Pipedrive is not really a fully fledged CRM. It is a web app that is focused clearly on assisting with the sales process, and it does this well.
The key distinctive of this application is the pipeline dashboard view.
For those familiar with the pipeline sales methodology this is a very intuitive and helpfully visual way of displaying everything that is going on in one screen. For those who are newer to the pipeline way of thinking, this app will probably help to convince you of its merits (or which there are many, but that’s a different blog post).
The only significant downside of this pipeline view is the fact that it is not that scalable. Yes, you can use filters to break up your deals onto different pipelines, but nonetheless the graphical interface only works well with a limited number of deals.
The deals screen displays the same info as the pipeline dashboard but in a linear format. The main advantage of this screen in Pipedrive is that you can customise the fields displayed and then sort by them by value, status, etc. This is a less useful than the dashboard screen, but helpfully flexible.
Once you select a deal, you are then shown a screen very similar to that used to display people and organisations. It also has additional information about the pipeline stage to which the deal currently belongs.
Organisations & People
Similar to the deals overview screen, Pipedrive also has overview screens listing all organisations and all people. These two screens are the weakest part of the app. If you need to find either a person or organisation you are likely to search rather than using these screens.
Once you drill down to a particular organisation or person, you are faced with a contact card that is at best mediocre. The focus is supposedly on activity, but this comes at the cost of clearly setting out relevant information about the customer in a clear and usable manner. For example, organisational information is not automatically pulled through to an individual’s contact page when they are associated with that organisation.
The statistics section in Pipedrive provides basic reporting on the sales pipeline. All the core reports are present and correct but the system completely lacks the ability for custom reporting.
A large amount of screen space is dedicated to various metrics on individual sales performance but the lack of customisation means that there is likely to be some redundant information (e.g. no. of lunches booked).
In general, the focus on sales figures is great but the flexibility undermines this screen significantly.
Another key distinctive of Pipedrive is the emphasis on action. This is a great idea. Any deals without scheduled actions in the pipeline are shown with a warning symbol that prompts you to schedule an action. Whenever you tick off an action you are likewise prompted to schedule another action.
For some this will be great but it can also get frustrating since there will inevitably be some circumstances where the next action is not yet entirely clear or no particular action is suitable at present.
Pipedrive can handle people and organisations and allows you to associate files, notes, deals and tasks against them. In this sense the system is a CRM in competition with the likes of Highrise and Salesforce (probably more the former since it is on the cheaper and simpler end of the market). However, it is quickly apparent that Pipedrive is a sales tool and is not intended to manage the custom relationship any further than securing a deal.
This is a very sales focussed application and while it manages people and organisations passably it does not make any real pretences at being a full CRM.
- The visual pipeline dashboard
- The activity focus
- Lack of flexibility in reporting
- Lack of support for ongoing customer relationships