Remember our review about Pipedrive, the Estonian startup? The Sales tool announced making the Pipedrive application more native with the Google Chrome browser, giving Chrome users a chance to make use of Pipedrive application on their default browser.

You can visit the Pipedrive blog to follow the simple procedure to get this done. The update is indeed worth a mention, but I thought I would use this as a chance to get in touch with Timo Rein, Co-Founder and CEO of Pipedrive as well as Martin Henk. The idea was to explore the recent development as well as how Pipedrive helps businesses. Find the interview below:

ArcticStartup (AS): When creating a software as a service that addresses areas like CRM – what are most essential things that founders need to keep in mind?

Timo Rein: I’m a big fan of Jason Fried from 37signals. One of his mantras is ‘Pick your fight’, by which he means that you should know your customer, your competitors and your competitive advantage before the metaphorical rubber hits the road. We’ve spent a lot of time picking our fight with Pipedrive and I warmly recommend making this time investment.

AS: Do you think there is more demand for customizable apps/services, especially in this category? Why is it so?

Timo Rein: This is a tricky one. Companies and their needs are different, but there is almost always a best practice to follow. So a good approach is create your software around a workflow you believe works exceptionally well, and allow clients tweak it for their specific needs.

For instance we believe that managing sales pipeline as opposed to ‘relationships’ is such best practice. But we’ve allowed our customers to choose how many different stages there are, and what they’re called. Also, the default fields we had put in for the people and organizations didn’t actually fit the needs for any of our clients. So we got rid of almost all of the default fields and enabled our customers to create their own set of fields.

AS: How do you think Pipedrive helps Businesses?

Timo Rein: Pipedrive centres the sales process around deals and helps everyone on the team focus on the right things. Sales people see which deals to work on to reach their objectives, and managers have a clear view of the overall sales pipeline. So in short, it helps companies sell more.

AS: Making sales more effective- What aspect of Pipedrive helps achieve this?

Timo Rein: Pipedrive is rather a sales management tool than a contacts or relationships manager. It’s small things like if you forget to add a next step for an open deal, Pipedrive will remind you of that. This either ensures you will move forward with the deal or helps you get rid of the hopeless ones more quickly so that you can focus on the ones that have more potential.

AS: What other tools/platforms online help make Pipedrive more affective (for example native apps for browsers, mobiles, etc).

Martin Henk: There’s a lot being done on that front to enable making web based applications feel and act a lot more like traditional desktop applications. There’s the Fluid app for Mac users and the Prism extension for Firefox for both Windows and Mac that allow the user to create it’s own special browser for the web-app without all the browser stuff getting in the way.

Google Chrome is also great, with web-app purchasing and the idea of installing applications into the browser from their app store. It might sound a bit odd at first but it actually works quite well. Then there is the HTML5 movement which enables making web apps work offline without the user having to download of configure anything. It also enables audio and video playback and animations in the browser without the help of plugins.

With all that put together it’s a very good time to be a web developer. You can create incredibly powerful applications using the same relatively simple tools and deploy your application in the cloud without spending a fortune on a server farm.

It’s a bit early to talk about mobile apps at this stage, other than “watch this space”.

AS: How do you think Pipedrive can leverage this recent update with Chrome? What improvements do you see at Pipedrive with this [your expectations]?

Martin Henk: We definitely need to make Pipedrive work offline at some point and HTML5 will make it possible. Not only will this enable our users to access their data when not connected to the internet but also make the application run a lot faster as it doesn’t need to access our server for every bit of information.

At the same time, everything is up to date in real-time. We are already taking the first steps of leveraging the power of realtime communication in our application. When multiple people are working in the pipeline view and one of them moves a deal everyone else will see it moving in their browsers at the same time. Almost magical, when you see it in action first time!

And we are encouraging our users to create an application shortcut for Pipedrive to get the best of both worlds: have a more desktop like experience with the always up to date nature of a web app.

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