How to Create an Automated Workflow With Pipedrive


I proudly admit it: I’m a big workflow nerd. One of my favorite books is Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development, and when I was a book publisher, we had regular “Workflow Friday” meetings. Everyone would submit a flowchart for a key process in their area, and someone else would test it during the next week to provide feedback at a subsequent meeting.

Workflow mapping is critical for process efficiency, streamlined training of new hires, and uninterrupted operations when key personnel are unavailable. The benefits further multiply with automation. As Bill Gates said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.”

The Blueprint’s Pipedrive review rated it as the easiest to use customer relationship management (CRM) software, and you extend its capabilities when you incorporate workflow automation features. We’ll go over the ins and outs of these automation tools, so you can see the potential benefits for your small business.

What workflow automation tools does Pipedrive offer?

Pipedrive Workflow Automation tools reduce the time sales reps and other personnel spend on repetitive tasks in your CRM database, such as managing deals and sending emails. Its task automation uses if-then logic, so if a predefined condition is met, then a predefined action is triggered in these areas:

  • Activities
  • Communications
  • Deals
  • Products

For example, if a deal is marked as won, Pipedrive Workflow Automation automatically sends an email to a designated recipient. During my book publishing days, we knew our sales rep had finalized a textbook adoption whenever he blasted an airhorn in his office.

It would have been more useful, however, to use sales process automation to send a Slack message to our fulfillment manager to alert her to the forthcoming book order.

3 features of Pipedrive Workflow Automation

Pipedrive Workflow Automation features include workflow automation templates, customizable workflows, and Slack integration to facilitate your sales strategy.

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1. Workflow templates

Pipedrive Workflow Automation doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, it has 21 templates with sales-related triggers and subsequent activities.

For example, the 10 email workflow templates below use different triggers, such as adding a person or adding a deal, that result in sending an email or an email in conjunction with other activities such as moving a deal to a new stage.

The 10 email automated workflow templates are shown in a grid.

Hit the ground running with Pipedrive Workflow Automation templates. Source: Pipedrive software.

In the upper right-hand corner of each template is the estimated time savings. How does an automated email save 35 minutes? Pipedrive accomplishes this through the use of email templates populated with information — names, deal value, products — pulled from your unified account management database, one of the many benefits of CRM.

If you close a deal, use a Workflow Automation template to automatically send a confirmation email to the customer. Or, a rep can send an email to themselves to document the deal’s value with reminders about follow-up activities.

2. Custom workflows

When Pipedrive Workflow Automation templates don’t meet your needs, create your own workflows. They use the same if-then logic: A triggering event results in a subsequent action.

In the example below, creating an entry for a person in Pipedrive’s CRM results in creating a new activity for the designated sales rep: make a phone call.

A sample custom workflow uses an if-then statement.

Create your own custom workflows using if-then logic. Source: Pipedrive software.

The Pipedrive LeadBooster add-on includes an outbound lead generator for prospecting, which allows you to add multiple targeted prospects for lead nurturing. The custom workflow above ensures you follow up with each one, so none fall through the cracks. Web Visitors, another of the many Pipedrive features, provides more information about website visitors to aid your sales process.

3. Slack integration

Pipedrive integrations include using Slack in workflow automations to send either private or public messages to Slack channels.

Automated Pipedrive messages are shown in a Slack channel.

Automatically push deal information to your company’s Slack channels. Source: Slack software.

Set up separate channels for new deals and deals won so everyone knows what’s in the works and successes to celebrate. The Pipedrive Dealbot extension for Slack adds even more functionality.

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How to create an automated workflow with Pipedrive

As per Bill Gates’ first rule of technology, automation can magnify operational efficiencies. This doesn’t happen automatically, however, as Gates points out in his second rule of technology: “Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Careful planning and testing are essential to ensure your workflow automations produce the results you want instead of creating a rat’s nest of confusing information and assigned actions.

1. Outline your workflow

Before you create an automated workflow in Pipedrive, outline its if-then logic. If you do this, then using Pipedrive Workflow Automation is much simpler, especially for your first automations. Sketch out your process by hand. Use Google Drawings, or employ dedicated flowcharting software such as Lucidchart.

Thinking back to my sales rep who liked to celebrate successful deals, I can create a simple if-then conditional statement:

If a deal is won, then blow the airhorn.

All deals are not created equal, so I could add another condition:

If a deal is won and is worth at least $5,000, then blow the airhorn.

Even when a lucrative deal is won, more work remains, so I could include another follow-up action:

If a deal is won and is worth at least $5,000, then blow the airhorn and send a confirmation email to the customer.

Outlining your workflow upfront instead of trying to create it on the fly in Pipedrive will streamline the setup process.

2. Choose your workflow

After outlining the workflow to automate, you’re ready to use the Pipedrive Workflow Automation interface. Your first decision, as per the options in the screenshot below, is whether to use an existing workflow — a prebuilt template or workflows created earlier by you or someone else — or create a new one using the green button to the right.

The Pipedrive Workflow Automation interface shows multiple workflow options.

The Pipedrive Workflow Automation interface lets you choose from existing workflows or create a new one. Source: Pipedrive software.

Until you’re familiar with custom workflow ins and outs, check first for an existing workflow template to use.

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3. Define trigger condition

Pipedrive workflows start with a trigger, the “if” in the conditional statement. If you use a custom workflow, you have four trigger categories:

  • Deal
  • Person
  • Organization
  • Activity

Use a template, and the trigger is predefined as in the example below: “Every time a deal is added.”

The template setup screen includes trigger and activity configuration.

Every workflow has a trigger and resulting activity. Source: Pipedrive software.

Even with templates, you can further refine the trigger. In the screenshot above, for example, trigger the workflow only when a deal is added to a specific sales pipeline stage.

4. Choose the resulting activity

Once you define your trigger, configure the resulting activity. Pipedrive has six built-in options:

  • Call
  • Deadline
  • Email
  • Lunch
  • Meeting
  • Task

Further configure your activity with a due date and a specific subject such as a description of the task to perform.

The activities configuration screen contains multiple options.

Use pulldown menus to choose an activity, due date, and subject. Source: Pipedrive software.

If Pipedrive’s included activities don’t meet your needs, create your own.

5. Check your workflow

Before releasing your automated workflow into the wild, double-check it. First, go to the “Created by me” workflow management screen. On the right, activate your workflow to give it a trial run. Other options include editing the workflow, duplicating it, or deleting it.

Your workflow management screen shows the workflows you created.

Manage your own workflows and see those created by others in your company. Source: Pipedrive software.

Pipedrive’s workflow editor lets you double-check custom if-then conditional statements. Here’s the earlier airhorn example, where the trigger had two conditions that resulted in two activities.

An if-then custom workflow is shown in a linear sequence.

The workflow editor makes it easy to check your if-then logic. Source: Pipedrive software.

The workflow editor screen is also where you set the workflow to apply to you or the entire company.

Let Pipedrive Workflow Automation do the heavy lifting

Managing your sales leads is labor-intensive because you’ll only convert about 10% of them into deals. Pipedrive Workflow Automation keeps you on top of your sales pipelines by automating tasks. The result? More time for the sales team to use your CRM software for actual sales.

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