To fully embrace product-led growth, build a strong product ops team

In today’s digital economy, you can tell a lot about a company by looking at how well they leverage their product.

If you’re a forward-thinking business, your product can’t only be the means by which you deliver services and value to customers (although it certainly has to be that). With the rise of the product-led movement, your product is now at the center of all your business functions. It’s a sales tool. It’s a marketing channel. It’s a support desk.

A product-led approach has both empowered product teams and required them to collaborate better with other departments. This can be difficult to accomplish smoothly, since the areas in which much of that collaboration needs to happen have traditionally operated in silos.

Luckily, there’s a way forward, and it involves embracing a new function that can serve as the convener and organizer in a product-led organization. Called product operations (often product ops for short), this function is becoming prevalent among the most forward-thinking companies.

A new role for a new business structure

Typically part of the product team, product ops sits at the intersection of product, engineering and customer success.

This function helps drive business outcomes for product by building non-tangible features and value into the product, as well as improving processes, alignment and communication around the product. It’s similar to how sales and marketing ops help their departments. It’s a critical function for any company that wants to make its product the “center of the wheel.”

Think about the ways a product-led approach fundamentally transforms the customer experience — the self-guided tours, free trials and freemium versions that companies offer. They’ve made it so the software does the talking more than the sales rep. Customers and prospects can now demonstrate a product’s value to themselves.

Or from a marketing perspective, consider how product analytics capabilities give teams unprecedented insight into the best cross-selling and upselling opportunities for customers. In countless ways, being product-led revolutionizes how companies and customers engage with one another.