If you’re selling Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), you could do worse than follow the example of tech giants like Slack, Dropbox, Survey Monkey, Altassian, etc. These super-successful companies have experienced rapid growth and notoriety with a “product-led growth” approach, and it makes sense to emulate them.
Cira Aps Ltd. has seen a lot of success by taking this approach to marketing and sales. As of Feb. 2020, Cira Apps has recently sailed past 1,000 enterprise clients after adopting a product-led growth approach.
Why has this approach to marketing and sales been so successful in the tech industry? Cira Apps Ltd. CMO Sonya Pelia has the answer:
“I believe the reason why this approach is working so well for tech ventures is a simple one: It’s about recognizing reality. The customer is now in charge of the buying process. Their journey does not start with the company website: A recent 2018 Demand Gen survey showed 65 percent of buyers rely more on peer recommendations and review sites—a huge increase from just 20 percent in 2012. It’s clear from this change that the future is product-led growth.”
Below are some expert tips from Pelia on how product-led growth can propel your SaaS company to success without a sales team:
The Firestarter for Product-Led Growth? Freemium
“With product-led growth, you start selling without doing the whole drawn-out demo, endless sales meetings, and high-pressure sales conversations over the phone. Customers don’t want it—which means it’s a waste of your time too.”
When customers connect and engage with your company, it’s because they have questions they need answered about your product. They don’t want a sales pitch or be engaged in high-stress phone calls with a sales representative.
But what is the best way to approach your customer about your product? Take advantage of human nature—people love free stuff. Provide a freemium version of your product with enough functionality to prove your solution works, and you want to make it fast and painless to sign up. Offering a freemium product allows prospective customers to decide if your product is what they are looking for and whether they like it enough to go through with the sale.
Go Where Your Customers Are Looking—Even If Their Behavior Isn’t What You Might Expect
“To make more sales happen, we did something totally unnecessary for our products’ functionality. We released another free version of our software.”
Reach your customers where they are looking for answers and position yourself as the solution to their problems. For example, Cira Apps Ltd. released another freemium version of their product CiraSync in the mobile app stores.
Many prospective customers start their journey by searching mobile app stores for a solution to their problem. Today, a mobile app—full or limited functionality—is essential for any software company because many users will use it to test software before fully committing to a purchase.
Make the Whole User Experience Frictionless
“Product-led growth really means putting the product first, above any marketing needs.”
Your priority should be to make the prospect customer journey as seamless as possible. This means that all marketing needs should be second to whatever factors into a frictionless user experience.
Optimize your website to easily guide your prospective users to not only try your product, but to the answers they need. This means reducing website clutter, clearly communicating the requirements of your product, and simplifying any and all process required to reach information your prospective customer may be looking for.
If your website does not easily guide your prospective user to answers they need, they will leave.
Use Social Proof to Give Customers the Confidence to Buy from You
“A happy client’s referral to a colleague is often far more effective than a cold call from a marketer or salesperson.”
Prospective customers will often start their journey by word-of-mouth from other users of your product. Many will often take to the internet to consult with their peers or crawl through third-party review websites.
A product-led growth approach makes it so your users and your product will essentially speak for themselves without any additional marketing expense. Social proof turns your users into a resource, and by tapping into this resource, your product gains instant credibility without major marketing expenses.
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