The buzz around Product-Led Growth is undeniable and it seems like everyone is urging you to jump on the bandwagon.
But how do you actually embark on this journey and ensure your company thrives using this approach?
Today, we'll break down the first steps towards PLG success into three stages:
Company, Audience, and Product
At a leadership level there has to be 3 things:
Buy-in, Alignment and Long-Term Commitment
Buy-in: The company's leaders need to understand, support and agree with the new strategy, believing in its potential to succeed.
Alignment: The entire leadership team should have a clear, shared understanding of the strategy's goals, how it will impact the company and what unique roles they will play when contributing to this approach.
Long-term commitment: PLG isn’t a revenue hack. Leaders must be dedicated to investing in and supporting the strategy over an extended period, even when faced with challenges.
When these 3 key elements are in place and everyone is on board that PLG is a strategic fit, you will be able to invest in building out the right team, roadmap and infrastructure to support your company’s PLG success.
The next step is your target audience.
In this stage, you have to get super clear on the problem that you’re solving and the people that you’re solving it for.
What you’re solving + Who you’re solving it for
You want to make sure that you’re focusing on a pain point that your end-users actually care about.
Your research should include an in-depth user persona analysis, a full break-down of the existing solutions and their benefits and shortcomings, as well as a clear definition of ICP’s Jobs-To-Be-Done.
If you’ve done this correctly, it should be easy for you to fill out something like this: [Product Name] helps [Target Audience] to [Main Benefit] by [Unique Differentiator].
[Product Name] helps [Target Audience] who want to [Goal] by [Solution/Benefit] without [Pain Point].
You want to be able to:
Understand our product’s value.
Communicate the perceived value.
And ultimately deliver on that expectation.
The next stage is all about how your product is going to deliver on that expectation.
Once you have the team onboard and you are clear on your company’s mission, it’s time to think about how your product is going to sell itself.
Using your research and feedback from the “Audience” stage, you need to understand which growth model is the best fit for your product.
Freemium, free-trials, reverse trials…They all have their unique superpowers and it’s very important to understand both their advantages and disadvantages, while recognizing that each model represents distinct approaches and requires a completely different infrastructure.
The key question you want to be able to answer here is:
How much time does your product need to demonstrate real value?
Remember, it’s not enough to let people try your product for free.
You have to make sure that your product is able to do what a salesperson or customer success rep would do.
The product has to be built in a way that allows users to experience its core value and ultimately to sell itself.
I gave 13 actionable examples in this post here.
Most people think PLG starts with adding a free trial/freemium version to the product. But it really starts with the company committing to PLG as a long-term initiative rather than a short-term growth hack.
If you want to build a Product-Led success, you need to build the right foundations.