What does it accomplish for you? How did you do it?
Hi @Ben , I have adjusted the topics on your post so that it reaches a wider audience and helps you find the answer you are looking for
Manuel Oliveira said:Hi @Ben , I have adjusted the topics on your post so that it reaches a wider audience and helps you find the answer you are looking for
In the next few weeks, we will try to make simple integration with WooCommerce with subscription add-on and Pipedrive. I could tell you more later how it goes if you are interested.
Yeah. We have done extensive integrations with BC via Zapier.
We sell fabrics, wallpapers and other soft furnishing products and offer the ability to order free cuttings on our BC store.
We have two pipelines. One for cuttings and one for sales (paid orders) .. so use BC Zapier integration to route orders to appropriate pipelines. .. each Pipeline, in turn, incorporates different order processing stages/steps. eg for cuttings we also incorporate semi-automated email and SMS followups during fulfillment and comms designed to encourage conversions to new paid orders (post a cutting order)
The above is probably a little confusing. Essentially,
.. We also use Pandadoc via PD>Pandadoc integration to send out ATL's (Courier Authority to Leave Forms which customers give us a definitive Y + instructions or N re any ATL they might want to give (electronically signed and returned by customer and updates PD deal custom fields we created). We use slack and broadcast to an 'Order Processing' channel for most automations so that confirm things have happened via the automations (both Zapier and PD automations) .. eg The sweet slack ka-ching of 'money!' when a new deal is created.We started automating pretty much everything with Zapier and third-party Saas services providers (eg SMS gateway) when we started as PD automations didn't exist in those days. ... However, as PD automations have matured, we have migrated some of the automation steps to PD automations.
PD automations are good. .. they will help you a lot. .. However, you won't get far without Zapier. (unavoidable but priceless).
We also use leadbooster (robot widget on store) and use that to create leads which we have begun to automate with both Zapier and Pd automation
The above are some of the essential automations we do. We do quite a few more, but I've hopefully given you an idea of how you can really optimize your sales order pipelines using BC and PD together.
The trick is to rely on PD for your order processing, comms etc with customers. ... light touch on BC order module, we do all the work in PD and just syc order statuses back up to BC via webhooks.
Check out Pandadoc too. You can dump your store CSV and import as a catalogue in Pandadoc. .. So you can do quotes/proposals with line-item products from your store (complete with embedded product thumbnails (derived from image URL links from your store embedded in Pandadoc catalogue. .... that's if you need to quote/propose business. .. very helpful to us as we have over 100k products on our BC store/catalogue) and Pandadoc product catalogue functionality sucks our entire catalogue in without missing a beat and the PD>Pandadoc native (and free) integration is highly functional and solid (thanks to PD).
I'm a business user (definitely NOT a programmer!) .. so can do yourself over time. .. Zapier and PD automations are pretty easy. ... Webhooks probably the most challenging ... Easy/Quick/Cheap job for Upwork freelancer or other tech freelancer. (that's what I did).
Hope that helps (sorry... bet you are having a 'too much info' moment right about now' . lol)
Nancy Vamvakas said:Heya Ben, Yeah. We have done extensive integrations with BC via Zapier. We sell fabrics, wallpapers and other soft furnishing products and offer the ability to order free cuttings on our BC store. We have two pipelines. One for cuttings and one for sales (paid orders) .. so use BC Zapier integration to route orders to appropriate pipelines. .. each Pipeline, in turn, incorporates different order processing stages/steps. eg for cuttings we also incorporate semi-automated email and SMS followups during fulfillment and comms designed to encourage conversions to new paid orders (post a cutting order)Several BC centric custom fields were added in PD to receive store info (eg BC Store Order number and a few other references we find useful)Zapier | Create deal & Person Record in PD when BC order received. For the new deal, we also create a number of steps to be followed by our staff in processing the order before moving to the next stage. .. and also send additional fields from BC checkout form we created, as a note which is appended to the PD deal record (We use PD automation to create the activity 'steps' and BC>Zapier connector to create the note. (Essentially we solicit from customers info about nature and timing of project they use our products for (we sell soft furnishings .. fabric, wallpapers, trimmings etc.PD | Spawn activities once the new deal is created in the 'new sales' stage (follows on from the initial Zapier created deal)Using Webhooks and Zapier we have a two x one-way sync (one in each direction) to sync up order statues in BC with the relevant order stage in PD. EG, when we move an order the "order shipped" stage in PD, it automatically reflects the same stage in the BC order module. (You can edit the order stages in BC to better reflect your order processing stages and so that they more closely resemble what you have happening in your PD stages.We use a third-party SMS gateway so that when an order reaches a stage (triggered either directly in BC - which syncs order stage to PD ... or by landing on a stage directly in PD (which syncs order status the other way) .. sends out both an email AND SMS to customer advising them of status change.The above is probably a little confusing. Essentially, New order receivedNew Deal/Person/Org record created in PD and placed at start of Pipeline (Zapier) and BC centric custom fields in PD filled via ZapierActivities to get order processing underway (steps for staff) are spawned using PD automation).As deals move from stage to stage; webhooks sync the BC status with the corresponding PD pipeline stageWithin PD (using Zapier extensively) we fire off emails and/or txt messages to customer when deals hit certain stages. .. We also use Pandadoc via PD>Pandadoc integration to send out ATL's (Courier Authority to Leave Forms which customers give us a definitive Y + instructions or N re any ATL they might want to give (electronically signed and returned by customer and updates PD deal custom fields we created). We use slack and broadcast to an 'Order Processing' channel for most automations so that confirm things have happened via the automations (both Zapier and PD automations) .. eg The sweet slack ka-ching of 'money!' when a new deal is created.We started automating pretty much everything with Zapier and third-party Saas services providers (eg SMS gateway) when we started as PD automations didn't exist in those days. ... However, as PD automations have matured, we have migrated some of the automation steps to PD automations. PD automations are good. .. they will help you a lot. .. However, you won't get far without Zapier. (unavoidable but priceless). We also use leadbooster (robot widget on store) and use that to create leads which we have begun to automate with both Zapier and Pd automationThe above are some of the essential automations we do. We do quite a few more, but I've hopefully given you an idea of how you can really optimize your sales order pipelines using BC and PD together. The trick is to rely on PD for your order processing, comms etc with customers. ... light touch on BC order module, we do all the work in PD and just syc order statuses back up to BC via webhooks. Check out Pandadoc too. You can dump your store CSV and import as a catalogue in Pandadoc. .. So you can do quotes/proposals with line-item products from your store (complete with embedded product thumbnails (derived from image URL links from your store embedded in Pandadoc catalogue. .... that's if you need to quote/propose business. .. very helpful to us as we have over 100k products on our BC store/catalogue) and Pandadoc product catalogue functionality sucks our entire catalogue in without missing a beat and the PD>Pandadoc native (and free) integration is highly functional and solid (thanks to PD). I'm a business user (definitely NOT a programmer!) .. so can do yourself over time. .. Zapier and PD automations are pretty easy. ... Webhooks probably the most challenging ... Easy/Quick/Cheap job for Upwork freelancer or other tech freelancer. (that's what I did). Hope that helps (sorry... bet you are having a 'too much info' moment right about now' . lol)Nancy
OMG, this is GOLD, Nancy!!!! Thanks so much!!! You've definitely given me a lot to explore and try out! Sounds like the most effective way to integrate PD and BC with Zapier (just those 2, for now, I'll look into maybe even putting our customer service reps onto PD, if that's even relevant, in the future. Right now, just the sales reps use PD to bring deals to a close, then to upsell them and keep track of customer communications; we don't use PD for anything regarding ordering or anything right now) is to map out what I want to accomplish on paper, then execute those integrations and PD automation in the software.
Honestly, I feel like in my current position I'd have to take a day off and spend the entire day making these changes, but like you said, I'm sure it's well worth it.
Still, consider a security issue with 3rd party apps like Zapier/ IFTTT.
You can find many reports that integration (with systems like above) can evolve into at least security incidents.
About 50% of those ready "flows" are risky (for example - data integrity). If you can, try API <-> API.
Thanks for the insight.
How would that work?
Sebastian said:In the next few weeks, we will try to make simple integration with WooCommerce with subscription add-on and Pipedrive. I could tell you more later how it goes if you are interested.
Nope, we use BigCommerce, been using it for 7 years.
No worries Ben ... Assuming you have a good working knowledge (even a 30k view of the depth and breadth of what PD can do ... especially re PD automation), I would start coming to grips with the sheer power of Zapier.
It's not going to come together in a single day ... or even a week or month. .. I've been working on automation for years. .. Once you unleash the power of Zapier vise-vis PD and BC .. but also tying in the plethora of third-party SAAS providers who support zapier, your head will start exploding with the possibilities.
It sounds like a lot of work and time ... AND IT IS. ... but you'll become 'driven' once you realise what you can achieve with your business' own context relatively quickly. ... besides, it's damn good fun and very satisfying. You are right though ... start with a simple integration between BC & PD that shunts orders into PD and creates your deal records. .. Once you have a basic deal record created then I would look at adding any manual processes your staff need to perform once the deal is in PD. ... Kind of like a checklist of activities.
In our case, once a deal is created the zapier automation ends and a PD automation takes over (once the deal is created and lands in the first stage of our pipeline) and creates however many activities need to be performed by staff on that stage. (I numbered the activities). The activities appear in each staff members activity list and they move through the activities within deals by doing it 'by the numbers (so to speak). When you have deals being created and staff moving things along, you can start adding the 'gravy' like external comms to customers, such as automated emails from PD using PD mail templates you've created as well as sending out text messages (if that takes your fancy). .. you can have automation kick when an activity is completed (ticked off by a staff member) .. or when a deal lands in a new stage (moved along to there by a staff member) ... I'm a firm believer in letting the customer know as much about where their order is in our pipelines .... keeps them well informed and projects the image that we know what the $@#k we are doing and their custom is safe in our hands.
.. just be patient .. If you are relatively new to BC, PD and haven't had a play with Zapier ... it's gonna take some time as you get your head around the tech and the possibilities. .. Writing some workflows as a starting point as you mention is a perfect place to start.
In our business context, PIPEDRIVE IS THE MIDDLE OF OUR UNIVERSE ... not BC which is simply the front-end of our online operations. Zapier is the string and chewing gum that will tie everything into your PD 'middle-earth.'
I wanted to learn programming once upon a time and everyone said pretty much the same thing re its relatively easy .. just takes time (like I could learn it overnight and achieve more than 'hello world' scripts and make a difference in my business). ... I never got off the starting block. ..... took too long to do something really productive and useful in a business automation context.
I'm happy to say that is NOT the same with Zapier and PD automation (I'm too friggin' busy running my business to be hog-tied with the BS hugely long learning curves!) .. With PD and Zapier it's more about ongoing tweaking and adding functionality as the lightbulb moments come along and you pounce on the opportunities to implement something or tweak something (same day).
... I hope that puts some cheer in your cheerios.
I'm not a security expert but Zapier and the security of its connectors to other apps seems pretty solid. .. Re data integrity, we have never had an issue shunting data between apps.
Nancy, one more question: is there a way that you can send your customers shipment/tracking updates, by linking PipeDrive/BC/Google Sheets/other?
Can you provide a little generic info about your business context? .. and what you are wanting to achieve?
We sell lab supplies, and want to mitigate customers calling in RIGHT AFTER they've placed an order and asking "what's the ETA?". So it'd be great if there was some way to have the UPS tracking number and/or shipping updates forwarded to them...
(Not sure I'm going to be answering your question directly as I should have; AND our business, in relation to our BC store for the majority of orders, is B2C rather than B2B (Not the case for our manufacturing business which is both. ... Still, there might be some value here adapting anything useful in your B2B context).
We had the problem for ages that although we completed the order processing workflow within a PD Pipeline, customers would invariably log into their BC customer account on the store and look for shipping updates that didn't exist ..because we process orders, including the sending of tracking info, wholly in PD (Off store).
We only have a couple of suppliers that actually provide us with connotes when they send through the paperwork. .. So we have to poll suppliers either by phone or checking on their websites in able to notify a customer that their order has been shipped from the warehouse, and, if available, what the connote number is and whom they have shipped by. .. So the tracking info is entered directly into a custom field and we send out a templated email informing the customer of the tracking info, along with a URL to the shippers tracking console. (manual process)
This still didn't solve the problem that BC order status was not being updated. So we would get customers emailing or writing, asking why their order status hadn't changed.
About a year ago we did the following:
Stage: Order received. We acknowledge the order, thank them and give them some basic information about the process and associated timelines. (SMS & Email) - Far more effective than just leaving your BC generated transaction record, emailed to the customer, as the only form of acknowledgement. >A number of pre-populated PD activities (they read like a to-do checklist looking within the deal) These activities are performed by the user before dropping and dragging the deal record into the next pipeline stage (generated by PD automation once the deal is created by BC>Zapier>PD deal creation). ie. New Deal Created Trigger in PD
For example, we use Pandadoc through its nice integration with PD to send out Authority to Leave forms in which we ask for a definitive Y/N as to whether orders can be left without a signature. Information we relay to our multiple suppliers on who's varying shipping accounts we ship. The user fills in the form and electronically signs it. When we create then send the ATL form to the customer, yet another SMS is sent advising the customer that the form has been sent and asking them to check their junk folders if they don't find it in their email inbox. Stage: Order processing completed.
>Comms Triggered on stage entry (PD automation). Essentially, we have confirmed stock availability, and delivery timelines, that we have captured payment and the order has been released to the warehouse. (SMS & Email)>Activity created (PD Automation) to check if order shipped +3days. If it has? .. moved to next stage.
Stage: Order Shipped: Once we confirm the order is either in the air or on the road (SMS & Email triggered stage entry, SMS Zapier also triggered on stage entry)>Manual process explained above. Call/email/portal access shipping info and template email out to the customer. >Activity created to ‘F/U order received?’. (Although tracking provided to the customer confirms to ourselves that an order has been received, we send a f/u email and make sure the customer is happy with the product and our service). Scheduled by the user on 'best guestimate' on ETA.>On follow-up activity completed/done move to 'beg for review stage' >PD Auto-create activity to 'ask for review'
We actually ask for a review more than once if the first request solicits no response. Once again through auto-created activities are triggered when the previous activity has been checked as 'done.' (the review requests themselves are sent manually by the user with PD templated email). The final activity (auto-created on stage landing) is to 'Win' the deal. This is scheduled approximately 5 days forward. ('lest the customer comes back with a query, issue, .. or a review .. in which case we answer, resolve, or thank profusely for their time and effort in leaving us a review. We have reasonably high-value transactions and there is a lot of human interaction with the physical products and order paperwork both with the suppliers and our processing. (It is not a simple pick a product off the shelf, box it and ship it) - We need our customers to feel secure that we have eyes on their orders like hawks. There is a lot of manual work involved and it is surprising how many cockups occur with our suppliers processing our orders (covid hasn't made it any better) .. Not sure of your situation re lab product orders. Your business context is probably much less prone to supply chain and order processing errors.
Assuming you direct ship, (or only have one supplier in your supply-chain to direct ships to your customers on your behalf) AND you get regular pretty tables of shipping details, At worst, you can directly import a table into PD or BC .. manually.
Your possible takeaways:
We don't get customers contacting us immediately after ordering asking about ETA's because we keep them informed every step of the way from the time they commit the transaction right through to the delivery of their order and even beyond that. We use both email and text simultaneously and we ensure the information we think they need is included in the communication with embedded links to specific more expansive articles in our FAQ (We use a third party FAQ provider for this).
Identifying as many notification touchpoints in your order processing pipeline as you can. Then hit your customers with informative notifications about 'where' their order is in your processing pipeline, 'what' is happening and information about 'how long' the stage they are in and any 'dependencies.' Also, tell them about the 'next stage gate' and advise that you’ll update them there too. .. Email is great but simultaneously sending texts to their mobiles makes it even better. (All easily accomplished by PD automation, Zapier and a third party Zapier supported SMS gateway). Auto-populate your deals with PD-automated created activities that act as a checklist of things your team needs to perform in every stage of your pipeline. It will make onboarding of new team members a lot easier as every deal in every stage has a predefined and consistent list of activities to be performed on them along with instructions (PD Activity Description Field) on what needs to be performed to complete the activity and mark it as ‘done.’ (I mention this because we have another pipeline for 'free sample' order follow-ups which all take place in a single stage with activities (1st, 2nd 3rd, follow-ups run as activities in conjunction with automail triggered by activities state = done)
Although we do a lot of manual processing to make customer transactions more personal, I’m fully aware that I could eliminate or minimise the ‘human touch’ further … For us, that’s a business ‘service-quality' call I’ve made, and it seems to work well in our business/service context.
Specifically on the shipping issue:
Find a freelancer who has worked with APIs and Zapier on Upwork. They should be able to write a small bit of code that will sync your BC order module with PD.
Prepare for the gig by looking at BC’s API documentation like I did. I did not spend more than half an hour on it and didn’t understand a huge amount (I struggled in places, to stop my vision clouding over and involuntarily going into a coma). But you will find what objects/modules can be accessed (eg Products, Orders etc). .. as well as what methods (things you can do running code against those objects). That will give you a sense (no matter how vague) of what you think might be possible. .. You’ll need that to spec your job with the freelancer in business + pseudo-techno-babble (the best you can manage.. ) This will help you avoid being taken for an expensive ride by your freelancer/propellor-head.
Once your tracking numbers have been imported. Assuming you receive a daily summary or something like that. You can auto send updates out to your customers through PD/Zapier automation.
UPS also has an API. I just did a Google search and they appear to have a “Developers Kit” available (I didn’t explore further). It is just a matter of seeing whether their API will expose to you the information you want (eg connotes, tracking info). The idea would be that once UPS has performed a pickup and the connote is in their system, you should be able to pick it up and link it back to your orders (BC), Deals (PD) directly or via Zapier(populating a BC or PD field. (If you already have order information syncing BC<>PD it doesn’t matter greatly where you populate the shipping info.
Of course, an alternative is there are many integrations available for BC on their marketplace for shipping? Other’s in this forum might want to share their experiences with any integrations that might assist?
Sorry about being long-winded. The answer is part technical and part service philosophy. I think you have to act on both fronts and PD-automation is going to be a great friend to you.
Using PD to handle our workflows and to communicate pertinent info of interest to customers in a timely fashion (and frequently), successfully 'heads off' the need for customers to chase us for information about their order status including shipping. .. Certainly makes our lives easier and our customers are much more relaxed when it comes to delays and other hold-ups which just part of our industry.
I keep saying 'we' like a schizophrenic, but I'm essentially a one-woman operation working in concert with a couple of long-term freelancers who help out with the store catalogue. While I have used to have a small team of VA's in the past, I've found automation optimized my workflows to the point I didn't need them while my sales have exponentially increased each year for the last 4. I don't profess to be a technical guru, or even a particularly outstanding business person. If I'm not personally overseeing a manufacturing team of 6 girls on my factory floor, I sit in front of the PD activities view and simply do what each day dishes up for me in the way of programmed activities. .. Ya gotta love PD for making it simple for me to manage both high volume sample orders and the sold orders that I manage to win conversions on.
Wow, that's awesome. I feel overwhelmed, lol. We're a 14-person company with people in customer service roles and sales roles, and right now we just use PD for sales, trying to figure out how to possibly use it for customer service/the whole company.