How to Engage Every Department in Pragmatic Product-Led Growth

Product-led growth has enabled B2B SaaS companies to win customers by making individual users’ day-to-day jobs easier. But the idea of turning products into powerful growth engines doesn’t just impact your sales or product teams—it can (and should) be the strategy informing every single department.

What’s more: Product-led growth isn’t limited to focusing your product on the end-user. By engaging every department in your own company in this strategy, you’ll inherently build a product that impresses both your end users and their leadership.

We call this approach “pragmatic product-led growth” (PPLG). In our new e-book, A Guide to Pragmatic Product-led Growth for B2B SaaS Companies, we walk through how to design your organization around pragmatic product-led growth—and ultimately provide a product experience that benefits every client stakeholder.

Here’s a preview of a few best practices featured in our e-book on how to engage your entire org in a pragmatic product-led growth strategy, from engineering to the C-suite.

Buy-in starts at the top

One of the pros of pragmatic product-led growth is that it’s never too late to adopt this strategy: It can be layered into any organization, at any time. Let’s talk about moving the C-Suite in this direction.

Even if you don’t have experience in product-led growth as a SaaS startup founder, you can infuse expertise through key hires in other functions, who can in turn evangelize the approach. Find talent well-versed in product-led growth, and be willing to adapt your strategy as new data and insights emerge.

Dan Schoenbaum, an Elsewhere Operating Advisor who is a go-to-market strategist for ActivTrak and OpsCompass, among other SaaS companies, experienced the power of learning from his team as CEO when it came to sharing a free version of the product with customers.

“I had a team that was pushing in that direction—I learned from them,” he says. “They were willing to take risks that I wasn’t even aware we should be taking.”

Create product “hooks”

As the name implies, your product and engineering teams are core to the success of a pragmatic product-led growth strategy. Fundamentally, this means prioritizing simplicity: Products should be easy to use and install.

It also means empowering your engineers to get creative with how the product serves customers. Product teams should have clearly defined use cases for the product, with specific end users in mind. Think of these as “product hooks.”

For example, Elsewhere portfolio company ActivTrak relies on creating very intentional hooks within its workforce data platform that appeal to particular buyers’ pain points. They have a dashboard to visualize potential employee burnout—appealing to HR leadership—and an inventory of cloud app usage across teams to show managers which tools their employees are actually relying on (ultimately helping CTOs and other leaders understand the value of investing in certain resources). These hooks ensure that ActivTrak’s product benefits various stakeholders and also make these insights more shareable across departments.

Use marketing to demonstrate value

Pragmatic product-led growth reshapes sales and marketing functions perhaps the most dramatically. It especially lends itself to rethinking traditional marketing methods that are disconnected from the product.

For example, instead of using content, such as whitepapers, to collect customer contact info (and have sales follow up), content marketing methods should drive directly to free trials or freemium signups. You want to tell stories that make it easy for customers to understand the value being delivered. And you shouldn’t require a salesperson to reach out in order to engage them further.

Marketing that doesn’t lead to product sign-ups won’t yield strong returns in a product-led world. Instead, customers should experience value during onboarding, and sales reps should be activated later in the journey to answer customer questions or nudge them over the paid signup line—again, only once value has been demonstrated.

Put the customer first

Across all departments, the most important tactic for pragmatic product-led growth is a customer-centric mindset. Even inside sales reps should be mindful to not come across as too “salesy.” They should act as a resource to help users get the most out of their free trial or freemium membership—before trying to convert them to the paid product.

If you’re excited about starting to apply some of these practices to your own SaaS startup team, check out our e-book for more examples and ideas on engaging your entire company in product-led growth. You’ll discover thoughtful insights from SaaS sales and technology executives, in addition to practical examples from companies actually leading the charge.

As you invest in aligning your team on a clear product-led vision, you’ll begin to realize the ways in which your product can truly sell itself, too.

Ready to take the product-led leap? Download our e-book: “A Guide to Pragmatic Product-Led Growth for B2B SaaS Companies” as your first step.

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