What is Product Led Growth?

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Product lead growth (PLG) is a revenue and operations strategy centered entirely on customer adoption and use of a digital product (nope, no room for old-school ideas about sales).

At its core is recognition that traditional sales models are no longer relevant. Think about your favorite software: 

  • Did you go through a sales rep to try it? (No)
  • Was it easy to use? (Yes)
  • Does it deliver intended value? (Yes)
  • Was there a free version? (Yes)
  • Is there a paid version? (Probably)

This is how modern software is sold. You’ve experienced product lead growth!

Product lead growth is similar to the idea of Revenue Operations (RevOps) in that traditional ways of thinking about growth are thrown out the window.

Rethinking traditional ways of growth in businessPLG is more than a way of thinking and it’s not an off-the-shelf sales strategy. It requires a complete retooling of everything you know about getting work done. And above all, it requires data.

A typical sales pipeline for PLG starts with a customer downloading an app with no help needed from sales or support (self-serve ice cream!).

Typical pipeline for product led growthBut there’s a big difference between PLG and traditional pipelines. It’s the ideal sequence of events that moves a freemium / free app user to the fully-adopted stage (where they’ve become a paying customer and brand advocate!).

The secret behind the PLG pipeline is deceptively simple: reducing friction. Instead of creating ridged sales “touchpoints,” PLG companies make adopting software as easy as possible by reducing known roadblocks in the path to becoming a fully converted customer.

By collecting application use-data and comparing that with an ideal buyer’s journey, smart workflows provide resources needed to reduce friction that might otherwise derail product adoption.

Remember, the goal is to create a paid and loyal raving fan (not a hater)!

While the above pipeline might seem fairly straightforward, it comes at a cost. You must give up on the idea that sales or marketing or product management knows what’s best for your customers.

Every department in your company is responsible for the success of your customers. That means involving accounting, engineering, customer service, I.T., legal, and even operations.

The actions of every department contribute to either a happy customer journey or one that ends in frustration and complaints.

product led growth and the customer journeyIf you can’t get everyone to circle the wagons around Product, PLG will not happen. And rest assured (or maybe don’t rest!) - your competitors are already a step ahead.

Take a deep dive into Product Led Growth here at productled.org.


Learn how HubSpot supports product lead growth - book a chat with us!

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Tags: RevOps, Sales Ops

Picture of Jesse Spencer-Davenport Jesse Spencer-Davenport
Jesse is a technologist who doesn't believe the way things have always been done is the way they should be done - and worse - if it works - see how to make it better. Business, people, relationships, and curiosity all provide his reason for being.


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