Finding PQLs from a pool of Web3 developers 🔗
QuickNode is the leading blockchain development platform for Web3 applications.
Their ideal customer profile (ICP) can be broken down into three main subsets:
- People building NFT marketplaces, NFT analytics companies, etc.
- People building DeFi protocols, exchanges, etc.
- Web3 analytics companies (think Nansen, Dune, etc.)
It’s not your typical Product-Led Sales playbook. Aaron says buyers in this space are different from those purchasing sales or marketing software.
Web3 platform users are developers who just want to get started using your product, remain mostly anonymous, and rarely engage with a sales person. In this world, analyzing product usage is everything.
But if users are mostly developers who don’t want to speak to sales, how do you scale the revenue engine?
A combination of usage-based pricing and a consultative (i.e. not “salesy”) sales approach helps QuickNode to land customers, and the team defines PQLs to uncover expansion opportunities.
Try this playbook
What you’ll need to get started
- Data enrichment platform: Clay, ZoomInfo, HubSpot, etc.
- Community hosting software: inSided, Common Room, etc.
- Sales platform with personalized messaging: Outreach, etc.
- Product-Led Sales platform for deep customer and usage insight: Pocus
#1 Identifying PQLs with non-obvious Web3 signals
Aside from the typical qualifiers like lead source and company name, there are a few additional unique elements that QuickNode looks for to identify when it comes to PQLs in the Web3 space:
Product usage: Because QuickNode uses a consumption model, all prices are dictated by consumption. This means that tracking usage is everything. QuickNode uses Pocus to track customer usage over any time period, including the last 24 hours, seven days, or 30 days. This gives them insight into when it’s time to pitch an upgrade.
Number of chains: When a customer is using multiple blockchains, QuickNode sees it as a good indicator that they’re serious about their project and a good candidate for expansion.
Number of users: In Aaron's experience, projects with more developers tend to be more serious. This is an indicator that they may be ready to introduce their entire team onto QuickNode.
Add-ons: API calls, requests, and credits through QuickNode are not free. So when QuickNode sees that customers are using these and other marketplace add-ons, it’s a healthy indicator that they’re ready to build something legitimate on QuickNode — and stay on it for the long-term.
“Web3 is a unique beast. Different demographics matter in this world, versus your more standard ‘we raised X dollars, have X employees, or have X in revenue’.”
#2 Enrich PQLs with demographic signals to really hone in on their target market.
One of the most interesting demographics that QuickNode looks for is influence. For example, a development shop that only has 10 developers but nearly 80,000 Twitter followers might get more attention.
QuickNode uses the data enrichment and prospecting platform Clay to identify influence and other strong indicators that a customer could benefit from an upgrade.
#3 Assemble the team who will operationalize your motion
Let’s meet the consultative team that makes it happen:
Net-new Sales team: This team is doing minimal outbound and working primarily with new inbound signups who have raised their hands for help.
Growth team: This team looks at QuickNode’s thousands of active users to analyze the growth side of the business. They uncover PQLs ready for expansion conversations.
Solutions engineers: This team provides customer support from a technical perspective.
Customer success manager: This team is focused on adoption, onboarding, education, and retention.
🔥Tip: Remove friction between sales and customer success
The customer success team strives to uncover CSQLs (customer success qualified leads) or growth opportunities that they kick back to the growth team.
This eliminates the head-butting we’ve all seen when sales and success fight over expansion revenue. QuickNode actually comps CS to push expansion deals back to the growth team.
#4 Route the leads to the right teams
QuickNode gets hundreds of sign ups a day, so they need a quick method for prioritizing and routing leads.
Initially, each flow starts with firmographic data.
P1 Flow: Priority level one is for identifying the most promising PQLs. For example, if a developer fromStarbucks or another well-known company signs up, they’re immediately routed to the SDR team.
P2 Flow: Priority level two is for email addresses from business domains that are less recognizable. QuickNode lets these people enter the onboarding nurture sequence while they run data enrichment via ZoomInfo or Clay to see if contact needs to be made.
P3 Flow: Priority level three leads are using personal emails or Gmail accounts, so they’re a lot harder to identify individually. They go right into the onboarding nurture sequence.
The interesting thing about this model is that, because QuickNode is usage-based, anyone can become a PQL if their usage increases. That’s why QuickNode is always running data enrichment against even their enterprise customers — because their paying customers tend to drive a lot of growth even after signing their initial contracts.
In fact, 65% of QuickNode’s enterprise customers currently spend more than their base contracted rates because QuickNode partners closely with their customers to solve problems, launch on new blockchains, and incentivize more usage.
PQLs at QuickNode are identified via playbooks set up in Pocus. When someone who’s already using QuickNode becomes a PQL, they’re routed to an account executive via a round-robin.
#5 Reach out to your PQLs (sales outreach Web3 style)
What tactics work best for outreach without scaring away PQLs in the Web3 world?
QuickNode uses Outreach, more specifically their Snippets feature, to create personalized messaging when reaching out to PQLs.
For example, if someone is in the NFT space, they’ll deploy a Snippet about another one of their customers in the NFT space — or about some of their NFT products.
Meet Customers Where They Are
Often it’s not that developers don’t want to commit to a product — it’s that sometimes they just don’t want to be forced to do it via the traditional sales approach.
So, to close deals, QuickNode meets its audience where they already are. QuickNode’s team spends a lot of time conversing over Slack, Telegram, Discord, and other places their Web3 target market congregates.
Speaking of Discord, QuickNode has managed to spin up an active community in this low-pressure environment.
QuickNode’s Discord is open to anyone who wants to talk to other devs about QuickNode, ask support questions, or even connect directly with the team.
Aaron’s team monitors the chatter to see if there are any conversations where they can step in to offer a consultative perspective with a rep and a solutions engineer — and perhaps close a deal if it's in the cards.
Learn more about creating community in our Real GTM Advice Recap: Community Building.
🔥Tip: Don’t create turf wars between self-serve and sales-generated revenue
Sales compensation is complex. Layer in usage-based pricing and the world of Web3 and it can be an even tougher nut to crack.
QuickNode is striving to build a standard compensation model where sales is compensated on booked revenue, and bonused on consumption revenue (because it is challenging to predict)..
Aaron calls their model a waterfall consumption model. For example, it’s not unlikely for a customer to sign up at a $10K/month contract then expand to a $20K/month contract by the end of that quarter. This is why it makes sense for QuickNode to tally their revenue at the end of the quarter when they can see what actually happened.
QuickNode isn’t interested in debating whether or not some of that growth is organic or if reps should get comped for it. The fact is that consumption models are very volatile, so if revenue is compounding month over month you know the team is working hard to maintain and grow their accounts. QuickNode does its best to make sure reps are getting the credit and comp they deserve.
How Pocus fits in to the equation
We’ll let Aaron tell you in his own words why QuickNode relies on Pocus for the usage and customer data that powers sales:
“Pocus is integral to our success because we have so much data. To be able to visualize our data and reconfigure it so we can understand all of it — that’s super important. And there's so many ways to do that with Pocus.
“And from a go-to-market perspective, it's really been a game changer. We want to look at multiple areas of our funnel. We want to see new sign ups, we want to see customers who have been on the platform for years, and we also want to see all of our enterprise customers. With Pocus, we can look at what our customers are doing across the board and build powerful lists and playbooks around those things.
“From the person who signed up yesterday to the person who signed up five years ago to our biggest customer — they’re all important. With Pocus, we can build motions to support everyone.”