For many SAAS companies, the traditional way of selling involved booking a demo, and speaking to a sales representative to discuss the product, and potential benefits to the user. The conversation was focused around the benefits of the product, and this would ultimately tell the user if the product was the right fit for their business.
The sales process of finding high-value prospects was much more drawn out, and took longer to close. Sometimes, to close a single deal, it took as long as a few months. Having said that, some technology companies today still require this ‘sales-led go-to-market’ strategy due to the inherent nature of their product. An example of this would be a product that involves a large support team, and multiple software vendors.
Today, lots of software companies have adopted the product led growth approach, which emphasizes the product selling itself, and therefore customers on-boarding themselves. Companies like Slack, Asana, and Hootsuite do a great job at this. Further, the modern approach to selling focuses on reducing time to market, and eliminating the traditional drawn out sales funnel.
Essentially, the goal is for the user to become an expert at using the product, so that they can share their experiences with others. As well, it reduces the need for customer support, and more people can use the product without the need for any hand holding.
There is this notion of perceived versus experienced value. Basically, what this says is that how customers perceive your product or service may be different than what is experienced by the user. And both values should always match. Having said that, PLG companies promote the concept of ‘try before you buy’, and this is where customers can evaluate these two value propositions. Users can sign up or create an account for free to see if the product is a good fit for them. This builds user trust, and essentially sells your product faster.
So, what is a product-led go-to-market strategy anyway?
Basically, this strategy is product focused, and therefore all departments across an organization lead with the product in mind. Many software companies employ this strategy as it enables these companies to build a seamless customer experience. Companies that use this approach constantly ask the question “how can we leverage our product to hit our goals?”, and every department will ask this question.
No longer is it about leading with sales, but it’s about leading with the product.
Adacado built a new Dynamic Creative/ Marketing Platform in 2019, which is fully self-serve, and our business model has shifted to Product Led Growth. It is interesting to see the human capital investment that new customers are making to fully understand the capabilities of Adacado, and how they are leveraging this expertise to expand Dynamic Creative across their businesses, like never before.
It’s clearly a win-win model; we focus on improving the product, while our customers benefit from expanded usage.