Search functionality degraded — we are on it

On Mon, July 28th 2014 between 5:00 and 7:15 PM GMT/UTC, the search functionality and access to certain email functionality was degraded for a segment of customers due to failure of part of the data center network. We resolved the issue together with our data center network provider.

UPDATE: By 7:15 PM GMT/UTC, the services have been restored and everything should be up and running without any more issues.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience. We constantly monitor the performance of Pipedrive so we were aware of this situation as it was developing and did everything we could to restore it ASAP.

Who’s Your Economic Decision-Maker (EDM)?

This is a guest post by Adam Metz, the author of Amazon #1 internet-marketing best-seller The Social Customer, and the VP of Business Development at PandaDoc. His posts often contain gold nuggets, which is why we’re glad to welcome Adam on our blog.

It’s no wonder so many new sales professionals don’t know what an Economic Decision Maker is.

If you Google “EDM”, here’s what you’ll get.

The Economic Decision Maker is the most important person in your sale, not dance music.

The #1 problem that I see in sales professionals with under 5 years of sales experience is that they’re mistaking their main point of contact in a deal (usually referred to in Strategic Selling as their “coach”) for the Economic Decision Maker. Here’s a few tips to make sure that you never make that mistake.

1. How to know IF you’re dealing with the economic decision-maker.

In every B2B sale, you’re typically going to be selling to 4 to 14 decision makers. According to Gartner, the average is seven. You’ll have to probe and profile all seven of them to figure out which one is the EDM.

There’s a two-prong litmus test for who will be the EDM in your sale. If this person can give a “yes” that overrides all “no’s” AND can give a “no” that overrides all “yes’s,” then you’re dealing with the economic decision maker.

Your “coach” in any sale will be willing to share this information with you. If the coach is unwilling to share this information, then you lack enough basic trust to proceed in the sale. In that case, stop the sale and work on your rapport with your “coach.”

2. Getting good access to EDMs: Your coach, in any sale does want to give you access to the EDM. But they need to trust that you won’t embarrass them or make them look lousy. So, to gain the trust from your coach (and the confidence you need to talk to the EDM), just ask your coach straightforward questions like:

“Obviously, you’ve worked with Ms. EDM for quite some time. I was hoping to get some advice from you about how to work with her on this project. You know me a bit, and you know my style. If you could give me advice as to not only her business goals on the project, but how I can make it a really enjoyable project for her, that would be rather helpful.”

OR

“I feel that I’ve really worked well with you on this project because we’ve had solid communication. Now, I don’t know Mr. EDM as well as I do you. Can you give me some style and communication tips around Mr. EDM, especially what he looks for in a vendor partner?”

Going around a coach to access the EDM will almost always result in a burned relationship and a lost sale.

3. What to do if the EDM is not “sold,” but the coach is: This is a tricky one, because it puts the most tension between you and your coach. This is the situation where you have to coach your coach.

For example, if you’re selling to a 7-person team, and the EDM is not sold, but the other six are, here’s how to approach it.

“Team, it sounds like the seven of us are convinced this is the right way to go. I agree with you, too, but it sounds like the one of the decision-makers on your team still doesn’t see the plan as a total win. To make sure that the project rolls out the most smoothly, I think all five of us should revise the plan together over the next few days, to make sure it’s something we’re all happy with.”

In plain English: “Nobody here is doing a proposal until everyone is in agreement.”

4. Remember why EDM’s buy: 70% of EDM buying decisions are made to solve a problem, and only 30% are done to gain something, or improve the business (Impact Communications). Keep this in mind when going “pie in the sky” with an EDM.

Speaking of winning proposals… have you tried PandaDoc’s proposal analytics with Pipedrive yet? You’ll get 3 free documents to start with. No credit card is required, and you’ll be up and running in minutes.

3 pillars to becoming a sales superstar

A great deal of research has gone into what makes a good salesperson. A notable instance told by Brian Tracy in his Advanced Selling Strategies is the difference between the average salespeople and the rockstar sales guys in most large sales forces. How much do you think that the top 20% of salespeople were selling when compared to others? Twice as much? Five times? Ten?

The right answer is that they sold sixteen times more than the rest.

Were these people geniuses? Were they extremely charismatic? To tell you the truth then no they weren’t. If you just looked at them, you couldn’t tell the difference between them and the worst performers. Yet it turned out that these people had three things in common. They had all laid a strong foundation with the three pillars of sales success - clarity, will and ability.

So here are the questions that lay the bedrock of becoming a sales superstar.

3 Pillars of Sales Success_black

Have you set the right kind of goals?

You as a salesman can’t influence your results – I mean you can say you want 50 deals by the end of the month, but at the end of the day you don’t, strictly said, control the purchases your potential clients make.

What you can do is set yourself activity goals. This means setting yourself a number of approaches, calls and meetings you want to make every day or week. Knowing fully well that to a large extent sales is a numbers game, you can drive your productivity and not let your confidence drop – the more conversations you put into one end of the pipeline, the more closed deals will come out from the other. While the less successful may want good results as much as the more successful ones, the success will find the ones who are already out there putting in action.

Sure, you’ll reach the optimum at one point. What’s important though is the journey there – you will learn a great deal about hard and smart work whilst striving towards that optimum. Once you reach that, you’ll start learning about the balance between hard and smart work. The difference between average and rockstar salespeople is, however, that the best put in the hours to learn what smart work is and the average don’t. So keep on pushing until you hit your optimum and be clear about your goals to achieve that first pillar of sales success.

When we first started building Pipedrive, we realized that knowing the amount of “No’s” you need to get before you reach a “Yes” can give you a psychological edge – suddenly you’re no longer fazed by rejection. So we went on a small detour and created the NO Calculator.

Have you got a good “why”?

What drives you as a salesman? For many it’s the paycheck they receive at the end of the month. For some it’s somewhat deeper, like providing for their loved ones. I’ve found that finding a deep-rooted answer for the ‘why’ helps you keep on going. But then there’s courage that in the sales context means the desire of putting yourself out there – the willingness to fail over and over again in order to succeed. You’re always going to get declining answers, but the trait that all good salesman share is the courage to make that fearful step again, again and again, knowing full well that there are going to be plenty of “no’s” on their way to a “yes”. Reason and courage in a unison form the second pillar of sales success - will.

Have you mastered the basics?

There’s no shortcut to sales success. The best salespeople simply have their basics honed to perfection – they know which leads to qualify, they have a response to nearly every client reaction and they know every closing tactic in the book. This is something every salesman can achieve – it’s just a matter of putting the time in to learn and practice. Discipline, the second facet to ability, essentially means organizing your work. By setting time aside for prospecting every day, by making sure you follow up the right leads at the right time, that’s how you never miss an opportunity again. The best salespeople know when to follow up on their leads and move them along their sales pipeline. So there you go – skill and discipline – that’s ability, the third and final pillar to sales success.

Can you change your ways?

One of the three will not be enough. You might have great skills and clear goals, but if you lack drive, you won’t make it. You might have great aspirations and a bucketful of will, but if you don’t persevere and have a routine, you’re not going to cut it.’

The same goes for the status quo. Whatever brought you success today, you’re going to need to adjust tomorrow to adapt to the changed surroundings. Sales, like everything else, is multidimensional and you have to deal with every single facet.

Now go close.

Looking for an Office Assistant

Pipedrivei pilt

Startups need some extremely well-organized people to keep them driven and focused on the task ahead. Given that Pipedrive is pacing ahead at extreme speeds, we are always on the lookout for people who’d help us do just that and thus keep us growing. If you’re on good terms with your OCD and are looking for a place to apply it then, first, read and answer the three questions below, then appoint your attentiveness to the job spec, and then give us an idea of why you’re the best person on earth for the job.

So first:

  • How would you feel about working in a company that’s growing, like, super-fast?
  • How would you feel about working alongside some of the coolest and most clever people around, and a cute dog?
  • How would you feel about helping to run the coolest office in Estonia?

If you’ve answered something along the lines of ‘great’ or ‘good’ or ‘awesome’ or ‘wicked’ (gosh), then keep on reading.

 Some of the jobs ingredients:

  • Maintain office supplies
  • Assist in resolving any administrative problems
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Procurement, purchases and supply stuff for the office
  • Helping in team events arrangements

 We require you to

  • Have excellent social skills, patience and flexibility
  • Be a self-starter and quick learner
  • Have a good verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Have the ability to prioritize projects and strong problem solving skills
  • Good research skills and attention to detail

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.

How to use Pipedrive for recruiting

As the Chief Talent Officer here at Pipedrive, I scan the profiles of prospective candidates on a daily basis. My job is to find the crėme de la crėme (or simply the best, as Tina Turner would put it). This blog post is here to show how you can use Pipedrive for recruiting and manage your prospects better.

I’ll be honest – when I first joined Pipedrive and Ragnar (a co-founder) gave me the link to start using Pipedrive, I was staggered for a brief moment – “are we really going to be using a sales software for recruitment?” Well, yes – in fact it’s brilliant for it. That’s why HubSpot use Pipedrive for recruiting. And Iterable. And RecruitLoop.

Why I like using Pipedrive as an applicant tracking software

The problem with most recruitment tools I’ve worked with over the years has been their inherent complexity – every tool had an incredibly steep learning curve and required comprehensive training for use. The simplicity of Pipedrive – the bird’s-eye view of a hiring process – that’s what makes a difference.

Simply put, my 2 favorite features are:

1. The horizontal pipeline view.

    • It gives me a visual overview of how many candidates I have at any one stage of the hiring process.
    • I can drag and drop the prospects from stage to stage without having to manually type in their new status.
    • I can simply book an interview time-slot directly from the app and get reminders, making time-management a non-issue.

Pipedrive HR

2. It’s connected to my email.

    • When I send an email or receive one from a candidate, the message is automatically displayed in the application – no copy-paste needed.
    • (Please note this feature is still in private beta, you can read more about it here.)

Other features that help me find the best candidates

In a more broad sense, there’s a couple of other ways I organize my work-load.

    • I have a different pipeline for every role – the copywriter, the marketing intern and so on. Since I can customize the number of stages in a process, as well as their names, having numerous pipelines is useful and convenient.
    • I can add notes, the CV and previous contact history (calls, interviews) to a prospect. This way, everyone involved with the hiring process (like managers and founders) can quickly get an understanding of a candidate.

Pipedrive HR2

So there you go – a short peek into how I organize my work. If you’re a recruitment manager, why not give Pipedrive a go yourself with a 60-day trial using the promo-code HiringPipeline.

Happy hiring

Close the feedback loop with daPulse

daPulse is a collaboration tool that “gets everyone in sync by showing them the big picture. Instead of separating people by giving each a separate to-do list, daPulse shows a unified view, groups people together and helps them move fast in the same direction”. If this sounds interesting, you’ll be pleased to learn daPulse have recently added a Pipedrive integration.

The integration takes Deals that have been moved to the next stage and Notes sales people write in Pipedrive and turns them into updates pushed into the daPulse Sales feed. And you can comment and give “thumbs up” to each activity.

pipedrive-dapulse-integration-updates-inbound

The way “Won” deals are displayed is especially nice:

pipedrive-dapulse-integration-success-we-won-another-deal

When Notes in Pipedrive are visible to everyone, sales people have an easy way to share customer insights. According Iden Hershko from daPulse’s Customer Success team: the loop is closed when Product, R&D and Marketing act on these insights, and then watch improved results coming back from Sales. It also helps a lot to keep our Sales team happy and motivated. Anyone in our company who follows the Sales news feed, whether from Management, Product or Marketing, sees each successful sale. This gives the people in Sales company-wide recognition for their efforts and a celebration of their success.

daPulse has made a generous 50% discount to anyone that signs up to a free 30-day trial via clicking on this link. Alternatively, see how daPulse team uses the Pipedrive-daPulse combo.

How to avoid the trap of “making sales people busy”?

We recently launched Sales Pipeline Academy to help you improve your sales (pipeline) skills. We’ve received several good follow-up questions, here’s one from our customer George:

“Many companies drive number of visits by their sales people. But this can drive the wrong behavior – lots of random meetings. Don’t get me wrong – it’s important to be in front of the customer. But it needs to be in front of the RIGHT customer — one that has a good fit with the product. /…/ 

What do you encourage companies’ management to monitor to prevent this trap of making sales people busy on the wrong kinds of visits?”

This is a great question (boy do we love good questions, so keep ‘em coming!) and this inspired me to reply in the form of a blog post. First and foremost, you’d need to convince the company management to get rid of the EITHER OR mindset.

The key principle is that you should only be having meetings with qualified clients. If a salesperson is spending time seeing unqualified clients then he’s made a mistake in an earlier stage. Not qualifying or not doing it well enough can indeed lead to the wrong kind of behavior. However, you CAN measure qualification success. And what you can measure, you can control.

I’d suggest three things to address this issue:

  1. Monitor stage-to-stage conversion — take your top sales agent and see how many leads he/she qualifies from stage to stage.
  2. You can set this conversion rate as a benchmark for the rest of company. If the standard sets out a 50% stage-to-stage conversion, but one agent takes it up to 75% without closing more deals in the end, then it’s clear he’s bringing along too many unqualified leads.
  3. Last but not least, keep in mind when you’re setting benchmarks for conversion (or anything else) that you need to sell and explain them to the team. The implementation of the benchmark cannot be successful if you bluntly impose it upon people.

Happy closing!

Take Pipedrive with you – new apps available for iOS and Android phones

pipedrive mobile appsOur new iOS and Android apps are now available to download as some of you have already noticed. You can keep an eye on your various pipelines, see deal and contact details, manage your sales activities, create new deals on the fly and access or create call and meeting notes.

I’d like to call out three things in particular in relation to the mobile apps, first of which performance. We want the Pipedrive app to be blazing fast so that you would never have to come across infinite loaders and empty screens.

Secondly, the user experience and design have been significantly improved. It’s been almost 2 years since we launched our first iOS app and we’ve had time to learn the way our customers prefer to use sales software on the go. It’s encouraging that early feedback to both the design and performance of the new apps has been very positive.

And third, a good mobile sales app should be available offline, on a plane, in metro and, last but not least, in the elevator. Already today, our iOS app allows you to access and edit  your data while the device is offline. The Android app will accommodate the same user experience soon.

Download Pipedrive app for iOS

Download Pipedrive app for Android

What’s next – in the next update and further down the line

As you can probably see, we’ve put serious effort into getting the basics right. Next up is where the real fun starts – re-imagining sales software from a mobile-first perspective.  A mobile sales app should make it easy to sell on the go (duh) and record everything that’s happening. Without giving away too much we have big but doable plans for making capturing meeting notes using different media simpler, and we also want to make logging activities more ‘automagical’.

Because we wanted to get these apps out fast we left two small but important features for the next update, due to be out in about 2 weeks. With the updated version you can also access your Custom fields in the mobile app, and you can create and access Notes related to deals and people (in addition to Notes related to activities).

Sign up to beta test our next app versions 

Want to join the crew of our mobile app beta testers? Interested in gaining access to the early versions of the app and trying out the new features? Just email me on lauri@pipedrive.com and we’ll include you on the list.

Quality Engineer – Can you spot the errors in our posting?

quality stampThey say there’s no such thing as perfect, but you know that’s because they’re doing it wrong. If spotting errors and finding flaws were a game, you would win with one eye closed. BOOM.

Your uncontrollable need to point out others’ “FAIL” moments might explain why you were picked last in gym class, but no matter – now it’s your turn to be MVP. We need your sharp eye to spot mistakes so we can score a perfect product.

To make things fun for you, we’ve dropped a couple of errors in this job description. So as they say, “Play ball!” (Bonus points if you spot errors we didn’t even notice we made, you Quality Assurance master, you.)

Quality Engineer with automation experience

We’re seeking for a Quality Engineer with automation experience to join our ongoing quest to create the most epic, innovative sales management solution around.

In this role, you’ll be the guardian of our outstanding customer experience. You will be able to dive into many aspects of sales management, define a strategy for testing new features and functionality, and be responsible for quantifying and improving data quality across our entire product. Your job is to keep our ridiculously high-quality bar set ridiculously high, and to help us identify and execute ways to raise it even higher.

You are our ideal candidate if you want to work on challenging problems with smart people. You have a keen attention to detail and are exceptionally good at identifying inconsistencies and flaws. You can juggle several balls and not lose track of the little things. You’re looking for a role with substantial opportunities to learn, grow, and take on more (the good news is, we have that stuff in spades!).

 You also meet most (if not all) of the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in or have completed your B.S. in Computer Science or a related field (or the equivalent experience of such a degree).
  • A passion for technology and a knack for details.
  • Ability to create test plans, define testing strategies, and get a kick out of uncovering those hard-to-find bugs.
  • Experience with Java or another object-oriented programming language.
  • Experience with test automation tools: Selenium and others.
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills.
  • Excitement and passion for start-ups. We’re cool; we hope you are too.
  • Experience with SQL and database is a plus.
  • Programming experience in a Linux/Unix environment. We mostly use PHP, JavaScript and 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.

New currencies supported

As part of rolling out some updates today, we also introduced support for some new standard currencies. Pipedrive now works with:

  • AZN (Azerbaijan New Manat)
  • GHS (Ghanaian Cedi)
  • MZN (Mozambican Metical)
  • RSD (Serbian Dinar)
  • SDG (Sudanese Pound)
  • TMT (Turkmenistani Manat)
  • VEF (Venezuelan Bolívar)
  • ZMW (Zambian Kwacha)

For all these currencies, we also pull in the latest currency rates for reference so you’ll be able to view your pipeline totals in any of the other standard currencies, such as USD or EUR, and have these be converted for convenience. We update currency rates of all standard currencies automatically once in every 2 hours time.

In addition to standard (ISO 4217) currencies, we also rolled out support for custom currencies earlier this year.