Pipedrive Setup: Configure an efficient sales system and process
Updated: Feb 28
The right Pipedrive setup is half the battle won. A salesperson will use some features (significantly) more than other features. It is, therefore, important that the processes around these essential features are optimized. It will help your sales team be more productive. They will also feel more enthusiastic because they're not frustrated by trivial inconveniences. This article will help business decision-makers understand how little it takes to achieve success with a sales CRM like Pipedrive.
Getting started with a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool can be intimidating.
Sales team and salespeople
If you're a salesperson you've other things to worry about. You have sales goals to achieve. You barely have enough hours in the day to close new deals. On top of that, you've to spend time getting acquainted with a new software tool that is going to change the way you work.
Some 'Getting Started' tutorials will be too long, some will be too generic, some will not deliver the punch you're looking for. However, spending some time understanding the software will provide returns many times over in the future.
Is there a 'minimum viable setup' that can help you jumpstart your sales process? The one that helps achieve success quickly or shows early signs of success? The one that makes you realize the value of a CRM tool like Pipedrive?
Business decision-makers and sales leaders
You've made the decision to use a sales CRM application like Pipedrive. Pipedrive's amazing. Its information architecture allows you to cater to almost any use-case that you can anticipate in your sales process. Congratulations on a decision well-made.
But you're not using Pipedrive yourself. At least not as much as the salespeople are. Besides, your usage of the product is different. The sales team uses it to close deals. You use it to monitor the performance of your sales team and understand how your company is doing. What you do in Pipedrive is heavily dependent on how your sales team uses it. It, therefore, becomes important for you to set it up in a way that allows them to succeed in achieving your goals.
Is there something you can do to help them jump start their sales process with Pipedrive?
I love Pipedrive for its information architecture.
I see it as a collection of data tables linked with one another. Each table has columns that capture basic information (name, email, deal title, etc.) and others that capture meta-data (Last email received, Deal emails count, Activities to do, Done activities, etc.)
These two types of data columns play an important role in setting up Pipedrive for success for your sales team. It is, therefore, important that you understand what each of these columns means.
The information architecture, along with features like filters, views, automation, activity creation pop-ups form the crux of this bare essentials setup that will help you achieve success quickly with Pipedrive.
Minimum Viable Setup for Pipedrive
Work from the Activities view in Pipedrive
Pipedrive is simple, but it could still be confusing for many given the number of places one could start from: Deals (Pipeline view, Sales Forecast view, List view), Activities, People, Organization.
It is better to drive your sales process from a single point than to jump between many places. The more the number of places you can start from, the more the confusion from the resultant choice paradox. It will lead to decision paralysis sooner or later.
The biggest threat is deals falling through the cracks because you forgot to look at that one place you were supposed to look in. If you have 20 places to look for what you should be doing next, you will miss out on a few on a typical day.
The solution is working out of the Activities tab.
Pipedrive's core philosophy is activity-based sales. The concept is so simple I instantly identified with it: focus on completing activities (micro) and the results (macro) will follow.
The good news is, for sales, you can set up Pipedrive to work out of only the Activities tab.
Use Automation to create an Activity for a new Deal
As soon as a new deal is created in Pipedrive, use Automation to create an activity.
The trigger and conditions for the automation workflow will depend on your sales process.
In this picture below, leads are first assigned to a salesperson. The deal remains in the New Lead stage. The salesperson then manually moves the deal to the Enquiry stage to initiate contact, at which point, an activity 'Intro Call' is automatically created.the
Trigger: Deal updated
Condition: Deal stage has changed and Deal stage is Enquiry
Action: Create activity 'Intro Call'
This is not the optimal solution though.
A better solution would be to create an 'Intro Call' as soon as a Deal Owner is changed.
Trigger: Deal updated
Condition: Deal Owner has changed
Action: Create activity 'Intro Call'
This solution ensures that as soon as a new deal is assigned to you, whether a new deal or a deal passed on from someone else, an activity against that deal is automatically created and it will show up in your activity tab. This way, you don't have to go to the Deals view to check which new deals you've been assigned.
Schedule a new activity when an activity is marked done
As soon as you mark an activity done, Pipedrive shows this popup window to schedule a new activity for the deal. It is the perfect time to plan future activities for the deal because you will never have a better context about the deal than you do at that very moment.
Take advantage of this feature and ensure you're always scheduling a new activity when you mark a previous activity done.
I would say that this is Pipedrive's best feature and aligns 100% with its core philosophy of activity-based sales. I totally love it.
By the way, when you mark activities as done in bulk, this popup doesn't show up.
A lot of Pipedrive users frown when this popup shows up as soon as an activity is marked done. It pops up even when there are other activities already scheduled for the deal. This frustrates them. Until a better solution comes along, users can mark these activities as done in bulk, or get into the habit of hitting the Escape key on the keyboard as soon as it shows up.
Overall, I also feel that Pipedrive should give its users the power to disable this auto popup for activities. Until that happens, the two tips offered above should help users to work around this mild annoyance.
Create a safety net to show deals with no scheduled activities
You may have hit the Escape key unknowingly for a deal when the 'Schedule an activity' popup showed up. Or you may have marked activities done in bulk. Either way, there is a chance that there are no future activities scheduled for a deal. And since you're working only from the Activities tab, these deals will never show up on your To-Do list in the Activities tab.
Unfortunately, some deals are falling through the cracks. You opted for a CRM tool like Pipedrive so that such things don't happen. So in spite of all your efforts to work from the Activities tab, you're in this situation. You have to build a safety net to identify deals that do not have an activity scheduled.
Your Pipedrive CRM Admin can create this Deals filter for everyone in your team, or you can build one for yourself. It will list all the deals in your pipeline that do not have an activity scheduled.
The best practice is to check this Deals filter at least once, every day. Schedule an activity for each deal that shows up in this view. The goal is to have no deals showing up under this filter.
Understanding and configuring Filters in Pipedrive
You just saw how you can create a filter to show all deals with no scheduled activities. Similarly, you can create other filters to list deals, activities, people, an organization in Pipedrive. The definition of these filters will contain rules/conditions based on your criteria.
These rules/conditions require an excellent understanding of columns under each Pipedrive table: Activities, Deals, People, Organization. This is where the understanding of the two types of columns in Pipedrive helps.
You can see which data points are available under each object: Activities, Deals, People, Organization from Settings icon in the respective list view.
This article from Pipedrive describes how you can create filters in Pipedrive.
Understanding and configuring Views in Pipedrive
The list view in Pipedrive is extremely powerful if it is configured to show you the most important information required for efficient and effective decision-making.
This article from Pipedrive provides in-depth information about the List view.
It explains how to:
Add or remove columns
Reorder the columns
Sort data by multiple columns
The List view in Activities provides additional controls to filter the list by Activity Type, and by Activity Due Date.
A combination of using the right Filter definition and configuring the optimal List view for the filter can lead to a very efficient sales process. You have to review what data points can be used to filter the data, and what data points can be pulled in the List view to make decisions swiftly. A careful review of your sales process, and of the data points that help you make decisions will help you find what works for you.
Pipedrive has a number of resources to help people get started with the software. For a beginner, the sheer size of these resources could be a little overwhelming. Even if one manages to study all the resources diligently, a definitive guide like this article should help salespeople optimize their sales process. Once this heavy-lifting is taken care of, they can move on to try various integrations that will help their sales process.
Again, if you're new to Pipedrive, click this link (affiliate) to get an extended trial of 30 days when you create a new Pipedrive account.