs of the people doing the actual selling. So, we partnered with talented developers to create a CRM that puts the needs of salespeople first.
Why is Pipedrive more effective than other CRM tools?
Pipedrive is the tool for making deals. We focus on actions that teams can control that lead to sales results and that’s why the tool really centres around sales pipeline management. Secondly, we want salespeople and their managers to have a solution that is crafted to be both extremely useful and really simple – as salespeople are paid to close deals and not administrate a software. Hence, we prioritise key features that work well together rather than stacking an endless number of functions on top of each other. The result is a platform that us visual, intuitive, customizable, and very easy to use. We deliver everything you need to sell with certainty.
With more than 300+ employees worldwide, how do you maintain a strong corporate mission across your team?
Indeed, we are currently one of the fastest growing software companies in the world. We put a lot of emphasis on culture at every stage of the employee journey: from hiring – my co-founder and I talk to every single candidate – to performance reviews and career conversations. We hire people based on their professional skills and personal character. You obviously need skills but I don’t think life’s long enough to ignore character in the workplace. We believe that it takes great people to deliver a great product.
How has Pipedrive grown in the UK market specifically?
Our UK user base has grown quickly to over 24,000 active users within British businesses during 2017. We have seen our platform used across a range of sectors – from fellow startups and SaaS companies, to more traditionally ‘offline’ business types such as manufacturing, engineering and agriculture.
During 2018, we will put a strong emphasis on Europe. This month, we announced the opening of a new Central London office in Holborn, which will become a regional hub. The office is led by Laurence Bret-Stern, Chief Revenue Officer, who joins our senior management team following six years at LinkedIn where she served on the EMEA Leadership Board and launched their French office. Laurence will also lead our ‘Unstoppable SMBs’ campaign this year, which will identify, support and showcase a selection of Britain’s top performing companies from our customer-base.
What buying advice would you offer to a business considering a CRM system?
A successful CRM is one that teams love using – a catalyst for meaningful actions, rather than a tool for management to control them with. My top advice is to tackle head-on the biggest barriers to successful CRM adoption.
Firstly, the most common roadblock to CRM success is that systems are simply too complex for busy salespeople to live with in real life. Only deploy a tool that your users can understand, is easy to kick off with, they co-architect and own, and ultimately can love.
Secondly, many CRM systems fail because they are bought as-is – when they absolutely need to be customized to reflect your real-life sales process. Ensure that the reality of the software mirrors the reality of your sales. If users cannot use a CRM software like a mirror of their offline activities, they will struggle and not adopt it properly.
Only buy a solution that offers both simplicity for users, and a level of customization with your real sales process and environment. Ensure your own team co-designs the sales stages – this will be a crystallizing moment and help safeguard success.
Does Pipedrive work in sync with other business software?
Absolutely. A good example is our synchronised inbox feature that ensures that communications in Pipedrive are fully mirrored with other services in use such as GMail and Outlook. Whether you’re specifically looking for increased automation, enhanced reporting or need Pipedrive to work with other software you are using, our API means that there will be an integration or add-on that meets your needs.
You have just launched a new Gold package for $29/month? Who is that targeted toward?
Our new Gold Package is aimed at making scaling, ambitious SMBs unstoppable. We have built-in valuable functionality for boosting sales performance. For example, aspects like convenient scheduling for meetings, fully synchronised inbox, smart contact data and cataloguing of products will enable users to better progress their deals through a sales pipeline. You can enjoy a 2 week no risk free trial of our Gold plan at www.Pipedrive.com.