From $0 to $1.5M in Revenue: 5 Tips for Creating an Effective Sales Pipeline for Your Startup


Browsing the internet, you will find thousands of articles, tutorials, and guides about how to obtain your first visits to your new online start-up: the creation and administration of campaigns using Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other channels. You will even find how to organically position your business on different search engines.

Unfortunately, this is just the first step in a long process.

In the following, I would like to share with you 5 tips I have learned first-hand over the past 8 years that helped us grow and consolidate our company as well as things I learned working on other projects in which I have invested.

1) Unfortunately, no one knows your business yet.

Regardless of your passion for your project and the fact that it can solve a big problem for thousands of people, they have no idea, they don’t know you, don’t trust you and don’t realize how you might be able to help them.

Even if you invest all of your savings in ads and hundreds of people visit your online platform, it has been proved by the Baymard Institute that on average 7 out of every 10 visitors will never use your services. This number could be even higher as this study was based on big, trusted companies like IBM.

For this reason, your sales pipeline should begin first by developing an excellent landing page, which should be constantly evolving through A/B trials so as to improve the conversion rate and optimize results. I suggest that you implement a video of around 50 seconds in length that explains in simple words first of all the problem that you seek to solve for the client and then secondly, what solution you are offering.

An excellent example that you can take for your video is the one by Beepi, where with very simple graphics they explain a new process for buying and selling cars:

Don’t forget about taking the time to ask for some testimonials from your first clients which can be added to your landing page. In this way, you will generate trust with your users since they don’t know you yet and it has been shown that 67% of your future clients will be influenced by comments they find about your products on the internet.

However, the goal of the landing page doesn’t end there, it is a harsh fact that most of your visitors will leave without buying. For this very reason, depending on the function of your product, you should seek to obtain a viable alternative, at the very least the visitor’s email. What you are searching for here is to begin your sales process in order to educate the client.

One successful example of this is Booking.com, where in order to generate a lead and store the email of their users, even those that are not necessarily ready to reserve a hotel yet, they offer to send out “secret” alerts with special sales and offers. This enables them to be in constant communication with their users until they are ready to make a purchase.


Another option that creates leads for sales follow-up is to provide a digital incentive such as a guide or e-book that you can send to their email, which is exactly what Kissmetrics does in their Guides section.


2) If you first educate your clients, then selling to them later will be easier.

Once you have obtained the user’s email, it is essential that you continue the sales process. Here, you should not insist again in selling, but in creating value for your users.

If, for example, your platform is a solution for small and medium-sized business so that they can implement online marketing, then an excellent idea would be to educate them with a sequence of weekly emails about: “How to execute an Internet ad campaign from zero.”

If it can be of use to you, the tool that I use for this is Convertkit, which allows you to entirely automate this process for each new user that is added to your database.

The goal of this sales process, where you educate the client, is to take them step-by-step along the way until they obtain the necessary information they need in order to start efficiently using your service. Not all of the visitors to your website will be equipped with the same learning level so as to begin to use your service immediately, nor will they be aware of all of the advantages that can be obtained from it. As shown in a study done by MOZ, the average user begins using your services on visit number 8. Yes, you read correctly, not until the 8th visit. This is why it is so important that you carry out the follow-up correctly, until the sale is made.

Another hidden aspect which is very interesting when working in this manner is that over time the person will feel more and more comfortable with your business venture, with your brand, and your work method and in consequence, the possibility that you will close the sale raises considerably, positioning yourself above your competitors in their mind.

3) Never underestimate the potential impact of a personal meeting.

Even though the previous point is the most viable one for scaling your company, at the beginning (the first 3 months) I recommend that you start by having one on one personal meetings with your first clients. This helped us enormously when it came to being able to grow our start-up for 2 reasons:

a) It gives you the possibility to become more familiar with your users, their needs, their worries, their insecurities and the objections, which inhibit them from buying your services.
b) It will allow you to plan and automate exactly the emails that you will need to send in the future in order to provide follow-up and educate your next clients all the way up until the sale is made.

This third step takes a lot of time, dedication, and energy, but without a doubt it is the most important one in this article. If you get to know your clients better than your competition, you will always win.

4) Design your onboarding process from day 1.

An error I see too often is the lack of an onboarding process which allows the client to take the first steps and begin to use the services with success.

Today, the ones who do this the best, from who we all can learn is Canva. Use their software if only as a way to see how you can take a user, who has never used nor understands how your platform works, to be an expert in just 23 seconds.


Always put yourself in the shoes of your first users, what they experience as they first use your services, their emotions, their need to finish their task as soon as possible and to arrive at the expected outcome.

5) Remarketing: Use it Intelligently.

Surely for a while now you have observed how different companies follow you where you are at (news sites, social networks, etc) in order to sell you again what you already decided not to purchase. You can thank Remarketing for this.

However, I invite you to take a better approach to this functionality. Instead of bothering the client once more, why not use this mechanism in order to continue strengthening the ties of relationship between them and your service over the long run.

One example of this that I like very much is UXPin, which uses remarketing through Facebook ads to help their clients to continue understanding with guides, tutorials, e-books, etc.


In the long term, when the client finally needs your services, I can assure you that the first person they will think of will be you, the one who helped them and were there by their side while they learned!




Image credit: CC by Mick C

About the author: Cristian Angel Rennella

Cristian Ángel Rennella is the President of elMejorTrato.com, online education platform. He is currently focused on investing and helping new technological initiatives in developing countries.

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