Sales 1.0 — Software adventures of a bootstrapped startup (P3)

Third in the series of articles on how Advensure set up the 3rd party softwares for its internal processes on a bootstrapped budget.

The next step in our building block for Advensure was to get adventure sports operators on board to list their activities on the marketplace.

Since getting and servicing these operators was and still remains our primary focus, we had to spend a considerable amount of time getting things right. We had to ensure the least action time to reach out to and follow up with potential operators and making sure, once on-boarded, we don’t waste any time in getting their adventure activities live on the portal.

We have switched quite a few softwares and applications along the way to get to our current process. Our aim was to create a seamless system where we don’t miss out on any possible leads and tasks and that while on a budget was the challenge

For a sales team of 2, it shouldn’t have been too big a problem to manage our processes but given the number of contacts and channels of communications we had to manage, it was quite a massive challenge. The fact that we haven’t fucked up in any big way in our sales process still surprises me


The first thing we looked at is our Sales CRM. We figuratively (proud of the grammar) went around the block looking for a system that would work for us and the nature of what we were trying to set up. We tried out Husbpot (for almost a month), AgileCRM and many more (all of them with a free tier), but we finally settled on Pipedrive. Even though they only offer a paid version — 12 USD/person a month, we were ready to pay that considering the application they had built.

Pipedrive’s user interface, mobile application and their ease of creating, tracking and monitoring tasks and other stats work amazingly well for us.

We now use Pipedrive to manage our Corporate Sales as well even though the process with that is completely different.

We have 2 different Pipelines that we use to track our deals —
Operator Sales
Corporate Sales
One of our Pipelines

You can monitor assign products to your deals, set automated deal probabilities, deal rotting and add and filter your data with multiple customized data fields to all 3 — Contacts, Organisations and Deals.

We’ve linked Pipedrive with our other applications using Zapier and so our corresponding tasks are created automatically. For example, when we receive an agreement from an operator, we move the deal to our “Approved” stage. As soon as we do that, 7 individual tasks are created in Asana and assigned to the concerned person with an appropriate due date so our process remains simple. (I’ve explained this connection in detail in my previous post — Bootstrapped Efficient Productivity)

I would highly recommend Pipedrive over other Sales CRMs, especially if you are a small company.

Hello Sign:

We discovered Hello Sign a couple of months back and it has simplified our process of closing deals with our Operators! I’m almost angry with myself for not having found this sooner!

Hello Sign is an online document signing tool. You can add actionable data elements to your word/pdf agreement copy for people to check-mark, type into and sign. You can collect signatures and data from multiple people for one document. All of these actions are tracked on multiple levels via email ids, IP addresses etc.

They let you send 3 documents a month on their free version and well since we have a lot of documents to send out, we have (if you’re from Hello Sign, please look away) 5 free accounts with them.

Since our operators are spread out all over the country and are generally out in the field for most of the time, it was difficult for us to get them to sign our agreement. We have tried couriering the contract to them and sending them an online version for them to print, sign, scan and email it back to us but naturally, that never worked.

Hello Sign has practically doubled our conversion rate.

Other Tools:

Asana —

Asana being our go-to task tracking system, all of our tasks are created and tracked in asana. (Apart from Pipedrive tasks, which are mainly the tasks we need to complete before closing any deal)

Google Apps —

We use Gmail and Google Drive to save all our documents and to take backups.

Mailchimp —

We send out regular Operator Marketing Tips and Tricks newsletters to increase engagement with the operators via Mailchimp’s free tier. Mailchimp connects with Pipedrive to get you all the contact data in Mailchimp lists.

Do you think we could save some more money? Please let me know how!

You can also get in touch with me on Linkedin if you need assistance setting your own software stack.