Replace Your Sales-Led Motions with Product-Led Growth

The SaaS industry is growing, and people’s expectations around purchasing software are changing. There is a desire and an ability to get into a product without ever needing to talk to anyone. Companies that have been sales-led in the past are now moving in a more product-led direction. They allow potential customers to experience the product straight away on a free plan or a trial, without the intervention of a sales rep. 

On this week’s podcast, I talk with Esben Friis-Jensen, co-founder of Userflow and, about moving away from direct sales, and enabling product-led growth instead.

About the episode

Userflow lets your team build customized in-app tours, checklists and surveys, without code. It’s a tool to help drive onboarding and trial conversions. It was a conscious choice of the Userflow team to focus on product-led growth from day one. They try to avoid hiring people to solve problems and look into improving the product instead. 

If you’re product-led, your entire organization revolves around making the product drive growth. Esben recently wrote about product-led growth (PLG) and defined it as an approach where you think product-first, instead of people-first. 

The easiest way to explain product-led growth is to look at the opposite, sales-led growth, where you involve people in every single step of the sales process. Product-led means that you put the product in the hands of the customers.

Esben Friis-Jensen, Userflow

To move away from sales-led growth at his previous company Cobalt, Esben started with a spreadsheet of all manual processes. He was going through them one by one asking himself how to automate them or turn them into self-service. 

If your business is moving from sales-led to product-led, then it’s a big change management exercise. Don’t do everything at once. Do an MVP, iterate, and learn. 

Esben Friis-Jensen, Userflow

Overall, Esben and I talk about:

  • What is product-led growth and what is the difference between product-led and sales-led growth
  • The SaaS industry maturing into PLG
  • How too much customization can make it harder to move away from sales-led motions
  • Examining if PLG is working within a company
  • How to tackle support questions proactively
  • The best tools for product-led growth

Hope you enjoy this SaaS Open Mic episode!

Olivia Jarvis

Former North American AE and Host of SaaS Open Mic

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