How Using Pipedrive CRM Improved My Business Habits

A Peak Inside My Pipedrive CRM Sales Pipeline

This month, I started using the Pipedrive CRM. It’s been fantastic! You might assume that I’m excited because I’ve used it to close a deal. That hasn’t happened yet. In fact, the reason I like it comes down to process and habits.

Pipedrive advocates the “activity-based sales” concept, which I find quite helpful. Instead of hoping and praying for a sale to close, you view sales as a series of discrete steps. Once you have that view, you can ask, “what happens at each stage of the sale?” Then you can become much more confident in planning your daily and weekly activities.

In my case, I started with a simple sales habit. I would listen to a podcast episode that involved someone from my target market – marketing automation software companies. Next, I would send then an introduction email and log this action through Pipedrive. In fact, I can open up my email and send it directly from the Pipedrive app.

Unlike other CRMs I have used, Pipedrive makes it easy to track activity for the individual user. I find that immensely helpful because I can see how many deals I have started and plan the next activity of the sales process. Too many other CRMs have reporting and analytics designed for the needs of senior management rather than the end user.

Now that I have this daily habit established, how else can use Pipedrive as a platform to grow sales habits? This is an area that I’m still figuring out. Some initial thoughts include:

1) Weekly Habit: Pipeline Review – Determine Next Action.

Review the pipeline to ensure that every deal has a next action assigned. Without an assigned next action, I’m essentially relying on the other person to take action. That’s not good enough! Estimated time required: 1 hour.

2) Weekly Habit: Prepare For Value Added Follow Up

. Research value-added follow up. Instead of sending boring “did you get my email?” style follow up messages, I want to do something better. Ideally, I want to share valuable insight with each person I contact. To do that, I need to read and consume a significant amount of industry information.

Estimated time required: 1-4 hours. Note that some information gathering like listening to podcasts is doable during commuting, errands, and other activities. A few of my favorites include The Top Podcast with Nathan Latka, The SaaS Podcast with Omer Khan and the Indie Hackers podcast by Courtland Allen.

3) Monthly Activity: Sales Process Continuous Improvement.

Assess the sales process for continuous improvement. What is working? What isn’t working? For example, I might review the email copy I’m using and the what kind of replies I’ve received. An outside perspective during this review might also be helpful.

Time Required: 1-2 hours

4) Quarterly Activity: Sales Pipeline Maintenance

Clean the pipeline! Seeing a pipeline with hundreds of deals in it may give a false sense of security. During this process, I would review each deal and assess whether it is worth keeping. In some cases, using The Magic Email might make sense to get deals moving again.

Time Required: Varies depending on the size of the pipeline

Be Mindful of The Habits Your Tools Encourage

In this case, I have found that the Pipedrive CRM has encouraged productive sales habits. Other apps may encourage habits that are good for the company (e.g. “habit forming” websites or social media services that consume attention without much benefit). Ask yourself whether you can use an app like a CRM to stimulate better habits in your business.

5 Marketing Automation Software Companies Getting Funded In 2019

Tired of reading about Google Ads and Facebook Ads? Those two giants tend to dominate discussions about online marketing because they have the ability to deliver incredible traffic. However, there are other up and coming companies you need to know about.

To find them, let’s look at startups that investors are funding in 2019. It might sound scary to trust part of your company’s marketing strategy to an untested startup. Here’s a different way to look at it. You are going to seize the advantage of a new ways to increase marketing productivity before your competition finds them.

1. Adjust (Berlin, Germany, Established 2012)

Total Funding: Over $255 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 301 Employees

How do you know if your online advertising budget is being wasted? That’s one of the problems that Adjust solves. According to their LinkedIn page, “Adjust is the industry leader in mobile measurement and fraud prevention.” To add to their capabilities, Adjust has acquired several other companies including (a data aggregation platform) and Unbotify (a cybersecurity startup).

With 25,000 apps already using Adjust’s platform, it looks like the company has found a successful niche. Preventing fraud and enhancing measurement are needs that are going away anytime soon.

2. CleverTap (Sunnyvale, CA, Established 2013)

Total Funding: Over $41 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 128 Employees

With over 8000 brands on its platform, CleverTap is a marketing platform that uses machine learning to support segmentation. On G2 Crowd, the company has attracted over 100 reviews with an average rating of 4.6 Unlike other platforms that simply provide analytics data, CleverTap makes it easy to bring those insights and apply them to campaigns. Some of CleverTap’s key benefits for users focus on re-engagement and evaluating customer acquisition activities.

CleverTap extends its value by working with various partners such as AWS, Branch, Mandrill, SendGrid, Mobincube, and AppsFlyer. I was somewhat surprised to see that Zapier was not on their list, but perhaps that partnership will come in the future.

In terms of content marketing, CleverTap is exceeding expectations with the sheer variety of resources on its websites. For example, the company offers a Customer Lifetime Value Calculator ( where users need to opt-in to receive the results. Other content resources include case studies, podcasts, webinars, and white papers. Well done, CleverTap!

3. (San Francisco, CA, Established 2012)

Total Funding: Over $50 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 106 Employees

Have you heard of the “no code” revolution? It’s a trend to make software and automation techniques easier to implement. As the Tray homepage puts it: “Empower your citizen automators to grow your company faster. No dev resources required.” At first glance, Tray strikes me as an enterprise-level version of Zapier, a popular automation and integration platform. From a marketing perspective, I like that Tray combines content marketing (e.g., “Free Guide: Automate the Lead Lifecycle”) and chat style services. If you already use Clearbit, G Sheets, Intercom, Salesforce, and Asana, it’s worth looking into the Tray’s platform.

On G2 Crowd, has 18 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 as of this writing. One reviewer pointed out that helps them to automate GDPR processes. Other users have commented on the lack of some more advanced collaboration features. However, it looks like is making fast progress in adding new features and working to take care of customers.

4. The Ticket Fairy (San Francisco, CA, Established 2011)

Total Funding: Over $3 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 22 Employees

When you spend all your time in front of a computer, it’s easy to forget how important events are. Have you seen how many corporate events that Las Vegas alone holds every month? The event marketing industry is vast. Yet, I also know from personal experience that it is difficult to optimize. That’s where The Ticket Fairy comes to play. Whether you are looking to increase ticket revenue or improve marketing results, The Ticket Fairy is an interesting choice. Event organizers will also appreciate the fact that fraud prevention is a key feature for the platform.

5. Iterable (San Francisco, CA, Established 2013)

Total Funding: Over $82 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 224 Employees

This marketing automation platform is designed to empower marketers without involving engineering. Cross-channel engagement is the focus of Iterable. If you want to market on the web, SMS or in-app, this platform can do it.

From a content perspective, it’s interesting to note that Iterable runs two blogs. There’s an engineering blog focused on topics like Scrum and feature announcements. There is also another more traditional company blog. The blog has dedicated themes covering areas such as growth marketing, cross-channel, company, and product. When I visited the website on June 14, it looks like the blog had not been updated in several weeks.

Tip: Iterable is currently hiring for two marketing roles in San Francisco: Field Marketing Manager and Senior Demand Generation Marketing Manager.

What Can We Learn From These Growing Marketing Automation Companies?

There are four themes we can see from these platforms.

First, there is still tremendous opportunity to integrate marketing across multiple channels. The dream of “omnichannel marketing” where a customer or prospect has a consistent experience regardless of location or media is still not quite here. 

Second: partnerships and integrations are becoming more important. Several of these companies emphasize partnerships with companies like Zapier. That tells me that marketing automation firms recognize they can’t think of everything. Therefore, there’s a push to empower the user to connect their platform to

Third, we see the continued rise of “code less” marketing automation. In practical terms, that means that marketers will need to develop more technical skills. If your primary discipline is copywriting or design, you will need to develop more skills to enhance your value. I recommend looking into Zapier as an entry point into the world of automation. To give you a sense of what’s possible, I recommend Maria Myre’s post, “Turn Your Google Analytics Data into Actionable Tasks.”

Fourth, all five of these companies received venture investment in 2019. There is still investment pouring into marketing automation. Unlike other niches, marketing automation has clear value: get more customers and retain current customers. Increased regulatory controls on marketing like GDPR mean that companies need to become more sophisticated in their marketing.