Today I started shopping for a customer relationship manager (CRM). My needs aren’t that unique, at least I don’t think they are. I need to be able to input leads into the CRM, manage the sales process, then convert leads into clients.
Oh, and I don’t want to have to manage a separate sales database and a customer service database. I want it all in one place.
There has to be a product out there that can satisfy my needs without costing more than the product I’m trying to sell.
Pipedrive vs Highrise
Contact Interface and Adding Contacts:
Both Pipedrive and Highrise make it easy to import contact data through multiple formats.
When it comes to manually inputting new leads and contacts, I like the interface for Highrise better. Highrise is better equipped for handling multiples of each category. Just click “Add Another” to… well… add another. Pipedrive requires you to create a bulky additional field.
There are workarounds with Pipedrive, however. I only needed to create one field for websites for example. Then, if there are multiple websites for a contact, you can simply insert a space between each website and Pipedrive will display each URL on it’s own line.
When it comes to the contact interface, I love that Highrise automatically shows a small Google Map for a client’s address. On Pipedrive it doesn’t even ask for a physical address for a contact. You have to manually create that field too.
Pipedrive gives you more options to find a contact. You can look up a client by phone number in Pipedrive, but you can’t in Highrise. This is especially important when you’ve got an incoming call and want to check it into the system really quick to see if it’s a customer or a lead.
Overall, Highrise feels better built for collecting contact information, whereas Pipedrive does just enough to help you get a deal done.
Adding deals is simple and straight forward on both CRMs. Enter a name for the deal, give it a value, attach it to an organization.
The main difference I see is that Highrise lets you specify the terms of the deal, such as per month, per week, per hour. Highrise also lets you do a fixed amount. Pipedrive only asks for a fixed amount. This ends up becoming a moot point since Highrise makes you specify the total number of months, weeks, or hours for the deal to come up with a total. Highrise simply saves you the need for a calculator to get to the end result.
For those who sell a monthly product that the customer can cancel at any time, setting a specific number of months can be a misleading way to look at the value of a deal. The solution here would be to input the average number of months that you keep a client.
When it comes down to the deals interface, there is no comparison. Pipedrive wins hands down. You can tell that Pipedrive was built with sales progression in mind based on its pipeline view. Here you can see at a quick glance where your deals are, and what deals need attention to move them forward.
Highrise also has a deals screen, and shows you all of your deals in a list organized by Pending, Won or Lost. That’s helpful, but… it’s not as awesome as Pipedrive’s pipeline view. It’s like getting out of a limo and getting into your Toyota Camry.
Pipedrive creates excitement, and the pipeline view is all about driving sales. (Hey, I wonder how they came up with the name Pipedrive.)
When it comes to deal management, Pipedrive is the winner.
One of the cool features of both Highrise and Pipedrive is the ability to attach tasks and correspondance to contacts via e-mail. They both provide a “dropbox” (not to be confused with THE Dropbox) e-mail address.
To utilize this feature simply add the provided e-mail address to the bcc: field of any outgoing e-mail. Both Pipedrive and Highrise will attach it to the correct contact. You can also forward any incoming e-mails from contacts to that provided address.
Pipedrive doesn’t care what e-mail address you’ve sent correspondence from. It only cares that you’ve used the secret e-mail address you’ve given it. Highrise will only recognize e-mails sent from the e-mail addresses you’ve specified in your Highrise account. Not a big deal, Highrise will let you add as many as you need. But they don’t tell you this up front. It took over 5 minutes of me wondering why my e-mail didn’t attach to a Highrise contact before the service finally sent me an error e-mail explaining what happened.
Pipedrive’s dropbox service is fast. I mean really fast. Within seconds of clicking send in my mail program the e-mail was already attached to the correct contact.
Highrise’s dropbox service allows you to send tasks in addition to contact correspondance. I sent a task to Highrise and it appeared on the task list after about 3 minutes. Contact correspondance took upwards of 20 minutes. In the grand scheme of things I suppose it doesn’t matter, as long as it gets there. But man is Highrise’s dropbox service slow.
This could go either way. For me I appreciate Pipedrive’s speed over Highrise’s ability to e-mail tasks. But if e-mailing tasks are important to you, give the nod to Highrise here.
Both Pipeline and Highrise allow contact, deal, and organization specific tasks. Both have the ability to show all tasks in an organized list. Neither service impressed me over the other one here.
I called this a tie.
Both Highrise and Pipedrive are primarily built for sales and being able to get repeat business from contacts. Both services offer the ability to add custom fields which can help each CRM better serve your customer service needs.
I really like the fact that Pipedrive lets you specify why type of custom field you’d like. Check boxes and radio buttons are extremely helpful. In the case of monthly service products you can create a radio button that specifies if they’re an “active” or “inactive” customer. With that you can create a filter on the contacts or organizations page to look at only those customers that are inactive. Perfect for creating a “come back” promotion.
Being able to specify field types is what makes Pipedrive a winner for me here.
Usefulness for Customer Service:
The customer service I provide my clients requires that I am on top of all my promises. If I tell a customer that I will get them an updated keywords list by 5pm, I want that promised tracked.
Both Pipedrive and Highrise let you set up activities for your task list at the contact screen. On Pipedrive this feature seems to be a bit more front and center. I like how the interface is bolder and easier to follow.
While Highrise offers more activity categories such as “fax” and “ship”, it takes more clicks to get the activity logged. When you’re on the phone, the less clicks the better.
I give Pipedrive the win for customer service capabilities.
- $119/month for 30 users, 60 GB of storage, unlimited contacts, and unlimited deals.
- $53/month for 12 users, 30 GB of storage, unlimited contacts, and unlimited deals.
- $26/month for 5 users, 15 GB of storage, unlimited contacts, and unlimited deals.
- $99/month for 40 users, 30 GB of storage, 30,000 contacts, and unlimited deals.
- $49/month for 15 users, 15 GB of storage, 20,000 contacts, and unlimited deals.
- $24/month for 6 users, 5 GB of storage, 5,000 contacts, and 10 deals.
If you’re looking for more user log ins, Highrise is the most cost effective. But if you need more storage, Pipedrive has you covered for only a few bucks more.
I really wish I could combine the sales driving flavor of Pipedrive with the contact interface of Highrise. But since I can only choose one, Pipedrive will be getting my money. The pipeline view had me leaning their way, but the pricing is what topped it. Highrise’s $24/month plan would have nearly suited my needs, but capping the deals at 10 and the contacts at 5,000 blew it. For $2 more I get unlimited of both and 3x the storage. Pipedrive is a no-brainer at that level.
I’ve still got 29 days before I have to sign on the dotted line. Are there any CRM solutions out there that you think may suit me better?