Pipeline Deals CRM

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Sep 4, 2012

 Pipeline Deals CRM
After over three years of test dri­ving dozens of Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment (CRM) pro­grams, I’ve decid­ed to endorse my two favorites: Pipeline Deals and Base CRM (affil­i­ate link). This week’s blog will be focus­ing on Pipeline Deals: the Pros & Cons of this cloud CRM. As a reminder, both Base and Pipeline Deals are very effec­tive for man­ag­ing your mar­ket­ing, sales & cus­tomer base. If you want to have good track­ing in your busi­ness, you need to set­tle upon a good CRM pro­gram. If you are not want­i­ng too many fea­tures to over­whelm you, Pipeline or Base will do the trick.

Pipeline Deals

  • Very sim­ple but good inter­face and CRM fea­tures. This is not a com­pli­cat­ed CRM. The design and fea­tures have improved over the years, and it is very easy for users to fig­ure out and start using in very lit­tle time. Most of my clients have set­tled upon Pipeline Deals. I believe it is because of the price point ($24 a month per user) and the ease of use. The CRM fea­tures are there: Con­tacts, Cal­en­dar, Deals (sales track­ing), Report­ing for Sales & Mar­ket­ing, Doc­u­ment and Call/​Email Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Storage.
  • Inte­grates with Mailchimp: With a few clicks of a but­ton, a user can quick­ly add new con­tacts to their Mailchimp email mar­ket­ing list(s). Mailchimp will not allow dupli­cates, so even if you acci­den­tal­ly add some­one twice, it will remove it.
  • Works Well with Google: More and more busi­ness­es are using Google Apps for email, cal­en­dar and oth­er busi­ness com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Pipeline has cre­at­ed a beau­ti­ful two-way sync with their cal­en­dar and Google Cal­en­dar. It is one of the only pro­grams that has such a slick and easy two-way sync. Many oth­ers on the mar­ket are bug­gy or only a one-way sync. They offer a two-way Google Con­tact sync as well. That works, but I’ve seen a lot of dupli­cates with this fea­ture. There­fore, I encour­age users to dis­able the con­tact shar­ing. Final­ly, Pipeline has what is called a Google Gad­get. This installs a scaled down CRM of Pipeline in each email you receive in Google’s Gmail. A user can add spe­cif­ic emails to a con­tac­t’s pro­file, BCC impor­tant emails, add notes, cre­ate events, task and more all with­in Gmail. This is a must have fea­ture, sav­ing you time hav­ing to login to your CRM to make quick changes and updates. 
  • Goals Tab: One of the only CRM pro­grams on the mar­ket that has this key fea­ture. If you have more than 1 sales­per­son work­ing for you, you’ll love the Goals Tab on Pipeline Deals. You can set indi­vid­ual and team sales goals: month­ly and annu­al goals. It works very well. Every time a sales­per­son changes a deal to won or lost, it updates the goal tab.
  • Brand­ing & Cus­tom Fields: A pret­ty com­mon fea­ture in most CRMs, you can install your com­pa­ny logo with­in Pipeline Deals & change the col­ors the tabs, cus­tom fields and but­tons. The cus­tom field area is also very easy to use and a key fea­ture. You can set cus­tom fields for DEALS or CON­TACTS. Some of my clients use it for their pre-qual­i­fi­ca­tion process: Size of Home, Esti­ma­tor’s Name, Refer­ral Source, and much more. You can have mul­ti­ple choice options, drop­down menus, long and short text and more. Very use­ful feature!
  • Cus­tom Reports: Want to know how many leads from the Inter­net you had the past 7 days? Pipeline Deals can make a cus­tom report called Inter­net Leads The Past 7 Days” and show you the details. Pipeline’s report­ing fea­tures are very cus­tom to your lik­ing and have many vari­ables and cri­te­ria. If you are an ana­lyt­ic junkie, you can down­load those reports into an Excel spread­sheet and con­tin­ue your track­ing further.
  • Price: One low price of $15 per user per month. It is one of the least expen­sive CRMs on the mar­ket with more than enough fea­tures for small businesses.
  • Sup­port: Bot­tom line…their sup­port is the best! I know all the guys over at Pipeline Deals. They are all awesome!
  • Mobile Ver­sion: I hope that some­time in the fall of 2012 the iPhone Appli­ca­tion will be released to Apple’s App Store. I’ll be one of the ear­ly beta testers of their app and will keep you all updat­ed. Until then, the mobile ver­sion of Pipeline Deals is the weak link to this almost per­fect CRM. I think they are late in the game on this, but they have pro­duced a well oiled pro­gram with very lit­tle bugs. The rea­son I think a mobile ver­sion is key in today’s mar­ket is for those of us on the go all the time. We want to look up a quick con­tact and/​or add a new one, not so easy to do with­out a mobile ver­sion. Now, Pipeline has a mobile web ver­sion cur­rent­ly. It does work, but I’ve heard most­ly com­plaints from my clients and is rarely used. So stay tuned. This is a fea­ture Pipeline’s staff is work­ing hard on as we speak. They have a beta releas­ing this month (Sep­tem­ber 2012).
  • Dupli­cates: If you get dupli­cates in the cur­rent ver­sion of Pipeline Deals, there is not much you can do about it accept man­u­al­ly delete them. They have ways to avoid dupli­cate emails and peo­ple, but I’ve had a num­ber of clients get dupli­cate names and com­pa­nies when they do an import or turn on Google Con­tacts, and it can take a few hours to clean up the system.
  • Google Con­tacts: As stat­ed above, I would not use this fea­ture with­out first talk­ing to their sup­port staff about how it works. By turn­ing Google Con­tact sync on, I’ve seen dupli­cates hap­pen quickly.
  • Over­all Design & UI: This is a weak point of Pipeline Deals as well. It is not a rea­son to not use it by any means. Some peo­ple prob­a­bly like the sim­ple inter­face, just the way it is. I think there is room for improve­ment from a Graph­ic Design per­spec­tive. This is more just me. Most of my clients have not com­plained too much about usabil­i­ty, which is a good thing! I always like to see design and fea­ture improvements.
All is all, Pipeline Deals will not dis­ap­point you. Give it a try and let me know what you think. The first 30 days are free, and they have week­ly Webi­na­rs to help their clients learn how to use their prod­uct better.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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