Product led revenue platforms that help to uncover product qualified leads (PQLs), run sales playbooks to those PQLs, and report on the outcomes have seen a massive uptick in popularity over the last year. But should use one of these platforms or should you build it internally? Well, let's break down some of the options and weigh the pros and cons.
What does it mean to “build internally”?
- Sophisticated Looker, Tableau, or other BI dashboards
- ML models built by your data team
- Product usage data piped into Salesforce or Hubspot
- Internal tools that engineering teams built
Pitfalls of the common “build” solutions
1. Sophisticated Looker, Tableau, or other BI dashboards
- Low adoption on the sales side to dig through the dashboards and take action on it
- Requires a data and analytics team to understand the potential “high value” product actions and build scoring models that take months or years to build
2. ML models built by your data team
- These models often take time to build and then they are usually not iterated on easily or quickly.
3. Product usage data piped into Salesforce or Hubspot
- Endless custom fields that don’t have enough context, can’t show change over time, and thus lack actionability for sales teams
- Requires ongoing maintenance, increases CRM costs, and isn’t scalable
4. Internal tools that engineering teams built
- Fill a portion of the need, but over time become increasingly outdated and unusable by teams
- Take engineers away from your core product to build and require ongoing maintenance
Hear from the folks who built internally:
“We pipe stuff into Salesforce and it's not overly dynamic and it doesn't update over time. It's a lot of weight on our tech stack or our internal analytics team. I don't think our lead scoring has been updated in the last couple of years. We want sales focused on the highest value customers where we have the most value at the right time. We want to do that on the fly.” - Director of Inbound Sales, 600-person company
“This product we built internally, which is ultimately, you know, duct tape on top of Looker." - Business Intelligence Manager, publicly traded company
“We kind of do some of that internally right now, but we could do a better job. We've built something where we can track certain actions. We import in bulk every week, but we don't do anything with automatic triggers, every action is manual. I think we have a lot to improve.” - Sales Development Manager, Series B company
“There's a lot of work happening internally on building this. And that is a cost of opportunity for us where we’re not spending time on our product.” - VP of Product & Growth, 400-person company
Hear from folks who are considering building internally:
“The train is trying to leave the station on us developing internally. Seeing your product makes me want to hit pause on that decision." - Senior Manager of Sales Operations, 1,000+ person company
“Our team is thinking: we're going to create a Salesforce report and go share it with everyone. That sales report can have 10 other reports linked to it and people are gonna click through each of those links, figure out where they want to focus their time, and drive new pipeline. Which is such a broken model of delivering priorities to people. So we’re trying to break out of that thinking.” - Sales Intelligence Manager, 4,000-person company
So can an internal build be done? Absolutely. But it might come at a cost of not fully enabling your team with the context and real-time insights they need, not to mention the time spent internally to build and consistently maintain these systems. Still not sure what to do? Come learn with other product led experts on our bi-weekly calls. You can also create your own free Correlated account to try it out for yourself.