SaaStr Podcast #420: Mastering the Art and Science of Product-Led Growth With Gainsight

What does it mean to make your product the star in your SaaS growth strategy? It’s imperative to incorporate critical elements in your product-led strategy to ensure its success. Ciara Peter (Gainsight VP of Product & Design) and Mickey Alon (CTO & Founder of Gainsight PX) share their practical tips for product leaders looking to achieve business growth.

Product-Led Growth: The Disruptive GTM Strategy

A product-led growth strategy relies on the product itself as the primary vehicle for customer acquisition, conversion, retention, and expansion. But why is product-led growth such a disruptor in the software industry? 

Every year, millions of new products are created and launched. Growth is becoming more costly than ever, with companies pressured to outspend each other on sales and marketing budgets. Here are the ways that product-led growth cuts through the noise and proves effective in connecting with customers.

  • Product-Led Growth Meets Evolving Customer Expectations:
    • B2B buyers prefer to try before buying.
    • The end-user is becoming the decision-maker and catalyst for growth.
    • Ease-of-use and time to value impact the buying decision.
    • Pricing strategy based on pay-as-you-go has grown popular.
    • Product experience is associated with the brand experience.
  • Product-Led Growth Offers Unbeatable Economics:
    • Lowers cost of acquiring, onboarding, and retaining customers.
    • The return on marketing investment is much faster.
    • Organic expansion grows through self-serve sign-ups and user invites.
    • The self-serve models feed growth and increase awareness.
    • The churn rate becomes more predictable based on usage sentiment.

Today, much of the customer experience happens within the product. Delivering immersive product experiences is the key to retention and growth. When you provide hands-on experience and demonstrate the value of the product, it goes a long way to ensuring a conversion.

 

The Trial Experience: The Art & Science 

A free trial should be integrated into your overall GTM strategy. The trial’s goals should include qualifying prospective customers, demonstrating the value of the product, and generating sales opportunities.

  • The Growth Team: First things first: To deliver a proper product-led growth strategy, you need a dedicated growth team. The growth team needs to focus on optimizing user acquisition and PQLs (Product Qualified Leads). This team and manager will own the post-sign-up experience.
  • Tips For a Successful Trial:
    • Mind the (Value) Gap: Show the immediate value during the trial. Be sure the user experiences positive results during their time using the product.
    • Provide Specific Instructions: Set user expectations and give clear, helpful in-product guidance.
    • Offer Accessible Knowledge: Be sure to offer ample and easy access to the knowledge base and simple ways for customers to provide feedback and ask questions.
    • Test Wisely: Be mindful of testing certain items during the trial. Avoid testing things like core workflows, dramatic replacement of features, etc.

When your team prioritizes the customer experience, you will continue to grow your SaaS business. Let the product do the heavy lifting and you will earn loyal customers.  

Key Takeaways
  • Product-Led Growth is a disruptive GTM strategy.
  • A dedicated Growth Team is essential.
  • User experience = product experience.
Published on January 22, 2021

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