Product Led Growth (PLG) and Sales Go Hand-in-Hand | Ethan Schechter, VP of Sales at Snyk

Product Led Growth (PLG) and Sales Go Hand-in-Hand | Ethan Schechter, VP of Sales at Snyk

Table of Contents:

Text LinkText Link

There's a misconception that companies are product-led OR have a sales team. But sales and product-led growth are multipliers of each other, says Ethan Schechter, VP of Sales at Snyk.

He adds, ''A product-led growth engine is the number one thing to ensure that your sales team is working with qualified leads because the organic interest that comes from a product-qualified lead is unlike anything you're going to see.''

Ethan joined Snyk in their early days and has helped scale it to over 1200+ employees.

In the latest episode of Product Led Revenue, Ethan Schechter, the VP of Sales at Snyk and Correlated's Breezy Beaumont discuss the impact of a high-quality sales team on a product-led company's success.


💡 Name: Ethan Schechter

💡 What they do: Ethan is the VP of Sales at Snyk.

💡 Company: Snyk

💡 Noteworthy: Prior to joining Snyk, Ethan was part of ZeroTurnaround, a developer tooling company.

💡 Where to find them: LinkedIn

Key Insights 

Every department is crucial to success

When Ethan joined Snyk, he was the 27th employee. It was an incredible journey, as he explains, being part of an organization that had just started to grow. However, it was also challenging because his past experiences showed him that early-stage sales leaders are often perceived as people who are ''only'' making calls and closing deals; they don't have a say in product growth because that's the job of the product team. But, as he says, Snyk's CEO and founder, and the CPO, knew that the sales team should be a central part of the process. So they built a culture demonstrating that all departments are equally crucial for the company, which is probably the main reason behind its success. ''Everyone is part of everyone's success, and we need to know what other people are doing and give feedback and help out where we can.''

The end goal should be to provide an exceptional user experience

When a user clicks a sign-up button, it doesn't mean they will become a long-term customer. Some people want to familiarize themselves with your company and product. Regardless of their intentions, you need to show them respect and proper attention, and not bother them if they don't want to talk to anyone. Every company should aim to meet their users' needs. So, if they wish to learn about you, that's legit. But, don't pressure them or send them messages you would send to, say, qualified leads. ''Whether you're one of our biggest customers now, or you used it once for an individual project — and we're never going to talk to you again — we still want you to leave with that great experience. [...] You learn something from every encounter. And then, you can filter that back into your next approach. And then the next person has an even better experience.''

Know your ideal buyer like the back of your hand

You must define your ideal customer profile if you are aiming for long-term success. Otherwise, your SDRs may have many successful calls with people who are not genuinely interested in your product, and eventually, they will not become your customers. Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach is often a waste of time, resources, and energy. ''You'll get some SDRs who get good, and they'll set a bunch of meetings, but it's with the wrong people, and that's not on them. You need to tell your SDRs, 'Hey, this is where you should target. This is who you should go after.' If you can't do that, you'll have some success, but it won't be repeatable.''

Episode Highlights 

💜 Empathy Makes a Great Salesperson 

''One of the things I was lucky enough to learn very early in my sales career is that you don't know how someone else's day is going. When you pick up the phone to reach out to them, you [dont'] know: did they just get a raise, or did they just get a call from school that said their kid was sick and they have to drop everything they were doing? 

[...] A lot about reaching out to people, I think, is understanding their persona, what motivates them, and how we make them happy via value. [...] That's something we strive for at Snyk. When you're reaching out to someone, do you understand what their day is like?

A lot of that is asking them once you build a relationship. There's a cold call or a warm call, but then, as you get to work with individuals through a selling process, I think you need to understand what makes their day better.''

💜 Sales and Product-Led Growth Are Each Other's Multiplier

''A product-led growth engine is the number one thing to ensure that your sales team is working with qualified leads because the organic interest that comes from a product-qualified lead is unlike anything you're going to see. 

I'm a firm believer that a salesperson's job is to show value. And so you're showing up where someone has already seen the value and is already having a great experience; that's all you can ask for. So I couldn't imagine not trying to have that motion going to help our sales.''

💜 Be Transparent With Your Pricing

''We price by developers, who are the end users, and that's right on our website. We want to be honest about that. It's the best metric. We feel we have to show the value we're bringing to these organizations. 

I think the modern buyer wants to see that, and they have the right to see that. I don't think it does a lot for you to engage in a lot of those kinds of mysterious shell games that used to happen around pricing.''

Top quotes: 

[04:25] ''People think developers don't want to talk to salespeople. I think they do — especially if they've come in no-touch — as long as you approach them in the right way. I think it's a very pleasant experience.''
[08:29] ''We consider ourselves a development company that focuses on security, not a security organization that focuses on developers.''
[18:49] ''We are very aware of the people using our product as long as they want us to be.''

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.

Schedule a Demo