Sales is one of the most common areas where small and medium businesses seek to streamline operations through automation. Many businesses use sales platforms like Pipedrive to manage their targets, leads, and interactions more effectively. These businesses often turn to us for building automation workflows and integrating Pipedrive with other tools.

On the other hand, some businesses prefer to build a custom sales CRM from the ground up. For them, we often recommend using Airtable as a CRM solution.

However, is Airtable the solution to all sales automation challenges? Similarly, is Pipedrive the ultimate sales platform for every small and medium business?

In this Airtable vs. Pipedrive comparison, I will explore their advantages, drawbacks, and use cases to help you determine which tool is better suited for your automation needs. (Hint: Even though we love Airtable, it’s not always the best choice!)

Airtable and Pipedrive Comparison: The Basics

Let’s start by understanding the basics of each platform and their ideal use cases.

Quick Airtable Overview

Airtable is a cloud-based, low-code NoSQL platform for building relational databases. Each Airtable workspace can contain multiple bases, which can hold different tables of data. 

A sample Airtable table might look something like this:

Data in Airtable can be manipulated using automation workflows. Once data is added to a base, users can leverage Airtable views and interfaces to control how they access and manage their data.

Airtable’s features make it an excellent choice for building databases or data-heavy no-code apps for businesses. 

Common Airtable use cases include:

  • Project management tools
  • Task tracking
  • CRMs
  • Timesheets
  • Sales tracking
  • Employee utilization tracking
  • KPI tracking

Given its high level of customizability, Airtable can support almost any internal business app as long as there’s data to feed into it. 

Quick Pipedrive Overview

Compared to Airtable, Pipedrive’s use cases are more focused. It’s a sales platform designed specifically to give users a convenient way to manage and track their sales.

The Pipedrive team has developed a highly efficient tool, which is why it’s one of the most popular sales and CRM platforms. 

Many businesses successfully manage their sales with Pipedrive, often enhancing its capabilities with Pipedrive Zapier workflows and integrations with other tools.

So, what are the core Pipedrive functionalities?

Pipedrive is a sales CRM platform that helps businesses manage leads, store customer information, track deals, plan interactions, and set sales KPIs. 

It provides everything you need to start tracking sales immediately, without the need to plan or build anything from scratch. 

Common use cases include comprehensive sales management and pipeline management, where companies manage their sales and track customer and lead data.

Airtable vs Pipedrive: Key Features Comparison

Now that you understand the different use cases for each platform, let’s compare their features across four key categories critical to small and medium businesses looking to automate elements of their sales process:

Ease of Use and Interfaces: Which Platform Is More User-Friendly?


The first category is a tricky one for Airtable. The ease of use in Airtable heavily depends on your own design. 

If you prefer a spreadsheet-like experience for tracking leads, you can stick to a classic “grid view.” 

Alternatively, for a more user-friendly experience, you can leverage interfaces or various views, such as kanban (which works well in sales) or lists:

The flexibility to adapt what you see to how you work can make Airtable easier to use and can simplify onboarding new sales team members. However, Airtable has a steeper learning curve compared to other CRM platforms. 

New users might find it overwhelming at first and may seek a more immediately usable solution, like Pipedrive.


Compared to Airtable, Pipedrive offers a sales-centric UI designed specifically for sales activities. It allows some UI customization but is ready for use almost immediately after logging in. It also boasts one of the most intuitive deal-tracking UIs on the market:

While Pipedrive still requires some time to learn, it’s much easier to grasp than a low-code database platform like Airtable, which you need to turn into a CRM.

Verdict: Airtable is a powerful tool with a steep learning curve, requiring time to understand and get the most out of it. Its UI customizations and views can offer significant benefits as your business grows. In contrast, Pipedrive is user-friendly right from the start, with an interface designed specifically for sales.

Pipedrive vs Airtable: Comparing Customization and Flexibility

I’ve touched on customization in the UI section, but let’s delve deeper into other customization features and the level of freedom each platform offers its users.


Airtable offers seemingly endless customization possibilities. While it’s not a custom-coded platform, you can leverage different views, filters, interfaces, data types, bases, and tables to tailor your sales platform to your specific needs.

For instance, Airtable’s views combined with filters allow you to apply different perspectives to the same data set. 

You can change filters or control who can access specific interfaces, designing a more user-friendly sales platform compared to a closed environment like Pipedrive. 

This flexibility gives you substantial control over your sales processes


This doesn’t mean Pipedrive doesn’t stand a chance. While Airtable’s flexibility is extensive, using it requires significant effort to build and customize. Pipedrive, although limited in flexibility, offers a straightforward setup that doesn’t demand that extensive customization work.

In Pipedrive, you can adjust critical sales-related elements by adding custom fields to organizations, deals, or leads. You can also create different types of interactions to better track your sales pipeline and use labels to categorize everything efficiently. 

While this is only a fraction of what Airtable offers, it provides a solid foundation for managing sales, which is often the primary need.


IIf customization and flexibility are your top priorities, Airtable is unmatched, allowing you to develop various business apps beyond just a sales platform. 

However, if you need a straightforward way to manage your sales pipeline with minimal customization, Pipedrive is an excellent choice. Just keep in mind that as your business grows, Pipedrive’s limited flexibility may become a constraint.

Pipedrive and Airtable – Which App Boasts Better Integrations?

No modern sales funnel can function effectively with just one tool. To streamline the entire experience, it’s crucial to integrate your sales management platform with key tools in your tech stack. Let’s compare Airtable and Pipedrive in terms of integrations.


Airtable offers several built-in integrations including Slack for messaging, Gmail for emailing, and Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive for storing attachments. It can also collect data directly from Typeform, a popular no-code form builder. 

Beyond native integrations, Airtable has hundreds of “Partner Extensions” for writing scripts, visualizing data, or sending it to other tools. 

Additionally, you can use third-party integrator platforms like Zapier,, Workato,, or Make to connect your databases with thousands of other tools.. 


Just like Airtable, Pipedrive also offers numerous useful integrations via its app & integrations marketplace

These include essential apps for your sales workflow, such as Facebook Messenger for data collection, Google Meet for meetings, DocuSign for document management, and QuickBooks for invoicing. 

You can streamline project management with integrations like Asana and Trello. Like Airtable, Pipedrive can be integrated with thousands of other apps through platforms like Zapier and Make.

Verdict: Both platforms provide robust integration capabilities with multiple sales tools, including forms and emails. They can also be easily integrated with thousands of other tools through Zapier and Make.

Automating Airtable and Pipedrive – Which Platform Lets You Do More?

Now, let’s talk about automation—our bread and butter. Both Airtable and Pipedrive have plenty to offer, so let’s see what each brings to the table.


Airtable gives you a separate workflow builder to create handy automations or send data via Webhooks to third-party platforms like Make. It has a variety of triggers to choose from:

  • A new record is created
  • A record is updated
  • A record matches specific conditions
  • Someone submits a form
  • A record enters a specific view
  • Someone clicks an interface button
  • Airtable receives data via webhook.

You can even schedule automations or use one of the native integrations to start them via a third-party tool.

Now, onto the next step in the workflow – here’s what you can do: 

  • Conditional logic and loops: Control when and how your workflow runs.
  • Manipulating records: Create, find, and update records.
  • Sending emails: Automate your communication.
  • Running scripts: Use the code step for advanced automation scenarios that save you hours.

But wait, there’s more! Before you dive into Zapier or Make, check out Airtable’s built-in integrations. These include Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Sheets, Docs, Gmail, Facebook Pages, and even Hootsuite.

And if you still need more, Airtable’s Make integration lets you do things its automations don’t, like deleting records. 

Plus, you can send data to thousands of other apps instantly, making your automation possibilities nearly endless!


So, how does Pipedrive stack up? Like Airtable, Pipedrive has a custom workflow builder. When setting up an automation, you can choose from multiple triggers in six different categories:

  • Activity
  • Deal
  • Lead
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Project

Sample triggers include “When an activity is created” or “When a deal is updated”. Next, you can set conditions to keep your workflow running smoothly and get really detailed with filtering for advanced workflows.

For example, the “Deal activities count” filter has several options to choose from.

Next, you pick from available actions. While there are several third-party apps to choose from, the webhook action is the most powerful, connecting your workflows directly to Make or Zapier Webhooks.

Another cool thing about Pipedrive is its workflow templates. You don’t even have to know what you want to automate to get started. Just pick a template and finish its setup:

Pipedrive’s automations are solid, but there are some downsides. You need to sign up for the advanced plan to use automations, and unlike Airtable, you can’t run scripts to manipulate your data more efficiently.

The good news? Even if internal automations feel limited, you can always integrate Pipedrive with Zapier or Make and build any workflow you want. 

Plus, Pipedrive’s extensive API gives you plenty of triggers and actions, especially if you use Make as your automation platform.

Verdict: Both Airtable and Pipedrive have a strong automation game. Airtable stands out with its advanced scripting options and vast integration possibilities—great for heavy customization. Pipedrive is user-friendly with handy workflow templates and a robust API, making it a strong choice for straightforward sales automation.

Pricing and Scalability: Which Platform Is More Expensive?

Both tools offer a bunch of features to get you hooked, but let’s talk dollars and cents. How much do these platforms actually cost?


As of May 2024, Airtable has four pricing plans: Free, Team ($24/user/month or $20/user/month if paid annually), Business ($54/user/month or $45/user/month if paid annually), and Enterprise (we’ll skip this one for now).

A quick heads-up: the Free plan is pretty limited. With only 1,000 records and 100 automation runs, it’s more of a sandbox than a serious business tool. The Team plan ramps it up to 50,000 records per base and 25,000 automation runs, making it robust enough to serve as a CRM, PM tool, or even a single source of truth for your business.

There are other differences between the plans, but for most users, the record and automation limits are the biggies. The good news? At $20/user/month, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and can turn Airtable into a CRM, PM, and (almost) any other tool you can think of.


Pipedrive offers five pricing plans and gives you more choices, but it’s also pricier. The third plan costs about the same as Airtable’s Business plan.

The platform doesn’t have a free plan, but given Airtable’s free plan’s limitations, this isn’t a huge deal.

Pipedrive’s plans differ mainly in usage limits like open deals, custom fields, and active automations. Some limits apply per company, others per user. 

Note that, the Essential plan lacks automations and features like video call scheduling, so you’ll need at least the Advanced plan if you’re serious about sales automation. This will set you back $37.90/user/month or $27.90/user/month if paid annually.

Even though Pipedrive is pricier, it offers solid value. The various plans let you pick what fits your sales team’s needs best.


Airtable is more cost-effective for small and medium businesses looking for a versatile tool that can handle a variety of tasks beyond just sales. However, if your primary focus is on sales automation and you need advanced features out of the box, Pipedrive’s higher cost is justified by its specialized capabilities and user-friendly setup.

Airtable vs Pipedrive: The Pros and Cons

Before we wrap up, let’s quickly go over the key advantages and downsides of each platform, especially when it comes to sales.

Airtable Advantages:

  • Flexibility: Missing a feature? Just build it! Airtable lets you easily add new features to your CRM. While you’re still limited by the platform, you can achieve a lot with low-code.
  • Better data management: You can structure your bases from the ground up, letting you customize your data management experience.
  • Better automations: Easily automate your sales processes, connect with third parties, or use Airtable scripting for more efficient data processing.
  • Integrations: Connect with dozens of apps via built-in integrations and thousands more via Make and Zapier.

Airtable Cons:

  • Setup time: It takes time to build, so if you need a tool “yesterday,” it’s not the best choice.
  • Not sales-focused: It’s not a sales-automation-first platform, so implementing certain features might be tricky.
  • Complexity: The platform can be overwhelming for non-technical users, especially when you first sign up and see this:

Pipedrive Advantages:

  • Intuitive dashboards: Get user-friendly dashboards and views right out of the box.
  • Built-in sales features: It comes with everything you need to start managing sales.
  • Advanced automations: Start automating your sales process with ease (templates!)
  • Quick start: You can get started within minutes after signing up. There’s still plenty you can customize, but all the essential features are already there.

Pipedrive Downsides:

  • Cost: It can get expensive as you scale.
  • Limited scope: It’s primarily for managing sales processes and not much beyond that.
  • Customization limits: Not the best choice for a single source of truth if you need to go beyond managing customer sales data. You can’t fully customize it to your liking.

Making the Choice: Which Platform for Your Business?

Now it’s decision time. Which platform should you choose for your business?


Choose Airtable if you need a flexible, customizable tool that can handle various tasks beyond just sales, and you have the time to set it up. It’s perfect for businesses looking to build a tailored solution that fits their unique needs or that are growing and want to ensure the tool can grow with them.

Keep in mind that: Airtable can be overwhelming at first, especially for non-technical users. To avoid this, start with a simple base and gradually add complexity as you become more comfortable.

Tip: If you aren’t planning to hire airtable developers, take advantage of Airtable’s extensive templates and community forums to jumpstart your setup and learn best practices.


Choose Pipedrive if you need to start managing your sales now and are looking for a sales-focused tool that works right out of the box with minimal setup and little technical knowledge required. It’s great for businesses that want a straightforward, user-friendly CRM to manage their sales processes.

Keep in mind that: While Pipedrive is easier to get started with, its UI can be limiting. It’s best to give it a test ride before committing.

Tip: Leverage Pipedrive’s workflow templates to streamline your sales process and save time on repetitive tasks.

By considering your specific needs, team capabilities, and growth plans, you can choose the platform that best aligns with your business goals.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business

Ultimately, the decision which tool to choose comes down to your business’s specific needs and priorities. 

Airtable offers unparalleled flexibility and customization, making it ideal for businesses that need a multi-functional tool. 

On the other hand, Pipedrive’s user-friendly interface and sales-focused features make it perfect for businesses looking to streamline their sales processes quickly and efficiently. 

To make the best decision, ensure that you evaluate your goals, team capabilities, and future growth plans. 

Need a custom and flexible Airtable-based app for your CRM? Or maybe you’re using Pipedrive and want to connect it to third-party tools? Schedule a discovery call and let’s discuss how we can tailor Airtable or automation workflows to meet your sales automation needs.

Streamline your processes, get more control over your sales, and boost your productivity. Click here to book your call and explore the possibilities!

Jacek Piotrowski
Jacek Piotrowski

Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at

I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.

You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page


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