Product-led growth (PLG) — a go-to-market (GTM) strategy that relies on the product itself to drive acquisition and retention — promises to make life easier for everyone inside a B2B SaaS organization. It’s based on the premise that a great product will instantly deliver great leads, and ultimately customers.
So why, then, do so many marketers struggle to achieve success with PLG? These struggles often lead to their CEO losing trust in them and eye rolls from their sales team. They follow their typical marketing playbook but seem to get farther and farther away from their growth goals. So, what gives?
In reality, it’s normal for marketers to feel like they’re not achieving the type of exponential growth they might have expected when they adopted a PLG motion. While that level of supercharged growth is achievable, it takes a completely different mindset to make it happen. Winning the PLG game means rethinking data, measurement, and the relationship between sales and marketing.
For example, let’s say a product brings in 50,000 users a month. Great, no? If you could just improve conversion by 2%, you’d double revenue! At this point, many marketers begin bombarding their sales team with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) based on firmographic data — company type, size, location, job title, etc. But those sales teams soon get overwhelmed because firmographics reveal only so much.
What PLG companies need is product-usage data. After all, PLG is 100% product-driven. Product usage data can help you know which new users are most likely to convert, so you can give your sales team a metric we call product-qualified leads (PQLs). When scored properly, PQLs offer certainty, removing much of the guesswork from the sales process.
Product usage data is the secret sauce of PLG, creating actionable insights for sales and marketing.
Another reason why PLG companies sometimes spin their wheels is because they draw inaccurate conclusions based on their data. For example, let’s say your product dazzles 50,000 users on Day 1. But then a majority of those users don’t return on Day 2. So, you have a retention problem, right?
Not so fast. It might actually be a conversion problem. If you dive into your product usage data, you might find your highest-quality leads are those who return on Day 2. That’s when you can deploy your sales team to help convert those high-value leads from a free user to a paid subscriber.
When trained as product experts, today’s sales teams can help ease friction points within the product for potential customers and win over new business as a result.
Sales also plays a role in helping customers navigate the ever-crowded SaaS landscape. We’ve done the math for you and have found that, with marketing automation platforms, CRM solutions, sales automation, live chat, and e-signature options, there are 805 billion possible combinations that can make up the modern sales and marketing stack. A product sales team is necessary to help businesses find the right combination of products to meet their needs.
Listen, we know it takes some time to truly understand the nuances of PLG. That’s why we’ve compiled MadKudu’s Guide to PLG: Common Challenges & How to Overcome Them. Inside, you’ll learn how to separate PLG fiction from fact. You’ll get real-world examples of lessons learned. And you’ll discover the strategies that help PLG companies scale rapidly.
Since we want to arm you with the most up-to-date information, we’ll keep adding new chapters to this guide, and we’ll send them right to your inbox as soon as they’re written. Use them to live the PLG life to its fullest!
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