Update on the Heartbleed Bug

On April 7, the OpenSSL Project released an update to address a vulnerability nicknamed “Heartbleed”.  The vulnerability affects a substantial number of applications and services running on the Internet, and it did include Pipedrive.

However, yesterday evening GMT time, we updated all our SSL endpoints so our servers no longer contain this vulnerability. Furthermore, we also deployed new SSL certificates today across all servers in addition to the updates made yesterday.

Your Pipedrive Password

However, we do encourage all Pipedrive users to reset your Pipedrive account passwords. We do not have any evidence that passwords have been compromised, but any time a large scale vulnerability like this is discovered, the safest thing to do for your account is to rotate your password. In addition, we encourage generating new API tokens.

Share your deal info with the whole company

There’s usually a lot of information flowing through the company and so the question arises – is there a better, more efficient way to organize it?

BCSocial is a collaboration platform that pulls together content and conversations into a workflow that creates more visibility and enables better decision-making across the company.

It’s important that all the people get information relevant to them at the right moment. The new BCSocial integration enables sales teams to share what’s happening with their prospects and collaborate with anyone outside Pipedrive – the marketing department for research info or the CEO for insights that would help close the deal faster.

If you happen to use BCSocial or are looking for a service that enables sharing your deal info with the rest of the company we encourage you to take a closer look at the integration here.

image 2 pipedriveblog

Marketing intern position available! Limited time offer!

Are we a match made in heaven (or at an important meeting if you don’t believe in that stuff)? Let’s find out.

About us:
We’re a startup building the fastest, easiest and most useful deal and sales management software ever. Pipedrive has grown over a 100% with the last year, gotten over 3 million in funding and received rave reviews from the likes of TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal. We’ve got 40 smiling faces to greet you if you’re the one we’re looking for and that number is growing fast.

About you:
It goes without saying that you’re smart and hardworking with a keen interest in all aspects of marketing. Keep reading if you also have good analytical skills, unstoppable enthusiasm and enviable communication skills. You are fluent in spoken and written English. The cherry on the cake? You can multi-task and solve problems, have great time management, natural attention to detail and some experience of report writing. And you like dogs.

What you’ll be doing:
As you’d imagine, you’ll be assisting our marketing team in every aspect of their work. A lot of the tasks will present themselves on the way, but we can promise you some good-old data collection, analysis, creative writing and preparation work for different projects.

What we offer:
You’ll get a desk and a chair (!) at one of the coolest offices in Estonia. You’ll also get a MacBook Air to work with and as you might have already guessed from the lack of formality in this job description – you will not be dealing with any corporate BS.

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

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Riki, our Chief Happiness Officer, is waiting for your application.

Pipedrive is ready

NB! This was posted on April 1st.

I have a rather important announcement to make. This morning we released a relatively small feature that many customers had been vocally requesting (now when your rep marks a deal as “lost” a 250 word essay to explain their failure is mandatory). After the release we started planning the next development cycle and realised this had been not only the last outstanding feature request, but also the last item on our roadmap. Furthermore, our developers had managed to fix all outstanding bugs last week.

After some hours of heated discussion our product team declared Pipedrive to be fully complete. There is nothing we can add or improve. We’ve built the world’s first piece of software that doesn’t require, or even doesn’t accommodate, further enhancements.

To be honest, the decision to declare the product ready wasn’t quite unanimous. Our product lead suggested two more improvements to our mobile apps, but these could not be taken seriously, coming from someone who also wished his iPhone 5S had a bigger screen, an NFC chip and a replaceable battery.

The news has been warmly welcomed by our customers. In the words of Nikhil Shah, co-founder of music platform Mixcloud“As a company with a strong product led culture, we’re constantly iterating and improving our platform, and it seems like there’s always a million things to do! This is why I’m astounded with Pipedrive’s recent efforts. They’ve somehow managed to get to product completion, and we’re very happy users. It’s great to know that we are working with a final product and have no surprises to expect.”

completepipedrive-3

Operating the world’s first fully complete software product is not all good news. We’ve had to make the tough decision to let go all staff apart from a part-time accountant. I myself have just accepted a managerial role at Salesforce and others don’t seem to have too difficult of a time finding new jobs either. This is the true benefit of having a great team.

Over the years we’ve raised more than 3.5 million dollars and we’ve decided to pay out the unused funds as dividends to company co-founders. In the words of Jason M. Lemkin, one of our investors: “We always knew there was something special about Pipedrive, apart from the funny accents of founders. More people in the VC world should embrace the view that finalizing a product is a much better exit strategy than an IPO. For one thing, there’s a lot less paperwork.”

When we pre-announced the news to our investors a couple of reasonable questions came up, which we’re re-publishing here with their permission.

Q: Can you really be confident that there is nothing the team can do to improve Pipedrive?

Me: Just look at it.

Q: Have you considered that customer preferences and available technologies change and the product may need improvements in the future?

Me: It is likely that 3-5 years down the line a small sub-set of customers would like a new feature for our Products module. Several of our developers have expressed interest in adding that on their spare time.

Guess that’s it. This is the last post on this blog. None of us expected to reach product completion in less than 4 years, but we all feel very privileged for having been part of this journey. Thank you for your support, and enjoy using the world’s first complete software product!

See Pipedrive information inside Gmail, using this add-on

Pipedrive rapletRapportive is a tool that shows you everything about your contacts right inside your Gmail inbox. And thanks to a happy customer it can now also display information stored in Pipedrive such as number of open deals and last or next activity.

In the words of Paul Arterburn, creator of the raplet:

The Pipedrive+Brandfolder+Rapportive raplet adds a section to your Rapportive with Pipedrive information, as well as Brandfolder information (it pulls in the logo of the company they work with).

I built the Raplet, because we live in our Google Apps, but are always looking up who we’re emailing with in Pipedrive to get a feel for what the status is with them. The way the raplet works:

  1. If the email you are messaging with is NOT in your Pipedrive it will allow you to “Add user” right from gmail, so that further interactions with them will then be logged.
  2. If they are an existing person in Pipedrive it gives you the following information, if appropriate:
  • Name (with direct link to Person, # of open deals, # of activities)
  • Phone Number
  • Organization Name (with direct link to Organization)
  • Last activity (with direct link to open Deal, if available)
  • Next activity (with direct link to open Deal, if available)

This can be a real timesaver, so if you’re already using Rapportive, do install the raplet. And do check out Paul’s company Brandfolder, a simple way to organize, find and share your brand assets such as logos and product shots.

How to get media coverage, using Pipedrive

Lesson.ly-Logo-Transparent-400px-by-150pxMedia coverage? Isn’t Pipedrive sales management software?, you may ask. Well, Pipedrive is deal management software and lots of smart companies are using our tool to manage their hiring, fundraising, partnership or even media outreach pipelines, as is the case with Lesson.ly, maker of slick teaching and learning software. Lesson.ly have a well-oiled process for getting the word out, which Pipedrive is a small part of, so we had a chat with Conner Burt to find out more.

What’s the best way to go on about media outreach in your experience? 

First you have to find the publications most relevant for you. Do a Google search for “top [insert topic] blogs” and/or “top [insert topic] influencers”. You will be amazed at how many people out there have already done the work for you. What I typically do is find a few lists (usually “top 25″ or “top 10″) and find which people exist on all of them.

Then you want to prioritize them. Make a spreadsheet with their Twitter follower and blog subscriber count. (I use Feedly). Once you have your data, it’s easy to rank them most to least and work your way from top to bottom, but that’s not always the best. We find that people near the top are either overworked or too arrogant to help out. So, we mark the most influential for another day and proceed to reach out to those in the sweetspot of having a large enough following that they are worth reaching out to, but aren’t large enough to be out of reach. The sweet spot range is different for every niche, but in general, find people who have between 5k – 30k followers on Twitter.

Once this is done, how do you get bloggers and journalists to respond?

Getting a response is by far the most difficult part of outreach. We find two key tactics to work really well, especially when working with influencers nearing the top of the sweet spot.

1. Prove that you are worth talking to by including press you’ve already received. We include a link to our write up on TechCrunch and the write up on Fast Company about our partner non profit, The First Fund.

2. Follow up once per week until they respond. Keep in mind that just because they haven’t responded doesn’t mean they’re not interested. It probably just means they’re too busy. If however, they are not interested, you will at least find out for sure.

You’re using Pipedrive for managing media outreach. Why and how do you do that?

Media outreach can get pretty messy for us, especially since multiple folks are engaging various “prospects.” We quickly realized we needed a way to stay on the same page, so we started using Pipedrive.

Lesson.ly Pipedrive pipeline

Outreach can have a lot of back and forth, but we wanted to keep it simple, so we decided on these steps: No Contact > Contact Made > Committed > Delivered > Closed / Won. We start with No Contact so that any time someone has a new suggestion of a blog or news outlet we should be a part of, they can add it in without us actually having to contact them.

Once someone responds to our outreach, their deal record is moved to Contact Made. From there, if we have a formal commitment from the contact to push forward with a blog post or article, their deal record is moved to Committed. Once we have written a piece of content or the contact has written for us, they move to Delivered. Only when the content is published and live do we consider it closed. We’ve seen it happen many times where we’ll send content out, but it won’t be published for 2–6 weeks; Pipedrive helps us stay on top of that reality.

Any pro tips for using Pipedrive in this setup?

You can use the Products feature and deal name to improve the transparency of the pipeline. We use the outreach pipeline for both earned and owned media, because our goal is to have both of these coming from each of our outreach contacts. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, “owned media” is content that we will post on our site, but is written by someone else. “Earned media” is content that we will write, but it will be posted on someone else’s site. When using Pipedrive, we designate if the deal will be owned or earned in the deal name for quick access, but also have both as separate products to attach to each outreach deal.

It’s useful to define some custom fields too. We are constantly adding new opportunities to the outreach pipeline, so we keep it straight using the Confidence Rating custom field. The more important or influential a site is, the more stars it has. This is really helpful because we like to mix it up and contact to 2–3 high influence opportunities and 2–3 low-medium influence sifying our content portfolio.

(Note from editor: we at Pipedrive are using the “Deal value” field for the same purpose – both options help to prioritise ongoing conversations.)

We use a custom field labeled “Why?” to designate which buyer persona(s) we are targeting for that particular outreach deal. This allows us to stay on the same page about how we are going to tailor the communication and content to fit that specific persona’s needs.

Tell us more about buyer personas

We have done a lot of research to identify who we are targeting as a business and have turned it into six unique buyer personas. The ultimate goal is to use this as a guidepost for our inbound and outbound lead generation efforts. For example, we have a buyer persona named “Client Satisfaction”.

  • Titles: Director of Client Success, Director of Customer Ops
  • Primary Business Goal: Client Satisfaction
  • Economic Buyer Status: 5 (1-10, 10 being the highest)
  • Interests: Renewals, Upsells, Client Onboarding, Product Training, Usage
  • Barriers to a Sale: Budget, Lack of Content, Higher Priorities
  • Our Best Client that resonate with [Persona]: Tinderbox
  • Use Cases: Client Onboarding, Ongoing Client Education
  • % Focus: 25%

Knowing this info about clients tells us what blogs they are probably reading, who they follow on social media, and provides a basis for our sales team to find specific outbound prospects using Linkedin, Salesloft, and other tools.

Any other tools you use alongside Pipedrive? 

For one thing, the Zapier–Pipedrive integrations allow us to add organization and people records right from Google Docs. We have a series of standard person fields that we want imported into pipedrive (name, title, company, email, phone, address, etc). We populate this spreadsheet with new leads (either through manual sourcing or automatically through Salesloft. From there, every 15 minutes the “Zap” runs, and folks are automatically added.

GDocs to Pipedrive Switching gears – please share some creative uses of Lesson.ly.

I love to talk about Datasift, because they are growing so quickly, and Lesson.ly is facilitating that growth by giving their product team an easy and affordable way to keep the Datasift team on the same page about product updates, which happen often. Traditional learning management systems—what people in the space call LMSs—aren’t suited for these fast-paced business environments. Our platform is all about usefulness and accessibility, not high-minded theory or overcomplicated workflows for the sake of appearing more valuable, while actually providing less.

Outside of the box, Lesson.ly is being used by marketing whiz Jay Baer as a digital supplement to his book. Short lessons follow chapters on various topics.

Finally – what’s next for Lesson.ly?

Priority #1 is to stay laser focused on disrupting the learning software space by providing a dead simple and affordable application that clients love and use. We do, however, believe that Lesson.ly will power other learning environments in the medium to long term.

We see brands and organizations better leveraging teaching opportunities. For example, every product manual should be a fun, engaging lesson. Waiting in hospitals, organizations should teach expecting mothers about their diet, or heart-unhealthy males about changing their habits. We’ll see more philanthropic uses of Lesson.ly – like we do at our sister nonprofit, the First Fund – where we use the application to help educate first grade parents on college saving tactics.

In general, we think Lesson.ly will change the way people think about teaching and learning. To get there, we’ve got aggressive hiring plans and sales targets.

New mini-feature: now you can use custom ‘currencies’ in Pipedrive

Adding new features is a double-edged sword. Add too few and some customers will leave you in search of a more effective tool. Add too many and your product becomes unnecessarily complex. We read and digest every single feature request but are consciously holding back those that are only asked by a handful of customers.

Pipedrive custom currenciesWe’ve just released a small feature that has come up enough times to reach “escape velocity”. Many of you have asked for a possibility to use a non-monetary value for deals. This could be tons of cocoa, barrels of crude oil, cords of wood or terabytes of data. You can now define your own custom ‘currency’ for such occasions.

How to use custom ‘currencies’:

  • Users with admin rights now see a ‘Currencies’ tab under Settings › Company Settings which is where you can can activate and deactivate currencies.
  • Each custom currency can have a display name and a unit measurement symbol. For example, if we are talking about “data traffic in GB per month”, the symbol would be simply “GB/month”.
  • Users can set any custom currency as their default currency

Other currency-related improvements:

  • Admins can deactivate any default currency that they do not wish to appear in the currency drop-downs across the company account in question.
  • There are two new buttons in the Currencies tab that admins can use: “Deactivate all unused currencies” and “Re-activate all used currencies”, each residing in the relevant section. These enable admins to quickly deactivate all currencies that haven’t been used in any deals or products. Note that custom monetary field values are not taken into consideration for these.
  • When currency conversion is enabled in the pipeline view, custom currencies are ignored from the sums unless a specific custom currency is set as the default currency. This means that 50 USD + 5 GB/traffic would end up 5 GB/traffic if traffic is the default currency, or 50 USD if US Dollar was the default one.

Looking forward to seeing “squirrel skins” in Pipedrive soon!

Head of Support needed

We are building the fastest, easiest and most useful deal and sales management software ever. With our multitalented team, Pipedrive has grown over a 100% with the last year, gotten over 3 million in funding and received rave reviews from the likes of TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal.

We’re loved by tens of thousands of users from more than a hundred countries. To handle this massive amount of love we’re looking for a…

Head of Support

The aim of the job is to develop our customer support team to unseen heights and manage the day-to-day operations to ensure superior customer experience.

We require you to:
• Have a strong sense of responsibility and passion for providing customer support
• Develop as well as drive strategies and programs that exceed customers expectations
• Organize the team’s workflows and work schedules
• Have managerial level work experience
• Be fluent in spoken and written English
• Be based in Estonia

We offer:
• Competitive base pay
• No corporate BS
• MacBook Air to work with
• 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 a link to your LinkedIn profile and please add a few lines on why we should pay extra attention to your application.

Our team with the President of Estonia

How to build a sales pipeline? The 4-step guide.

build a sales pipelineIf you’ve ever looked at your diary, notebook, sticky notes, and Inbox in the middle of a busy sales period and thought ‘this isn’t working’, then you’re not alone. I used to try to organize my thoughts and ideas without structure and the result was that I kept missing opportunities and sales forecasts. Then, I found the answer – the concept of sales pipeline. I now had order where there had been chaos; I could take the initiative and take control of the entire sales process. Here are a few of the ideas that worked for me when I was building my pipeline.

1. Decide what your ideal pipeline looks like

Let’s start by mapping out your pipeline so we can see how it looks. When you get those first ideas about people and companies that might need what you sell, you’re already taking the first steps in building a pipeline. You probably have more than one ideas for prospects. Some of those will go all the way through and will close, and others won’t, but these conversations and how they progress form your pipeline. You build a pipeline by creating a number of steps from that initial idea to a closed sale – these are your sales stages. These might be:

  • Targets (very early days, not yet contacted)
  • Contacted (you’ve called or emailed)
  • Meeting Agreed (you’ve agreed an agenda and a date for the diary)
  • Proposal Sent (you’ve submitted a formal proposal with a $ figure)
  • Close (now it’s time to get the signature on the bottom line)

But, that’s only part of it. It’s important to remember that your sales stages have to mirror the buying stages of your prospects or customers. You’ll see I included ‘proposal sent’ in the stages – that’s because typically one has to submit a fully costed proposal to customers, as it’s a requirement in their ‘buying cycle’. Everyone’s buying cycle is different, but trust me, it helps to have a good idea of your customers and how they like to buy.

2. Calculate the ‘magic numbers’

The magic question is: how many deals do you need to add to your pipeline to make your objectives? It would be great to win every deal you’ve submitted a proposal for, but this doesn’t happen. If you know how many deals you win on average, you can easily calculate the number of deals you need in each of the early stages. We explain more about this in a short video blog. If you calculate your numbers, you’ll be able to see how your pipeline looks and what number of deals you need to be adding to the top of the pipeline to reach your goals.

3. Build stage-to-stage momentum

Once you have your pipeline stages laid out, you have to keep deals on track and moving from ‘target’ to ‘deal won’. When you’re moving your deals stage-to-stage what are the factors or variables that will help you advance your deal? It could be sending a written a proposal, identifying the stakeholders or it could be budget approval – there’s an event at each stage that moves the deal along.

It’s a good habit to set yourself objectives for these key events. You can control the activities you do to keep the pipeline moving, not the results. Setting yourself objectives that relate to how many proposals you send and new prospect calls you make per day is the best guarantee that your deal flow doesn’t stall.

4. Find your routine to fill the pipeline

Activities that add new deals to your pipeline need to be part of your routine – daily, or depending on your business, weekly. Back in my days of active sales I liked to start every day with a cup of coffee and that’s when I did calling and prospecting to find new deals. It worked for me because it was a habit. You might have to try out different ideas before you find a routine that suits you; a particular time of day, a day of the week or a regular slot in your diary when you can really focus on putting deals into the pipeline. When you keep that focus and habit for finding new targets you don’t need to worry about your sales pipeline.

Pro tip 1: do similar kinds of calls together with a team-member. This introduces a competitive element and adds a bit of ‘peer pressure’.

Pro tip 2: use good sales management software. I’m confident Pipedrive will help anyone close more deals.

If you follow these ideas to build a sales pipeline, you’ll like the results. In summary, work out what your stages will be and what it takes to move deals from one stage into the next. Then, adopt a healthy approach to your pipeline building activities – it will help you meet your numbers. And, that in turn will help you build a successful business.

Step by step: how Sols fixes our feet and closes deals with the Pipedrive+Yesware combo

Meet SOLS, the young tech company that is about to change the way we walk. SOLS solves foot pain and uncomfortable shoes with custom 3D-printed insoles which promise a perfect fit and better performance. As Wired puts it:

Sols creates kinetic orthotics using a stack of technology similar to what Tony Stark might have invented if he were a foot fetishist.

sols soles

 

We were thrilled when we caught the company co-founder Joel Wishkovsky tweeting:

So we reached out to find out more on what Sols is doing, and how they go about closing deals.

What is the story of SOLS?

Kegan and I started SOLS because we’re excited about using 3D technology to improve the quality of people’s lives. Most of us have dealt with foot pain at some point in our lives; while traditional orthotics seek to alleviate that pain, they’re not only costly and cumbersome, they’re often ineffective. 3D scanning and printing address all of those issues: the technology is incredibly accurate, and 3D printing lets you customize the orthotic by building in prescription adjustments instead of addressing them after production with imprecise techniques. The technology can be used by anyone with a smart device and an internet connection.

The orthotics industry is long overdue for improvement and upheaval; people deserve to be able to walk longer, run faster, and live their lives without pain. That’s where SOLS comes in.

Before talking shop, is there anything our blog readers should know about our feet and shoe soles? Any tips or tricks that make a big difference to well-being?

Your foot health is intimately tied to your overall health. Athletes have known this for a long time, which is why they spend so much money on their footwear and take care of their feet so religiously.

The biggest tip we could give readers is to get their foot alignment analyzed by a professional (either with a podiatrist or at a specialty retail store). A significant portion of back, leg, and hip pain is directly related to a biomechanical misalignment in their feet. Getting custom orthotics or wearing different footwear could quickly relieve their issues. Also, these types of problems compound over time — letting small pains go unattended will make the problem worse and worse over time.

What is your sales process like and what sales stages are you working with?

Our sales process starts with podiatrists, physical therapists, and chiropractors. The vast majority of our leads come to us through word-of-mouth introductions and from conference connections. Any potential provider with whom we’ve connected goes into the “Contact” bucket; if they show any interest — like emailing us for more information — they move into the “Interested” bucket. After we’ve spoken with them and they have specifically said they are interested in our products and in being a provider, they get moved to the “Very interested” bucket.

We’re pre-launch right now, so we consider a win to be a medical provider joining our Launch Partner program. We don’t accept all podiatrists, physical therapists, and chiropractors as Launch Partners — only the ones with the best reputation in their local markets.

What has worked well for you in growing sales?

We’ve targeted our designs and approach to giving the end user what they want: an orthotic that is extremely accurate, lightweight, beautiful, durable, and feels like part of their foot! Many potential patients have reached out and referred their medical professionals to us — when we contact them about SOLS based on their patient’s recommendation, we’ve noticed a higher conversion rate since customer interest in the product has already been confirmed. Both patients and providers are very enthusiastic about the cutting-edge aspect of the technology.

In what way are you using Pipedrive and Yesware together, and how do the different tools enhance each other?

Yesware and Pipedrive together are great! On average, a sale usually involves 2.8 interactions with providers (most of which occur over email). Yesware allows us to auto-tag these emails to go right into our pipeline.

We look at the weekly total volume of activity and compare it to previous weeks’ performance; we use those metrics in combination with our close rates to measure productivity.

Favorite thing about this setup?

Our favorite thing about Pipedrive is its simplicity. We’re a lean startup, so we like to implement tools that work straight out of the box. In the future, when our sales process become more advanced, we’ll be able to tie in the more features of the software. Pipedrive does a good job of providing both basic and advanced features — and I assume over time they’ll get even better and more advanced, especially around data analysis and reporting.

And Yesware enables us to quickly add email activity (which is a big part of our communication to potential providers) right into Pipedrive which saves us lots of time.

What’s next for you and SOLS – any news to share?

We’re launching publicly in April!

 We wish Joel and the SOLS team good luck with the launch! I personally can’t wait to try SOLS on my feet, and – for the record- I never expected to say this about shoe soles.

pipedrive yeswareIf you’d like to use Yesware to send your email into Pipedrive automatically, they are kindly offering 3 free months of their Enterprise product free to Pipedrive users. It’s a limited time offer, so get it quick.