A pipeline is a long-term goal that involves a series of discrete stages. It is used in sales and can be applied to any long-term endeavor. An example of a pipeline is the acquisition pipeline of a private equity firm, which involves a series of stages, including industry research, lead generation, negotiations, due diligence, and closing.
A pipeline is a term used to describe a series of steps that lead to a final product. For example, a pipeline might be a series of steps that lead to the production of oil. This could be the process of drilling for oil, pumping the oil from the ground, refining the oil, and then finally transporting the refined oil to refineries where it can be used for various purposes.