The Encyclopedia of Adding a Product-Led Motion to Sales-Led SaaS

The growing adoption of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model has been an important and unforeseen revolution in the way that companies do business. Moreover, the major responsibility lies on the shoulders of the Sales team and it wouldn’t be wrong to regard them as the arrowhead of the business.

And why shouldn’t they be, afterall, they play a crucial role in driving the revenue for the company which is considered to be an important metric for any business. Any efforts made by the sales representatives to prospect in order to make them a customer is considered to be a stage in the lead category of the traditional B2B funnel, however, the buyer's journey is complicated these days and goes way beyond it.

Every sales-led business’s B2B funnel shouldn’t ignore the fact that a buyer’s journey is changing rapidly and they are expecting to adapt to a much different approach than used earlier.

The wave of “user-first” approach flowing in the market is the significant evidence of
prospects being keen to adapt this approach as it is far better than jumping to any subscription contact before even testing iit.

But the question arises how can sales-led SaaS businesses prepare themselves for this dynamic attitude of customers?

The answer lies in the fact that every sales-led SaaS business needs to understand their business model and their customers’ behaviour first in order to maintain the revenue stream. Before getting to any conclusion , it is better to understand all the initiatives, and then put the facts straight out.

Product Led Growth Vs Sales led Growth Vs Hybrid Culture

The two strategies of utmost importance are product-led strategy and sales-led strategy. One might think of them to be leading to different roads, which however is opposite the case. These two crossroads cannot exist in vacuum.

Despite these two, in some cases, it is advised to strategize a GTM strategy which is a mix of two. Let’s discuss the two in detail.

What is Sales-Led Growth ?

Sales led growth (SLG) is a business strategy that focuses on increasing sales as a primary driver of growth. This means that a sales-led SaaS company’s primary focus is on increasing sales, and is also known by another name of service based approach. The approach is basically focussed on the specific needs assessment of customers, and is required for the products that are designed for complex products and services including the products for specific niches and verticals.

Sales led growth also takes into account the customer experience. Companies that focus on sales look at the customer journey, from initial contact to post-sale follow up, to ensure that customers are satisfied. This means that customers are more likely to return for future purchases, which will further increase sales.

What is Product-Led Growth ?

Product-led growth (PLG) is an emerging business model that places the product at the center of the customer journey. It is an innovative approach to customer acquisition and retention that focuses on product-centric strategies rather than traditional marketing channels which prioritize the users of the organization.PLG is founded on the belief that a great product or service will speak for itself and that customers will seek out the best product that meets their needs.

Companies that use this model focus on implementing a freemium business model, which means providing free trials, basic user support, and access to product features to attract new customers.

What is Hybrid Model?

Hybrid Culture - As stated above, not every business can create success matrics for themselves by following a single static approach. Many recognizable names of the SaaS industry like Slack, Dropbox and many more are some of the companies which work on a hybrid mode of approach. These are the companies which use a combination of product-led and sales -led methods to generate greater revenue stages for themselves.

How can businesses get ready for customers' shifting attitudes?

All the information stated earlier in the blog gave us an understanding of all the GTM strategies sales-led SaaS businesses can acquire. Despite the evidences got from the successful businesses implementing separate growth models, it is advisable and proven that it is easy to manage two approaches together than implementing them separately.

Let us discuss at this point of how you can implement product-led motion in your organization running on the perspective of Sales-led approach to fuel the revenue generator of your business. Get your “user-first” buyer’s journey started right away.

Product Led + Sales led = Hybrid Work Model

With an undeniable fact it can be stated that both product-led growth and sales-led growth are equally important; and are the two sids of the coin.

Holding equal importance, one is centered on improving the user experience of the product, and the other is concerned with cultivating relationships with customers. Thus making the existence of both the models necessary for developing a strategy for efficient, sustainable growth.

To quote an example here, many well known SaaS industry leaders, ,like Shopify, Dropbox, PagerDuty, and many more started off as Product-Led driven businesses, before expanding their sales headcount.

How to implement Product-Led Growth Effectively?

Know Your Audience

Rolling out a new Go-To-Market strategy holds paramount significance to a sales-led SaaS company’s revenue generation procedures. However, before the introduction of strategy tothe market, it is crucial to understand and remember your audience. This helps determine what features and benefits will be most important to them, and how to effectively position the product to meet their needs

Whenever your product floors in the market it is highly advised to analyze if it is capable to be in the list of PLG products. Scrutinize the specialities of your product along with finding teh needs of your customers.

This is a crucial stage as it helps dentify the potential prospects of your sales-led SaaS business because not all of them are going to be a great fit for your business.

Choosing The Right Time Is Crucial

Once the target customer is identified, the next step is to design a product led growth strategy that should include features and benefits that align with the customer’s needs. The significance of this big shift matters because it affects your product, operations, customer enablement, and culture.

Another crucial measure for sales-led SaaS company is to identify the right time to introduce the product led growth metrics as too early or too late implementation can have a detrimental effect on business’s growth. The introduction of a new product led growth motion is not only an operational exchange but a cultural change also.

The times which your sales-led SaaS business can consider for the introduction of a product led growth funnel are -

  • Declaring any rebrand of company
  • Major product update
  • Introduction of new product
  • Procuring another business or product

By ensuring these elements a sales-led SaaS company can ensure that it is on the right track to success.

Do Not Hasten The Process

The slow implementation of Product-Led Growth to your sales-led business is crucial for several reasons. The hybrid switch should’t be spread out with pace as the product should be tested and analyzed to see if it is ready for the market and so it can fulfill the demands of its clients.
The starting should be done by launching a single product in the beginning rather than completely wiping off the sales from the history of your sales-led SaaS business. This means that the company should not risk launching a product too quickly and then face delays or other issues that could have been avoided had the product been tested and fully developed before launch.

After analyzing the success or failure of the product launch, make the decision if you would want to come across with more product-led growth strategies or not.

How Will The Sales Reps Survive This Product Led Growth Metrics?

The hybrid model growth is the future of SaaS businesses, however the introduction of Product-led growth to your Sales-Led SaaS business doesn’t mean to kick -off the sales department of your team. Instead they can be made to work together in the co-relation with each other in order to reap the full benefits of a hybrid based growth model.

Common GTM mistakes to clear out while implementing Product Led Growth strategy-

  1. Separate your sales-led growth and product led growth funnel.
  2. Improve and implement your support and help content if find customers consistently struggling.
  3. Appoint dedicated inbound sale representatives to filter out the customers who were introduced to your product.
  4. Implement product-led growth strategy to passively generate interest and your product’s demand.

Recognize And Embrace The Future Of Product-Led Growth

The term product-led growth is not solely related to B2B, Saas, or subscription based businesses, but it is greatly becoming the future of the sales-led SaaS business models of the whole category as such. It is quickly gaining momentum among customers and is totally revolutionising the way customers discover about the products and eventually end up buying it.

So, what are you waiting for. Move ahead and future proof your sales-led SaaS business.