Product-Led Growth (PLG) is a consumer-centric scaling, conversion, and retention philosophy that uses the product itself as the primary growth driver. Besides it’s proven business results, this strategy helps empower end-users to get the best possible product for their needs. Let’s learn more about how you can become PLG-ready and get familiar with the Top 10 tools you must adopt today.
The 80s and 90s were all about physical purchasing and installation of software CDs and floppy disks. The internet revolution led to the dawn of the executive era, where on-prem developed into on-demand, with factors like ROI and KPIs entering the picture. But as mentioned earlier, more and more vendors, small and big, are becoming PLG-d. Think Atlassian, Wix, Slack, Zendesk, and other user favorites.
PLG-d companies focus on short Time-to-Value (TTV), which means that they believe in providing value before expecting something in return from the customers.
What is Product Led Growth (PLG)?
In a nutshell, companies adopting the PLG strategy need to solve the users’ problems instantly – look at it as an on-demand demo that needs to convince the end-user. Once the value proposition goes through, the chance of upselling skyrockets. This philosophy applies to both low and high touch business models, where the vendor has to eliminate all potential usability problems that may arise.
The best and probably the most known example of a PLG-d success story is Slack.
Before getting started with PLG, you need to make sure that
- Making the bottom-up shift: You are shifting from the top-down to a bottom-up mindset, which means more money and time to invest in R&D efforts. Also, there is less pressure on Sales.
- Provide instant value: Your target audience is getting instant value without too much effort – this leads to an active and sticky community that elevates your brand.
- User-centric behavior data is a MUST: You are getting access to user-centric behavior metrics to scale up fast – your user journey can be optimized by the people who matter most – your clients.
- Embrace self-service: Your development teams are embracing the self-service philosophy – your teams can focus on product adoption and self-service enablement.
Also, no PLG strategy can work with traditional SaaS indicators. Growth rates, CAC payback, and CAC/LTV will not accurately project your progress till you reach a certain point (think $10 million ARR when it comes to growth rates). Instead you should focus on Natural Rate of Growth (NRG) to determine the percentage of recurring organic revenue. This metric is a strong future revenue indicator.
But back to the product side, adopting PLG means creating the optimal user journey to engage the customer from the login stage onwards – seamless login, onboarding, subscriptions plans, built-in security, and support features all need to work in tandem to create the best results. This means you need to implement the right tools and features for the task. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 PLA tools that can help you succeed today.
Top 10 PLG Tools in 2021
Before diving in, we wish to emphasize that this list is not exhaustive by any means. Every product requires its own unique suite of PLG tools. So pick accordingly.
Best For: User Journey Planning and Optimization
The numbers say it all. Intercom is currently helping over 30,000 companies today. This innovative software tool is a proven and tested customer engagement booster. It allows your users to engage more with your platform thanks to customizable product tools, targeted messages and email sequences. Intercom also has a proprietary conversational support module that you can tweak as per your needs.
Known customers: Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, AWS, Unity, Udemy, Shopify
Price starts at: $38/month per user
Best For: Product Adoption
User onboarding is an important part of Product-Led Growth, but Appcues helps SaaS companies take the next step – product adoption. This is achieved by showcasing new features with guides and educational elements, something that exponentially increases their usage rates. All this, along with automated insights and statistics, help create the optimal PLG environment for sustainable results.
Known customers: Lyft, Clearbit, Amplitude, AdRoll, Segment
Price starts at: $249/month
Best For: Multi-Tenant User Management, Self-Service Enablement
Frontegg is revolutionizing the SaaS space with its next-gen user management platform, which is shortening development cycles and saving technical resources to enable product-led growth (PLG) strategies. Frontegg’s platform provides both Authentication & SSO via an embeddable login-box, and a full Admin Portal serving as the Settings area for your users.
With the unique self-service solutions on offer, your customers can get the best features in blazing fast times, with your devs focusing on innovation and quality.
Known customers: Cycode, Superwise.ai, Hunters, Slope, Kovrr, Balance
Price starts at: $499/month
Best For: Product Experience Optimization
PLG-d organizations know how to guide their customers to the right places to demonstrate value. Pendo helps with that by delivering the ability to create compelling digital experiences. This starts with smooth onboarding and increased stickiness to accelerate growth. How is that achieved? Guidance elements and key announcements based on user behaviour and insights created by your traffic.
Known customers: Marketo, RedHat, Cisco, Okta, Infor, Citrix, BMC
Price starts at: Not Provided Publically
Best For: Online Payment Processing
Stripe is soon becoming the default payment infrastructure for all things SaaS. All companies, big and small, can use Stripe’s APIs and software to receive and process payments. This is not all. Stripe can also be used to send payouts and manage finances in one centralized dashboard that is extremely user-friendly and full of useful graphic elements. A comprehensive and easy-to-integrate payment suite, perfect for enabling self-service.
Known customers: Amazon, Slack, Zoom, Lyft, Google, Shopify, Salesforce
Price starts at: 2.9% + 30 Cents
Best For: Subscription Management, Billing
Looking for a comprehensive end-to-end solution for your subscription management and billing requirements? ChargeBee may be the right option for you. For starters, you can create personalized subscription plans and tweak them as per your ongoing needs. You also get a customer self-service portal and trial subscription options, all complete with built-in billing capabilities and reporting.
Known customers: Okta, Knewton, Study.com, Doodle, Percona, Freedom
Price starts at: $249/month
Best For: Customer Support Services
Zendesk is another SaaS essential, thanks to its ability to scale up your customer support and service along with your products and services. Not only does it make life easier for your customers, it also takes care of the other side – your internal teams and workers. By elevating their productivity and efficiency, you are essentially “killing two birds with one stone”. ZenDesk basically keeps your business in sync.
Known customers: MailChimp, Tesco, Uber, Siemens, Khan Academy
Price starts at: $49/month per Agent
Best For: Form Creation and Management
Gaining actionable insights is key when it comes to Product-Led Growth. Typeform does just that. Quizzes, surveys, polls, and forms, all you need to get feedback from prospects and customers. There are dozens of plug-and-play templates to choose from, making implementation a breeze. Typeform also offers a no-code chatbot that you can implement with just a few clicks. You even get interactive video conversation makers.
Known customers: Amazon, Louis Vuitton, Global Citizen, Hilton Worldwide
Price starts at: $35/month
Best For: Documentation, Development Metrics
One of the most important tools to unleash your customers’ independence is Documentation. Making it clear, easy and concise is crucial to ensure your users onboard and educate themselves about your product. Readme does just that. Readme simplifies the entire documentation and referencing process with an intuitive and centralized management platform. It’s unique ability to provide API documentation, generated automatically from your code, makes it the perfect choice for developer hubs.
Known customers: Doppler, BareMetrics, Heap, Clever, Cisco, CrunchBase
Price starts at: $99/month per project
Best For: Revenue Acceleration
Drift was launched in 2015 just when SaaS applications started taking off in a big way. The rest is history. This revenue acceleration platform essentially contains an optimized conversionation suite that offers chatting, emailing, video, and voice capabilities, creating personalized customer experiences in real time. These tools, besides their functional prowess, harvest data to create sales enablement information, intent metrics, and other valuable insights.
Known customers: GitHub, Marketo, Gong, GrubHub, Zenefits, TIBCO, SnowFlake
Price starts at: Contact Vendor
Frontegg: Emphasizing the P in PLG
Simply put, Frontegg is becoming an industry leading PLG-enabler. As more and more organizations realize that “non-core” capabilities are equally important for a potent PLG application, they are also understanding that they need to enable compelling self-service experiences. Frontegg does exactly that with its user management solution (multi-tenant) and end-to-end enterprise readiness suite.
Product-Led Growth (PLG) Made Easy