PLG Weekly #11: How Appcues does Product-led sales, Rule of 20 for cloud infrastructure companies.
Welcome to the eleventh edition of the PLG Weekly. This week we start by looking at how the sales team at Appcues adapted to product-led sales.
💰 Product-led sales lessons from Appcues
When you have a free trial, the first thing to realize is that the traditional inside sales playbook doesn’t fit.
Customers may buy without a demo.
Customers may sign up and start using even before you contact them.
The #1 reason it doesn’t work is that doesn’t align with the buyers’ journey. This led to Appcues realizing the most important principle of product-led selling.
“Selling within a trial is a race to customer value” - John Sherer, Director of Sales, Appcues
Understanding the buyer journey
Appcues decided to find out what their buyers’ journey is to align their sales process with it and win the race to value. The typical trial of Appcues involved customers doing the following actions. These are things prospects have to do before purchasing to find value from Appcues.
Downloading the extension
Installing the SDK
Mapping sales process to the buyer journey
After learning the buyer journey, they changed their deal stages in the CRM from the typical opportunity lifecycle to the one listed below that aligned more to how people use Appcues.
They used product-usage data to answer the following questions during sales meetings is
How far along are leads in a trial?
How many actions have been taken?
When was their last login?
Use product triggers to help reps act in real-time
Whenever a prospect does a product event of note, reps get an alert. This helps them reach out to customers contextually and add value instead of “Just checking-in” emails that reps usually send.
Sales reps on support
Product-led selling is all about a race to value. If your support team is responding to support tickets from prospects, they are going to treat them with the same urgency as any other support ticket. If you arm your reps with more product knowledge and have them spend time on support, your prospect gets record turnaround times and it’s a great opportunity for your reps to learn more about the prospect’s pain points.
Appcues sales reps spend about 15-20% of their time on support tickets and this accelerates the time-to-value of their prospects. To make sure their reps are well versed with the product, they put together the following onboarding plan.
This plan is easy to follow and should be easy to set up in your move to a product-led selling org.
To move to a product-led selling org,
Understand your buyers’ journey - the key product actions that prospects do in their product.
Align your sales process to the buyers’ journey.
Give real-time alerts on product usage so that reps can add value quickly
Having reps on support helps shorten buying cycles and gets prospects to value really fast.
Have a training plan for reps to become well versed in the product. Getting them to spend a week in support is also an amazing way for them to test their learnings out.
If you are applying these principles already or plan to apply these in your sales process, we would love to chat with you.
📊 Battery’s rule of 20 for cloud infra cos
If you are running a cloud infra company, then the rule of 20 is an excellent way to look at your business. It’s really simple
20% of your open-source contributors/community should sign up for your product.
20% of your sign-ups must become active users.
20% of active users must become paid users.
Start tracking these metrics if you’re running an OS/Cloud infra business and try to hit the rule of 20. If you end up hitting it, congrats on becoming a Unicorn!
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