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10 Product-Led Growth Plays Every Company Should Implement

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  • 10 PLG plays every company should implement.

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Even if your company doesn’t identify as a Product-Led Growth (PLG) company, incorporating PLG strategies can lead to significant benefits. 

Here are 10 PLG plays that can enhance your customer engagement, streamline processes, and drive revenue growth.

This is a guest post from one of the most knowledgeable on PLG, Kyle Poyar (Operating Partner at OpenView and author of the Growth Unhinged newsletter). 

10 Product-Led Growth Plays Every Company Should Implement

1. Interactive demo on the website

An interactive demo on your website has quickly become a “hygiene factor” for software businesses. These demos allow potential customers to experience the product in a test or pre-populated instance, generating qualified leads. Interactive demos not only convert at a higher rate than traditional demo requests but also improve the customer experience. This makes the sales process easier since prospects have already engaged with the product. Adding an interactive demo to your roadmap is a relatively quick and easy win.

Pleo, the European business spend management solution, found their interactive demos had 10x better conversion compared to any other entry point on the website. And they were able to go from idea to proof-of-concept in less than a week.

2. Replace hard feature gates and paywalls with soft gates

Product-led growth pushes businesses to deliver value first, then monetize later. This usually calls to mind freemium offerings, free trials, and the like. Another approach is to transition from hard gates, like strict feature limits and paywalls, to soft gates

Hard gates require explicit admin approval to access additional features, often creating friction. Soft gates allow users to invite more users or try additional features with later admin approval on a true-up basis. This approach encourages users to explore the product’s value, creating a sense of loss aversion once they experience the features. This can drive upgrades and expand user adoption, improving customer relationships and increasing revenue.

Figma, shown below, makes a great case in point. The design collaboration software lets editors – not simply admins – add new users to their team at any time and at no cost. If the customer starts to exceed their plan, team admins get an email a few days before the payment. Admins can adjust permissions before the payment is due, i.e. downgrade editors to viewers. It’s a win for the customers, a win for the admins, and a win for Figma’s revenue.

3. Incorporate a usage-based component to pricing

Traditional pricing models based on package size or user seats often fail to capture the full value of active usage. Including a usage-based component in your pricing can drive better monetization. 

For example, SurveyMonkey includes response limits in its plans, charging users for additional responses beyond the included number. This aligns spending with value received, ensuring that heavy users who gain significant value from the product are appropriately monetized.

4. Leverage product data to drive customer outcomes

Product data is crucial for understanding customer behavior and driving better outcomes. Unlike CRM data, product analytics provide insights into in-product activities without human or sales rep involvement. Even non-PLG companies can use this data to assess customer health and tailor sales conversations. For example:

  • Identifying that a support team has been invited by a sales team can reveal expansion opportunities.

  • Getting notified that usage has spiked week-over-week or month-over-month, showing the may be ready to upgrade their plan.

  • Owning and leveraging this first-party data can effectively drive pipeline growth.

5. Offer trials for new features

Offering trials for new features without requiring immediate payment or admin approval can facilitate broader product adoption. Atlassian, for instance, historically required admin approval before users could adopt a product that wasn’t included in their license. This slowed down cross-product adoption. Atlassian’s new model of offering the first 10 users for free for new products has proven effective. By allowing existing customers to explore new functionalities without friction, they can see the value before committing. This strategy eases the path to product adoption and encourages customers to integrate more deeply with your product suite.

6. Correlate product usage with revenue growth

Understanding the correlation between product usage and revenue growth is powerful. This is particularly true with a usage-based pricing model or when recognizing that certain usage patterns lead to better long-term value (LTV) outcomes. Once these correlations are clear, you can strategically enhance your product onboarding process and in-product prompts to guide users toward behaviors that drive revenue. Aligning your processes with product experience ensures actions lead to better results.

7. Automate resource-intensive processes with AI

Transforming manual, resource-intensive tasks into automated processes is a hallmark of product-led growth. AI allows for combining automation with human involvement in the sales process, leveraging the strengths of both. Pairing analytical, data-driven growth teams with go-to-market teams can identify and fix inefficiencies in the funnel, leading to higher conversion rates.

8. Implement smart email nurture cadences

A smarter email nurture cadence is a quick win. PLG companies excel at using email to deliver value messaging, engaging both prospects and existing customers. Automated email communication nurtures deeper product engagement, unlike sales-oriented companies that rely on one-to-one interactions. For example, sending opinionated product adoption emails with clear actions and reasons can significantly enhance engagement and adoption.

9. Build and leverage power user communities

Building a community around power users is essential. People respond well to recommendations from peers, and word-of-mouth promotion within communities is powerful. Recognizing power users, offering early access to new products, involving them in user research, and sending them swag are simple yet impactful actions. Celebrating these users and enabling further engagement can drive growth and provide valuable insights.

10. Offer starter packages or proof of concepts

Starter packages or proof of concepts allow potential customers to experience the product in a lightweight way, staying within budget thresholds. This approach helps build conviction in the product’s value before pitching a bigger deal. It mirrors the product-led growth strategy but applies it through a sales motion. Implementing these strategies enhances customer experience, streamlines processes, and drives growth – regardless of your company’s PLG status.

Kyle covers more on PLG, pricing and go-to-market strategies in his newsletter, Growth Unhinged.

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Even if you don’t fully identify with one motion, there are still valuable aspects you can adopt from it.

Jumping on a flight to London for the start of a few weeks on the road. See some of you in person soon!

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