(This post originally appeared on Forbes)
Recent news from Pipedrive: they’re the easiest to use customer relationship management application. Do you believe that?
I certainly believe one thing: Pipedrive is an excellent CRM application. It’s used by tens of thousands of sales teams in almost 200 countries – including many of our clients — and has a unique and powerful methodology for tracking deals and opportunities which incorporates collaboration and automated workflows so that that nothing gets lost in the cracks and revenues are maximized. You’ve probably figured out that I’m a fan.
But “easiest to use?”
That claim comes from a recent report published by research and review platform The Blueprint. According to a press release, The Blueprint evaluated nearly 700 CRM solutions and focused on the solutions that “really made sense for small and medium sized companies” that offered “budget-friendly structures” and gave “preference to those that also offer fully functional free trial options.” A narrowed-down list was evaluated by an independent CRM expert to pick the “easiest to use.”
According to Craig Borowski, managing editor of The Blueprint, Pipedrive won because of its “robust free trial option, multiple generously priced subscription tiers and a streamlined and intuitive UI in one very attractive, polished package.” His company’s review said that “Pipedrive is economically priced, ridiculously easy to use, and is made by sales experts, for sales experts” and that “just about any small business owner who generates leads, closes deals, or sells services could make wise utilization of Pipedrive.”
A software application’s user interface is extremely important. In fact, when asked what the number one question I usually receive from SMB clients evaluating CRM applications it’s almost always about ease of use. Everyone wants something that’s user friendly. But unfortunately, that’s an impossible question to answer. In fact, whenever I get asked if a CRM application is easy to use I always say: “You tell me.”
My company implements more than a dozen CRM applications. I can take any one of them and line up ten clients who say that it’s “easy to use.” But then again I can just as quickly find ten others who think that same application isn’t user friendly at all. That’s because no one can agree on whether or not a software application is “easy to use” no more than we can agree on whether The Irishman was a good movie or not. Some people thought it was one of the best movies ever. I thought it was just OK. But then again maybe I need to see it a few more times.
The same goes for CRM applications. Ease of use is just an opinion. Of course you want an application’s interface to be user friendly but that definition varies as much as the age and experience of the users using the application. You can’t make a decision as to what CRM is best for your company based on whether or not it’s the “easiest to use.” You need to instead focus on the features of the application, the technology partners you’ll be working with and the community of the vendor that will be supporting it. Trust me when I say that if you’re happy with those things, your people will get used to using the application.
So is Pipedrive really the “easiest to use” CRM? Perhaps. Perhaps not. What matters is whether the investment you make in this tool will return itself by way of more sales, productivity and ultimately profits. If you’re happy with those numbers, you’ll be happy with the application regardless.