Product-led growth (PLG), the go-to-market strategy where product usage drives customer acquisition and expansion, is becoming increasingly common among SaaS companies of all stripes. Nearly 60% of this year’s Forbes Cloud 100 companies use a product-led strategy, and 70% of the top 50 allow users to try their product for free before buying or upgrading.
But developing and launching a product through this model doesn’t guarantee success. The traditional top-down enterprise sales model just doesn’t work with the self-serve, freemium user bases of PLG, which can see thousands of sign-ups per day. Blanket email or marketing campaigns aren’t targeted enough, and a 1:1 sales approach just won’t scale.
As PLG companies gain traction, they need to figure out how to analyze and identify which of their users can be potential paying, profitable customers. To drive revenue growth and profitability, the product-led growth model requires a different way of approaching sales: product-led sales (PLS).
A PLS model involves giving sales teams product and customer data so they can prioritize users who are most likely to convert quickly and at scale. Unleashing the power of PLG via PLS requires a slightly different approach to data, leads and the role of sales. Let’s take a look at how you need to recalibrate your thinking.
Your free offering, and the features customers get when they upgrade to paid plans should both create a natural conversion path to your enterprise offering.
Rethink your data
To see the benefit of a PLG strategy, you must start by cutting through the noise and creating visibility into consolidated customer data. Data is the foundation you’ll use to uncover the buyer journey, key patterns of user behavior and glean actionable insights. This data has to be easily accessible and intuitive for account executives, support reps and customer success managers at the same time.
Unfortunately, many sales teams lack this type of self-serve access to the data they need to inform their sales approach. It can often take weeks for a company’s central data team to respond to such requests, and even when they can provide the data, it’s often in the form of a static report that may no longer reflect the customer information needed to seize opportunities. Rethinking your data means you’ll have to move beyond fragmented data systems that are bound by manual reporting and are not informed by product usage analytics.