Pipedrive-Zapier Integration Updates

Pipedrive-Zapier integrations have received two tiny tweaks with far-reaching effects.

The first development makes it possible for you to trigger an automated Zap whenever a deal reaches a specific pipeline stage. Until now, you were only able to trigger automations with a new deal, or with a filter. Now, when you’ve closed a deal, marked it won, or just moved it into a “touched” stage, you have the possibility to trigger automated actions.

 


 

The second development happened inside Pipedrive. We now have the First and Last names on separate fields inside the deal info, which makes it easier to use Pipedrive data in customizing the communication sent out by other apps via Zapier. For example, it’s far easier to send out a personalized email in MailChimp with “Hi, Firstname” in the welcome line.

How TrekkSoft Doubled Signups Via Personalization At Scale and Clever Use of Software

TrekkSoft provide online booking and payment software for tour and activity providers in the travel industry. If you’ve encountered a super organized diving instructor in the Caribbean, or used your card to pay pay a ski instructor on the piste, chances are they were using Trekksoft.

trekksoft skydive

They have an incredibly intelligent setup for reaching their customers – they combine Pipedrive, Zapier and MailChimp for large scale personalized lead generation and qualification at scale. Since it’s really impressive, we had a chat with TrekkSoft’s Senior Integration Manager, Tom Iannone, and VP of Sales, Robert Lederer, to find out more.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t heard the word “automatic” enough today, you will now. TrekkSoft lives by that word.

What kind of a problem were you intending to solve when you first started configuring the Pipedrive-MailChimp-Zapier combo?

Our aim was to be more tailored as well as more effective in marketing – target campaigns based on geography and vertical (eg. diving instructors in Cancun or historical walks providers in San Francisco). This entailed a lot of manual work, copying data across spreadsheets and copying it into MailChimp.

We wanted to use the email automation features that MailChimp offers, but also keep the data up-to-date in Pipedrive. Our aim then was to increase efficiency, which we’ve definitely achieved.

What kind of results have you seen?

We’ve gone from sending out about 500 emails a week to about 4,000 a week to prospective new customers. We’ve been able to a quadruple our productivity, which has resulted in a higher rate of qualified leads and new sign-ups. All in all, we’ve about doubled the number of sign-ups since we’ve been pushing things through with the new custom integration and optimized it.

What’s the lead management and sales process at TrekkSoft like?

Primarily, we have two different pipelines.

First, we have our lead generation pipeline. Here we have three different stages, where deals move forward automatically, based on the prospect’s actions.

lead-generation-pipeline-trekksoft

Lead Generation Pipeline

All the leads we’ve gotten from various sources who haven’t been contacted yet are in the “Cold” stage. Once we email them, they get automatically moved to “Sent”. If they open that email, they will automatically be moved to “Opened” stage. Now if the prospect responds to our email or even clicks on an open email, we define it as interaction and move them automatically into our sales funnel into the “Marketing Qualified Leads” (MQL).

MQL means that the person is a little more qualified than “Opened”, because they’ve interacted in some way. From there on, once somebody actually goes to the website and registers for free account, a move to SQL – “Sales Qualified Lead” is triggered. There, our sales team will typically reach out by phone and organize a sales demo with the prospect. If that’s done, the next stage for the prospect would be to “Subscribed”, at which time they will need to get integrated with the software.

The move from “Sales Demo” to “Subscribed” also means that the support and integration teams take over from the sales team and schedule a training demo, which is when the customer onboarding begins. If the training demo is given, and the customer’s successfully integrated with our software, they’ll be moved into the “Integrated” stages. They will go to “Complete” if they integrate our software into all of their activities (eg. all of that company’s tours), and partial if not all.

one-week-funnel-trekksoft

How is the Zapier-MailChimp-Pipedrive custom integration set up?

We use Pipedrive as the database for all leads. We use filters in Pipedrive to create segments we want to reach out to (eg. we’d create a filter for all the skydivers in Cancun).

We then use Zapier to pull this filtered list into MailChimp, where we create a separate segment from it. We’re now able to send out highly tailored emails to this really specific segment.

The lists are also sent to MailChimp depending on the specific activities that are done by our sales reps. For example, we reach a potential customer and move them forward to another stage. That will trigger a name potentially being unsubscribed from our “Marketing List” and then subscribing from a list of, let’s say, “Tips and Tricks” or “Getting Started” list, depending on the activity in Pipedrive.

Example Zap: when a custom integration has been set up, an email is automatically sent

Example Zap: when a custom integration has been set up, an email is automatically sent

When we have deals moving from one pipeline to another, like in the case of moving from the Lead Generation pipeline to the Sales pipeline, we use a custom integration of MailChimp and Pipedrive API-s. To automatically change stages, we use Zapier. The API is mainly used to connect MailChimp and our internal databases.

What else can you do with this integration?

We’re also using Zapier to sync the data that we have in Pipedrive with MailChimp so that we can further refine our marketing campaigns – i.e. we clean up data. When we receive new information about our clients, in addition to that initially mined, our sales reps make the updates in Pipedrive. Then, it gets automatically synced over to MailChimp, which makes us able to build really targeted segments for better message targeting.

We are also using the Pipedrive-to-Google-Spreadsheets zap for high level reporting, and to store certain information.

So what’s next for TrekkSoft? Have you got any news to share?

We’ve released our mobile app and integrated card reader to take mobile payments from any iPhone or iOS or Android device anywhere – from docks to on the pistes. This is exciting and revolutionary in our industry in particular. Our customers can see all their upcoming bookings, they can re-book passengers, issue refunds and use probably 80-90% of functionality that a tour operator would need on a day-to-day basis from the mobile app. This is important, since our the customers we have are always out guiding a rafting trip or they are jumping out of airplanes or going out fishing or scuba diving, rather than sitting in their office.

iOS App Takes a Big Step In Improving Your Productivity

Activity Plan iOS

Our Pipedrive iOS app just received an overhaul with one key change that can improve your productivity significantly – we introduced smart activity scheduling.

Previously, you could pick a time-slot for an activity without exactly knowing whether you already had something in your agenda that day. Now, when you’re scheduling a new activity, the agenda for the selected day will be visible. This way you won’t have clashing activities anymore – you simply schedule smarter and avoid them.

On a different note, you can now go ahead and start editing custom fields. And if you already have or are planning to get iOS 8, then fear not – we’re ready for you.

And as always: if you don’t have it, then go and get it.

appstore

Update on “Poodle” SSL 3.0 vulnerability (and Shellshock)

Earlier today, Google reported a vulnerability in SSL 3.0 technology that allows the plaintext of secure connections to be calculated by a network attacker.

I just wanted to inform that we here at Pipedrive had dropped SSL 3.0 support quite some time ago earlier this year— specifically on security grounds. Thus, Google’s recently reported vulnerabilities do not concern Pipedrive. Furthermore, we recently introduced extended validation on all our primary application and website domain premises.

If you are concerned with our security in terms of SSL encryption, you can verify our SSL security reports about our primary application domains app.pipedrive.com and api.pipedrive.com by Qualys SSL Labs at any time.

Update: In addition to SSL 3.0 vulnerability, I wanted to share an update regarding another major security vulnerability reported a few weeks ago, called Shellshock, which allowed malicious code execution through Unix Bash shell, present on majority of servers. Pipedrive’s servers got patched against Shellshock a few weeks ago already — immediately after the patches for the Linux distribution that we use on our production servers got published.

How to Keep Customers Happy By Using the Pipedrive+Yesware Combo

Yesware-PipedrivePipedrive can be used for tons of different reasons. Not least, we’ve seen that Pipedrive can successfully be used for managing customer success and its communications like they do at Falcon Social. Now for us, customer success gets fired up and supercharged when we combine Pipedrive with Yesware – and boy does the combo make customer success communication easy.

My job as the Customer Success Manager here at Pipedrive is to make sure that our clients are happy. I proactively approach customers, introduce the different available Pipedrive features and solutions that could prove to be useful for them, and help them make the most of Pipedrive.

Much of this communication with customers takes place over email – in fact it’s one of my main tools, and I send out hundreds every week. To keep track of what works and what doesn’t (like which emails people open, and which ones they don’t), I use Yesware. And to have an overview of all open deals and details, I use Pipedrive.

This combo gets me super organized, and makes sure I get to keep our customers happy.

How Pipedrive and Yesware work together:

Since I work a lot from Gmail, Pipedrive’s drop-box feature sync information across Yesware and Pipedrive. Essentially, the forwarding feature connects my emails with specific contacts in Pipedrive. I simply forward my emails to Pipedrive by using a drop-box link in the Bcc line. If I have an open deal with the contact, the whole email thread will be visible under deal details.

Yesware Gmail compose window

Having customer details and the related deal history all in one place keeps everyone in my team on the same page, since we can always check the contact’s history before contacting them.

A brief overview of how the Yesware-Gmail-Pipedrive combo works together was given by our CEO in a recent blog post.

My favorite Yesware features are:

  • The opportunity to save template answers and emails, and categorize them appropriately for easy-access sometime later.
  • Tracking the customers’ email openings
  • The visual graph for the last 30-day email opening tracking report.
  • Reminder notifications, which help me to remember when I last sent an email to a customer, and when I should ping them next for a response.

To keep track of where I am with every customer, and help me manage customer success proactively, the second part to my combo is Pipedrive. Even though I don’t use Pipedrive for sales, the pipeline is great for managing customer success, since I can get a really good overview of who requires my urgent attention.

My favorite Pipedrive features are:

  • The pipeline view, which is my main working view gives me a bird’s-eye view of all processes.
  • Deal “rotting” feature, which highlights the deals that need my urgent attention, coloring them red. This indicates the deals I should work on first.

Customer Success Pipeline

One final tip for managing success

One final and really cool way I organize my work is using Zapier trigger actions within different pipelines in Pipedrive. For example, whenever someone from the sales team closes a deal (= wins a deal with specific criteria), a new deal gets automatically added to my Customer Success pipeline into the “Ready for approach” stage.

This nifty automation option saves me a lot of time, and helps me stay on top of everything.

That’s it – that’s how I manage customer success communications. If you like it, why not try it out with a 60-day trial using the promo code CS60. 

Should you work harder or smarter in sales?

High sales performance requires a dynamic combination of hard and smart work… Duh. Everyone knows that. Most, however don’t know what that proportion between the two should be. Why do you perform the way you do? Could you improve? If yes, then how? These questions keep popping up whenever I hear this subject discussed. Luckily, I have an answer for this – I know whether you should be working harder, smarter, or both.

Where do you start

There are 4 sales pipeline levers that add up to achieving better sales results. The principles behind those levers are simple, and they lead to a conclusion that is relevant for all salespeople. The more deals you’re able to drive through your pipeline (#), the bigger they are ($), the better the percentage of them you are able to close (%), and the less time it takes to get a customer (T)… the bigger your revenue and your profit.

The “secret” to how you should work lies with four pipeline levers set on a hard vs smart work matrix below. These pipeline levers can all be located in different places on the matrix. Some require more hard work, while others more smart.

The question here is which area should you focus on the most – where do you start?

hard work smart work chart

Start from hard work, then benchmark

  • The easiest step to sales success is hard work. So if you’re new to sales, always start by working harder – experience is the only way to get smart in sales.
  • If you already have experience and smarts then you probably have a decent conversion rate. Now, you need to figure out whether you need to go for bigger deals, or get through your deals faster (losing fast is key). If you don’t know which of the two to go for, start by benchmarking against your industry, peers or goals. If in doubt about your conversion, benchmark that as well.

When you go through each of the levers, take a look at whether you’re positioned in a similar spot to your benchmark. Your comparison points should be your team members, your industry and your goals – get their statistics and compare those to yours.

I will now go through all the areas one by one, and jump straight into what’s relevant for you.

More deals = hard work

The first lever you can pull is how many deals you put into the pipeline. A real estate sales manager once asked me for advice on what to do with the weakest salesperson in his team. This was my advice – get him to work harder. The simple truth was that if he was currently adding 2 new deals to his property deals pipeline every day, and the team average was 3 then already after 22 days the salesman was going to have 22 fewer deals than average. All else equal, and you already know who’s going to have a bonus check that’s 50% larger than the weak salesman – all thanks to 1 more deal prospected every single day.

Fix Sales Pipeline

There is, of course a drop of smart work involved, especially when it comes to list-making and how to get creative in coming up with prospect ideas. We’ve covered a couple of ways in our blog, and so has the best-selling author Geoffrey James who’s drawn up a few techniques in his article for Inc. Magazine.

Now, the really hard part about increasing the number of new deals is not the increase itself – it’s keeping up the standard. Once you’ve made the jump, you need to persevere and keep to the new number, no matter what. There are no hacks or secret tricks here, since this one’s mostly all about putting in hard work.

Measure the size of your deals – getting bigger deals is hard work mentally

Imagine a scenario where you’re told to go and ask your employer for a salary that is 10 times bigger than currently. So if you’re making 60,000 a year, imagine you have to go and ask for a salary of 600,000 a year. It seems and sounds crazy, but that’s exactly the feeling you get when you’re told to sell twice or three times as much to a customer as you’re currently doing.

billboard sell

Going after bigger deals requires a shift in your mindset – reaching the understanding that achieving double or triple the sales is even possible is hard work. And it requires, as Hercule Poirot would put it, “exercising your grey cells”. Once you start believing that larger deals are reachable, you can start putting in the smart work – answering the how. Whether it’s upselling, cross-selling, approaching bigger clients or just asking for more money for your product – it only becomes achievable after the shift in your mindset/you’ve realized you can.

Improve the way in which you present the value of your solution, so that your prospects understand what they gain by buying from you. After that, you’ll be able to increase the size of your deals, and close bigger deals.

Neil Patel – the co-founder of Crazy Egg and KissMetrics (i.e. a man who knows a fair bit about closing big deals) wrote a guide containing 5 helpful tips focusing on how part of closing big deals, which is definitely worth a read.

Get your deals flowing faster – hard work with a touch of smart

Getting a deal through your sales pipeline quicker is quite a challenge. It’s even more complicated when you have a lot of deals in your pipeline and they are really big.

It would make a hell of a difference when you close $10,000 worth of deals in 20 days, rather than in 30 days. You’d be able to put through 50% more deals in the same time as the guy with a sales cycle of 30 days.

The objection you often hear is that you shouldn’t rush clients, because you’ll seem aggressive. While I agree that you shouldn’t be aggressive, I do think you should be to-the-point and apply gentle and helpful pressure. It’s important to have the mindset that it’s OK to speed things up. People hate to be sold, but love to buy – Help them pleasantly understand whether they gain value from your solution or not.

Knowing the buying process of your customers will help apply the gentle pressure, as well as get you concrete answers quicker. You either need to keep the deals moving forward or declare them lost, otherwise the opportunity cost – the time you’re not focusing on deals you could actually win – can get very large.

Bullet Train Velocity

Checklist:

  • Have you discovered the prospect’s needs?
  • If yes, have you proposed a solution?
  • If yes, stop waiting and get a response (but be nice).

Higher conversion = smart work

Conversion is what exhibits how smart you do your sales work. This applies both to the overall close rate and stage-to-stage conversion rate.

Imagine a situation where you and Ted both close the same number of deals per month, say 6. Now if Ted’s close rate is 12% and and yours is 8%, it means that you have to approach 75 prospects instead of Ted’s 50. This means that you’re doing a lot more work than Ted – simple. To understand if you work hard or smart is to understand at which stage you lose your prospects.

working smarter.jpg

To do this, you need to measure your stage-to-stage conversions. Discovering the differences between you and Ted will uncover areas of improvement. A smart thing to take into account is that you will always lose some deals. In the case above of closing 8%, you anyways lose 92%. It’s better to make sure you lose them early.

So here are the two things you can do to improve your conversion:

  1. Measure your stage-to-stage conversions and compare with colleagues. Learn how those with better metrics achieve their results. In most cases, the successful salespeople lose early and fast – they don’t spend time generating proposals and holding negotiations with deals which eventually end up as “lost” or that have rather small value. Qualification is key.

  2. Read about the ways to convert better – sales literature is extensive and there’s always something good out there to be read.

Improving your conversions and making sure you lose unqualified deals at the right time (read: early on) will make you far more efficient than now, and save you a lot of energy.

Work hard, work smart, profit

Get your four levers in shape and you’ll see an increase in your revenue and profit. It’s as simple (or tough) as that. But the important thing is that it’s achievable for any salesperson willing to put in the work.

As always, leave the comments below or get in touch via twitter.

Image courtesy: Pipedrive and Flickr Creative Commons

Andy McLoughlin joins our board

As you may have noticed, we’re growing fast both in terms of number of customers and employees. This means we have to get better at everything all the time, and this includes setting the longer term course for our company and business.

Andy McLoughlin - Hy! Summit - March 20, 2014 - Image by Dan Taylor-2I am therefore extremely pleased that one of our earliest investors, Andy McLoughlin, has joined the board of Pipedrive, Inc. Andy is co-founder of Huddle, one of Europe’s most prominent and awarded SaaS startups with offices in London, San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. Andy is also a highly active angel investor, working with great SaaS companies like Pipedrive, Rolepoint, Apiary, Buffer, Intercom, Bugsnag, and Import.io, as well as exciting B2C startups like Postmates, Thread, Hullabalu and Secret Escapes. Andy lives in San Francisco, is an enthusiastic (rather than skillful) skier, and an avid consumer of fine food and adult beverages.

In his own words:

“I first met the Pipedrive founders in 2011 and was immediately impressed by their hustle, vision and early metrics. Having participated in their first two seed rounds, I’ve been lucky enough to stay close to the team and watch the company mature into the great business that it is today. Joining their board and being a part of their continuing journey is a huge honor and I’m excited for their next phase of growth.”

Andy has been very helpful to us as a seed investor, and I’m really excited to be working with him on this slightly more formalized level as well.

We owe you an apology

I wanted to take a moment to address the unfortunate downtime last Friday that impacted the majority of our Americas-based customers who couldn’t use our application in the middle of a workday.

First off, we’re very sorry for disrupting your workday. I want to assure you that we take this very seriously and find it absolutely unacceptable. As a team we feel bad for letting you down.

Secondly, we’ve learned some important lessons and have already made some changes to improve issue detection, technical processes and communication. While this doesn’t reduce the frustration you must have felt last Friday, we’ll be both quicker and more efficient in responding to any issues in the future.

What happened on Friday

For background: for some months now we’ve been working on significantly improving the infrastructure underlying our application. This project is ongoing and is meant to dramatically improve stability and performance of our app – along with giving us enough headroom to support our rapid growth.

Some configuration elements (namely, switch ports) with our new infrastructure setup failed on Friday and a rare technical event (a spanning tree failure event) took down our network.

Our operations team was immediately aware as we monitor the performance of Pipedrive 24×7 through many automated tests and alarms. We urgently coordinated a response with our network hosting providers. While the effort was immediate parts of our application take time to recover from a complete shutdown so some customers faced unreliable functionality for up to two hours.

Steps taken to avoid such situations in the future

Together with our hosting providers we have taken extra precautions in migrating to our new infrastructure setup. In the last couple of days we’ve also discussed and agreed upon several new internal workflows that will help to identify and fix any issues faster.

As I mentioned, there already were quite a few things in our roadmap that will reduce our exposure to issues like this. For example, reducing the size of databases and using multiple hosting locations. We’ll continue executing along these plans.

I hope this explains the reasons behind the downtime on Friday. I hope it also sheds light on our commitment to avoid outages and keep improving the speed and reliability of our app. Last but not least, I hope you’ll accept our apologies.

I expect to be writing more upbeat blog posts in the future.

PS. If you have questions or if you’d like to know more about our infrastructure improvements please contact us via our support email.

Looking for a Front-End Developer

_MG_6135

Q: Why did the developer go broke? A: Because he used up all his cache.

We at Pipedrive are building the greatest ever sales management software. We also like cheesy puns and dogs. If you like those things too, and if you want to join a company growing over 100% a year with paying clients in over 155 countries, then we’re probably a really good match. So join our ranks…

Front-End Developer 

We’re seeking a Front-End Developer to join our ongoing quest to create the most epic, innovative sales management solution around.

We’re looking for smart, passionate, and capable software engineers who want to make an impact in the real world using technology to do so. As a software engineer, you work on a small team and can switch teams and projects as our fast-paced business grows and evolves. We need our engineers to be versatile and passionate to tackle new problems as we continue to push technology forward.

As a key member of a small and versatile team, you design, test, deploy and maintain software solutions.

Responsibilities

  • Develop next-generation web applications with a focus on the client side.
  • Design and build scalable framework for web applications.

The following experience is relevant to us:

  • Proven software development track record
  • Personal projects that show an aptitude for engineering and product sense
  • Ability to work in areas outside of their usual comfort zone and get things done quickly
  • Understanding of security threats
  • Experience with following technologies: HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, PHP, MySQL, Node.JS

What we have to offer

  • Competitive base pay
  • No corporate BS
  • One of the coolest offices in Estonia
  • A chance to be a part of the next success story out of Estonia

If this is something for you, please get in touch via jobs-admin@pipedrive.com. Send your resume (in English) or link to your LinkedIn profile and please add a few lines on why we should pay extra attention to your application.

 

Pun courtesy to Elijah Manor.

Looking for a Back-End Developer

Pipedrive OfficeWe at Pipedrive are building the best sales software. We’re growing at a crazy speed, which is why we need to add some nitro to our engine (or something like that – we know more about code than we do about engines and petrol). If you’re a back-end whiz with skills that leave people in awe, then you’re the person we’re looking for the role of…

Back-End Developer

We’re seeking a Back-End Developer to join our ongoing quest to create the most epic, innovative sales management mobile solution around.

We’re looking for smart, passionate, and capable software engineers who want to make an impact in the real world using bleeding edge technology. In this role you will be a central point of integration for Pipedrive different system components and will be working with experienced engineers, devops and product managers in a challenging, stimulating startup environment.

You are expected to work independently and deliver high quality code in a timely manner across a variety of product engagements. You are also responsible for code reviews and standards and best practices enforcement. You pride yourself in being an early adopter of powerful and fun tech; and don’t fall into the trap of supporting legacy software. You look for ways to improve your stack and constantly pay off technical debt.

The following experience is relevant to us:

  • Proven software development track record
  • Personal projects that show an aptitude for engineering and product sense
  • Ability to work in areas outside of their usual comfort zone and get things done quickly
  • Interest and contributions to OpenSource community
  • Understanding of security threats
  • Experience with following technologies: Node.js, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, ElasticSearch, Redis, OpenStack

What we have to offer

  • Competitive base pay
  • No corporate BS
  • One of the coolest offices in Estonia
  • A chance to be a part of the next success story out of Estonia

If this is something for you, please get in touch via jobs-admin@pipedrive.com. Send your resume (in English) or link to your LinkedIn profile and please add a few lines on why we should pay extra attention to your application.