Anne Hollander, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Growth at Trimble.
Note: this conversation was originally recorded live and transcribed into this Q&A
Tell me about your role
I am the Senior Director of Product Marketing and Growth at Trimble. I have a large product marketing team and we are developing a product led growth team.
I support our construction division. Trimble has three primary divisions: construction, which is the largest, then agriculture and transportation. So, these particular industries and the clients that we serve are typically coming to technology for the first time. The way that I think of it is moving from bubble gum, Post-It notes, duct tape… into digital workflows and technology.
What tools are you using for insight into how people are using your product on a day-to-day basis?
We have three different tools in place for this at the moment. We're leveraging Pendo, Gainsight, and then in some instances we have New Relic running - it’s not what New Relic was designed to do by any stretch of the imagination, but the architecture of these legacy products aren’t compatible with Pendo and Gainsight.
While we do have reports built in each one of these different instances [Pendo, Gainsight, New Relic], we're also pulling it into an internal data lake and then visualizing it and reporting back out through that via Domo. We have a BI instance that’s reporting back out from there, then we will rank reports out of there that can be tied against a number of different systems and tools.
So, for example, if we needed more data from other systems, we will append all of that and then give that back out to our organization, wherever it needs to go to support the programs and initiatives we’re running. It can go to sales, marketing, customer success, implementations, professional services, or we can even give information back to support.
Do you have an internal data team helping to pull together these insights?
Currently most of this work sits within the Product Marketing team, thanks to the efforts of our BI organization. I have a growing team that is dedicated to this level of analysis that is pulling together these reports, taking a look at different aspects of our usage data, and then making recommendations with regard to our growth strategy moving forward. This has been a huge leap forward over the past several months.
We are a company with 40 years+ of legacy sales-led enterprise deals, selling transformational software packages to folks. Over the past six months, we’ve worked hard to get our hands around this data and leverage it in new and unanticipated ways.
What are the key insights that your team is pulling, and how is this used by various teams, including Sales?
We think of this through four different lenses, the pillars of our growth strategy.
1. New Logo: bringing in new prospects
For example, we’re providing our new logo team with insights like saying - customers that look like this typically have this type of license structure and this is the usage that they can expect back out. Then our sales teams can create more personalized ROI analysis and recommendations for that specific prospect. We’re also beginning to leverage our products in pre-sales engagements and can utilize this data to better inform those initial sales conversations..
2. Transformation: going from an on-prem software environment to a cloud based one
3. Cross-Sell: opportunities that we have with our existing customers to expand their solution set
For our existing customers, we're able to expose where our customers are getting the most value - and highlight the adjacent solutions to help them accelerate this value from their software investment. Some of our customers haven’t made the jump to a SaaS environment, so we leverage this data to show them the value of what they’re missing in their technology investment.
4. Upsell: which is our proxy to measure customer value delivery
With usage data we take a customer-centric view to ensure that customers are getting the value back out of the investment by connecting everyone across the organization with the software they purchased from us.
Is your team automating any usage-based outreach today?
We take a look at what the customer interaction needs to be based on the data that we're pulling. We have automated some of this in some of our marketing campaigns for account based marketing, where the value is high and we know it’s going to be a longer conversation. We main goal with automating is to help get that moving a lot faster.
Conversely, in areas where we do have self-service, it's about building in those mechanisms so that they can self-serve all the way through. We have a nightly sync that will then look at the snapshot of the customer and say, okay, this person here now fits into this particular segment based on their usage profile, we think that they would be a good candidate here. So let's go ahead and upload it.
What are some of the key signals your team uses to understand when to reach out for expansion?
We look at usage patterns. So, we’re looking at a bunch of different functions at once and seeing how often those are used against either a median or what our use case was for building that particular feature or workflow across the board. For example, if they are really low usage in a feature that we had designed to be a daily thing, and they’re in there at a weekly or a monthly usage of it, that's where we get humans involved to help increase that usage.
We'll also let people know about positive usage too, because people also like to be rewarded. So typically, this would come out more in our customer success conversations. Sometimes we also put this down at the user level as well and say, you're an expert in this now because you've used it X number of times over a certain amount of time.
Where do you see the product-led movement headed?
I see this as being highly disruptive for large enterprises who've been using a sales-led approach the same way for many years. Sales has been at such a disadvantage throughout the pandemic that organizations have to come up with a different way of thinking about how to engage prospects and their business levers for continued growth
I think another one of the big things is explaining why this works to the organization. Of course, you want to go get the buyer, you want to go get that person who is going to sign the contract to be sure that they pay their bill every month. But everyone wants to do that - all our competitors are in the same pool, trying to attract the buyer’s attention. But with the market shifts introduced by the pandemic, it forces us to examine the user experience itself. If users don't love the product, then the likelihood that they're gonna use it and get the investment back out of it is low, risking churn.I think many legacy SaaS organizations haven’t invested in the post-sale engagement, which leaves so much growth opportunity on the table, including expansion and upsell. Focusing on the user experience fores us to not only think about this, but capture it as well.
How does self-serve affect pricing?
Buyers have to take an inherent risk with the products that they're buying: that the solutions they're getting are going to solve the problem that they have and are going to do so with a return on that investment. This creates risk, which opens the door to pricing and contract negotiations in order to mitigate that risk.
But if you take the user-focused approach, we can get them into the product early before a sales conversation happens. They can see what that value is. They have that “aha moment”, begin to develop the habit with the product inside their organization, then bring their team and then suddenly that risk is gone - which means you can bring that price all the way back up because there's nowhere else to go. Your team is already using the product and receiving the value from it
How would you define Product Led Revenue?
Although we're doing this on a more manual basis than what Correlated would be able to offer, it's the ability to take information about the product usage - how it's used, who's using it, all of that information - to help us grow our revenue to focus our attention in places which historically have not been segments that we would typically go after. We would go after more traditional segments: size, industry or revenue. Turns out those weren’t worth much in our analysis, but being able to have something that truly matters, which was how people were actually using our platform and the value they realize from it. We then can amplify this experience through our channel mix - including marketing, sales, customer success - to create product-led revenue
Any hobbies these days?
The running joke is that I love things that are dying. That sounds odd, I know, but my hobbies are things like racquetball - like who plays racquetball these days? I do. And I love original pinball machines from the 90s.. I own an independent bookstore in Dallas. I'm learning pickleball and my compatriots out on the pickle ball court are typically in their golden years.