Product-led growth (PLG) relies on the product itself to drive customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion. But when is the right time to roll out a PLG model internally?
In this episode of the Product Led Revenue podcast, hear from Franciska Dethlefsen, Head of Product-Led Growth at Amplitude. She answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding PLG, qualification methodologies for teams to test, and advice on the right time to try self-serve.
💡 Name: Franciska Dethlefsen
💡 What she does: She's the head of product-led growth at Amplitude.
💡 Company: Amplitude
💡 Noteworthy: Franciska spent the last eight months in various departments at Amplitude focused on product-led growth. Recently, she's been in charge of setting up the company's growth marketing team.
💡 Where to find Franciska: LinkedIn
⚡ You can't focus on everything
Even though Amplitude initially started as a product-led business, they are now re-trying self-serve because they realized it's hard to focus on everything. Franciska explains, "I think what happened with us and many other companies is that you can't focus on everything, and so you start shifting the business towards a more sales-led model and lose touch with some of the product-led aspects. And so, I think what we're currently doing at Amplitude is that we're trying to swing the pendulum back a little bit and make sure. Now, we are a bigger company, we went public last year, we have an opportunity to invest in both motions and have them coexist."
⚡ Pipelines are like two journeys that combine at one point
Franciska talks about Amplitude's pipelines. She explains, "It's a bit of a split journey that we think of, but in my mind, it's all interconnected because you can register for the webinar, and then we can try to push you into the product, or we can try to have you talk to sales. So ideally, at some point at Amplitude, we have it as one funnel all the way through, and the product just plays a big, crucial role across that journey. But right now, we still have to think a bit split-brain because a lot of the larger accounts that we try to go after might never touch the product and probably never should because they need a lot of handholding, and we want to do it right through proper onboarding and implementation."
⚡ Empower the sales teams
Franciska talks about the importance of keeping your salespeople up to date. She says, "I think one of the things that we've struggled with and that now there are tools that help you give the data to the salespeople. If they don't know what people are doing in the product, how can they leverage the product in the sales journey? And I think that's where you lose touch with your PLG roots because sales doesn't have visibility. And so they're not going to be able to use the product, and you will lose that more and more, and you will hire more sales reps. The sales rep will use their sales playbook and so on and so forth. So it's from the beginning: data, arming the sales team, having them use your product and understand the product, and focusing on what we call product-led sales, selling, using the product, and bringing the value of the product front and center, and the conversations."
💜 Make sure you have a healthy activation and retention rate to boost your product-led growth
"I would definitely focus on activation and retention, because without that, you don't really have a user base to monetize or engage with. So making sure that you have a healthy activation rate, that you have a healthy retention rate, that you understand how users are being activated and retained, would be one of my number one priorities."
💜 What qualification methodologies is Amplitude deploying?
"We actually have a pretty old-school MQL model in place. I sometimes feel that it is a bit old-school because it does not include product usage behavior. It's really based on MadKudu, which is an enrichment tool. So MadKudu gives us a score which is partly how we identify whether a lead is good and fits our criteria. There's tons of data that goes into that. Is that in a data team, a growth team, or product team? Where in the world are they? Revenue or funding industries? So we have a pretty good idea of who buys Amplitude, where they are, and who they are."
💜 Sales outreach is a huge part of Amplitude's go-to-market strategy
"As an example, I spoke to an SDR in our expansion team yesterday, and she actually goes out and talks to business units in our big accounts that are using Amplitude. And she does much of her sourcing on LinkedIn and just pure outbounding for these large enterprises. So outbound plays a huge role, whether it's warm in the sense that they are already using Amplitude, or they have another business unit using Amplitude, or if they have a free account, whatever it is."
💜 The importance of the right metrics
"I think it's about having the right metrics at the leadership level and looking at the important data points that we need. Are we still getting people into the product? Are they activating? Are we growing that side? And then having self-serve revenue be one of the North Stars that the PLG teams — wherever that is growth or marketing or product or a mix — really own and expand on."
[11:31] "We have to show that there is a significant revenue impact from the activities that we're doing. And sometimes, we have to include some assumptions in those, but they always have to be informed by the data that we have and show that we can really move the needle with what we're working on, especially in the current climate. It has to be a significant upside for the business to make further investments."
[17:27] "I can't share anything specifically, but we are playing around with usage-based pricing. And, generally, more entry-level plans that take our users or accounts on their journey as they get started. And as they expand with us, we make sure that they grow with us."
[23:11] "Everything at the end of the day is sales-led when it comes to monetization. So you can think of our free plan as a gen tool or a hunting ground for our sales team. And so, everything eventually has to come through the same funnel."