How Estonian Pipedrive turned Brazil into its second largest market

How Estonian Pipedrive turned Brazil into its second-largest market

With almost nine years of exponential growth in Brazil and the start of its expansion plans for Latin America, LATAM Regional Director of Pipedrive, Thiago Gonçalves, explains the company's success

In 2010, while still in its early steps in the small city of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, Pipedrive detected a peculiar movement: Brazilians were prominent among the company’s first 100 customers.

“This led us to immediately translate our platform to Portuguese, thinking about the Brazilian market and its users,” says LATAM Regional Director of Pipedrive, Thiago Gonçalves, in an interview with LABS.

This was the beginning of a promising and long-lasting relationship between Pipedrive and Brazil, which currently is only behind the United States in the number of customers. “This quick decision paved the way for us to get new customers and for Brazil to become the second-largest market in the world for Pipedrive,” Gonçalves recalls.

 LATAM Regional Director of Pipedrive, Thiago Gonçalves. Photo: Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that optimizes sales management for growing businesses. Through this platform, salespeople manage the entire sales process on the cloud, from the very first contact to the closing of the deal.

For a company born in Estonia, thinking on a global scale critical to surviving. If the country was a Brazilian city, with its 1.3 million residents, it wouldn’t even enter the ranking of the 10 most populous metropolises in Brazil.

Nowadays, Pipedrive has eight offices in six countries. And while the global expansion was almost a natural drive for the company, brand consolidation in Brazil was not as predictable. After all, it serves 90,000 businesses from 170 countries in more than 100 niche markets. Why did Brazil, in particular, become one of its most promising markets?

A closer look at this journey shows that the company’s compatibility with Brazil is the result of Pipedrive’s strategic vision, local market particularities, and the Brazilian consumer profile.

The results have surpassed expectations and Brazil, as well as the LATAM region as a whole, continues to surprise us over time.

 LATAM Regional Director of Pipedrive, Thiago Gonçalves

Mutual growth

When Pipedrive was created in 2010, Brazil’s entrepreneurial ecosystem gave the first signs of its potential. At this time of expansion, Pipedrive offered Brazilian companies a service they were lacking: a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution developed from the seller’s point of view.

“For us, most entrepreneurs are primarily a sales professional. For this reason, we have virtually matched with the Brazilian market right at the moment of the company’s founding,” says Gonçalves.

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From then on, the scenario has been increasingly favorable to Pipedrive, as Brazil has been seeing a steady growth of small and medium-sized companies for years. According to Sebrae, an entity that supports entrepreneurship in the country, small businesses account for 27% of Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and, by 2022, the number of small brands is likely to grow by 43%.

A matching market for Pipedrive’s mission that simplifies small and medium-team sales processes by providing funnel management, email submission and tracking, form delivery, reports and sales projections, everything on the cloud in order to make the teamwork easier.

In other words, the software helps companies to identify failures and solve them as quickly as possible, a valuable service for millions of Brazilians who have ventured into entrepreneurship in recent years.

When this opportunity was detected, Pipedrive gave priority to tailoring services to the needs and wishes of local consumers. “The Brazilian market is very particular for several sectors and is no different from ours, but we realized that there was something in our product that attracted different profiles, which was the simplicity and possibility of customization, something that we keep offering,” he explains.

Pipedrive office in Estonia. Photo: Pipedrive

Brazilian entrepreneurial streak

It was not only the main traits of Brazil’s entrepreneurial ecosystem that played a part in Pipedrive’s success in the country. The Brazilian consumer profile, fast, curious and eager for news, was seen as an opportunity and a challenge for the company.

“During these eight years of operations, they [Brazilian consumers] question about all the features of Pipedrive products and all possible ways to improve their sales. Through these questions, we are able to constantly evolve and this is extremely rewarding,” he emphasizes.

From our point of view, Brazil is more entrepreneurial than other countries.

Thiago Gonçalves, LATAM Regional Director of Pipedrive

Brazil’s entrepreneurial streak was detected by Pipedrive in an internal survey that the company conducted with its customers. The survey showed that Brazilian sales teams are the global fastest to do business: they take, on average, 28 days from the first communication to the actual close of the deal.

“From our point of view, Brazil is more entrepreneurial than other countries. In addition, there is a desire for fast and accelerated growth. We were able to identify this profile and work to make Pipedrive easy to use and give the entrepreneur all the power to manage their sales teams regardless of size, product or service,” says the executive.

With the eyes set on Latin America

Pipedrive office in Estonia. Photo: Pipedrive

Pipedrive’s development in Brazil is meaningful: the company has grown 25% in both 2017 and 2018. The possibilities for expansion, however, are far from saturation. There are 19 million active businesses in Brazil and most of them are not yet familiar with sales management software.

Plans for Latin America have recently gained pace. Thiago Gonçalves took the post of Managing Director of LATAM two months ago, precisely to develop Pipedrive’s strategies for the Latin markets.

“Currently, in Latin America, we have operations in Mexico, as well as in Brazil, and clients spread all over the region, with significant growth in countries such as Chile and Colombia. We have expansion plans for the entire region and we understand that these two countries are the gateway to others in Latin America,” he highlights.