PLG Weekly#16: Kickstarting your PQL journey and some good PLG reads
Welcome to the sixteenth edition of the PLG weekly. We continue to focus on product-led sales and setting up PQLs in this edition. We take a look at how some of our favourite companies have thought about and implemented PQLs in their sales processes.
In our conversations with revenue leaders looking to set up product-led sales processes, the one thing we’ve noticed is that the PQL definitions are still fluid. Teams are still learning and experimenting based on what they believe are the moments of truth experienced by their customers.
We figured the best way to learn is from experience and through examples from some of our favourite product-led companies out there, ranging from enterprise products with users world over that are thinking about introducing PQLs, to those who are killing it in their early stage and setting an example for others to follow.
Depending on where you are in the PQL maturity curve your PQL definitions and processes around it will vary, and we’ve tried to cover examples across the spectrum and along with the broad PQL guidelines.
🧪 Experimenting with PQLs
If you’re just starting to test PQLs in your organisation, it’s okay to start simple. Take your ICP definition and combine that with the simple product usage metric that is indicative of interest.
Based on your experiments keep evolving your PQL definition as Userflow does.
PQLs at Userflow
A user spending more than 30 minutes in building flows
Fits the Ideal Customer Profile
We love the fact that the future versions of the qualification criteria is already put together to decide what to do next and to keep the PQL definition evolving and get better at it.
🔨 Introducing PQLs to your sales team and building a strategy around prospect outreach
If you’ve run your experiments and have a fair understanding of what your product’s moment of truth is, then the next step is to align your sales teams to ensure that they’re prioritising PQLs in their outreach.
At this stage, you want to come up with a plan for the PQL handover to your sales team. Ideally, you also set a time-based agreement about the timing of outreach to your PQLs.
Reprise’s definition and strategy around PQLs is a good example for this stage.
PQLs at Reprise
Users who have installed their chrome extension
Captured a couple of slides
Shared the demo
These PQLs are then passed on to the Sales teams where they either become a Sales accepted lead and are reached out to in 24 hours or are rejected and will be added to the nurture program to keep the brand on top of mind and are introduced to a paid plans if they hit usage limits.
📒 Operationalising PQLs and setting up playbooks to handle different types of PQLs
Once you have a good grasp of the buying signals and your user’s product journey, you can set up multiple PQL definitions to handle the different segments of your users.
At this stage, you have should have enough data to set up automated PQL playbooks for your sales team to implement a thorough product enabled sales process.
PQLs at Dooly
Sales rep using Dooly hits sync with their CRM and multiple Salesforce records are updated in one click
This is the moment where users of Dooly realise how insanely it makes their life as against copy-pasting content from their notes to their CRM.
One PQL however, doesn’t cut it for Dooly. When there are at least 5 PQLs within an organisation, then Dooly’s composite PQL definition of a Product Qualified Opportunity( PQO) kicks in and activates their salesperson through an automated notification.
How do they operationalise their PQOs?
The PQOs automatically activates a salesperson and they onboard each customer with a Superhuman like process.
This personalised onboarding is done only for those who have displayed high intent in the form of multiple users in the same org signing up, connecting their CRM and syncing their changes at least once.
All of this results in a higher conversion rate, and lesser churn rates.
Looking at all the PQL implementations out there, what we’ve learnt is that there are no right answers to what a PQL template and process should look like. You just need to get started somewhere. As Kyle Poyar says:
Let me be clear: PQLs aren’t one-size-fits-all and nor should they be.
Your ultimate goal should be to engage with the right accounts at the right time with the right message based on what you know about them. Treating PQLs as one-size-fits-all would miss the point.
🕸 Good reads and viewing around PQLs
We loved this breakdown about introducing enterprise sales to a PLG motion. Integrating sales and PQL at an enterprise org is a different beast and requires that you think about how your product, process, and even hiring revolves around it.
On the topic of PQLs, this was one of the best discussions around PQLs and how they were implemented in organisations like Drift, Zendesk and Github. Our favourite moment was when they discussed live and for the first time the strategy around what the handover process for their PQLs should be at Github!
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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