It’s amazing how Reverse ETL tools like Census and Hightouch have changed the game for SaaS GTM teams. These tools make it easier to leverage your data warehouse like Snowflake, BigQuery and Redshift as a source of truth, while activating that data in downstream tools. If you haven’t adopted a Reverse ETL solution yet, you should seriously consider it! It’s an incredibly powerful way to make all the data that lives in your data warehouse accessible throughout your company.
But Reverse ETL is just one layer of the PLG GTM tech stack. You can use it to pass data into best-in-class tools so that those tools are more powerful and relevant, but it’s not built for the daily insights and workflows that PLG companies need to optimize their go-to-market teams. These insights and workflows include prioritizing leads based on ICP fit and product usage, routing leads to the right playbooks, and providing sales reps with the needed context to act on the best leads.
In this post, we’ll cover how we typically see PLG companies leverage Reverse ETL today and discuss why you still need a product-led lead scoring and insights solution to power your PLG motion. We will share how you can use Correlated to bridge the gap from data living in Reverse ETL models to actual growth and sales plays. We’ll end with specific examples of how our customers today are combining Reverse ETL and Correlated to discover, prioritize, and reach out to the best leads.
How are PLG companies leveraging Reverse ETL today?
PLG companies today are tasked with figuring out how to grow revenue when one of the primary acquisition channels is the product itself. This represents a mindset shift for growth and marketing teams who traditionally optimized top of funnel channels like ads, website traffic, and social media. The challenge with PLG data is that much if it is first party generated and directly collected by the company itself. Product usage often lives in a CDP like Segment or Rudderstack that gets piped into a cloud data warehouse. Billing data similarly might live in a system like Stripe, and also gets piped into a cloud data warehouse. This data doesn’t live in a CRM and isn’t accessible to the go-to-market teams unless you explicitly send data from your cloud data warehouse to CRMs.
What this means is that the customer data that provides a full picture of how customers are using your product lives in your cloud data warehouse, while the customer data that GTM teams are using to sell your product lives in your CRM. Your CRM data is being updated by your sales team, while your Cloud Data Warehouse is mapped to actual users in your product. How can you bridge the gap? If you don’t bridge the gap, you’ll end up with misaligned teams running go-to-market motions that conflict with each other. But there is some good news - this is exactly where Reverse ETL fits in! Reverse ETL pipes data from your cloud data warehouse into the multitude of downstream tools that your sales and go-to-market teams use.
Reverse ETL is important because without the data we covered earlier, go-to-market teams are using dated strategies to drive sales motions - strategies that worked well when enterprise sales was king and every deal had to go through an entire sales process. Or when generating leads via outbound was a number game rather than a targeted process. These old strategies of generating revenue don’t fit into the product-led world. Luckily, with the shift towards a more product-led sales process came the Cloud Data Warehouse trend, largely driven by Snowflake (and BigQuery and Redshift), where companies started storing critical customer data in databases that could be accessed by a multitude of downstream tools.
How (exactly) can Reverse ETL help you in your product-led sales motion?
First and foremost, Reverse ETL helps you map customer data in a cohesive way
Although people like to think of Reverse ETL as a platform that passes data from A to B, the true value lies in being able to build “models” that are reusable across different downstream data sources. Let’s dig in a little deeper on what this actually means. A lot of times, data is being pumped into your data warehouse with little thought towards how people eventually want to query it. Different sources identify accounts and users differently - Salesforce has their own Salesforce ID, Hubspot has their own Hubspot ID, your product has your own ID associated with a user. This is where models come in - you can build models directly in your Reverse ETL tools to resolve these various IDs so that you get one cohesive data model that everyone can use.
Second, Reverse ETL makes it easy to pipe data from A to B
So let’s say that you want to pipe the number of times a user signed in into Salesforce so that your customer success team has more context when they call up a customer. Reverse ETL makes this possible! All the models you’ve created within Reverse ETL can be sent into downstream tools via a no-code interface, making it easy to send data from one tool to another. Prior to Reverse ETL, companies would sometimes write their own data pipelines in order to achieve this, which is a huge burden on the data analytics team because data pipelines need to be built and maintained over time. Also, each additional downstream integration requires more work from your data team.
Third, Reverse ETL offers tooling that helps you build audiences via a no code builder
Beyond data modeling and ETL, Reverse ETL tools have additional functionality built for growth and marketing teams who want to segment audiences without requiring data team time. This allows growth and marketing teams to do last mile analytics on data that has already been massaged and processed by the data team. These additional functionalities make it easier for growth and marketing teams to make data work for them, as well as experiment and test on their own. So if Reverse ETL can help you process data the way you want, send data to downstream tools, and build audiences, why do you need Correlated or any other product-led sales platform? Well, onto the next section!
Why do you still need Correlated if you’re already using Reverse ETL?
Here’s the TLDR: if you’re using Reverse ETL, you’re an excellent candidate for product-led sales platforms. That’s because you’re likely already collecting a lot of data about your customers, and a lot of product-led sales platforms have great integrations with Reverse ETL platforms. Reverse ETL tools are different from product-led sales platforms like Correlated simply because Reverse ETL tools are not built specifically for the workflows that go-to-market teams need on a daily basis.
Go-to-market teams at product-led growth companies need the following:
- A way to combine data across multiple systems into a presentable view for sales and customer success teams who work directly with customers on a daily basis
- A way to easily prioritize and identify leads based on all the data available about a customer
- A way to notify sales and customer success teams when there is a lead that should be proactively reached out to
Accomplishing this allows your sales and customer success teams to turn your existing user base into real revenue. This is different from getting your data in a good place, or piping data from one point to another. Rather, it’s about providing actionable insights and enabling repeatable workflows for your go-to-market teams.
Correlated is built to support this end-to-end workflow to drive revenue via product-led channels. Correlated collects data from multiple systems spanning Reverse ETL to Cloud Data Warehouses to CDPs (think Segment, Mixpanel, etc) and compiles a holistic view of not just who a customer is, but also how they are behaving. Correlated makes it easy to prioritize and identify leads through self-serve machine learning models that score accounts and users based on propensity to buy. Correlated includes built-in functionality that sends sales and customer success teams notifications when there’s an interesting lead. On top of that, once you discover which signals and plays work best, Correlated has fully no-code playbook automation so that you can automate your best performing plays.
Why can’t I use a CRM to enable my sales or CS team?
Salesforce or Hubspot are powerful tools to enable sales and CS workflows, but they aren’t meant for insights and analytics related to product usage or other types of data like SaaS billing data, recorded meetings or support conversations.
Many GTMs teams now take product data and sync it to Salesforce or Hubspot to enable sales teams. This is a good start, but ultimately teams are unable to get the insights they need about their customers in static fields or properties in CRM.
How Correlated Customers leverage Reverse ETL today
So what does this actually look like in practice? Let’s walk through an example of how Correlated customers today are combining Correlated with Reverse ETL to power their product-led growth sales motion.
For customer data, customers create two models: one for accounts and one for users. These models can be augmented as more data is collected. Correlated leverages this data to identify best fit customers through machine learning, sending prioritized leads to sales reps who can follow up in a timely manner.
For product data, customers are creating views of their product event data so that they pass in a filtered set of events to Correlated. Correlated automatically processes these events so that customers can run last mile calculations on them. Go-to-market teams can use Correlated to run no-code segmentation and target the exact customers they want to reach out to using all the data available to them. Sales teams can view product event data directly in the product or via our Slack app so that they know how a customer has used the product recently prior to calling them. Customer success teams can similarly leverage these views to personalize their success plays.
Combining Correlated with Reverse ETL is a great way to power your product-led sales motion
To summarize, we walked through what Reverse ETL is and why it’s a powerful tool, as well as why you still need a product-led sales tool to drive your go-to-market. The most amazing thing about product-led growth is that if you get it right, you can truly scale your revenue in an exponential way. By combining Reverse ETL with a product-led sales platform like Correlated, you’ll be well on your way to driving an efficient, product-led revenue engine!
Sign up for a demo to learn more about how Correlated can work together with your Reverse ETL set-up to power modern GTM playbooks.