As we at Pocus have worked to build the first-ever Product-Led Sales (PLS) platform — and the playbooks and communities that bring it to life — we’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with many vendors who are building the next generation of tools that enable PLS.
In this series, we’re highlighting these vendors with a breakdown of what they do, which problems they’re on a mission to solve, and a behind-the-scenes look at their sales motion.
Looking for a way to connect with these vendors and other top thinkers in the PLS and product-led growth (PLG) space? Join the conversation in Pocus’ invite-only community for go-to-market leaders.
Watch the spotlight interview below or keep reading ⬇️
Meet Nick Mills - President at Pitch
Nick leads go-to-market efforts to bring Pitch’s collaborative presentation platform to modern teams globally.
According to Nick, Pitch is built for what he calls the “next generation” of users who expect their tools to be fast, intuitive, and multiplayer-friendly. For Pitch, that means giving teams a new way to create beautiful presentations together, without the need for design resources or all the back-and-forth of traditional single-player presentation software.
Prior to joining Pitch, Nick led CircleCI’s international expansion, building out operations as EMEA General Manager and a member of the global executive team. Nick has previously led teams at Stripe, Facebook, and Microsoft and led a number of earlier-stage startups through to successful exits.
Nick also loves helping startup founders on their journeys, acting as investor, advisor, and non-executive board member.
What is Pitch?
Pitch is a collaborative presentation platform that really puts user experience first.
“Pitch is built from the ground up for modern teams. We're making the experience of building presentations both fast and delightful for teams around the world and working with some fantastic companies in doing so.”
Pitch’s founders started the company just over four years ago on the premise that presentations were a central platform that powered the growth of companies, and were due for an overhaul. From strategy to sales and finance, creating and sharing decks is a core part of knowledge work.
“Through their experience, with their last company, [the founders] saw that the entire knowledge worker stack of tools was being rebuilt. Whereas in the past, teams would have used the Microsoft office suites, there's a whole suede of companies that are rebuilding tooling for modern teams or the slack generation of users”
What is the Core Problem Pitch Solves for Users?
Does getting lost in a neverending email chain of presentation edits sound familiar? Or maybe you’ve struggled to design a beautiful slide when your designer doesn’t have the time? That’s where Pitch comes in.
“There was nothing that was providing that modern, collaborative, but also feature-rich set of tools for teams.”
Before Pitch launched, no presentation tools offered feature-richness, ease-of-use and collaboration in one platform. According to Nick, the only prior options were robust, single-player tools intended for designers, or multiplayer-friendly tools that lacked key features. Pitch fills the gap with feature richness, an accessible experience that gives every team the ability to create beautifully-designed slides, and collaboration workflows that make async work on decks a breeze.
“We've now got over 10,000 teams using Pitch. It’s a mix of designers, product marketers and sales teams who are getting a tremendous amount of value out of Pitch.”
Building for a New Wave of Async Sales
Hybrid or remote work environments are a recent and common reality for tech companies, and a common theme for Pitch customers — making asynchronous communication not just “the norm” but a necessity.
For sales teams, this has meant a drastic change in the way they operate, leveraging tooling that frees up their and their prospects’ time with async sales models. This trend fits perfectly with the features Pitch users know and love, like recordings, analytics, and mobile readiness.
“We've launched some rich features, such as recordings to message asynchronously when you're not necessarily presenting live, as well as analytics to help teams and users understand whether their slides have been read: Who's opened them when, and how frequently?”
This means when a salesperson leaves a pitch deck behind for the customer they can embed a talk track through recordings that will help them make the sale without being in the room.
Pitch’s sales motion
It’s pretty simple today — Pitch is all-in on being product-led.
“The short answer is that we're first and foremost, a PLG company and today, and probably for a long period of time, product-led is going to be our primary acquisition model.”
Nick and his team understand how important it is “to try before you buy” in their market, which means half (or sometimes all) the sales journey happens before a sales person even gets involved. PLG is their primary go-to-market motion for precisely this reason: The types of teams they target are evaluating best-of-breed tools on their own.
“For Pitch [PLG] is our primary business model and go-to-market motion. That means we spend a lot of time and investment and effort in our marketing channels, optimizing our content, our paid marketing, our search, brand word of mouth and other things which are going to drive users to the platform.”
Experimenting with Product-Led Sales
With over 10K teams using Pocus, Nick is now exploring layering in “sales acceleration” on top of the PLG motion.
“We are experimenting with how we can start to layer in a people-based engagement. And I think of that as sales accelerated rather than sales led in a PLG motion”
What does this motion look like at Pitch?
#1 Finding opportunities for expansion of existing accounts by looking at product usage and firmographic data. Then using that data to reach out with a messaging that adds value.
Expansion of existing paying customers where they're likely to have gone beyond that aha moment. They've recognized the value of paying for Pitch and have anywhere from 10–100 users on the product. The opportunity there is to look at product usage data in combination with the number of users to understand how they're using the product, where they may potentially, be blocked in some way, to deliver a very relevant, kind of data-driven signals based educational and insightful value/message.
#2 Capitalizing on new high potential sign ups who are early in their journey
“The second component is working with companies that have just signed up the pitch may not yet be paying us, but if they demonstrate based on our experience and based on our ideal customer profile high potential, then we want to try and talk to them a little bit sooner. So that also means that we layer in data-driven signals by using more third-party data, because they're earlier in the product usage and we have less.”
What do You See for the Future of Product-Led Growth and Product-Led Sales? 🔮
Nick and the team at Pitch are all in on PLG. And it makes sense. There has been an increase in even earlier-stage companies investing in PLG from their very beginnings.
What he is seeing though is a shift in priority from user growth to revenue growth at PLG-driven companies. Especially in light of the economic downturn, teams are now looking more closely at activation. It’s not enough for PLG motions to deliver user growth; they need to directly drive revenue metrics, and support a clear path to profitability.
“The focus needs to be not just looking at things like user growth and user engagement, but really connecting your PLG motion into other metrics that everyone up to the board of investors and future investors care about…Purely relying on user led numbers and user growth can get you so far, but you've got to start thinking about what is your sustainable go-to-market strategy? What revenue are you going to drive? What is your path to profitability?”
Keep Connecting with other Vendors in the PLS Community
If you enjoyed this vendor spotlight with Pitch’s President Nick Mills — just know there’s more where that came from.
Find him on LinkedIn and during our upcoming AMA on October 6th!
To get exclusive invites and access to AMAs with GTM leaders like Nick, request to join Pocus’ PLS community.