Introduction

More and more companies nowadays seem to choose Product-Led Growth (PLG) as a way to grow. 

In this context, most growth people have turned themselves into PLG advocates, looking for ways to grow a business through the value that users experience with the product. 

FullStory is a digital experience analytics platform for on-the-fly funnels, pixel-perfect replay, custom events, heat maps, advanced search, Dev Tools, and more.

FullStory Homepage. Screenshot.
Image Source: FullStory

It’s a product we really admire, and this is why we asked Melanie Crissey who is a Product Marketing Manager at FullStory, to share her thoughts and opinions on Product-Led Growth. 

Want to know what Melanie answered to us? 

Just keep reading. 

Who is Melanie Crissey?

Melanie Crissey was a FullStory customer before joining the company in 2017. 

Melanie Crissey LinkedIn Profile Photo.
Image Source: LinkedIn

Today, she helps FullStory customers find their “ah-ha!” moments by delivering personalized product content and optimizing the trial experience for new users.

Let’s see what Melanie answered us when we asked about Product-Led Growth. 

Question 1: Why such a big discussion about Product-Led Growth? 

Melanie:

Big discussions about product-led growth are happening right now in part because buyers are bringing their consumer-specific expectations about customer experience into the workplace as they evaluate software for their businesses. 

More than ever, people are over-connected as individuals; you can’t necessarily leave your “work self” at the office any more. 

Meanwhile, the software tools and the services we used to use exclusively in our personal lives are now delivering value for us as employees in companies and enterprise organizations. 

In the “attention economy,” people don’t necessarily have the time or the patience to sit down and read the manual. 

Melanie Crissey Quote 1. Illustration.

To stand out, you’ve got to deliver a product that’s intuitive and demonstrates value from the get-go. 

The companies that embrace this will pull ahead and win.

Question 2: Free trial, Freemium model or Demo request? How would you choose the most appropriate and how? 

Melanie:

It depends on the stage of your business and the preferences of your best-fit customers. 

My two-cents: don’t offer Freemium until after you’ve proven product-market fit

FullStory Freemium Model. Screenshot.
Image Source: FullStory

Early on, you want people to have some investment in your product so you can connect with them and grow the product to meet their needs. 

A Free Trial is almost table stakes these days, unless the implementation is particularly difficult and requires human help. 

FullStory Free Trial. Screenshot.
Image Source: FullStory

Demos are all about meeting your customers where they are with their preferred evaluation process. 

If customers are asking for demos, find a way to give them demos.

Even if you don’t have a full Sales team, you can schedule a 30-minute demo webinar once a month and let people join. Give the people what they want.

Question 3: Which are the principles one needs to follow when building a user onboarding process for a SaaS business? Which mistakes to avoid? 

Melanie:

My key principles are: 

  1. Only ask for as much data as you need 
  2. Optimize for the “ah-ha!” moment 
  3. Build zero states and CTAs before walk-through tutorials 
  4. Be human—make it personal or give people a clear way to reach a real person at your company 

In terms of mistakes to avoid: 

Don’t make the mistake of letting your onboarding stop too soon. 

Always be onboarding and nurturing customers to the next step in their journey. 

Question 4: What should be the relationship between Product, Marketing, Sales and Customer Success in a Product-Led company? 

Melanie:

Product, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success need to be completely aligned in a product-led company. 

This means, functionally, having:

1) Shared, clearly defined tenets about the customer experience you’re trying to deliver and also 

2) Equal access to information. 

As soon as your company gets in a position where Customer Success knows more about the product direction than Sales, or where Marketing is trying to sell a story that Product doesn’t feel comfortable hyping, hit “pause,” timeout, and take a step back. 

Customer experience, at the core, is all about setting and upholding expectations. 

Melanie Crissey Quote 2. Illustration.

No one designs a bad experience on purpose; it usually happens because of a mismatch in priorities, where a company puts their internal process ahead of what’s best for the customer. 

To solve and prevent this, you need everyone who has a stake in the customer experience to be aligned around the same mission and equally empowered. 

It also helps if everyone has access to the same data—whether that’s through your CRM or through your digital experience platform, something like FullStory

Question 5: How the future of Product-Led Growth looks like? 

Melanie:

In my mind, the future of product-led growth looks like PLG for the B2B Enterprise. 

We’ll see—and, we’re already seeing—Product Managers and Customer Success come together to champion product-led growth tactics in a shared effort to prevent churn. 

Until now, many product leaders dismissed PLG as an approach for startups or small players alone. 

The way I see it, PLG is just as crucial when you’re dealing with Enterprise customers. 

Big companies have turnover. 

When your power user leaves and the person who’s stepping into their shoes comes in to evaluate the stack, your app better be easy to adopt, discover, and—honestly—a tool that everyone loves to use. 

Otherwise, it’s on the chopping block as soon as the contract is up. 

At the end of the day, nothing beats a real-life human interaction. 

But, if you’re going to grow at scale, you’re going to need to build a product that translates the best aspects and traits of your people into the design. 

Melanie Crissey Quote 3. Illustration.

Whether you’re in a tiny startup or part of a global Enterprise, the tech stack you use for work should make you feel more human—not less. 

That’s where we’re headed.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

  1. What is Product-led Growth & Why Should You Care?
  2. The Essential Guide to User Onboarding (for 2019)
  3. 34 Tools for SaaS Startups to Do Product-led Growth

About the Author: Aggelos M

Aggelos M
I have over 8 years experience in Digital and Growth marketing. Currently, running Growth Sandwich, a London based Product Growth Lab. Before turning in Growth Marketing and Product Growth, I had the chance to pass by head marketing and head digital positions in Athens and London, work with numerous tech startups but also build and run companies. In my spare time, I am consulting ambitious startups about their Growth and Business strategy.