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CRM software: Pipedrive CRM at a glance



Content of this article:

    1. New CEO of Zoho switches to the provider of the CRM system Pipedrive
    2. What does the distribution or sale of it have?
    3. Is the software so user friendly? What exactly is the advantage of this CRM system?
    4. What are the pros and cons of Pipedrive at work in sales and CRM respectively?

Update from 19.06.2020 New CEO of ZOHO CRM ignites the next growth rocket

The press release in week 25/2020 contains an important piece of information: The change at the top of Pipedrive. The CEO of Zoho takes on a new job

Change in top management: Pipedrive appoints industry veteran Raj Sabhlok as new CEO”

After Pipedrive has already won 90,000 customers, the company is heralding the next growth phase on the occasion of its tenth anniversary and wants to redefine its own status quo in the CRM market.”

In 10 years from zero to currently 90,000 customers is already a mature achievement for a manufacturer of a CRM system. Nevertheless, the organization of development and services works very well. There is a lot of discussion online, via chat or web conference. You have to like that, but since Corona this way is more accepted than ever.

Cofounder Timo Rein explains the deal with Raj Sabhlok

“Pipedrive, the leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform for sales teams, appoints Raj Sabhlok as its new CEO. Raj Sabhlok brings over 20 years of technology industry and business management experience to Pipedrive. Previously, Mr. Sabhlok was the long-standing president of Zoho, a SaaS provider. Sabhlok succeeds Timo Rein, former CEO and Pipedrive co-founder. He led the company for over ten years and is now moving to the supervisory board as chairman.”

The desire to bring Raj Sabhlok from Zoho to Pipedrive, I can understand. Zoho is now at this milestone, where the manufacturer from Estonia might want to go.

In a nutshell – who or what is Zoho?

Zoho CRM was one of the germ cells of Zoho’s product range. But now Zoho CRM is only the core. There are many other complementary applications orbiting around Zoho CRM. This means that Zoho is no longer a pure CRM tool, but a complete software suite for their customers.

Whoever grows so strongly and is successful in the CRM market must have done a lot of things right. The target group “Companies that use the CRM system primarily in sales or distribution” enjoys great popularity with this CRM product. The own reason sounds simple:

“With Pipedrive we want to set a new industry standard in usability and productivity of CRM tools. With this in mind, we have developed a tool that addresses the specific needs of sales staff, have been able to scale our customer base from zero to over 90,000 sales teams worldwide over the last ten years, and at the same time maintain the profitability of the company,” emphasizes Timo Rein.

To the 10th anniversary of Pipedrive Timo Rein says goodbye with a big bouquet of new features for the sales department:

  • New UI/UX: A vertical navigation to improve the efficiency and daily workflows of users.
  • Lead generation tools, including live chats, visitor tracking and improved web forms.
  • E-mail marketing automation: A powerful and simple tool brings together all sales and marketing data and creates a better overview, connection and data basis.
  • Pipedrive Insights: Pipedrive Insights offers customizable sales reports and interactive dashboards. Sales teams can view and analyze the data at any time.
  • Sales Docs: This toolset streamlines and automates the creation, sending and management of offers, quotes and contracts by sales teams.

The detailed information of the CRM software manufacturer as a press release, can be found here.

Impressive workflow functionality in the CRM software

Update from 01.10.2019 as well as 16.06.2020

In 2019, we reviewed the performance of Pipedrive in a customer project with a focus on CRM and carried out a comparison for the customer. From four CRM products presented, our customer had chosen the system from Estonia.

The reason: Because it is best used for sales activities, business development including key account management.

The customer also justified his decision by the fact that he can make changes to the system himself. An IT department of the customer is large enough to allow two employees to devote themselves to customizing the system. And that is enormously important for a CRM system today. This is a huge advantage for operational adjustments and a successful implementation of a CRM system. The employees love such a system or CRM software.

Our experiences and our conclusion from the CRM project:

Pipedrive CRM’s modular system combined with the competence in its own IT department makes a company’s sales happy, independent and flexible. The degree of utilization is extremely high compared to other CRM providers. a very innovative, focused software.

The online presentation of the Estonian CRM system carried out for the project prompted us to add some information to this article. For example, about the really impressive possibility of generating automated workflows. So good that if used sensibly for your own CRM in sales, valuable time can be saved.

CRM in sales is not just about managing the classic sales pipeline. You can also make your work easier by integrating every activity into a workflow via automation or digitalization.

Only the automation should not take place around the automation itself. It already needs a proper concept and a well thought-out solution to the problem.

An “artificial intelligence” functions in the background of the workflow automation. It learns with every activity, every process run. One learns in the process and can create refinements within the process management or link sub-processes with each other.

The whole thing requires a meaningful concept and documentation. And the result must be right for the user. Otherwise the acceptance is immediately missing. But with currently 90,000 companies, this is definitely there.

Pipedrive Workflow Automation
Pipedrive Workflow Automation


This way to the video “Workflow-Automation with Pipedrive”

Who is Pipedrive and what are all its features?

It is a CRM system for customer relationship management with focus on supporting the sales or sales process and not for marketing.

The company Pipedrive was founded in 2010 in Estonia and has now more than 90 employees. 000 (at the beginning of 2019 there were 70,000) customers. The goal was to develop CRM software that is tailored to the needs of those who do the actual sales work within Customer Relationship Management.

The result is a CRM system based on the activity-based sales methodology. It supports teams in managing complicated, direct sales, multi-level sales and lengthy sales processes (e.g. the user sees everything in a very tidy pipeline view)

Target group of Pipedrive’s CRM system are small and medium-sized companies that only want to have their sales activities supported and do not need a marketing module at the moment. The software is, according to the company’s own information, suitable for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). It is used industry-independently in the most diverse organizations, which want to make Customer Relationship management. Whereby surely a large portion of the users are in B2B. These are functions such as Key Account Manager, Inside Sales or Sales Manager and classic field service or technical sales. It is suitable for both direct sales and indirect sales of goods and services. It perfectly supports the implementation of the sales strategy in small companies and organisations.

Data is hosted in Frankfurt in compliance with DSGVO

An additional advantage of the CRM system: Since the end of 2017, the company has had a data center in Frankfurt and can thus store customer data in the cloud in compliance with DSGVO or EU law. For many users, this is therefore an argument on the way to deciding on a cloud-based CRM system.

All at a glance: What are the most important areas?

    • manage leads and deals
    • trace communication
    • Automation and advancement
    • Insights and reports
    • Mobile Apps and Integrations
  • and a few more features and services, digital support can be found on this page

With the clearly arranged pipeline management, users categorize business according to sales phases, potential customers and existing customers. Statistics functions also provide information about the sales process and potential for improvement for individual sales phases. Depending on the requirements definition, these can be individually adapted and renamed. Helpful within the processes for Customer Relationship Management is the simple addition or moving of business deals, contacts or activities in the pipeline via drag and drop. The system is very easy to understand and use. It is all about a meaningful definition of tasks and requirements. It is oriented towards the next deal.

By creating web forms, contacts can be automatically created in the pipeline for the corresponding sales phase. Pipedrive offers an intuitive interface for the sales process – but only a few additional functions. It is simply to be used for sales and distribution.

Pipedrive is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS.

The software for mobile CRM works smoothly with Google Apps and Google Drive. Through an open interface it is possible to connect Pipedrive with other software solutions. For example, a paper add-on is available that simplifies data synchronization between other web applications or allows you to import contacts from other services like Wufoo and MailChimp.

What are the costs or do the licenses cost?

The software for CRM is available in four packages The Silver Package is available from as little as €12.50 per user per month, the Gold Package from €24.90 and the Professional Package from €49.90 as well as the new Enterprise Solution €99.90 for the Estonian CRM system (prices per user and month with annual billing). Hubspot CRM is in a similar price range. Zoho is (with approx. 120,000 customers worldwide) between 12 € and 45 €. So significantly cheaper. All prices are in Euro and not in US dollars, because the Estonian manufacturer has consistently built up a German language site.

There is no permanent free CRM like Hubspot CRM. 14 days testing is possible, but we recommend to negotiate a much longer test period.

The main difference in the offer between the Silver and the Gold package is that in the Silver package…

    1. a very slimmed down e-mail integration to the CRM system
    2. the product catalog is missing in the Customer Relationship Management system
    3. no workflow automation is possible
    4. Restrictions exist in the area of Social CRM (no copy&paste of social media information possible)
    5. a very simple reporting system is available
    6. no additional fields are to be created in the CRM system
    7. few functions for teamwork available and
    8. not many settings are possible in the security and privacy area.


The gold package of this CRM system enables,

…send and read emails without leaving Pipedrive. Another advantage is that all common email providers, for example Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook or even iCloud (aka MobileMe or DotMac) can be integrated. With the Silver Package the user can only send messages via his own email provider and has to set Pipedrive to blind copy (BCC) to connect emails with business. The Platinum package is designed for CRM, sales and distribution users who have more advanced sales management needs. Even here there is no “classic marketing application” within the CRM system.

The offer in the 140 app large app store is extensive. Among other things you will find tools for

The list of categories or tools that support sales includes, for example, accounting & billing, analytics, bots & messaging, contacts & calendar synchronization, customer support, data management, e-mail marketing, integrations and integration platforms, lead generation, marketing automation, phone solutions, quotes & contracts, resource management, task management, web forms & surveys. All contribute to the digitalization of the company.

The usual suspects like Zapier, Slack, Just Bot, Trello are also included.

For comparison: Zoho Corporation has, in addition to Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects, Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Mail, a total of over 50 Zoho apps that can be used for expansion. At Hubspot this number has grown to more than 400, at Salesforce to more than 5,000 apps on the Appexchange.

The user service takes place basically via chat.

First in the higher version a telephone hotline is included. Whereby we have noticed one thing in the customer project again and again: On the one hand, the Knowledge Base offers very comprehensive information. In our case, for example, it concerned data import, the integration of the office suite, an ERP system, connection of an online shop, connection of an e-mail program. The chat or the knowledge base could help immediately.

Summary or overview of the pros and cons from the perspective of experts in customer relationship:

    • Quick and easy to set up, simple operation
    • Storage of the data in Germany
    • digital workflow and automation (e.g. for follow-up, follow-up, nurturing)
    • 16 languages and multiple currencies
    • very suitable for sales, sales with field service (sales pipeline in simple Kanban look, to-do lists, …)
    • Adjusting the sales phases and tasks individually
    • Web form with automatic creation of contacts
    • Duplicates are recognized during import
    • open interfaces via paper
    • a simple setup or installation
    • a simple CRM implementation is possible with your own IT department
    • for B2B sales you will find the most important CRM functions
    • Product catalogue for cross-selling
    • the dashboard gives with colors and other signals focus on the customer (customer centric) with opportunities or potential customers (leads)
    • the manufacturer provides extensive information and videos

Some important contrasts of the CRM system summarized for you:

      • phone support only for platinum package, otherwise via chat
      • Low but focused range of functions
      • Price per license is comparatively expensive compared to other, somewhat reduced features, but the number of customers speaks a different language here.
      • No campaign management, no extensive mapping of the customer journey
      • Comprehensive e-mail functions only included from Gold package onwards

Who are typical alternatives or competitors of Pipedrive:

Zoho CRM is certainly a competitor with one module. Whereby the scope of Zoho (Zoho Projects etc.) as an all-in-one solution is far greater. Products like Hubspot CRM with its Sales Hub or pipeliner, act! are other competitors. You can find them all in our CRM Landscape here.

Summary of the very internationally positioned Customer-Relationship-Management-System (CRM):

Pipedrive is similar to Salesforce (the big One for all solution) a dynamically growing company or good CRM system. The next growth phase for the CRM system is now heralded with the change of CEO. The new CEO of Zoho will certainly bring ideas for a portfolio expansion. We can be curious whether it will remain a focused CRM solution or become an all-in-one solution.

The success is based on clarity: Especially in direct sales with departments such as sales (Sales), with field service, little or no marketing, the product fits very well. The hotline and the support via chat were also very good and fast. Customer Experience Management is not the goal of this CRM. It is primarily about user experience. The CRM tool supports the implementation of the sales strategy very well.

The rapidly growing number of customers shows one thing, however: Rather less functionality, but perfectly fitting and good usability are convincing arguments – despite the comparatively high price. Many users from over 90,000 companies agree on this. And those of the CIO can live with it very well, because the cloud is located in Germany.

For many sales people who don’t want to afford Salesforce, this is a sensible alternative to testing. As a salesperson, you keep an eye on your existing and potential customers. The daily work quickly becomes intuitive and the targeted turnover is realized more easily. Selling with CRM solutions is suddenly fun.

For further information, our continuously updated provider comparison, the German CRM Landscape as well as a lot of information about Customer Relationship Management you will find here.

We, the team of 1A Relations GmbH have made it our task to make the landscape of CRM tools transparent. It is our job to collect and prepare this information. This takes place in lists, tables and our landscapes. Scott Brinker started in 2011 to create the global MarTech-Landscape. We started with the German CRM landscape last year. The list of landscapes has since been expanded to include the Marketing Automation Landscape, the ERP/CRM Landscape and the Collaboration Landscape. And our team continues to do this exciting job. Every day we find new products or get tips on CRM tools or features.

A small addendum to various questions around Pipedrive:

  • Open Source: THE CRM is not an Open Source solution.
  • Analytical CRM: Yes, reporting and reporting is included. A BI solution is not included in the standard system. Data can be exchanged via API
  • For which branch suitable: In principle, the product is suitable for smaller companies who want to equip their sales department with a good, simple CRM tool.
  • Is this a cloud based solution: Yes, it is a cloud solution. There is even a data center for the cloud in Frankfurt am Main. As no on-premise solution. You don’t need any IT infrastructure specifically for this.
  • How easy is it to set up? The setup is very simple. Open a Pipedrive account from the website and off you go with the Pipedrive – Sales CRM.
  • What target groups is the product aimed at: It is aimed at small companies, small teams in medium-sized companies. It is not a product for a large company or for the use in the whole company. It is a product for the operative CRM and not the strategic CRM. The manufacturer thus has a clear definition. This is certainly a reason for its success.
  • Can I do collaborative CRM with it: Yes, it works very well within the sales and field service team. The planning of a marketing mix or similar is not intended. It is a clearly developed for the topic sales.
  • Mobile CRM: no web app, but iOS and Android
  • Can test in advance: Yes, a very short test period is possible. 4-8 weeks would be the reasonable minimum to test how selling works with this tool. The users usually need much more time than 2 weeks.


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Picture: Pipedrive

Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.


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