Taking a walk, crawl, run approach to PLG
Taking a walk, crawl, run approach to PLG
Breezy Beaumont
Breezy Beaumont
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Taking a walk, crawl, run approach to PLG

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Brandon Redlinger, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Revenue.io

Breezy Beaumont, Head of Growth, Correlated

Note: this conversation was originally recorded live and transcribed into this Q&A

Tell me about yourself

I’m the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Revenue.io. I've done a little bit of every role in marketing and my last three three jobs were the first marketer at high-growth startups. So I have worn many hats over the years, including the first marketer at Engagio (acquired by Demandbase). 

What shifts have you seen in product-led initiatives?

The consumerization of enterprise software really started with the imperative to have a great customer experience after you've already onboarded, but that's actually bled into pre-sales too. And then now it's really kind of flipping the funnel on its head. 

Now with product-led you have a completely different funnel than if you had a sales-led funnel. When I first heard about companies doing this, the focus was all about the actual user experience in the product after they converted. Now, I feel like it's really permeated throughout the whole funnel now, which is really exciting and it's awesome.

Does Revenue.io have a self-service motion?

Not today, but we're in the stages of figuring that out.

There's been some recent Gartner research out there that says by 2025 they expect 80% of sales interactions between suppliers and buyers to occur through digital channels. And in their most recent report, 45% of millennials want a completely seller-free experience, which is insane. That's with purchases in excess of $50,000 dollars. That's crazy.

If you really are going for a bottoms-up approach and your users have buying power, I think product led growth is perfect. Plus the cost of customer acquisition is high, and the more sellers you have, the more that cost is going to go up. So just finding different models to get that price down. 

There's no shortage of VC money right now. But the VC money is going to those companies that have good customer acquisition and good CAC payback period. So that's why I think a lot of companies are adopting this product led growth motion.

Do you have insight into how people are using your product? 

Expansion is really big for us at Revenue.io. That was actually one of the surprising most surprising things that I found when I got here is how quickly we can expand. 

For example, we currently have 2,000 seats in one single unit in Amazon, but that could expand to 5,000 seats within that unit, or we could sell different products into that unit, or sell to another unit within Amazon itself. So that $1M+ deal that we close could easily turn into $10, $20 $30M.

Having a good customer experience, delivering on that value, and making the user experience intuitive is all crucial. The product is going to be the way that we grow more easily. How can we make those users see value more quickly? And how do we become more sticky? So that daily active weekly, active users goes up? 

We also look at the usage of specific products or features in the product. 

What tools are you using to track product usage, and who’s following up on that? 

We use Pendo and Tableau. Then we have our own custom reports and dashboards and everything's integrated right within Salesforce. 

Sales and customer success are working together on those upsells. Ultimately sales is actually the one that comes in and closes the deal, but they rely heavily on insights from the CS team. 

What metrics are important to the Revenue.io team?

When it comes to PLG, time to value is a big one. So if you have a very specific action that you want them to take, the thing that they value the most, how quickly is that happening? How quickly can you get them to the “ah ha” moments? Product qualified leads is something we're thinking through and putting more definition around. Adoption rate, time to onboard, expansion revenue, average revenue per user, average revenue per account are also things we’re paying attention to. 

Larger business metrics that we track are lifetime value (LTV), customer acquisition costs (CAC), CAC payback period, weekly active users, and we’ve recently started tracking NPS. Something else we track pretty closely that investors these days really care about a lot is net dollar retention (NDR). 

Closing advice on Product Led Growth

I see this going through something similar to what ABM went through a few years ago where it's the “hot thing” and everyone's trying to do it. But you really have to make sure that is the right strategy for you before you just dive into it. Otherwise, if your business model isn't built to support that, if your team isn't built to support that, I think it could hurt you. 

There needs to be a lot more education out there right now around what product led actually is, what it means, and when people should do it. I think a lot of people have shiny object syndrome where it's like ABM that's the new hot thing. We should try it, then invest in tools, they invest in your head count, they invest a lot of the resources there, and then it's actually not the motion that works for them. Everyone wants the silver bullet and I don't think there really is one out there.

People really just have to spend more time figuring out, is it the right thing for me? How can I test to actually make sure this is before I actually invest more into it? How do I test, how do I make sure that test is small, and low risk? And then how can I start to optimize? How can I start to actually build out programs, build up people but our processes to make sure to leverage product-led the best.

Interested in learning about how Correlated can help your PLG company uncover expansion and upsell opportunities?

Sales and revenue leaders at PLG companies, like yourself, are faced with unique challenges. Using tools like Correlated can help sales and marketing teams identify new accounts that are ready to convert, or can help to notify your team for expansion and upsell opportunities.

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