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What is product-led growth?

Product-led growth is a business strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers. If you’ve used Slack or Dropbox, you’ve witnessed this first-hand – you didn’t read a lengthy white paper on the benefits of strong internal communication or cloud-based file sharing. You wanted to see the product in action!

– Wes Bush, founder and CEO of ProductLed 

Why product-led growth?

You’re selling to a new generation of buyers! Today, Millennials represent the largest demographic of software buyers in the US, representing 60% and growing fast, while Baby Boomers represent only 6%. Millennials are less likely to base purchase decisions on analyst rankings and reports. (Source: TrustRadius

More and more software buyers are self-educating. That brings me to the second point. Today software buyers prefer self-service as part of their buying journey. They do not want to talk to salespeople, look at videos, or people doing fancy marketing presentations.

Getting Hands-on Matters. Software buyers want to see your product. They want to experience your software and see how it solves their specific problems. They even would like to break it before committing or talking to sales.

Democratizing purchase decisions. Decision-making is increasingly shifting to the tech folks rather than management. Enterprises are hesitant to make substantial upfront commitments to test new products; instead, they want to start small and see how a product fares with their users before signing off on it.

As more Millennials and soon, Gen-Zers enter the software buying market, many software companies are rethinking their go-to-market strategy. The pandemic has accelerated the pivot as it isn’t impossible to fly your sales teams out and provide in-person product demos. In the past, that was one fundamental way of winning over customers’ buy-in.

To successfully reach a new generation of buyers, some software companies are changing how they look at selling.

Instead of focusing on sales-led strategies, these “product-led” organizations have shifted their focus towards meeting potential customers in the buying process and making their products easily accessible.

Start by removing the barriers to your product

Great examples include Slack, Dropbox, Gitlab, and Atlassian. They were developed with the product-led approach in mind and have experienced viral growth. Now you might think we are different. Our product is much more complex. We need data and integrations to show our value.  You can still borrow concepts from Product-led to improve your funnel.

Even if your product is not ready to have freemiums and self-service sign ups/onboarding, you still remove product barriers in your buyers’ journey by offering hands-on product experiences at each stage.  

  • Create valuable, educational content to drive demand
  • Enable buyers to evaluate your solutions before talking with sales
  • Power your users to become product champions and advocates

Create educational content focused around a pain your product solves

Level up your educational content using hands-on labs and adding your product into the mix. This way, you’re not only educating people on a topic they care about but also enabling them to experience how your product can help them in the bigger picture. 

  • Turn education into a demand generation vehicle. Remove barriers to your product by offering hands-on experiences
  • Add real value by contributing to the community by building hands-on learning portals on topics people want to skill up on

  • Add product storytelling to your content by showing how your product can help in real use-specific scenarios.
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Help buyers evaluate your solutions on their own time, without sales

Help your buyers understand how your solution fits their needs before entering a sales call via real interaction with real solutions. Now your buyers are happy because they can better understand your solution. Plus, your presales and sales teams can increase productivity, scale activities, and streamline operations.

 

  • Build self-service product content to enable prospects to understand how your solution fits their needs on their own time
  • Qualify, engage, and educate your technical buyers with on-demand product experiences
  • Offer prospects hands-on product demos they can easily share with their buying circle
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    Power users to become product champions and advocates

    Your buyers live a fast-paced, busy life. When they need to learn new ways to use your product, they need to do it fast. Remove as many barriers as possible to learning so that you can help people quickly learn how to get the most from your products. Help your users show their team they can get work done fast.

     

    • Help people quickly learn how to get the most from our products by removing barriers to learning
    • Build bite-sized content to fit the busy schedules of your customers
    • Design hands-on content that’s outcome-driven. Teach people something they’ll use immediately on the job
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