Spilling the Tea on PLG and PMF: #1
How PLG is structured at Userled.io and how Product Market Fit gets you fit for it. Also Interviews... interviews...
#HowIgothere with me! And Maja!
This is without a doubt one of my favorite episodes I’ve ever been interviewed on. Maja is very talented in structuring great interviews and I’m glad she allowed me to tell my story to a bigger audience.
We talk about how I got here, wherever that is. PLG and other fun topics. I’m honestly a bit in love with this episode. Thank you Maja!
Coming soon: The Product Market Fit Guide
I’m currently finishing up my guide on Product Market Fit. I did a survey on LinkedIn last week and the topic seems to be still a hot-button issue.
You can expect an actionable guide on how I frame Product Market Fit for my teams and how to reach it. This or next week.
It’s not a simple topic and nothing will guarantee success but we can at least try to maximize our chances of survival.
The Guide will fit into the rest of my guides to address the full lifecycle of any company and fits nicely into how I lead and consult companies:
Subscribers to my newsletter will be the first ones to hear about it. So stay tuned for it to drop next week.
In other news…
I am an advisor for userled.io on how to drive PLG for their current no-code tool for B2B SaaS companies to create in-product experiences that drive revenue. The following piece is a guest article by, co-founder and CEO.
What are the 5 things to have before you can do Product-Led Growth at your Saas company?
Did I hear growth? 🤤
At the moment, product-led growth is the big trend and most SaaS companies want to achieve PLG. But how do you get there? What are the foundations needed before you can get started? Before your company can start its product-led growth motion, it needs to have five key things in place:
A product that is easy enough to use and provides value to the customer.
A clear understanding of the target customer and their pain points.
A willingness to experiment and A/B test on growth and product actions
A way to effectively track and measure key metrics, such as user engagement and retention.
A dedicated and experienced team who loves to experiment
Let's take a closer look at each of these five things.
1. A product that people want to use
It all starts with a product that gets people fired up - something that's a breeze to get started with and shows you the value right out of the gate. That's how you get those "aha" moments early on, and before you know it, people are talking about it to their friends and sharing it all over the place. And you know what's even better? When the product lets people show off their hard work and successes. That's how you know you've got a winner PLG product on your hands.
Without that, no amount of marketing or brand awareness is going to drive your business forward. A great product means customer satisfaction and if you have raving fans, they’re likely to come back for more. So before you even think about getting ready for product-led growth, make sure you've got an incredible product ready to go!
How can you measure that what you have is the “sh%*”? I suggest looking at Superhuman's Product Market Fit Framework or watching this video of a Step-by-Step Guide to Revenue Growth with Mark Roberge - these resources are usable whether you are PLG or not.
The goal if you want to do PLG is, on top of it, to create an experience that people not only find useful but also entertaining and easily shareable to help drive inbound demand and referrals. This is the kind of product that will see success in the long run as people share their enthusiasm helping your business reach even more potential customers.
2. A clear understanding of who the customer is or what the problem is
A crucial step before any company can successfully embark on product-led growth is to have a deep understanding of their customer; who they are, the problems they face, the Job To Be Done, and how the company's product can solve them. To truly get to grips with this, companies need to identify their ideal customer profile, so that they can create content tailored to their needs and focus on problem-solving in a creative and fun way. Having an intimate knowledge of the customer ensures that the product will be used for something that really matters to them, rather than being sold as a generic solution or worse still, a fix-all. By taking the time to design an experience around the individual customer and how your offering solves their problem - you're onto a winner!
Yet, they are exceptions to the rule, you have those who don't have one precise ICP and instead focus on one problem:
If you take Zapier for example, they focused on finding ways to work better through automation, not a problem one single persona is trying to solve… so instead of building content catered towards one ICP, they built thousands of landing pages to capture maximum intent.
To improve their user experience, they implemented a strategy where they created separate landing pages for specific features such as standalone apps (e.g., Slack), integrations between different apps (e.g., Slack to Notion), and workflows using those apps (e.g., add Slack message to a Notion doc). Each page is designed with a specific structure and layout that is templatized and includes written descriptions crafted by their team to give more details about the feature.
Despite not having one ICP they know the problem and what it can solve so well that it becomes evident that any users within a company could end up finding Zapier simply by searching for a solution to a problem they are facing.
3. A willingness to experiment and A/B test on growth and product actions
For any company wanting to reap the benefits of product-led growth, a willingness to experiment with different growth actions as well as an understanding of how to A/B test them is essential. After all, intelligence and insight can only be gained by pushing boundaries and seeing what works. It's time to get creative and embrace the process of experimentation - because anything worth doing is worthwhile investing in! This isn't to say you should go wild with a thousand different ideas at once - formulating a plan that is tailored to your specific needs is still key. But it's equally important not to shy away from trial and error when attempting something new - oftentimes success is found in these very steps!
At userled.io we see experimenting on product and growth as running short
Growth and Product experimentation at PLG is like a game of trial and error. You test out different tactics to bring in more users, keep them engaged, and make sure they stick around. The key is to keep the cycles short and sweet, max 1-week cycles, during which you work on implementing an idea when 70% ready, running it, measuring results, and then reviewing and shipping it. We call it "build-measure-learn" loops 'cause that's exactly what we are doing.
1 - You need to find the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of your idea. 2- Next, you run an experiment. You launch the MVP to a small group of users and see how it does by measuring the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). This includes things like how many people you're bringing in, how engaged they are, and how long they stick around. 3- After the experiment, you review the results and see if your MVP hit the mark. If it did, you keep developing it. If it didn't, you figure out what went wrong and make adjustments for the next round of experimentation. And you keep doing this, testing and iterating until you find the growth strategy that works best for you.
Bottom line: you got to have clear, measurable goals and KPIs so you know whether your experiment was a success or not. That way you know what's working and what's not.
4. A way to effectively track and measure key metrics, such as user engagement and retention
To get the most out of product-led growth, data is key - companies should have their finger firmly on the pulse of vital information such as usage stats and customer feedback. Having an in-depth understanding of how their product is performing, what features are being used most, and how customers interact with it, will be instrumental to creating an effective growth strategy. It's worth recognizing that not just any data will do either; having a solid grasp on the North Star Metric (NSM) that you track and the Business KPIs that you optimize for are essential. The goal is that your NSM and KPIs are tightly coupled, if they differ even slightly you’ll face the issue of having product teams and business teams diverging. This article explains that concept quite well
To track metrics my favorite tool is Segment, setting up events is super easy and you can use tools like userled.io to trigger actions on the back of user actions. Yet the visualization of the data is not amazing with Segment so I like to complement it with June.so to access nice dashboards that are delightful for the team to monitor.
5. A team that is passionate about the product and wants to experiment
If your company is looking to get into the world of product-led growth, one of your essential foundations should be having a passionate and ambitious team who loves crunching numbers enabling them to suggest growth and product changes. Not only do they need to have an ambitious vision for their product, but it's also integral that they know how to test their ideas and tweak features until they create something truly special. By having a team that cares both about product AND growth and sees those as part of the same wider goal you can more easily move towards a successful product-led strategy.
I would say this is the main element to get your PLG off the ground is hiring product engineers. Folks not only work on building features but also do not fear to dig into the data, experiment quickly and push features 70% ready and then put more effort into it only if the data says so. Take examples from companies such as userled.io, incident.io, and so on.
Your team should be ok with chaos, especially at the beginning when so many assumptions are made and the solution to uncertain problems. They should be obsessed about measuring everything to come up with creative yet thorough ideas to improve on the key KPIs at play
All five of these factors are necessary for a company to be successful with product-led growth. Without all five working in unison, it will be difficult to create a product that people want to use and continue using. If you have a great product and an amazing team but don’t know who your customer is, you'll never reach the right people. And if you're not willing to experiment and try new things, you'll never know what works best for your product or customers.
Co-Founder/CEO of Userled, a no-code tool for B2B SaaS companies to create in-product experiences that drive revenue.
Ex-Head of Sales at Incident.io, angel investor, and adventure sports enthusiast
That’s it, folks!
And that’s it! Thank you for reading this Issue and let me know what you think, I’ll try to do more of this as we continue going on.
Leah’s ProducTea Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.