The Rise of Bottoms-up Adoption
Over the last decade, enterprise software has seen a dramatic shift away from traditional annual licenses and upfront sales processes to “try before you buy” approaches.
Companies have had tremendous success with this model. Many of these companies are now leading public companies that are household names in enterprise software like Slack, Zoom, Datadog and Snowflake.
The secret to these companies’ success stories is “product-led growth.” Essentially, it turns out that getting a product into the hands of users via a freemium and/or self-service plan, and then charging them based on usage is a really effective way to convince them to become engaged customers. This results in a lower level of friction for customers as they can easily get started with a new product without having to speak with a salesperson or sit through a demo.
What’s next: Product Led Sales
Although it might sound like product-led growth has made life easier for traditional sales, marketing and customer success teams, that assumption could not be further from the truth. These teams are now tasked with figuring out how to drive revenue in completely new ways. Gone are the days when sales teams simply hunted for new logos and customer success teams managed a handful of large customers. Instead, sales, marketing, and customer success teams are tasked with prioritizing, upselling, and supporting a large set of customers on a daily basis who are likely already users of the product. While there’s been a lot of innovation in the business models and product offerings these companies offer, there hasn’t been similar innovation in offering tools for sales and customer success teams to help their customers.
Sales and CS doesn't have access to product data
It isn’t all bad news - product-led growth has also opened the floodgates to the most valuable information revenue teams can leverage to drive business outcomes: product usage data. What could be a better signal of whether or not a customer is ready to buy, ready to grow their usage, or about to churn then how they are using (or not using) the product? However, if you ask sales or customer success leaders whether or not they’ve been leveraging this data to optimize their processes and drive business outcomes, more often than not, they aren’t!
Why is it so hard for sales and customer success teams that interact with customers everyday to know what those customers are doing with their products? Why is it still difficult to know which prospects to reach out to and when? Why do product and growth marketing teams get access to rich, dynamic data about what customers are doing with the product while sales teams rely on static reports and incomplete information in Salesforce?
Why is now the time for Product Led Sales?
The answer comes in two parts. First, although customer data infrastructure tools like Segment are commonplace and customer data is consolidated in cloud data warehouses like Snowflake and BigQuery, it is rarely stored in a way that is easily accessible by salespeople or CSMs. This means that if a salesperson wants to see how a prospective customer is using their product, they have to go through their RevOps or analytics teams. Second, much of the context that business teams know about customers is stored in third-party SaaS applications like Salesforce, Gong, Zendesk, and Intercom among many others. Sales and customer success teams end up accessing multiple applications in order to get the data they need to better understand their customers. In a world where we are collecting all the data and storing it in cloud data warehouses, there’s no longer a compelling reason why business teams can’t leverage customer data to inform decision making and take action.
How we’re solving the problem
At Correlated Labs, we’re making it possible for sales and customer success teams to access the information that companies are already collecting about their customers. We do this by bridging the gap between product usage data and customer communications that traditionally sits in tools like Salesforce, Zendesk and Intercom. We’re arming modern sales and CS teams with a way to see how their customers and prospects are using their companies’ products to better prioritize outreach and make conversations with customers more relevant.
Annotating usage data
The first way we’re doing this is through Annotations that pull in critical events related to customer behavior from third party tools and correlate them with key usage metrics. This allows sales and customer success teams to understand potential reasons why usage is changing. Using Annotations, sales and CS teams can proactively address these changes to identify upsell opportunities or churn risks.
The second part of the platform is an automation engine that allows sales and customer success teams to set rules or triggers when usage metrics hit certain thresholds. We’re enabling those sales and success teams to take action based on how their customers are actually using their products. With intelligent alerts and dynamic workflow tools, Correlated Labs allows sales teams to send the right message at the right time to their customers and prospects.
We believe that the ability to understand changes in product usage and then automatically take action on those changes will lead to a dramatic increase in efficiency for sales and CS teams as well as a better achievement of metrics like net-dollar retention.
We’re already starting to show Sales and CS teams at bottoms-up SaaS companies what we’re building and we’re looking for more early partners. We’re offering early access to select sales, CS and RevOps leaders. If you’re interested in participating, please let us know.