Sales Checklist for Side Projects

September 19, 2018    checklists

via portable CTO:

A checklist of sales tactics for your side projects.

The Side Project Sales Checklist is a comprehensive, chronologically ordered list of sales tactics that you can try with your next side project. The list is free and open source so feel free to suggest your own additions anytime.


This section pairs nicely with the Pre-Launch section of the Marketing Checklist, so be sure to check that out too.

Competitor Research

Move fast. Speed is one of your main advantages over large competitors. - Sam Altman, President of YCombinator

Finding competitors’ customers

Customer Research

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. - Zora Neale Hurston, Novelist

Sales Funnel Setup

The top salesperson in the organization probably missed more sales than 90% of the sales people on the team, but they also made more calls than the others made. - Zig Ziglar, Author and Speaker

Lead generation strategies
  • Paid advertising
  • Content marketing (blog posts and social media)
  • SEO
  • Cold outreach (calls, emails, Linkedin messages)
  • Event marketing (conferenes, meetups, sponsored events)

  • [ ] Create multiple cold email messages to test.

  • [ ] Create a cold sales call script.

  • [ ] Practice your cold sales call script with a friend or mentor.

Lead Capture/Generation

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Their needs and wants impact every aspect of your business. - John Rampton, Serial Entrepreneur


This section pairs nicely with the Post-Launch section of the Marketing Checklist. Sales and marketing are really two sides of the same coin, so you’ll probably need a little of both.

Direct Outreach

You should be talking to a small number of users who are seriously interested in what you’re making, not a broad audience who are on the whole indifferent. - Jessica Livingston, Founding Partner at Y Combinator

Running a sales email campaign



  • Determine ROI (return on investment) of lead generation methods
  • Determine average cost of acquisition
  • Identify blockages in your sales funnel (where are people dropping off?).

  • [ ] Survey new customers about your sales process, see if they have suggestions (see this list of survey tools).

  • [ ] Determine your average customer’s lifetime value (LTV) and cost of acquisition (CAC).

  • [ ] Implement a lead scoring system to determine your best prospects.

  • [ ] Focus your outreach efforts only on the highest quality prospects.

  • [ ] A/B test your cold email and phone messaging.

  • [ ] Upsell current customers on new offerings.

  • [ ] Collect and display testimonials from current customers.

  • [ ] Record your sales calls and critique them alone or with a friend.