Why You Should Expect Your VP Product to Sign Up for a Lead Quota
Pocus and First Round Capital published the 2021 Product-Led Sales (PLS) report earlier this week. Product-Led Growth (PLG) and PLS are important advances in SaaS growth that have existed for a while, but are coming to the fore more recently because startups who master PLG/PLS enjoy terrifically capital efficient growth because technology supplies leads rather than human effort.
PLG/PLS motions typically couple three things:
- Free-trial/freemium product to attract a large top of funnel (TOFU)
- Product analytics to monitor prospects through their customer journey in the middle of the funnel (MOFU), and predict the best time to contact the user to sell them, at which point they are product-qualified leads (PQL).
- Sales-assisted close to maximize the conversion rate (yep, you guessed it - BOFU).
The Pocus/FRC survey highlights three revealing developments in the SaaS landscape.
First, every company will become PLG, just as every SaaS company has sales-led growth and marketing-led growth. 55% of PLG companies have a sales team. Another 43% of respondents have either classic growth or PLG and will add the complement soon. After all, what business wouldn’t want to adopt a new, efficient customer acquisition channel?
Second, account executive engagement of PQLs varies quite a bit. 36% of companies call after a sign-up; 48% after the PQL algorithm declares potential; and 62% after the user asks for it. I would have thought the 62% would be much higher. If a prospect raises their hand, it’s probably a good time to talk about upgrading. Regardless, the PQL-conversion rate should inform AE or SDR behavior. These rates likely vary by company, so a unified answer of what is best will remain elusive.
Third, PLG doesn’t change the sales structure or operations today. Customer success goals focus on farming rather than selling or expansion. SDRs (sales development reps) qualify these leads, much the way they might for marketing qualified leads or outbound sales qualified leads. AEs close the leads irrespective of their source.
PLG brings product teams under the umbrella of the go-to-market team. In the past, VPs of marketing and sales would divvy up lead generation responsibilities. PLG companies should expect their VPs of Product to sign up for a lead quota, too