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.