girl looking for B2B Product-led companies

What successful Product-Led companies have in common

From Abril

There are 4 aspects that companies with a Product-led growth approach have in common and that could be the key to their success. Find out what they are and maybe apply some of them to your own company.

Not so long ago, B2B software sales used to involve an executive who made the decision about whether to purchase or not. And that decision impacted the end-users (employees) who suffered the consequences of the selection of incorrect software for their workflow. 

However, as the software industry shifted towards an end-user orientation, more B2B businesses are approaching a Product-led growth methodology.

In a previous article, we explored the definition and benefits of Product-led growth. Now we want to dive into what those B2B companies that successfully apply this business model have in common with each other.

At Palabra we did our homework and, given our recent research, we can mention that there are 4 aspects that repeat throughout several PLG companies: 

  • Solve employee/end-user pain
  • UX matters more than design
  • Integration to employee stack
  • Deliver value before the paywall 

Let’s check each of those points separately to see what they mean.

Solve employee/ end-user pain

Some people recognize this point as “virality”. But the reality is that there is no virality if there is not a good product, and a good product solves the problems of users.

B2B companies are very used to focusing solely or primarily on solving executive problems. They have a very different look at what the product or the company means to them. Therefore they look for tools that allow them to increase ROI.

Spoiler alert: this does not work the same with end-users (which in this case will be the employees of that company).

It can be easy to ignore end-user pain points if executives buy your product anyway. But that won’t bring you profit at the end of the day, because no one will talk about your product and no one will want to use it, because it was not designed to solve their needs.

Creating a successful product for end-users means identifying their issues and worries and solving them. It would be useless for your application to be full of glitter if it does not add value to those who use it.

UX Matters more than design 

We have all gotten used to seeing pretty and bright designs on the internet. Therefore, a very important differentiator for your brand will be that this application may be able to solve a problem that the user has.

According to Forbes, a well-designed User Interface (UI) could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200%. Ok, that’s good, right?

Well, a better UX design could raise your conversion rates up to 400%. That’s even better. 

Applying methodologies and research focused on end-users in the development of your products is key to getting to know their real needs and not simply assuming that you know what they are. 

Do not jump directly to create a solution, first think about your user-person, then about their problem and the way to approach it and that path will lead you to the solution.

This point is intrinsically linked to the previous one. Both of them are necessary to create products for end-users.

Let’s stop here to give an example of what we have been talking about so far.

One great platform that solved an end-user pain point has been Trello.

Trello understood that work teams could suffer from great disorganization and that sticking post-its that could have unintelligible handwriting from a co-worker (sorry, Kevin) just wasn’t enough.

Trello’s home page already gives us everything we need to get started and briefly summarizes its mission and end-user pain points.

That is why they created a digital solution, with a simple design, that allowed all team members to see the progress of tasks and projects. And that allowed them to be more in communication with each other without having to talk so much between them or send hundreds of hard-to-find emails.

You can create boards to collaborate with your teams very easily with the free templates they offer.

Integration to employee stack

To achieve this you must think like an end-user and not like an executive (surely there is something in your work environment that you think could be done better).

Your products will be better integrated into the team’s workflow if you manage to reduce the friction that prevents it from reaching them. For example, if you have to pay for the product to start using it, you will probably never use it.

So no more “Talk to sales” button and more “Sign Up”. 

It’s much easier for end-users to use and buy your product if they find value in it.

Deliver value before the paywall

Imagine that you enter a store they asked you to leave your credit card details or to pay for shoes that you have not tried on yet. It sounds a bit crazy, like a science fiction story.

Users are intelligent, they do not need you to be on top of them explaining every detail of your application. Your software must be able to speak for itself and convince users with its functionalities.

Nobody wants to pay for an app without knowing if it’s going to make all their days miserable because it constantly crashes. 

That is why companies that apply freemium, free-trial models or that sometimes do not even require payments are so loved by people. This is one of the best ways to acquire customers quickly according to ProfitWell.

Still in doubt of how to apply this to your company? If you’d like us to talk about how to follow up on your users to learn and improve your features, feel free to book a demo of Palabra.