In this episode #24, we are talking with Nick Bertolino the co-founder of Pipeline CRM (, the #.1 Sales CRM empowering sales teams to build game-changing relationships with customers. Nick talks about the way to build a business as a non-technical founder and how it’s absolutely necessary to learn the technical side of things if you want to succeed, why having good customer support is the key for SaaS success, and how he feels after Pipeline CMr being acquired by saas.group.
(0:00:06) – Building a Successful CRM Startup
Nick Bertolino is the co-founder of Pipeline CRM. His background is in technology, and he spent most of his career in the consulting field managing technology projects. We explore why Nick chose to outsource the software development instead of doing it himself, and learn that Nick was more interested in the creative part of the product, rather than the engineering.
(0:12:03) – Scaling SaaS With Revenue First
Nick Bertolino, co-founder of Pipeline CRM, shares the bootstrapping mindset he and his co-founder, JP, had when they started the company. They had rules in place to ensure the business was able to support itself and be profitable, and their approach to scaling the business. They got a lucky break when they landed a large customer and the strategy they used to close the deal.
(0:21:12) – Scaling Challenges and Marketing Metrics
We discuss the challenges of scaling a business and the need for engineering solutions to customer experience problems. We explore the hard-to-scale problems of sales and marketing, and the importance of having metrics in place to measure success. We emphasize the importance of understanding customer acquisition costs, and how SEO can be used to reduce those costs. All these topics are essential considerations during the due diligence process.
(0:28:21) – Invest in Customer Service for Marketing
Nick used customer service as a way to acquire customers and drive word of mouth marketing. To differentiate their business from their peers, Nick and JP invested in customer service tools and response times and deliberately refused to put any sort of integrated voice response system in place. Nick shares his thoughts on how customer service is often treated as a transaction by the bigger companies, and how he and JP sought to invest in customer service as a way to build their SaaS business.
(0:36:10) – Metrics and M&A
We explore the importance of metrics in running a successful SaaS business. We discuss the key metrics that Nick Bertolino, co-founder of Pipeline CRM, and his team tracked on a weekly and monthly basis. We also look at the metrics that potential acquirers wanted to see, including P&Ls, balance sheets, customer acquisition costs, conversion rates, and more. Nick shares his advice on what he would do differently when going through the due diligence process and emphasizes the importance of having all contracts, employment agreements, and other paperwork organized in an easily accessible format.
Nick shares his insights on scaling a business and the need for engineering solutions to customer experience problems. We also explore the key metrics that Nick and his co-founder JP used to track the progress of Pipeline CRM. Nick’s advice reminds us of the importance of bootstrapping and customer service in creating a successful SaaS business.