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How Inkwell used Pipedrive to Double the Size of Their Pipeline in One Year

  • Inkwell grew turnover 167% between its first year, when the team was using a spreadsheet, and second, when they switched to Pipedrive
  • The company has grown 35% year-on-year this year, in spite of the recession
  • 500 founders entered The Pitch in 2020 and 1,000 delegates attended their events

For content marketing and startup events agency Inkwell, having up-to-date lists of all their contacts and contact points is vital. However, the spreadsheets they were using were growing to overwhelming sizes and didn’t provide a consistent user experience for all the team.

By moving to Pipedrive, Inkwell was able to store all the information on leads they needed while still maintaining a clear workflow, allowing them to quickly input and recall custom information in their database.

According to CEO, Chris Goodfellow, their “total pipeline more than doubled, leading to a really healthy amount of growth in revenue.”

Inkwell specializes in creating written, video and audio content to help companies market to small business owners. As well as producing content, they also run The Pitch, a competition that brings together small businesses and helps them hone their pitches and deliver them to potential investors. In 2020, 500 founders entered The Pitch and 1,000 delegates attended the events.

Before COVID-19, Inkwell hosted bootcamps around the UK, bringing together 50 small businesses in regional heats to see who would progress to the finals. In 2020 they’ve successfully moved the format online, managing to extend their audience and seeing the highest quality of entrants ever.

Inkwell works with hundreds of entrepreneurs around the UK and provides them with various types of mentoring and coaching, but they also work with much larger companies to help fund their events and provide specialist judges and speakers on related topics.

box 2 media the pitch 2019

Keeping track of so many contacts

Even in their first year of operation, Inkwell found that having to keep tabs on all their entrants and sponsors was a challenge with a spreadsheet tool. Due to the fact that spreadsheets aren’t designed to handle various points of contact for each company and personal details about each contact, Chris found he would need another solution:

“The moment you have more than one or two contact points for someone in a spreadsheet, it gets crazy. Imagine if you have eight points of contact and you’re trying to remember what they all are and the details about the person, all of a sudden your spreadsheet’s running to twenty columns and it’s really hard to sort and see what’s going on.”

After speaking to people in the industry who recommended Pipedrive, Chris realized it was the best CRM for his needs. Following a simple data migration, Inkwell had Pipedrive up and running, and quickly saw the benefits.

A clear and simplified view

By using Pipedrive, Inkwell found they don’t need to create different pipelines to separate their content and The Pitch leads. By titling their deals by either ‘Content:’ or ‘The Pitch:’, the pipeline can be filtered to show only the relevant leads, while still providing a full view of all deals in the pipeline.

Thanks to custom fields for contacts, leads can be filtered for each use case. Inkwell can search their database for contacts who they’ve flagged as potential speakers or investors within each region of The Pitch’s semi-final heats, a simple task for Chris and the team with Pipedrive’s clear and uncluttered interface:

“A lot of events companies that I’ve worked with in the past have most of that in their heads and they rely on asking each other, and we definitely do that too, but at the end of the day if you don’t put that info into a system it doesn’t give you long term value.”

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How Pipedrive brought additional value

Using Pipedrive’s pipeline overview, Inkwell can label their sponsor leads for The Pitch by priority and track them through the sales process. They’ve found the average deal takes three to four months to complete, with several meetings along the way, and by using Pipedrive they’re able to easily see where each deal is in the pipeline and use automated reminders to schedule follow-ups so that deals don’t go cold.

“We grew turnover 167% between our first year, when we were using a spreadsheet, and second, when we switched to Pipedrive,” Chris tells us. “We also doubled the size of our pipeline. We've grown 35% year-on-year this year, in spite of the recession.”

The Zapier integration has also been key for The Pitch, connecting key SaaS products together with Pipedrive to run the competition.

By using sales metrics such as leading goals, Inkwell knows what activities they need to be doing to reach their targets, ensuring they have enough tasks at each stage of the pipeline to fund each cycle of The Pitch, as well as the sales process and their constant outreach for the content side of the business.

Chris says Pipedrive has provided a consistent user experience for his team, encouraging everyone to use it to gain maximum value from the information they gather.

“I’m quite process orientated and I love spreadsheets, but that’s not the case for everyone,” explains Chris. “The move to Pipedrive made it so much more user friendly, so it’s more likely people will use it and use it in the right way, and we’re more likely to get the value out of the work they do.”

When it comes to his experience with Pipedrive, Chris is clear: “I’ll always recommend Pipedrive—we talk to a lot of start-ups and it’s a brilliant tool for that kind of company.”

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