Product-Led Growth with Jon Hill

Jon Hill, VP of Global Revenue and Operations at Linode, explores how product-led growth can work in SaaS businesses.

Show notes

It’s not just a 30-day free trial. It’s not firing all of your salespeople.

Product-led growth is a shift in thinking, starting with and focusing on the question “how do we create value for the end user?” 

As Jon Hill, VP of Global Revenue and Operations at Linode, puts it: “how do we start that way: thinking of the end-user, leading with value, removing friction, and then earning the rights to get them to convert into being a paying customer, or growing as a paying customer?”

Hill answers these questions and reveals how product-led growth can work in SaaS in his interview with RevOps Therapist and CEO of Greaser Consulting, Jordan Greaser.

Transcript

Jordan  00:00

Hi, this is Jordan, the owner and CEO of Greaser Consulting. On today’s episode, I spoke with Jon Hill, who’s the VP of Global Revenue and Operations at Linode and one of the most intelligent, and just educated people in the world of SaaS that I know. He was an early manager for me and just rocked my world with his knowledge on how this whole infrastructure works. It’s what really first… the conversations with him are what really first introduced me to this world, helped me make sense of this world. And I’m really excited today on today’s topic, which is this product-led growth model. That, quite frankly, is not a place that I come from. So I spent a lot of time, yet again, with Jon Hill, unsurprisingly, learning more about this concept of product-led growth. And how does sales interact with this? How does marketing interact with it? And we touch on some interesting questions like, “Hey, you’re, you’re a founder, and you’ve got a million dollars that just came in, if you’re in a product-led growth company, does that million dollars go to sales, or does it go to product? And what does it mean to be a salesperson at a product-led growth company? So buckle up, enjoy the ride, get your pen and paper out, because there’s always something to learn when you, when you talk with Jon Hill. Enjoy.

Intro Jingle

Say you want some clarity in sales and marketing and SEP? Well, we have just the remedy: our podcast, RevOps Therapy. Yeah.

Jordan  01:42

Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. As you know, we have Jon on the line. Jon, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Jon  01:49

Hey everybody. I’m Jon. Happy to be here today with Jordan. Jordan and I spent a bunch of time together. My history and background has taken me through a variety of areas of sales coming up in sales operations, and then moving into sales leadership, with a variety of sizes of companies, you know, starting at, you know, kind of large Fortune 500 companies and, you know, going down to teams that are, you know, three people. So I’ve been in between and not that I know a ton of things, but I know a little bit about a bunch of things and, you know, happy to help out again.

Jordan  02:24

So I have to… You said we have some history together, I got to tell a story here of Alex Lynn, who was another one of, he was actually on one of our podcasts. He’s at CrowdStrike now. He and I worked together out of the State College office. Jon came and was our manager. And he kind of picked Alex and I out as like, “hey, like, maybe these guys can be managers.” And so Jon kept giving us all these projects. And I still remember Alex being like, “Well, Jon, what does this mean?” Like he kept trying to paint you into the corner. “What does this mean, Jon? Like, like, if you have us leading the team, what does this mean? Like, does that mean..?” I mean, look we were squirrely little punks and were like “ooh… we might be managers.” So we would just like strong-arm Jon like, “Could you just say the word ‘manager?’ Can you just say the word?”

Jon  03:17

That’s hilarious. I’m just like, “Dude, Alex, it was just… what do you, what do you mean? Just go. Do it. Like, come on? Like…”

Jordan  03:23

Yeah, “team lead”, “manager…” Like, who cares? Like, get the job done? And Alex is like, “but Jon, what are you saying?”

Jon  03:32

“Alex, just get it done. It doesn’t matter. Titles are erroneous. You’re assistant to the office manager,

Jordan  03:39

Yeah, assistant to the assistant. Yeah. The funny thing about that is… Well, I think Alex kind of one out there. Because before you like, you ended your tenure there, we got the manager title; Alex was happy. So I mean, he thought you were the greatest manager to have, I think, director to ever exist. 

Jon  03:59

I mean, you guys had some great, you guys had a great one-two skill set. There was one that was really, really well. And, yeah, it served you both well, and look where you both are today, which is really fantastic.

Jordan  04:12

Yeah, so the glory days, but hey, today, today, we’re here to talk about product-led growth. You’ve been pushing this, you know, it’s kind of ironic, right? You, you… I met you at Outreach. And that’s, you know, fairly far from product-led growth, right, like we’re gonna get out there. We’re gonna cold call, we’re gonna email. We’re gonna like, we’re gonna go and pound it out. Right? And then today, you’re on a, just a really different trajectory, right with with this whole movement of, you know, letting the product do a lot of the work. So just for any of the listeners out there, I know it’s, it’s still somewhat more of a like a new thing. Could you tell everybody like what are we talking about with product-led growth when you hear that phrase? What do you need to know?

Jon  04:57

Yeah, product-led growth. It’s not what some people think, right? So a lot of people, they’re like, oh, product-led growth, it’s just throwing out a 30-day free trial. And it’s like, okay, that is a tactic that sometimes can be used. But product-led growth really is it’s just a shift in mentality. It’s thinking that, you know, how do we start with the end-user? How do we create value for the end-user? How do we remove friction before we ask for value in return of payments right back to them? Right? So how do we, how do we start that way: thinking of the end-user, leading with value, removing friction, and then earning the rights to get them to convert into being a paying customer, or growing as a paying customer? There’s different ways to think about product-led growth, but I think, at its simplest form, that’s where I would put it Jordan.

Jordan  05:43

So is product-led growth? Like is it essentially the freemium model? Are those two different things?

Jon  05:52

It could be, it could be the same and this is where I say could be because it’s, it’s emerging, right. And so some people do use it that way, as freemium, right you come in, there’s a free product that has maybe a limited set of features, maybe it’s a limit amount of time set of full use there, you know, and then you can then upgrade into additional packaging, that unlocks additional features or more volume of use on the platform. I think that is definitely one way that you could have kind of a freemium model or a PLG model, you can look at some of like a Slack, right. And you know, Slack does have a free product that you can use. And then if you want to upgrade to the next version that unlocks more business-level features, or broader team-wide features that become valuable. And I think that’s a valid strategy for some companies. But the thing with product-led is product-led, even though it’s a really popular buzzword right now, you can also substitute product-led with self-service, by the way, so you can just call it self-service. It’s not necessarily for everybody, like not every offering makes sense to have a product lead or a self-service motion to it. So it’s important to think about that.

Jordan  07:05

That was actually one of my questions coming into this today is that every sort of you talk about buzzword, new things that comes out, they get the evangelists out there that are just really big on it. And then that’s suddenly where the whole world is going. You know, I just spoke to a guy last week, that’s still selling on-prem Cisco work for folks who said in, 2006, everybody said the cloud was gonna kill my business, like we make more money today than ever. Right? So like, if on-prem isn’t dead, right, and the clouds, like happening with this whole product-led growth? I mean, is this the way of the future so to speak? Or is this just another avenue that’s available to people?

Jon  07:49

Okay, that’s, that’s an interesting question. I would answer it in a couple of different ways. Is it another avenue? Absolutely. It’s another avenue. But to think about that is you have to understand what’s going on from how buyers want to buy. And it’s always important to do this. And let’s go back to like, you know, the early parts of the 2000 decade, right, inside sales was starting to become a thing in emerging kind of practice that some companies are developing. A lot of people are saying off fuel sales is never going to die. We talked with people aren’t going to buy million-dollar contracts over the phone. Okay, let’s fast forward 20 years; there’s plenty of million-dollar contracts being bought over the phone, right? Like, it’s just how things are. And what’s driving that is the change in buyer behavior. Buyers don’t want to have a meet and greet in the lobby and go up to the office and talk about the fishing picture. And then figure out the Wi-Fi password and then have it, like they don’t have time for that. So as things have changed, inside selling is changing became more popular. Same thing is happening now from an evolution standpoint, right. As as we as consumers have changed our buying habits to buying things online to buying things without talking to people. That’s just progressing now into how we want to buy from a B2B perspective. So it’s not that it’s the new motion. It’s also a new way that people want to buy; I mean, personally, like that’s just how I always start everything is can I do it self-service first? I want to experience it on my own. 

Jordan  09:24

I’ve heard, well, I’ve heard what I’ve heard people say is like, why is everybody talking about PLG? It’s just a B2C model brought to B2B. Like there’s no difference.

Jon  09:35

I think there is some validity to that, right? So because B2B has had a self-service model for the longest of times, right? You’re gonna go to, you know, wherever website you go to, to buy, you know, whatever it is; let’s say you’re gonna buy a new shirt, and it’s a lovely shirt you have on today and you’re gonna go to Gap to buy a shirt right? That’s, that’s the self-service model. Technology has now allowed, or we can make that happen for for software. Right, and let’s be honest: software, for the most part, is the, is the first industry that’s really pursuing PLG at some level of scale. And technology is supporting that, right? So we can deploy, you know, kind of instances of our software faster these days; we don’t need to have humans kind of deploying things in the back end; we don’t need to be installing servers anymore for someone to have these products. So because of those advancements, we now can have new models that love, who’d experienced value faster.

Jordan  10:31

So there’s two companies you already mentioned: Slack. But there’s two companies that come to mind. When I think about this model. You mentioned Slack, and the other one is Canva. Right? I mean, Canva is just this massive, you know, just rose so fast. And it’s all product-led. But then you, I mean, you still like if you go on LinkedIn, and you look at their their company, they’re still some semblance of a sales team. There’s still people wearing that sales title. So like, how do you balance you’re trying to do product-led growth; people are gonna get into the features, and they’re gonna find it out themselves? When does a salesperson needs to be involved, because evidently, it has to happen somewhere?

Jon  11:13

It every motion is a little bit different. I think that’s why we’re still emerging here. But there are some trends that are happening for sure. And there’s a lot of people that are publishing these trends, and you start to hear about it. PLG is not the absence of sales. PLG is just another funnel for bringing things into your company. So as you think about, kind of, where do sales fit into this? You know, one of the great, you know, kind of easiest use cases you see is maybe your product… we’ll use Slack, as the example, has attracted a lot of users at a company, maybe it’s a large company, right. And those users are spread across different departments. A salesperson, they can have a really great job of bringing a new point of view into leadership of that company, and saying, “Hey, you may not be aware of… but this is what’s happening with some of the users on our platform, your employees are going ahead and doing this already. Here’s some of the value that we’re already seeing.” And you can enter into a broader conversation at that point in time about, you know, is there a corporate-wide license that makes sense here, that can drive better productivity gains for your, for your, for your organization? You look at something like even like a Snowflake, right? From the data management standpoint, right? Super easy to get started using Snowflake, just on the website. You know, any, any financial analysts can stand up and start, you know, running a small data warehouse where a developer can build a data warehouse. And what you want to do then from a, as a company is okay, how do we start to drive additional users creating accounts, because then the salesperson can go have a conversation with, you know, with that CIO about, you know, the Snowflake usage in their account, maybe you know, that see, I wasn’t aware of what was going on, and can bring an educated point of view to the table. But it’s not based upon, you know, best practices of others. It’s based upon literally on what your teams are doing today, you’re giving them insight into their org. Like that’s, that’s a great use case of where sales and PLG can live together.

Jordan  13:01

Well, I’ve seen when I walk into organizations, and they’re thinking about some of these things, I see a ton of salespeople that are just really suspicious. When you start talking about this product-led growth, the first thing they tend to think is like, “Well, I’m gonna get fired, right? Or like, there’s no place for me anymore.” And the reality is, I mean, I’ve heard you say something like, listen, they can fit together. And this sounds good. I’ve seen companies that do product-led growth, and then their salespeople are walking out the door. So you mentioned earlier, that there are companies where they’re not a good fit, there are companies that are like, who is a good fit for this? Who’s a bad fit for this? And then ultimately, in both sides of companies, like, where do the salespeople actually fit? You’re talking about just one motion of expansion. But is that, I mean, is that literally it? That’s the one thing that they can play?

Jon  13:56

I don’t think it’s one thing you can play. Sales can can fill a variety of roles when it comes to kind of product-led motion. When you think about that expansion model there, that’s not really expansion, right? That’s a conversion model, right? We’re trying to get you to convert from a bunch of free users into having a paid version, right? Like that’s, that’s, that’s 100% a conversion model. The other area too is there is expansion models. There’s like okay, look, we got this buying group kind of center already working there. How do I take my marketing team? How do we work together and have them pivot firepower, say, Go attract users over at this side of the company. Now, let’s get more users there. And then we’re gonna go lather, rinse, repeat, have a conversation there about conversion events. So that still exists, the account management aspect exists, and it continues to expand, right? How do we get more people using the platform? How do we get more users in the platform? How do we get you to adopt more features from the platform? I think that that definitely is there. What PLG does is it starts to remove some of the notion that like, everything has to be “let’s take 15 minutes and talk.” It’s okay like you can even run a PLG kind of motion, even still through SDRs. Right? Instead of saying, “hey, let’s have a 15-minute conversation, I want to book a discovery call,” it’s like, no, it’s “why don’t you try the product.” Let’s circle back in 30 days and see how you’re doing, right? And just get them on that product. Even if they don’t talk to you, they’re in the product working. And then as an SDR you can go get someone else; actually, let’s, let’s look at it this way. Let’s go back to days of old with Outreach: rule of 52. Right? Rule of 52. Five people in the sequence. Two of which got to be managers; three of which got to be salespeople. But what if for the salespeople, the CTA was, “hey, why don’t you try this? Why don’t you install this right now and start using today? You know, hey, you can use three, three, you can have three sequences live, right? Have fun, love to see it, right?” And the motion wasn’t for for you to go get a conversation with a sales manager, whatever the motion was, first and foremost, let’s we’ll get 20 users that company using the platform, and then after we get 20 users, we’re gonna go have conversation with what’s working. And now we’re gonna go take that up to, to that sales manager or to that VP of Sales or what have you to have a broader conversation with what the art of the possible is at that point in time. Because so much of the buying isn’t top-down anymore, right? I’m a VP, I can buy whatever I want. I don’t I need my team to help me understand, are you going to use this tool that is so important for me, if they’re going to use this platform, there’s no easy way for me to understand that unless they’re doing it, and I have got no friction for them doing it, they can start right away trying some things; we can figure out what’s working, what’s not; we can make this part of our culture, are we going to get value from this? Great, let’s get let’s go deeper with this.

Jordan  16:39

So obviously, a G2 scores a big deal, right? People do their self-research ahead of time and checking things out, sure the company gets, you know, a million dollars of investment. And we can spend that money on, you know, discovery and enablement for our sales folks, or we can spend it on marketing to bolster those G2 scores. Like in a product-led growth company, is there a clear winner there on where those investment dollars are going to go 90% of the time?

Jon  17:10

Yeah, investment goes into your, to your product, right? When you look at the financials for public companies that have a strong PLG workflow, the cost of sales and marketing is what is woefully low compared to a lot of other companies, right, so much of the investment is in the product, right, and it’s putting the product first. And then the user experience will naturally happen on its own. Right, people will discuss why it will happen, people will share the products that they like, and it becomes more organic and more authentic in that way. So absolutely, if you can find ways to create better features that drive more value for your customer, and you can find ways to remove friction on them experiencing that value faster, 100% I put that money there over G2.

Jordan  17:57

So it sounds to me if I’m a salesperson that’s on the market, and I’m looking to, you know, I’m going to join a new company right now, retention is a big deal for companies, they’re trying to figure out how to motivate and get salespeople in. But what I’m hearing is, well, if I go to a product-led company, I’m less likely to have an emphasis on development, because I know every dollar that comes in is going to go to the product first before let’s say, you know, more traditional system, which is like, yeah, there’s some money that goes into the product, but we also spend a lot of money on training and enablement and making sure our sales people just get better. Yeah, I just like, am I totally missing that? Or is that? Is that just like, this is one of the, you know, you pick your poison?

Jon  18:37

No. 100%, right. Because think about it, then the training becomes that much more important. Listen, there’s a thing called Seller Deficit Disorder. And it’s a real thing. This isn’t something I made up. But you know, I had some great training years ago from the guys of Forest Management, and they brought this to the table: Seller Deficit Disorder says that, you know, sellers don’t understand what their buyers are saying, and sellers don’t listen to their buyers, right? And so, training on how do you better understand your buyers: What problems are they trying to solve? How do you specifically solve those problems? How are you different or better than your competitor? And where your proof points are, like that stuff never changes, right? Those sales skills become more important, because at that point in time, you know, it’s more about helping them buy, helping them still get alignment internally. Because just because people are experienced in the platform still doesn’t mean they agree they should buy the platform. Just because people are experiencing the value of the product doesn’t mean that’s the way that everyone in that company decides that they want to sort of solve that problem. So us as salespeople still need to get involved and help them make a purchase decision. Right? All, all PLG does in that motion is helped bring validation earlier that they can achieve a technical fit using that product.

Jordan  19:51

Right. I like, there’s, there’s a value there. But what I’m saying is, is as a salesperson, I might feel uncomfortable knowing that this is a product-led growth company, because well is the dollar gonna go to my investment or to the product itself, right? Because like ultimately the ethos of the company is, every dollar we make, we’re gonna get a higher return on investment if it goes into the product versus you the individual. And that’s what I’m saying, like, am I am I like, just totally off with that assumption?

Jon  20:21

I think you are. Because you still have to invest in sales teams to go out there. Self-service motions, are not necessarily bringing you significant ACVs, the salespeople are still helping to drive that growth. Look at all the public SaaS companies that are out there right now that have adopted PLG motions, the exponential growth comes when they turn on that commercial sales function. Right, that’s when they start taking that $50,000, they build a MRR using self-service, and now they become a $500 million company, because the commercial piece has taken off. And that’s still all the classic sales, training all the classic sales stuff that we know that value is there. All we’re saying is, you know, I will be less concerned as a salesperson. This is more about from a marketing standpoint, right? Like it’s now changing how we market the platform, right? We’re not now saying “Download This eBook and attend this webinar,” we’re saying “no, get started with the product to get in there. Tell us what you think.” It’s lowering the cost to acquire the customer. Right. From a CAC standpoint, the LTV is still there on the back end. And the LTV is really how you balance for paying from a sales standpoint, both in commissions and investments in the in our sales teams. Right? And so if you can drive higher LTV at a lower CAC phenomenal business model?

Jordan  21:34

I can name on five companies right now; they have a strong stance that they’ll never do a free trial. Free trials aren’t gonna happen. We’re never gonna give you access unless you buy. Is that, is that like, you made a point earlier? Not all companies are designed for the product-led growth model. Okay. Is that a, that’s just the scenario they’re in? Or is that probably antiquated thinking?

Jon  21:58

I think, I don’t think it’s antiquated thinking. It’s what makes sense for your buyer. And what you want to do. I work at a company that, you know, Linode, as a product is a product-led company, we don’t have a free product. Not at all, every one of our customers pays for a product. Right? So it’s not a freemium model. Our whole model, including our pricing structure, is pure is highly curated to exactly what our buyer wants, right? And so if your buyer doesn’t want or need a free trial, then you don’t need a free trial. Right? PLG is about thinking about that user experience. How did you reduce friction, and it’s before you then go in for the larger pay, right? So if you have a lower value product that starts at, I don’t know, $100 a month, great. If they can get in there and start using it and get value from it, amazing.

Jordan  22:47

Where’s, the where does the CSM fit in this whole world?

Jon  22:52

Success world, it definitely sees some changes there. And one of the things I like a lot, I believe is a success function more than anything else, is this sales assist in motion, or that we’re seeing kind of emerged through product-led growth companies. And, you know, we might be calling it also a product specialist, it’s, you know, a person that is highly trained on the product, specifically, the use cases that, that the product can solve. And their job is when they see someone who signs up for the product, starts using it, engage with that customer early, and give them a great experience on how they can accomplish their goals using the product. It’s a highly differentiated approach. It’s one that that you need to really understand your ICP and how you define that, whether that’s demographic or title, or based on usage. And then, you know, a certain, you know, kind of then assigning that product specialist right to that customer, and trying to give them a great experience so that they have a better chance of experiencing your product’s value early versus just, you know, letting it happen on its own. 

Jordan  24:05

From a compensation standpoint, though, like, like, who’s, how has a CSM, so to speak, or to your point, the new titles that you’re putting out there, how are they getting compensated on how you’re doing a great job versus well, this is a feature deficit, or, you know, the platform is just not where it needs to be? Right, when there’s so much emphasis on that side.

Jon  24:26

I think there’s a variety of ways that, that you can go down that path, right? It could be on, you know, a percentage of the companies that you work with, or customers you work with that end up, you know, converting from the free trial to the paid version, or they end up going from one user to three users, right? Because assuming that if there’s a variety baked into your platform, a happy user will refer other users. I think you’re going going that route. You could also potentially compensate people on, if you’re early, helping to understand that user experience, what are customers trying to solve? And how do we get that information back into the hands of, of the product teams? They can build that effectively, right? Like the success team is such a great way to learn about our customers, how to encourage them to be conduits and follow that information where we need to be, so we can create better customer experience. The other way to do that is, you know, the classic, the classic ways we already know from the success world today, how we can compensate them like that stuff doesn’t change, right? The success is still success.

Jordan  25:25

So we, you know, we’re just talking about, you’re doing some things a little different. You’re working on some different areas; you have this typical friction points. And I’m just going to call it the typical model, right? Marketing and Sales: these leads suck. Well, did you follow up with them? Right? Like there’s this argument that happens all the time: SDR books a meeting, and it doesn’t go Sales Accepted Lead. It shouldn’t have; it shouldn’t have. The SDR and the AE are fighting about this, right? The AE closes the deal. CSM says, “Boy, you promised big, a bunch of things that we can’t deliver, right?” And then you pull product into this, and you got to give timelines and all these pressures. Is there anything when you’re in a product or product-led growth company, where like those typical challenges like “Oh, like this actually helps solve that.” But then on the inverse, like, “Oh, here’s a brand new friction point” where like, we’ve heard people fight about Sales Accepted Leads for 30 years. Now we’ve got a new issue here that we didn’t anticipate.

Jon  26:24

Well, there is another new fun acronym, right, called PQL. It was the Product Qualified Lead. And just like there is with kind of a Sales Qualified Lead, right, where there’s a set list of criteria that the lead needs to achieve to be concerned, a quote, a Sales Qualified Lead, same thing from a PQL, right? Like these actions were taken by the user in the platform, which now makes them a Product Qualified Lead. Maybe you’re also incorporating some demographic information about the company. Maybe you’re including some some things about the user themselves, maybe their title, or persona, or what have you. But you have those PQLs; now, they’re far less likely to be kind of, you know, debated how good or not good they are because it’s product usage. They either did that usage, or they didn’t do that usage, right? There’s not a lot of subjectivity there. But as you figure out what your PQL model looks like, and how you define that through your Scoring Matrix, you certainly can debate is this a, is this more important to weigh versus that were important to weigh those kinds of things? 

Jordan  27:32

I think that seems less of like a personal friction thing. That’s more of like, the systematic process that you’ve designed. Maybe there’s teams that are saying” Let’s push against this a little bit,” but it’s a little less like Bob and Sue are in the back fighting over whether or not that deal should’ve crossed the line or the promises you made whatever. 

Jon  27:50

Yeah, that’s exactly right. I mean, to an extent, that’s a beautiful thing, right? We’re getting out of subjectivity, we’re getting into where are we creating value for customers? And let’s, let’s start to argue over the customer value points versus, you know, what are the things that are going to pay me as a salesperson, because the end of the day, if we’re creating customers that are happy, that are using more of a product and spending more money with us, then we’re winning, right? And we’re growing, and everybody should be happy with that and should be compensated for it. So anything that can remove friction, even in our own processes that keep us from focusing on the customer? Is that’s improvement in my world.

Jordan  28:24

So this will be the last question, because we’re coming right up on time. Why? Like, you’re making this sound like the silver bullet, right? Like it’s going to solve all my problems, right? And that’s what I want to hear. What, what sucks about it? Or why shouldn’t you do it?

Jon  28:41

It’s still really hard, right? Everything we’re talking about so far relies on the big D right: data. And it’s really hard to wrangle your data, right? Everyone’s using Salesforce or HubSpot. And those tools do great work, right? But the data we’re talking about here doesn’t really live there. Right? And so how do you start to pull stuff out of your data warehouses and make it actionable to the right personas that need to see this internally; that’s not a trivial thing. That’s it’s hard to get that done. Now, there’s some great tools out there that can make that happen for you. You know, there’s tools like Pocus, you know that that can ingest your data and help you understand it. There’s a few other tools in that product-led sales space that are really starting to pop; you’re getting data out of your data warehouse are starting to become popular, like there’s tools like Workato now that are there from a reverse ETL standpoint that help kind of start to pull things out and make it easier, but really managing your data becomes, becomes important. And then the other thing that’s interesting is it’s a new type of conversation you have to have with your customer, right? And you don’t want it to feel like you’re spying on them because there’s a creep factor that comes with that. Right. So it started to change a little bit now how you engage with a customer who’s coming in that way. And there’s a reason why they didn’t raise their hand to talk to you initially because they don’t want to talk to you, right? So how do you have a convert? How do you start that conversation, where are you starting from a point of value, and then saying, “Yeah, you know what I will take 15 minutes to have that conversation with you.” So it’s also changing how that works. And those are, those are two new motions that we need to figure out. I would say some people are doing well with that, and others are still trying to figure it out. You know, the book hasn’t been quite written yet. But there’s some really great emerging trends coming out there. I’d say if anyone’s interested in this kind of… OpenView has a really great base of knowledge. OpenView is a venture capital company out of out of Boston and Kyle Porter, they’re doing a phenomenal job kind of covering the trends in the space and what’s working and what’s not.

Jordan  30:38

I, you talk about that interesting data, I still remember sitting with an engineer, the one day, this was like in the early Outreach days, and he was talking about how like, the average user, per session, their mouse clicks, like it goes to this far up, left hand corner, this many times in an average session. And like, we literally we want that mouse to go, like one inch down, way more often. Right? And he’s like, and he’s like, telling me he’s like, my entire goal over this quarter, is to design something here that instead of the mouse going there, the person naturally goes one inch lower. And I just, I remember hearing that, like, this is like blowing my mind. And I’m imagining, like, like, right now, there’s no way in Salesforce at the time that anyone would have been looking and say, well, they spent three hours in this corner, let me give them a cold call and find out if we can get them to go down or whatever. But I’m imagining that’s the data that you’re looking for. Right?

Jon  31:39

I wouldn’t say it’s that data, the data if, if we stay on the Outreach piece is, you know, it’s like, “okay, they have sequences up. But none of their templates use variables. Okay, we know that that’s going to create friction for them as they go to scale. How do we help them understand the benefit of incorporating variables into that?” Or, “okay, they’ve got sequences live, they’re a really strong user, but we noticed they’re not using meeting links in anything that’s going on there? How do we encourage them to understand the value of meaning links? What does it mean to them? Where do they go? And so then thinking about “Alright, use… having that data usage: How does a product specialist help them do that? How does marketing promote the right content for those new features? They’re not using to be incorporating them.” It starts to have those things and then as a salesperson, if you’re gonna get this PQL, well, it shows up, you know, part of it is understanding why was it considered a PQL? Right? And that’s where the data comes into play. Oh, Jordan, this is a PQL because they’ve got, you know, three users using Outreach. They’ve got you know, n number of contacts already in there. They’ve booked you know, y number of of meetings using this, you know, and, and their sales team is 600 employees, right. So we think this is a great thing when we’ve got a little bit of spark here.

Jordan  32:55

Hot dog, let’s make it happen.

Jon  32:56

How can you blow oxygen on that fire? That’s exactly right.

Jordan  32:58

Right. I tell you, this is all I think, really interesting. And I’d be really curious. This will be for the next conversation. Okay. Just that phrase: Some companies are designed for this. Some companies aren’t. But we’re going to leave this at a cliffhanger because that’s the question. That’s the question for next time. But, Jon, I appreciate you coming in, hopping on with us today. I hope everybody that’s listening, enjoyed this. And take care of yourselves. 

Jon  33:27

Yeah. Thank you very much, Jordan. 

32:55

Hot dog. That was a great episode. Thanks for listening. If you want to learn more about Greaser Consulting or any information you heard on today’s episode, visit us online at www.greaserconsulting.com. Be sure to click the Follow button and the bell icon to be notified on the latest here at RevOps Therapy. Thanks and see you real soon.

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Greaser Consulting

The Greaser team is made up of sales engagement natives; many of our consultants, including our founder, were early employees at the companies who created sales engagement. We are passionate about supporting revenue generators, empowering them to grow their companies and serve more customers.