Pipedrive: Best CRM for small & scaling businesses

We believe that Pipedrive is the best CRM solution for small businesses, startups and scale-ups. In this in-depth article, we’re going to explain why we think Pipedrive can help your business grow. 

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We're here to talk about why Pipedrive is one of the worlds best rated CRM's but before we get into what Pipedrive is and how it can help your business, let's take one step back and first look at what a CRM is.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, it's a system that helps companies build customer relationships and streamline processes to increase sales, improve service quality as well as profitability.

CRM software helps you keep track of your customers and prospects in one place. You can segment them by function, like sales or service; gather intelligence from emails to understand how well they're doing at different points during the year (or whatever time frame); create custom reports for each group so that all team members know what's happening with their individual segments within seconds instead of spending hours looking through spreadsheets.

We have an article that goes into more detail about CRM's and how they can benefit your business.

Intro to CRM Software
Introduction to CRM Software

CRM software might be right for you if you want to:

  • Keep a closer eye on your sales metrics
  • Gain a better understanding of what drives your sales
  • Find out more about your customers
  • Understand interactions between your staff and customers
  • Keep track of future business prospects, while better serving your existing customer database

Even if you only have a few key customers, CRM software is likely to benefit you when it comes to growing your business.

Learn more about CRMs here

What is Pipedrive CRM and how does Pipedrive work?

Pipedrive is a sales CRM designed by salespeople, for salespeople. It's helps you figure out the most effective way to convert prospects into paying customers. It does this by helping you identify which stage your leads are at in their journey, so that when they get closer and further away from becoming a client/customer it will be easier for sales teams. This CRM platform also has powerful analytics that let's you really dig down into your customer data and key business performance indicators.

Here's a quick video overview of the Pipedrive CRM:

Getting started with Pipedrive will involve adding contacts. You can do this either manually if you've just started your business, but most people will already have a spreadsheet full o contacts. It's easy to bulk import your contacts directly into Pipedrive.

But what do you do with your contacts once they're in the Pipedrive CRM? 

Organizing your leads, deals, contact people, organizations, activities and emails is essential to your sales process. Pipedrive helps you to organize all of your items while allowing you to link them together for better visibility.

  • Leads - Pipedrive's Leads Inbox is a separate inbox to keep your prequalified leads in before they become deals. Once you decide which leads can be qualified, you can easily convert them to deals and add them directly into your pipeline.
  • Deals - Deals in Pipedrive are like contracts. They contain all the information you need to know about your deal, including its stage and any actions taken by either party towards closing it (such as an offer). Deals also pull data from other related deals so that there is no confusion as to what's happening.
  • People (contacts) - These are the specific customers that you are selling to from Pipedrive. Any information relating to each contact such as scheduled activities or emails will be tracked in the detail view of that person.
  • Organisations – Organisations are the companies that you’re trying to sell to and  can contain numerous people, deals and will have all the notes and activities or deals related to the company.
  • Pipeline - In Pipedrive your deals are organised into a pipeline, which lets you visualise your sales process and move deals along these stages. As this is the main interface of Pipedrive, we wrote a whole article about the Sales Pipeline to help you understand this key concept.
Pipedrive Sales Pipeline
Pipedrive Sales Pipeline

In essence you're responsible for naming the different stages of your pipeline in a way that makes sense for your business. A typical pipeline will follow this order:

  1. New Enquiry
  2. Meeting arranged
  3. Needs defined
  4. Build Proposal
  5. Proposal sent
  6. Negotiating

Negotiating Note: not all deals will visit every stage (Eg: returning customers with an up-sale), and you can win or lose a deal at any time throughout this process.

Saying that, you'll want to figure out a pipeline that suits your unique business and sales process. It's also worth noting, that you can have multiple Pipelines which is a good way to structure distinct sales processes or revenue streams.

Learn more about Sales Pipelines and how you can create them in Pipedrive here

Who is Pipedrive for?

In a rapidly digitising and complex business world we think that every business should have a CRM in place. It means you'll have one central source of truth across your entire organisation, making sure that everyone has visibility to relevant data at their fingertips. A CRM system can also make automating and improving key business processes a lot easier as they come with built in workflows, templates and infrastructure that means you can easily scale your operations.

With that being said, we believe Pipedrive is ideally suited for Small to Medium Sized business, with anywhere up to 100 employees. We're going to be getting into features, plans and functionality a little later, but for now it'll be good to know that Pipedrive is versatile enough to be useful to nearly any business in any industry

Pipedrive has been adopted by over 100,000 companies in dozens of industries, here's a few of the industries that implement Pipedrive:

Pipedrive CRM for Construction
Pipedrive is the perfect CRM for Construction Businesses
  • Construction
  • Real Estate & Property
  • SaaS
  • Media Agencies
  • Marketing Agencies
  • Recruitment
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • NGO's
  • B2B
  • Startups

At Evolve, we've worked extensively with Construction companies to help implement and support them with scaling the Pipedrive CRM in their company. We wrote a blog that listed out 9 reasons you should implement Pipedrive CRM in your construction business for those interested in a quick summary of benefits.

What features should I be using on Pipedrive?

Pipedrive is one of the easiest to use CRM's out there because of it's clean user interface and minimalist design. Saying that, it's packed full of features that will help you boost your productivity. Whilst there's definitely dozens of important features to explore, let's look at 9 built-in features we think everyone should use on Pipedrive as a starting point.

Workflow Automations - This feature is so crucial to successfully automating your busywork and repetitive tasks that we've written a full post on it. Pipedrive makes it super simple for you to build out workflows such as email sequences. Read our introduction to workflow automations here.

What is workflow automation?
Workflow Automations saves you time

Activities - The Activities tab in Pipedrive is often overlooked but you can use it as the command center for all sales activities. Use this to keep track of what needs completing and when, without having to browse through different tabs or navigate back-and forth between views. The list view allows you slice up your work into smaller pieces so that everything gets done at once.

The contacts timeline - Most people don't know it exists but - it's Pipedrive's answer to 'account management' - for which the Kanban style Pipelines don't really work. The Contacts Timeline helps you to keep in touch with key contacts in your database by giving you a visual timeline of your communications - filterable and sortable to identify the highest priority accounts.

Filters  - Filters give you the functionality of a CRM but the filtering ease of a spreadsheet. This is a must use feature that let's you slice and dice your data so that you can see exactly the information you're looking for. You can use filters instead of creating additional Pipelines, which will make your reporting much easier.

Labels - Use to group segments of customers or deals together. Pipedrive's deal labels feature will allow your team to add color-coded labels to each deal to help you organize your data and speed up your sales process. This will give you a better visual representation of your deals while viewing them in the pipeline, detail and list views.

Reports - Your CRM is full of valuable information and data that you need to grow your business. However, owning the actual sales reports can be challenging because they are usually static images or spreadsheets with limited insights into how well certain products contribute towards achieving company goals. Luckily there's a solution - Pipedrive's insight feature let's you create dashboards that helps you understand data and translate it into action.

Email templates - This is a simple but effective one. If you find yourself having to send multiple emails with similar content then Pipedrive makes its easy for you to create an email template that you can customise with custom fields so that you can personalise emails at scale.

Scheduler - Booking a meeting can be time consuming and the back and forth can make things complicated. Pipedrive’s Scheduler is a meeting scheduling tool that makes it easy for you to share your availability with anyone in a single click. It’s quick and easy to set up an appointment or event through the website without having any back-and forth emails.

Smart docs - Proposals, quotes, contract management, documents are the workhorses of business. With Smart Docs Pipedrive makes it easy for you to centralize the entire documentation process by sending trackable quotes, proposals and contracts from within Pipedrive. You'll get notified when they are opened by a customer and request eSignatures from your clients to close deals faster.

Further reading: Pipedrive pricing, feature list & glossary

Which Pipedrive pricing plan is right for me?

You've made the decision that your business will benefit from implementing Pipedrive's CRM and now all you need to do is decide which Pipedrive plan is right for you and your team.

Pipedrive pricing guide
Pipedrive Pricing Plan Guide

But how do you decide? With its sophisticated features and intuitive interface, Pipedrive CRM is the perfect solution for sales teams who need a tool that can help them manage their pipeline of potential customers as well as track every aspect about interactions with those prospects.

We wrote an in-depth article breaking down the 4 different pricing plans Pipedrive offers to help you decide which is best for your business. With plans starting at just £14.99 per month, we feel there's an option for every size business.

Pipedrive's Pricing Plans

Essential - £14.90/per seat per month, billed annually

Advanced - £27.90/per seat per month, billed annually

Professional* - £49.90/per seat per month, billed annually

Power - £64.90/per seat per month when billed annually

Enterprise - £79.90/per seat per month, billed annually

*Most popular. We typically recommend this plan, but it depends on your use case. 

Speak to an expert at Evolve to explore which pricing plan is right for you 

Read more about Pipedrive CRM pricing plans

How Pipedrive compares to other CRM’s

When you’re looking for the right CRM software, it can be hard to figure out which one is best. With over 780 different CRM's in the market, there's just too many options to consider. You will of course need to start with a shortlist, which is where we can help. Let's look at some of the main Pipedrive CRM alternatives to help you understand why Pipedrive is your best bet when it comes to CRM software.

Before we get into comparing Pipedrive CRM alternatives, make sure you're asking the questions below to help you evaluate and compare the options that you need for your business.

Questions to ask before buying a CRM:

  • Can the CRM grow with my business?
  • How simple is it to use and train my team to use?
  • What kind of support does it have?
  • What kind of customization's does it offer?
  • What kind of reporting capabilities does it have?

Now let's look at a few of the popular Pipedrive CRM alternatives available in the market.

Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM's but it's notoriously complicated to use. Salesforce have recently announced the launch of a lightweight version called Salesforce Easy, but as it's still in beta and it's feature set unknown, we'll be comparing Salesforce to Pipedrive. Pipedrive is considerably easier to use, intuitive and more affordable, so it's no surprise that it's a better option for SME's than the expensive and complicated Salesforce. Read more about Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Pipedrive vs Salesforce features at a glance

Pipedrive vs Salesforce feature comparison chart

Pipedrive vs Hubspot

Pipedrive vs Hubspot

Hubspot is designed for small teams and is known for it's free CRM, however this comes with the one major downside of limited usage. To unlock more features and functionality you will have to pay significantly more for higher plans and for many teams the price point is too high and will make it harder to scale your operations. Hubspot may come with a lot of features, but this can make it unnecessarily complex, adding a steep learning curve that too many businesses don't have the time or resources to overcome. Pipedrive is a superior alternative for teams looking for easy to use, versatile features combined with world class experience that will help you every step along the way of your CRM journey. Read more about Pipedrive vs Hubspot.

Pipedrive vs Hubspot features at a glance

Pipedrive vs Zoho

Pipedrive vs Zoho CRM

Zoho provides a variety of business tools. Their CRM covers sales, marketing, support and inventory management, but that makes it harder to implement and manage. When you compare Zoho to Pipedrive feature limits and restrictions are a recurring theme. Pipedrive is easier to use and more customisable from the get go and you won't have to pay more for essential features like email integration.

Read more about Pipedrive vs Zoho CRM

Pipedrive vs Zoho CRM features at a glance

We've just given you a quick overview of three Pipedrive CRM alternatives on the market, but as we mentioned earlier, with hundreds of alternatives this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some links to further Pipedrive CRM alternatives that you may want to consider:

Getting the most out of Pipedrive

Pipedrive is packed with native features and functionality, and they're continuously adding new ones like Campaigns and Projects to help your run essential business functions. In addition to this, you can also easily extend the functionality of Pipedrive with integrations. The Pipedrive Marketplace has over 350+ apps that integrate seamlessly with Pipedrive CRM, making it easy for you to connect the multiple tools that you already use for your business.

The Best Pipedrive Apps

We know that with so many tools out there, choosing the right one's can be daunting, which is why we've created our directory called The Best Apps on the Pipedrive Marketplace. This curated guide will help you take your tech-stack to the next level.

Here's some of the popular categories:

The directory features 73 apps in over 13 categories, along with educational podcasts and demos to help you quickly learn how an app works and how it can help your business.

Case-studies & Clients

Pipedrive case study with Pinewood Structures

Pinewood Structures

Read case study

Pipedrive helped this construction company focus on the work that mattered and gave the Sales and Marketing Director of Pinewood Structures, Peter Keogh a CRM system that would help him clearly understand how the business was performing. Learn how Pinewood Studios used Evolve’s Launchpad service to help get their business up and running on Pipedrive.

Some of our clients:

Evolve's clients


Pipedrive is an easy to use CRM that is ideal for both small and scaling businesses. In today's business landscape, a good customer relationship management (CRM) system is essential for long-term success. And we believe that Pipedrive is one of the best in the market. It’s easy to use. The user interface is clean and intuitive, so you'll be up and running in no time. Even if you're not familiar with CRMs, you'll be able to figure out how to use Pipedrive without any problems. 

It comes with powerful built-in features. With Pipedrive, you can easily track your leads and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. With features like Activities, Smart Docs and Reports, it’s easy to stay organised with all of the information you need a simple click away.

Pipedrive Integrates with Your Favorite Business Tools. 

Pipedrive integrates with a wide variety of popular business tools, including Zoom, Panda Docs, Calendly, Zapier, Mailchimp, and more. This means that you'll be able to work with the tools that you're already using instead of having to learn new ones. 

So the bottom line is that if you're looking for a CRM system that's easy to use, has powerful lead management tools, comes with built-in email marketing integration, makes it easy to stay organized, and integrates with your favorite business tools so you can automate repetitive processes, then Pipedrive is the ideal choice to help you grow your business. 

Ready to start your Pipedrive journey?

Get in touch with an expert today and learn how Pipedrive can help transform your business.