PLG Weekly #19: How to layer on enterprise sales onto your PLG motion - Dev SaaS edition, To PLG or not to PLG.
Welcome to the nineteenth edition of the PLG weekly. We look at how companies have managed to layer enterprise sales onto your PLG motion for your dev SaaS.
💰 Layering on Enterprise sales - Dev SaaS
When Twilio IPOed in 2016, it only had 12 salespeople. You might be wondering how they raked in any customers with only 12 salespeople! Jeff pointed out that the company’s ability to get as far as it did was largely reliant on this developer-led culture. He also admitted they “made a mistake” here and that in retrospect he would have scaled the sales team much earlier.
Here’s how Twilio’s sales org is structured now.
Takeaway: Build a developer-first, but not developer-only sales approach. While developers are an amazing foot in the door with customers that are predominantly developers themselves (and generally turned off by salespeople), you still need a sales team after the initial customer interest to close deals and both cross-sell and up-sell over time.
Now that you’ve decided to have a sales team, who do you hire and when do you hire?
The first hire could have various levels of experience, but Alyson(Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Twilio) firmly believes that the first sales role should be a clone of the founder in many ways — an evangelist of the product, but with a quota. As for when to hire her, Alyson recommends hiring your first sales representative when the cost of sale and average deal sizes justify an external hire.
This is how Twilio evolved its sales function, if there’s one takeaway nail it before you scale it!
Some of the common mistakes that companies make with their enterprise sales efforts that Twilio avoided are :
When top-down sales are layered on before table-stakes enterprise-grade features have been rolled out
When a product roadmap falls short of developing value-based feature upsells
When product strategy does not account for cross-sell opportunities to suit an organization-wide value-based purchasing narrative
PagerDuty, the operations cloud for modern enterprises, ensured that its product architecture was ready to support value-based selling into enterprises before accelerating its top-down sales motion.
and the results speak for themselves.
If you’re a dev company, you should invest in a product that can accommodate enterprise needs and enable upsell for your GTM teams via more modules/feature unlocks.
🧪To PLG or not to PLG
PLG is a hot buzzword and everyone wants to do PLG. But is it suitable for them? We’re Mark Roberge fans and when he wrote about it, we had to share the goodness with all of you. Here’s his list of considerations of whether you need to PLG your company now or later.
You’ve reached the end of this week’s edition and we hope you’ve enjoyed it. We’ll be publishing every Wednesday and if you like what you read this week, share it with anyone who might be interested in PLG.
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