Product-Led Growth (PLG) is a business strategy wherein user acquisition, expansion, conversion, and retention are driven by a product, rather than a traditional sales team. Organizations that adopt Product-Led Growth lean on delightful product experiences to grow and retain customers.
The term was invented by OpenView Venture Partners in 2018, but businesses have been using the strategy well before then. Other words used to describe this strategy include freemium, try-before-you-buy, SaaS 2.0, and free trial.
With Product-Led Growth, marketing efforts focus on getting people to try the products themselves, rather than trying to drive customers to contact a sales rep. Once users are in the product, they experience onboarding and ongoing in-app messaging. This essentially embeds sales, customer service, and marketing communications into the product itself. When a user wants more, they can request to upgrade to a paid version of the product. A salesperson can easily track all the actions a customer is taking, even in the freemium product edition.
This strategy changes how you do business by letting your product drive your customers’ experience. As a result, you'll be able to:
- Grow and scale your business
- Retain customers and reduce churn
- Increase basket size (the number of products you sell to each client)
- Upsell to services
Why Product-Led Growth?
In recent years, there has been a shift in the SaaS industry towards self-service. Customers want to try products before they buy them. Outstanding customer experience has always been the key to success, but now customers would rather experience a product than talk to a salesperson—70% of people don't want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product. To keep up with these changes, companies must offer value before asking for a sale.