Year One: The Product-Led Sales Platform is Here to Stay

An update on what we've been building and what we've learned in year one.
Isaac Pohl-Zaretsky
July 5, 2022
Year One: The Product-Led Sales Platform is Here to Stay

Last week we announced $23M in funding to transform the way go-to-market teams use data to drive revenue. Pocus’ Series A was led by Coatue with participation from First Round Capital, Box Group, and GTM fund. We’re fortunate to have the support from the best angels in PLG (Aaron Katz, Akshay Kothari, GC Lionetti, Jack Altman, Sri Viswanath, Abhinav Asthana), data (Barr Moses, Tristan Handy, Adam Blitzer), community (Ben Lang, Lenny Rachitsky, Packy McCormick), company building (Allison Pickens, Scott Belsky, Max Mullen, Christian Cacioppo, Scott Williamson)... and many more.

Year One: Where is the Pocus platform today? 

Since founding Pocus about one year ago, we’ve spent countless hours iterating on Pocus’ Product-Led Sales platform based on feedback from our customers and the community. The result is a product that customers love and are using every day to drive their go-to-market strategy. 

In our announcement, we honed in on three key learnings from the last year. I’m going to dive into here to explain how these learnings translated into product priorities.

Data. Data. More Data.

This past year began with a ton of foundational work on our data infrastructure, the core that powers everything in the platform. As you may have read in our announcement, one of our key learnings has been that one size does not fit all. So we invested a significant amount of time into building a flexible underlying data model that doesn’t force customers into a rigid data hierarchy.

The data models users see in tools like Salesforce resemble a specific type of go-to-market, where you must shoehorn yourself into a pre-defined lead and account hierarchy. What we’ve learned is that Product-Led Sales looks very different for every company depending on the type of product you sell and how you go-to-market, so we made it easy to fit to your model and not vice versa.

What does this mean practically for Pocus customers? 

  • Quick onboarding. It takes less than 30 minutes to onboard your customer data because no transformations are needed. You don’t need to fit our model, we can take your data as it is.
  • Easy integrations to your Data Warehouse, CRM, & morePoint Pocus to the right tables and fields t to bring in critical data.
  • Define any custom object. PLG companies don’t just care about accounts and contacts. Pocus supports the ability to bring in data about custom object types that matter to your business. For example, if you are Slack, you can see data at the account, user, channel, team or app level. 

Easy to use, without engineers.

We proved out a big hypothesis in the last year - one size fits all doesn’t work for any go-to-market team and especially doesn’t work for Product-Led Sales. Go-to-market teams need to experiment with data and PQL scores that fit their specific workflows. 

So instead of building hard-coded workflows for specific go-to-market playbooks, we built our platform to allow non-technical teams to create dashboards, scores, and workflows that fit their needs - without engineering support.  

  • Build powerful scoring models in minutes. Scoring models are easily configurable in a no-code interface for your RevOps and Growth teams. They can make adjustments on the fly, like incorporating feedback about a new customer fit attribute or product usage signal. 
  • Customize dashboards in a few clicks. No need to call an engineer to configure new lists or dashboard views. Just drag & drop to create new visualizations like a historical trend line for feature usage or week-over-week change to active users. 

Speed from insight to action.

Product-Led Sales doesn’t work unless you can operationalize product usage insights within your team's workflow. So we spent time thinking through the most important actions a team takes to reach their PLS goals. These actions can be human touchpoints with the user that require a manual approach or automated actions in third-party tools that keep the go-to-market engine running. 

We worked with customers to choose the most important third-party app destinations and made it easy to configure these workflows without engineering support. 

  • Notify teams where they work. We integrate with Slack, Salesforce, and Hubspot so you can send a message to your teams about hot leads, customers who might churn, and everything in between. 
  • Keep your CRM in sync. Share Pocus insights by updating your CRM with PQL, PQA, or customer health score data. 
  • Integrate with popular tools to improve efficiency. Over the last year we’ve had a front-row seat to how sales, success, growth, and RevOps teams really work. So we built integrations to streamline that work, like pushing Pocus data to Google Sheets and auto generating customer-facing Google Slides with product insights. 

2022: What are we excited about for the rest of this year?

Seeing how our customers use Pocus to drive their Product-Led Sales approach has helped us sharpen our definitions for what a Product-Led Sales platform should or could be.

We recently updated our definition of Product-Led Sales to capture some of what we’ve learned, which can be summed up as: PLS is not just for sales. Product-Led Sales is a cross-functional go-to-market strategy that helps your team convert existing users into paid customers but it can also help you uncover expansion opportunities, reduce churn, and more. 

So with that in mind, we’re excited about a few features that put that insight into focus. 

Support for multiple playbooks

Go-to-market teams think in playbooks. My SDRs are running a free to paid conversion playbook while my CSM and AM teams are focused on expansion playbooks. So we’re excited to introduce support for managing all of these playbooks in Pocus. Define playbooks, run experiments, track progress toward conversion or expansion goals all in one place. 

Other features and improvements

  • Predictive intelligence to surface insights your team doesn’t know like what product usage signals are truly predictive of conversion? What actions lead to conversions? And what is the next best action for a sales team to take?
  • Leadership reporting to make it easier to see the ROI of your Product-Led Sales efforts. Aggregate data on the number of PQLs surfaced, how they converted, and what teams are actioning leads. 
  • Purpose-built tooling for customer success and marketing, because sales shouldn’t have all the fun. In a Product-Led Sales approach, your entire go-to-market team can benefit from product usage data. Equip customer success with the data they need to close that upcoming renewal or expansion deal and help the marketing team do personalization at scale. 

Beyond: What does the future hold for Pocus and Product-Led Sales?

Pocus ushers in a new breed of data-enabled tools that bridge the gap for non-technical go-to-market teams. Powerful insights engine, no-code builder, and workflow orchestration in one application that can extract all the value of the data sitting in the data warehouse. 

We believe that over the next decade, the data warehouse will become the system of record for SaaS businesses, for the ability to handle any data model and the flexibility to build robust applications on top of that data. 

As the modern go-to-market motion becomes increasingly product-led, we’re going to see more companies adopt the data warehouse as their preferred source of truth for customer data. 

This means more non-technical teams will need a way to access this data. 

Just as SaaS teams have adopted the Modern Data Stack for their technical teams , we believe the Product-Led Sales platform will be a key component of a new stack the Modern Growth Stack. The goal of the Modern Growth Stack will be to enable GTM teams with data from the MDS.

To get a closer look at the Pocus platform, scroll down ⬇️ and add your email to the waitlist to get early access.

Further Reading

Year One: The Product-Led Sales Platform is Here to Stay
Isaac Pohl-Zaretsky
CTO & Co-founder @ Pocus
Product-Led Growth Companies that Crushed it in 2022
Product-Led Growth Companies that Crushed it in 2022
Product-led growth is the go-to-market motion responsible for the meteoric rise of some of the most successful tech companies like Slack, Canva, and Airtable.‍
Sandy Mangat
November 29, 2022
What is the sales-assist role?
What is the sales-assist role?
Defining this emerging Product-Led Sales role
Alexa Grabell
November 9, 2021
Product-Led Sales (PLS) AMA: Oran Akron + Tom Ronen
Product-Led Sales (PLS) AMA: Oran Akron + Tom Ronen
How monday.com scaled ARR and went upmarket
Alexa Grabell
November 2, 2021
Product-Led Sales 101 with GC Lionetti
Product-Led Sales 101 with GC Lionetti
Insights on product-led, human-led and everything in between
GC Lionetti
October 28, 2021
Community Post: The PLG Revenue Organization
Community Post: The PLG Revenue Organization
7 ways PLG will impact revenue teams
Alfie Isa Marsh
February 10, 2022
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