April 3

Product-Led Growth

Back in the day, driving growth for your software product often meant salespeople schmoozing CIO’s on the golf course and hosting multiple dog and pony shows. Nowadays, that’s replaced by providing a free product that solves some of your customer’s problems with the enticement of even more value if they pony up some cash. That new approach is called product-led growth.

What is Product Led Growth? How to Build a Software Company in the End User Era. When you need to attract tons of individual end-users to a free product, growth that depends on a sales department doesn’t scale. A better alternative is to enable end-users to find, evaluate and adopt your product on their own. This is product-led growth. Blake Bartlett explains what product-led growth is and how your company can use it to succeed in the market.
(via @OpenViewVenture)

Product led vs sales led.  Sales and Marketing-led models create a need for your product by focusing on the promise of what your product can deliver. That promise is usually made to someone at the top of an organization. This is followed by dog and pony shows, a long term deal, and lots of onboarding. The folks at Product Board explain how Product-led growth flips the script. Start with the product. Give it to end-users and have them fall in love with it. This then influences decision-makers who want to buy software their team will actually use.
(via @productboard)

Product-led vs. Revenue-Driven. When you build your product, you probably have a couple of goals in mind: build a great product and make money. Both are integral to long-term viability. But most companies end up prioritizing one more than the other. The folks at Product Plan explore how product-led companies prioritize on the excellence of the product while revenue-driven companies focus more on financial growth. Both options can still result in great products, but how they get there can be quite different for their internal team.
(via @ProductPlan)

Product assisted growth is product management. Travis Kaufman’s team uses a product assisted growth strategy, meaning they offer a product that users can try before they buy. In this episode of This Is Product Management podcast, Travis shares his team’s strategy for implementing product assisted growth, creating a-ha moments that convert trial users into paying customers, and how to generate “product qualified leads” for his sales team. You’ll learn a lot about different product assisted growth models, go-to-market strategies, and how to create a product offering that motivates users to buy and accelerates organizational growth.
(via @tipmpodcast)

How to run user surveys in the age of product-led growth? In order to be successful at product-led growth, you need to know what problems customers have. You need to improve your ability to get user feedback. Pulkit Agrawal explains that a way to make user feedback and qualitative data relevant and accurate is to use in-product user surveys. “These should be personalized, contextual and tiny, to create a virtuous loop of Continuous Feedback and improvement.”
(via @_pulkitagrawal)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at KBP.media and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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