Products are made to solve problems. When we think about how we’re going to solve those problems, it’s important to remember the why: making life better for people.
The companies that offer the best product experiences know that customer feedback is their greatest source of inspiration, and understand that customer needs are the roots of their roadmap.
They take a product-led approach—putting the voice of the customer at the heart of their development process to ensure what they’re building can effectively solve real-life challenges.
Here is how.
Product-led Growth (PLG) was initially coined and described by SaaS expert VC firm OpenView as “the go-to-market strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers.”
As pointed out by product-led pioneer advocate Wes Bush in his seminal book “Product-led Growth: How to build a product that sells itself”, the increasing relevance of the approach is triggered by 3 market shifts impacting all SaaS:
⇒ Startups are much more expensive to grow (with customer acquisition costs on the rise)
⇒ Buyers now prefer to self-educate
⇒ Product experiences have become an essential part of the buying process.
Looking closely, these 3 shifts do indeed impact the most important stages of a SaaS life: Acquisition,Expansion, Retention.
And build a strong case for people to see that SaaS magic actually happens in the product!
Subsequently, product usage insights and feedback are more than ever at the heart of product teams work, at every step of the user journey.
Freemium strategies that let you user try your product before they buy it, whether that’s an interactive tour or a full-on free version of your product, are a powerful way to to generate Product-Qualified Leads (PQL), which are scored based on product adoption and customer fit, as opposed to marketing-qualified leads, which are scored based on interaction with marketing materials.
Freemium experiences give you a great channel to engage your users and lead them to “aha!” moments—the behaviors that cause them to realize the true value of your product and become long-term users.
At Salesmachine, our account-based analytics solution and Product Qualified Leads Matrice allows you to break users up into groups based on various attributes and examine the differences in their behavior and target specific messaging and guidance to them, using automated Playbooks and Workflows.
Progressive disclosure campaigns, where users are nurtured with announcements, best practices and tips, and information about advanced features, based on their actual usage, become a great avenue for using your product as a marketing and growth tool.
One of the biggest challenges for product leaders is ensuring they’re able to accurately track progress toward their organization’s goals. After all, as the adage goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.
You need to understand your product usage at the deepest level before you can start using product-led strategies to drive positive business outcomes and, ultimately, identify your product’s biggest advocates and activate them.
From the moment it’s installed, Salesmachine collects usage data in real time.
You can enrich the process by sending data to Salesmachine from a wide range of sources thanks to powerful integrations with Segment, Intercom, Salesforce, HubSpot, PipeDrive, Stripe, Zendesk etc…
Before you can start asking people the right questions about how they feel about your product and its features, you need to know how they’re engaging with them, and how each users’ preferences differ.
Salesmachine tracks every action every user and account has with your product. Segmenting subsets of users or accounts based on those interactions is the best way to start sorting out who’s doing what and begin targeting them with NPS surveys and other methods of collecting qualitative data.
Every product has certain peculiarities that cause users to realize the true value of your product and become sticky. At Salesmachine, we call them key events and milestones, and quantitative data around those actions can help you gauge whether you’re successfully driving users toward them as quickly as possible.
Knowing how users are engaging with your product is only half the equation. Asking them why they’re using it the way they are and how they feel about the experience is the key to being sure you stay on track and deliver new features or fixes that deliver the most value possible.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tried-and-true way of gauging how users and accounts feel about their interactions with your product, or even individual features. The best way to measure it is to survey users in-app, while they’re actively working with the tool, and to target the surveys to specific accounts or user segments.
Once you’ve got your results, you can segment that data, too. Splitting out promoters from detractors can reveal the reasons users love or hate a particular feature. Salesmachine integrates with NPS solutions such as Satismeter to enable product teams to improve.
Product and feature adoption, retention, churn rate per reason… Now that you’re tracking all of those fancy KPIs, it’s time to turn it all into the insights that will help you improve your product and grow your business.
Salesmachine offers a quick and easy way to understand the relationship between your product and your users, at contact or account level. Once that’s done, you can start acting upon what you’ve discovered.
To drive adoption, you can leverage Salesmachine to build onboarding event-triggered Workflows to reduce time to first use of key features. These same tactics work well for cross-sell/upsell campaigns, too.
But what if the time to first use your key events is short, but no one returns to your app to use those features again? Then, you have a stickiness problem. Time to build better in-app guidance and onboarding processes and track their impact by keeping an eye on your daily, weekly, or monthly average users.
The best way to make a business case for any new product, feature, or improvement you’re considering building is to start with the end result in mind, then ask yourself three questions about it: who is the target audience, what sort of pain is it addressing and is it acute enough to be worth the time and effort, and what is the desired business outcome?
You also need to adopt a strong product point of view and get close to your customers to find out how what you’re building connects to them.
Capturing an honest and unfiltered customer experience directly from Salesmachine gives Product teams the data they need to help define the product roadmap that will increase customer satisfaction and increase the user base.