What is a PLG CRM?
PLG CRM is a way for sales and go-to-market teams at product led companies to get insight into all users of their product whether they're on a free plan, trial version, or are paying customers.
PLG = Product Led Growth
CRM = Customer Relationship Management
Existing CRMs, like Salesforce, give business teams a great view into prospective and existing customers’ historical activities, interactions with your company, and deal tracking. They’re a central source of information that sales, marketing, operations, and customer success teams depend on. But, as great as they are at pulling together these insights, they miss the boat when it comes to tracking information about trials, free users of your product, and signals for expansion opportunities.
PLG companies like Slack, Zoom or Dropbox have free or self-service versions of their product. That means users can start using the product before ever speaking to a salesperson. As a result, often salespeople will only engage with customers once they've started to see significant value or adoption of the product in their organization. A traditional CRM doesn't easily give salespeople a view into which users or accounts are hitting product milestones that make them good prospects because they don't treat product usage data as a first-class citizen. As a result, many of these companies have started to embrace PLG CRMs.
Do PLG companies still have sales teams?
Correlated was recently featured in a great blog post by Astasia Myers at Redpoint on the emerging category of PLG CRM. In the post, Astasia discusses many of the challenges and opportunities facing sales and go-to-market teams at PLG or bottoms-up software companies like Slack, Zoom and Datadog.
Here’s how Myers describes the evolving role of sales teams at PLG companies:
“PLG does not mean the end of sales teams. Instead, PLG changes the role of sales and customer success and minimizes the distinction between the two roles. Salespeople must take into consideration how people are already using the product and the frequency of use to determine if a sale is likely. Reps care less about Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and care more about Product Qualified Leads (PQLs). They need to act as a consultant to encourage adoption even before a credit card is swiped.”
Often the role of sales is even more important and complex in PLG companies than in traditional enterprise software companies. Because sales teams are responsible for expanding customers, many PLG companies have sales teams stay in touch with customers over several years to make sure they're in position to upsell, cross-sell and expand revenue.
Does a PLG CRM replace an existing CRM?
Probably not. At Correlated we’re bringing together product data and other metrics from our customers’ CRM or data warehouse to help sales teams know who to reach out to, when to reach out, and what they should say. The focus is on converting free or trial users, finding opportunities for cross-sell, and uncovering expansion revenue.
For example, Correlated can help you identify which accounts or specific users within an account start using a new feature for the first time. From there we can send an alert in Slack and kick off an automated cadence in an email platform like Outreach.
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.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, schedule a demo here!