The fastest growing product-led growth (PLG) companies discover that a sales team can be a massive accelerator to a healthy self-serve growth business model (see more in our previous blog post). But, sales teams at successful PLG companies don’t look like sales teams at traditional enterprise companies; these teams have figured out a way to be more customer and user-centric, more personalized in their approach, and as a result, more effective.
How? By tapping into data from their self-serve users.
GC Lionetti is the former CMO of Confluent, former VP of self-serve at Dropbox, and alumni at Atlassian. As he puts it,
“Sales at PLG companies are data-driven sales teams. Data drives the behavior of your sales team to inform what sales interactions happen - who to reach out to and when.”
With access to self-serve user data, sales reps are able to identify and engage with users with the highest propensity to buy. This new methodology, which allows sales reps to work smarter and achieve a higher ROI, deserves a new name: Product-Led Sales.
Instead of relying solely on customer firmographic data (company size, geography, industry) to inform identification and prioritization of leads, PLS teams analyze product usage data as a primary driver of their sales strategy. This product usage data can include:
Neatly summarized by Aaron Geller, Director of Sales at Cypress,
“Firmographic information about your customer isn’t enough. You must look at the end-user data and product triggers to come up with the right expansion plan so that you are engaging the right customer at the right time.”
A product-led sales approach is all about understanding how a team is using the product, who the product champions are, and when the sales team should engage. Eli Weiner, Vice President of Sales & Success Strategy & Operations at Slack, is a PLS expert and has helped build and refine Slack’s PLS strategy. According to Eli,
“The faster you can identify the signals that correspond to propensity to buy, the better. Once you have a decent handle on them, these PLG signals should drive a big chunk of your sales strategy, sales rep prioritization, and be a main feature of your reporting and analytics.”
After a PLG company has a successful self-serve flywheel in motion, the sales motion is layered on top as a multiplier to the existing machine. With the self-serve motion continuing as a standalone revenue engine, PLG companies invest in sales to become a two-engine machine, finding a more streamlined and elegant path to larger deals and customers.
A PLS strategy offers two main advantages over a traditional enterprise sales strategy:
If you’re reading this and thinking, “This all sounds great, but how exactly do I do this?”, you’ve come to the right place.
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