Product Led Growth (PLG) is missing a pillar – Interview with Joe Andrews and Martin Schneider of SupportLogic

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Today’s interview is with Joe Andrews and Martin Schneider. Joe is the Chief Marketing Officer and Martin is the Chief Evangelist and Head of Solutions Marketing at SupportLogic, whose technology helps unlock insight from unstructured data in every customer interaction and shares actionable real-time recommendations to help improve the customer’s experience. Joe and Martin join me today to talk about product-led growth (PLG), what it is, the pillars that it sits on, why Joe and Martin think it is missing a pillar and what that means for customer service, support and experience leaders.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – The problem of customer indecision and how to get over it – Interview with Matt Dixon – and is number 443 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here’s the highlights of my chat with Joe and Martin:

  • Product Led Growth (PLG) strategy is a go to market strategy.
  • Want to find out more about PLG then here are some links: OpenView, SXLive and SupportLogic.
  • The 3 pillars of product-led growth
    • Pillar 1: Design for the end user
    • Pillar 2: Deliver value before capturing value
    • Pillar 3: Invest in the product with go-to-market intent
  • There are 40-ish public companies now that are PLG led.
  • A recent poll suggested that 60% of cloud companies are leaning into the PLG approach and over 90% of those companies are the very best cloud companies and say that they’re investing more in PLG as a strategy.
  • Product led companies grow faster.
  • Product led growth is all about driving adoption by delivering value before capturing value.
  • The missing pillar, however, is the support experience.
  • The support experience, especially in B2B technology, is really critical.
  • Your support experience is part of your marketing experience because when people are coming in and they haven’t signed the big contract yet, they’re on a freemium version or trial of your product, and they have a question and you help them answer that question quickly and easily. That helps build credibility and increases the likelihood of getting that big contract.
  • So, if your product is your best marketing then the way that you support that product needs to be a key pillar in how you go to market.
  • Support is key across the whole customer lifecycle (pre and post sale).
  • Many companies that we work with traditionally run their support on a few key metrics: CSAT, NPS, time to resolve cases, number of incidents etc.
  • The one metric that companies should be measuring is the health of their customers. But, the challenge with that is that it is often done by surveys and that means that doing it by looking in the rear view mirror.
  • What is happening now is the best companies are analyzing and scoring customer sentiment i.e. how they are feeling in real time and then driving automated actions to improve that customer experience in real time. That’s what SupportLogic is focused on.
  • Examples:
  • 60-70% of all B2B interactions happen through the support channel.
  • That’s all unstructured data and rich text that comes in through emails and voice calls etc. We’re capturing the actual voice of the customer and then using natural language processing and AI we’re able to surface insights like sentiment or what they core issues are and are then able to apply intelligence to them to produce recommendations that feed actions that the customer can take in the moment to improve their real time experience.
  • On the flip side, Snowflake,  a very successful public data infrastructure company, that are pursuing a PLG approach, are leveraging SupportLogic’s tech to focus on agent coaching as a lever to improve CX.
  • Coming out of the pandemic I think we’ve dismantled many of the prior assumptions we had about how things have to be done. That is exciting.
  • Joe’s best advice: Truly listen to your customers and employees. Not just in a cursory way through static surveys but through continuous feedback collection. Then really spend time to understand the feedback, act on it and make those decisions that will improve outcomes for both your customers and employees.
  • Martin’s best advice: I’ll echo what Joe said but will add…. embrace new technologies to help with that. The fundamentals regardless of how complicated and fantastical the technology gets….the fundamentals still matter.
  • Martin’s Punk CX words: Scrappy, Nimble, Authentic
  • Joe’s Punk CX words: Innate, Intuitive

About Joe and Martin

Joe Andrews Headshot Aug 2022 copyJoe Andrews, Chief Marketing Officer, SupportLogic.

Joe leads marketing at SupportLogic and is a 30 year technology and SaaS GTM veteran. Prior to SupportLogic, Joe built out the go-to-market teams at OODA Health, InsideView and Zuora. Previously, he held product, marketing and operations leadership roles at VMware and Intuit.

Say Hi to Joe on Twitter @andrewsjoe and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Martin Schneider SL copyMartin Schneider is Chief Evangelist and Head of Solutions Marketing at SupportLogic. Prior to SupportLogic, he held various executive-level marketing roles at SugarCRM, Basho Technologies and other software firms. Martin also worked as an analyst covering the CRM and business applications landscape with 451 Research in New York and San Francisco. He is passionate about tech innovation, the future of work, and how technology is merging business/consumer experience and blurring our public and personal lives.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn here.

Finally, don’t forget to check out SupportLogic.com and say Hi to them on Twitter @SupportLogicInc.

Photo by Jorge Salvador on Unsplash

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