Developing a proper growth strategy is essential to every business and is especially important if you’re running a SaaS business. Product-led growth (PLG) strategies are becoming more and more popular in the SaaS space due to their high rate of effectiveness. But what exactly are PLG strategies, and how can one be implemented in your SaaS company?
In this article, we’ll talk about everything you should understand to have a successful product-led growth strategy.
What is product-led growth?
Before you can build your strategy, you must first understand what product-led growth means. Product-led growth simply refers to letting customers’ usage of a product be the main driver of company growth. You allow your product to be used for free through a trial or freemium service model in the hopes that customers will eventually upgrade to a premium version of the product. Companies that use a product-led growth model deliver value to the customer upfront without the use of sales reps or complicated demos.
The benefits of a product-led growth strategy
A product-led growth strategy comes with many benefits, but its main upside is that it saves time and money. This is because these strategies are centered around customers and satisfying their needs and wants with your product. Your company’s growth won’t be dependent on marketing, sales, or advertising, saving you tons of spending in the immediate and long term. SaaS companies like Slack and Dropbox all have successful product-led growth models.
Product-led growth vs. sales-led growth
Many companies use a sales-led growth (SLG) model to drive sales. Sales-led growth places emphasis on sales teams to drive company expansion. This looks something like a company structuring its internal and external resources around its sales department to help them make more sales.
Companies using this model have sales representatives that guide users on how to properly interface their enterprise products. Sales teams meet with customers in person and give demos of how their products work. Software companies that sell a very niche or complex product are heavily reliant on SLG. This is because what they sell is often not user-friendly and requires specific instruction to be used properly.
So, what is the difference between product-led growth and sales-led growth? The main difference is customer experience.
With the SLG model, customers must be shown value by sales representatives who guide their user experience. Customers often pay upfront for personalized demos and then purchase the full software afterward. With the PLG model, customer experience is determined by the quality of the product itself. They are often given a fully functional version of the product upfront and for free, and can decide to upgrade to a premium version later on.
The importance of buy-in
Believe it or not, one of the most important factors in implementing a successful PLG strategy is to have company buy-in. What this means is that all employees of your company should be in agreement that PLG is what is best for the company.
Employee buy-in looks like open and transparent communication between leadership and the rest of the company on PLG goals. Everyone should know and understand their role in implementing the strategy. When a tactic is or isn’t working, it should be clearly communicated across teams. It’s important to establish these roles and responsibilities before moving forward to avoid unnecessary conflicts or confusion.
Building a product-led growth strategy
Let’s go over some steps to building your strategy for product-led growth.
Understand your user base
The first step in building any PLG strategy is to understand your product and how it benefits your users. To do this, you have to understand the needs and desires of your customers thoroughly. Why should they use your product? What’s in it for them? What problems will your product solve? These questions can be answered by crafting the features of your product around these problems.
Provide immediate and long-term value
Ideally, your product must be able to deliver value both immediately and consistently over time. Your product will provide immediate value if it satisfies users’ pain points. Long-term value is determined by a positive user experience. This means your product should be easy and convenient to use. If your product solves their problem but isn’t easy to work with then users will likely not stick around past the trial period.
Gather constant feedback
It’s important to consistently know where you stand with your users. The only way to do this is to ask for feedback on a regular basis. Even when the trial period for your product is over, ask for feedback. This will determine how much your product is delivering and what needs improvement.
Make data-driven decisions
After establishing your points of constant feedback it’s time to throw data in the mix. Data analytics is becoming a big part of how business is done. Thus, it’s essential to consider the role data plays in making your product top-notch.
Data-driven decisions are made by using event tracking tools, business intelligence tools, and data visualization tools. Platforms like Google Analytics, MixPanel, and Google Tag Manager are among the most popular.
Once you’ve decided on the tools to use it’s time to make decisions about your data. Is the feedback from your UI/UX data lackluster? How often do customers complain about your app crashing? What does the event data from your app reveal about your customers and how they interact with your product? The answers to these questions will determine how well your product performs.
Product-led growth will unlock your potential
We’ve just covered a lot, so let’s sum it up here.
Product-led growth is a popular and effective way of growing as a SaaS company. PLG is distinctly different from other growth models like sales-led growth because it places emphasis on the product experience. Under a PLG model, your product is offered for free for a trial period of time, with an offer for a premium version of the product always available. Your PLG strategy should demonstrate your product’s immediate and long-term value, use constant feedback models, and use data to make objective decisions for your growth.
Are you looking to bring your SaaS company to new heights? VeryCreatives is here to help make your vision a reality. Book a free consultation with us today!