Timo Rein: Balancing simplicity with functionality

“How do you create something simple enough to use that is also functional?” asked Pipedrive Co-Founder Timo Rein during his Live Stage talk on conference day 2. “When a tool is bloated and complicated to use, people tend to throw it away.”

Founded in Estonia in 2010, Pipedrive has seen significant growth in recent years, attracting 80 million dollars in investment to date and currently serving close to half a million users around the world. Rein believes the key driver of their success is designing a sales tool around individual salespeople, rather than sales executives.

Drawing on his previous sales experience, Rein and his fellow co-founders came to understand that enterprise-level CRM tools were difficult to onboard and overly complex to use for front line sales team members. From 2010 onwards, Pipedrive focused on actively dropping all elements related to active enterprise sales from the Pipedrive user experience. They instead focused on facilitating a lean, high velocity sales process for businesses that sell high-value products.

Rein also highlighted small businesses in particular, who can become technology and risk averse when spending tens of thousands of dollars on enterprise CRM platforms. The majority of small businesses need sales tools that provide functionality not much more complex than spreadsheets, which has led to the proliferation of the simple, functional sales tools on the market today.

The vast majority of Pipedrive sales leads are inbound, demonstrating the demand for their platform. The second important factor in the company’s growth as cited by Rein was the creation of a simple on-boarding process that still provided an easily configurable set of features to match the business needs of each company.

By delivering a low impact on-boarding experience and a functional, simple to use interface, Pipedrive has positioned itself as an attractive tool for growth companies looking to build sales processes who are not yet mature enough to need high-level CRM support. With entrepreneurship proliferating across the globe, Pipedrive does not actively compete with market leaders such as SalesForce, instead serving an entirely new customer segment with an offering that delivers real value.

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