A Guide to Product-led Growth

Author:

Jimmy Fong
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Episode

99

A Guide to Product-led Growth

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Jimmy Fong

Chief Commercial Officer at SEON

Product-Led Growth is defined as a go-to-market strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers

But how to know if it’s the right strategy for your business? 

There  is a slight shift in the way buyers buy today, and a product-led growth strategy could be the competitive edge you need to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Recently on B2B Revenue Acceleration, Jimmy Fong, Chief Commercial Officer at SEON, explained how product-led growth introduces a potent dynamic to customer engagement.

Topics that were covered:

  • Switching to a bottom-up engagement dynamic
  • Focusing on time-to-value
  • Learning from B2C marketing
  • 3 ways to implement product-led growth strategies
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Generally, the more in SaaS things become competitive and saturated, then things like product-led principles stick out as a bit of a competitive advantage for what you do.

Jimmy Fong – Chief Commercial Officer at SEON

Flipping the Approach

Generally speaking, most mid-size and enterprise sales tactics use a top-down approach. It makes sense. Generally, they’re dealing with companies with complicated problems that require endorsements from the C-suite.

But according to Jimmy, the SaaS world is slowly moving towards bottom-up adoption.

Here’s how it works:

The end operator discovers a problem and looks online for a tool to solve that problem. They put in a lot of research to see what the best solution is, of course, and find one they like. They use it, become big fans, and share it with others within the company. 

As the product seller, you can then go to the CIO, for example, and show that the team has been using the product — in fact, the usage rate has been going up — and broach the subject of widening the scale. 

When the operators are evangelizing on your product’s behalf, you have more traction for a sales conversation. It leads to a much richer conversation with decision-makers.

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The key principle when looking at something like product-led growth is to take away concepts like time to value; that’s really what you’re looking to get the prospect to experience.

Jimmy Fong – Chief Commercial Officer at SEON

Focus on Time-to-Value

Letting prospects use the product without any kind of friction is fundamental to product-led-growth. The goal is to let them experience value as soon as possible. 

Now, when you segment the product, there might be multiple use cases. The trick is to package pieces of each into a sample package that’s coherent and that the prospect can use without undertaking a massive, complicated project.

According to Jimmy, SEON devotes a lot of analytics and data measurement to “converting customers to something that gives them a lightbulb moment.”

In other words, you want them to understand the product, how it fits into their workflow, and how, ultimately, it will make their lives easier.

It’s a tactic that B2C companies like Spotify and Dropbox have been perfecting for a while.

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All the same things we get from our B2C experience, we should be thinking about incorporating those from a B2B point of view.

Jimmy Fong – Chief Commercial Officer at SEON

Lessons from the B2C World

Most of us now expect the types of experiences we get in the B2C world within a B2B context. There are two ways he recommends incorporating B2C tactics into B2B.

No Multiyear Contracts

Oftentimes in SaaS, the prospect doesn’t experience value until they’re in a live environment. If you’re trying to lock them down to a long-term contract before they’ve experienced any value from your product, you’re ultimately setting yourself up for a tough time.

Jimmy says to adopt the strategy of a B2C service company like Netflix. Offer 30-day contracts so that prospects have a chance to try out your service.

The psychology is simple: you’re demonstrating that the product risk is on you as a vendor rather than on the prospect. You’ve made the path to value frictionless.

Level of Analytics Usage

With product-led growth, you need to get better at tailoring communications to each individual prospect. To do that, build up your analytics infrastructure.

Focus on improving data measurement at all interaction points so that you can start segmenting your users and devoting more resources to heavily-engaged users. 

You don’t want to waste effort communicating with someone who created a trial account but never actually entered the system when you could be communicating with someone who has used the platform and invited 10 other teammates to join

3 Ways to Implement Product-Led Growth Strategies

Jimmy recommends these three practical ways to implement product-led growth strategies into the prospect experience:

Number 1: Make Pricing Clear

Jimmy admits it’s a pretty low barrier for what prospects want to find out before buying something but from a prospect-experience standpoint, it’s important to be upfront about the costs.

2: Ensure Prospects Can Actually Book a Demo

Many companies have a product demo page on their website, but it just leads to the contact us page. It’s a frustrating experience for the prospect. 

For one thing, they have no idea when the company will get back to them. It also likely means that the company is qualifying the heck out of them and that means they might not even help out if the prospect is from a company that’s too small.

Those ingredients don’t add up to a positive prospect experience.

3: Make It Easy to Sample the Product

The final way is to let the prospect sample the product. This goes back to helping them experience a bit of value as soon as possible. 

Jimmy says that oftentimes it’s a dev-led decision to purchase. Because of that, you want to make it easy for them to interact with your API, show how quickly they can use it and how easy the documentation is to understand, and demonstrate how it will fit into their product roadmap.

Basically, what you’re trying to do is educate the prospect online with full transparency. You’re building up that relationship so that they trust the brand a little bit more by the time you’re engaged.

For more insights on product-led growth, reach out to Jimmy on LinkedIn.

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

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Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

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Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

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Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

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Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

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