Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Timo Rein, Co-Founder of Pipedrive, which is one of the leading CRM systems for SMB (Small and Midsized Business).
After about a decade in sales consultancy, Timo Rein co-founded Pipedrive in 2010, to help salespeople around the world to manage complex sales processes.
Timo grew up in the Soviet Union, which collapsed when he was a teen. The fall was hard on his grandparents and parents, whose pensions were lost. Timo was excited to be part of the nation of Estonia, independent again in 1991.
Timo looked at the sales management tools available in 2000, and after a costly implementation for a business, found his sales people were still using sticky notes, instead of the CRM.
Customers asked him about putting analog-style tracking tools into software, and that started them on the path to creating Pipedrive, as a tool to benefit salespeople.
Pipedrive’s model is self-serve SaaS, so anyone in a company can use it. In some cases, management sees this usage, and makes it an enterprise purchase.
The look and feel of Pipedrive is unique. It attempts to strike the balance between functionality and simplicity. It is a daily sales productivity tool, not just a reporting tool.
What management wants, at the end of the day, is to sell in such a way that the focus is in the right place, most of the time. Pipedrive helps salespeople focus on the right opportunities — more on sales, than on engagements.
The intent of Pipedrive is to close deals by the process of moving a contact from prospect to customer, helping you control your activities, to become more successful in sales.
You can look at sales productivity mathematically. Performance is measured against results for a given period. Tools are productive if they move you towards results.
Instead of focusing on the average sales cycle length (a result), if management saw the sales hours going into the cycle, they could focus on sales hours and actions, (controlled factors), to reduce the sales cycle length.
Simplicity of use of the tool is important to getting the salespeople to use it. If it is not being used, it is not helping. If used, it helps performance, but the next step is helping real sales productivity.
Business software was once considered difficult and clunky, but is now becoming consumerized. Categories of tools are blending. The more functions one interface can address simply, the better chances it has for adoption.
What’s your most powerful sales attribute?
The process of finding the tool, and getting it up and running, on your own.
Who is your sales role model?
A number of influencers, but anybody who dares to be themselves in sales.
What’s one book that every salesperson should read?
The New Common Denominator of Success, by Albert E.N. Gray.
What music is on your playlist right now?
The Beatles, George Ezra, Thomas Leeb, The Byrds.