Can you be product-led without a self-serve product?
It’s no secret that every SaaS company wants to be more product-led. There are many benefits to having a self-serve product: it lowers cost of acquisition, accelerates the sales cycle, and can even improve retention. The problem is that not every product is easy to self-serve, and some shouldn’t be self-serve at all. This usually happens for two reasons: :
- Your product applies to multiple use cases making it difficult to get started
- Your product has a complicated setup process that delays value
When self-serve isn’t an option, how do you demonstrate value to potential customers without spending valuable sales resources on demos? This is especially challenging in a PLS motion where you’re trying to delay a human touch until much further down the funnel.
Natalie Marcotullio, Head of Growth at Navattic, has seen this problem grow more prevalent as go-to-market models have transformed and buyers want and expect to touch and feel the product earlier in the sales cycle.
Use product tours to drive self-serve sign ups and educate potential buyers
A mini product tour that shows the most significant features will increase self-serve sign ups and provide valuable product education to your audience.
“Navattic exists because software buyers are getting savvier and want more ways to interact with products, especially earlier in the funnel. They also want more ways to self educate on how to use products. This meant that we needed to help create a way to educate at scale without hundreds of sales reps or without having a self-serve product.”
Natalie has seen two approaches work well:
1. Offer interactive product tours directly on your website to increase free trial activation.
2. Give potential buyers the keys to explore the product and get a feel for your value for free by linking to a customized interactive demo in sales outreach emails.
Try this playbook yourself
What you’ll need
- Product-Market fit (obviously) so you can drive inbound traffic to your website
- An interactive demo platform (like Navattic) to create demos with HTML screenshots
- Sales team to engage with interactive demo leads
- Marketing sequences to nurture interactive demo leads who are not yet ready for sales
#1 Get the right teams involved
There are three teams you will need to engage with: growth, product marketing, and sales. Generally the growth team owns the strategy, product marketing and sales collaborate to build out the demos, and sales works to integrate the interactive demos into their sales process.
#2 Align on a time to run the experiment
Companies who’ll see the most significant results are in growth stage, have decent product-market fit (PMF), and have a solidified product with a UI/UX ready to be shown to the masses. With that said,, later-stage companies can also benefit from a more scalable way to educate their customers and prospects on the product's value.
#3 Define goals for your interactive demo
It’s important to start each playbook with clear north star metrics. In this case, it’s no different. Think about the ROI you want to see from investing time and resources into creating product tours and encouraging their usage.
What's the increase in conversion rate you want to see? How many more leads are qualified after seeing the product? Are you also thinking about indirect goals like awareness and product education on a larger scale? Make sure you have clarity on what your primary objectives are and how you can measure success post-launch.
#4 Define who you are targeting and segment your tours accordingly
You can create targeted experiences, depending on your audience, by showing each segment the features that will be most valuable to them. This is especially helpful if you have a robust product that tackles different pain points or departments, like Hubspot.
Natalie advises to constantly analyze product usage data to understand what the most important features are for each of your segments. Then, make sure to incorporate these insights into your product tours.
#5 Storyboard the tour
Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, decide what features to highlight and in what order they should be highlighted..
Ask your sales team:
- What are the moments of a demo where prospects’ faces light up?
- What are the features that prospects get really excited about?
- What features best differentiate your product?
Ask your sales team:
- What features do top activated users use the most?
- What features correlate best with conversion, engagement, or NPS when leveraged consistently?
It’s important to balance being prescriptive with being open so that users can “choose their own adventure.” Natalie recommends to give them options to explore different parts of the product using a checklist or by asking them what they're most interested in at the beginning of the conversation.
#6 Build the tour in a tool like Navattic
Using a tool like Navattic, you can create guided tours quickly and efficiently while simultaneously tracking usage.Natalie recommends keeping product tours short by focusing on the features that matter the most to your target segment and to include a dual CTA — i.e “keep exploring” and “sign up for a free trial” — every 5 to 6 steps.
#7 Analyze the data from tour clicks and conversions to make improvements
Qualify the leads generated through the product tour as you would PQLs. Navattic can send interactive demo data to tools like Salesforce or Hubspot to create different workflows. For example with Navattic data you can see:
- Users that go through the entire demo
- Users that go through the demo more than once
- Drop off rates and places
- Functionalities users are most interested in
You can use this information to create a follow up strategy like nurture cadences, sales touchpoints, and pre-call discovery by tailoring outreach to the features that saw the highest engagement.Plus, you can iterate on your tour based on where users spent large amounts of time, skipped, or dropped off.
Case Study Results from Navattic Customers
Navattic customer Trainual A/B tested an interactive demo vs a product demo video on their see a demo page.
What happened? They saw a 450% increase in free trial signups, 100% increase in activated free trials, and 175% increase in free trial to paid conversions.
Ramp - Navattic demos have contributed to 15% of leads collected on their site
Vonahi Security - 3.5x increase in booked demos, 40% demo request conversion