Product Usage Spike Signal Playbook

Playbook Overview
When should you run this playbook?
You’re looking to uncover additional revenue from existing contracts.
You want to “land and expand” new accounts.
You’re aware of an account that will be kicking off a new project that uses your product.
Who to target?
Existing customers
Playbook goal?
Expand existing customer contracts. 
Responsible team(s)?
Sales
Marketing to support
The TL;DR
  • Happy, engaged customers can be an untapped source of ARR. By tracking product usage and checking in when an account’s use spikes you can increase your chance of expansion success.
  • Not all usage increases and types of use are created equal. Collaborate with your GTM counterparts to decide when outreach should be human-owned vs. automated.
  • Keep outreach friendly and focused on support, rather than focusing on the pitch. By offering resources and acting as a product consultant your customers will be more receptive to suggestions to increase plan limits or upgrade tiers.

What is the key signal?

Customers who are happy with your product and getting value out of it are likely to be highly engaged. By monitoring for sudden changes in usage—especially spikes or increases—you can have an early indicator that a particular account or individual is becoming a power user. 

What is this playbook?

One of the best ways to grow is by continuously expanding your footprint with existing customers. You have an established relationship, the customer trusts your product, and there’s an obvious business need. Continue to add value by offering new products, increasing usage, or onboarding more of their team. 

When should you run this playbook?

Product usage increases (especially sudden spikes) are a great indicator that your account is finding value in your product and may need to unlock more features or increase plan limits. 

Try This Playbook

Step 1

Identify key product usage behaviors. Not all product usage is created equal, and your team probably has some idea of which usage signals, particularly in high volumes, are “stickiest.” For example, if your tool provides the ability for coworkers to collaborate on graphic designs, an increase in project views is likely not indicative of strong product adoption, but a spike in the number of projects created is a great signal that your product is becoming a valuable part of their workflow.

Step 2

“Listen” for increased usage of key features. Once you’ve decided which features and behaviors are most important, start monitoring for increased usage among existing accounts. It’s important to consider thresholds to qualify an account as having increased usage. How much of an increase is notable? Over what time period should the increase occur?

Depending on your data structure and reporting, this step can be easier said than done. Most GTM teams use dashboards, automated reporting, or a tool like Pocus that gives them direct line of sight into their product data.

Step 3

Decide on outreach strategy. Consider your team and company goals, then design a plan for connecting with the accounts you’ve identified as having increased activity. This is a great time for GTM to divide ownership by account priority or urgency of signal to decide when outreach should be automated versus manual. 

TIP: Consider running playbooks specific to combinations of features, usage increase and periods of time. Accounts that steadily increase their product use over a period of time could be handled via marketing automation, while a sudden spike in use might be best owned by sales for direct, personal outreach.

Step 4

Connect with active accounts. It’s time to launch your playbook(s) and start connecting with the accounts that are actively increasing their product use. Your team will need to test timing and messaging to determine what works best, but keep in mind the core purpose of your outreach: you’re here to help customers get the most out of their product experience. Focus on building rapport and offering support before making your pitch.

Need some ideas for what to write? Check out our examples for both Sales and Marketing below.

Sales Outreach Examples

Hi [First Name],

Hope all's well! Noticed your team has been using [feature] more frequently—great to see! Curious about your top initiatives for the quarter and how our product supports them. 

Let’s grab some time to talk through your team’s priorities and how they can get the most out of [product].

Marketing Outreach Examples

Hey [First Name]!

We noticed you’re a [product] super user! Ready to take your skills to the next level?

  • Check out our [training/blog post/content] on [feature] to get even more out of your subscription. 
  • Schedule a call with one of our experts to ask any questions and walk through new features.
  • Explore our [tier name] plan to unlock access to [additional key features].

Enable this playbook in Pocus

  1. Connect your relevant data sources.
  2. Select your goal (in this case, Expansion).
  3. Build your playbook based on the signal (trigger) and actions outlined above.
  4. Run the playbook by rolling it out to the relevant members of your team.
  5. Iterate over time based on reporting and results. You may find ways to improve this playbook’s effectiveness beyond what we’ve outlined here!
About the author
Alexa Grabell
Co-Founder & CEO at Pocus

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