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Minute Monday 10: Patience in Product-Led Sales
Playing the long game
Product-Led Sales (PLS) is typically a long game.
Allow me to take off of my British tweed flat cap and don a beer helmet thingy for a moment. 🇺🇸
The way I see it, PLS is less like football (⚽) and more like handegg (🏈).
I think I’ve got the terminology right here - feel free to email me if you disagree.
Handegg games go on (and on, and on, and on) - just short of 3.5 hours.
While football games last half that time.
You need a lot of patience and a comfortable chair to get through a full game of handegg.
The same is true of PLS (minus the chair).
Typically, it’s a slow burn.
Account in ICP signs up and warms up on the
Not much happens. A boring first couple of quarters in the game.
Something happens in the customer’s business in the third quarter of the game that raises the urgency of the need
A PQA threshold is reached
Intervention is focused on helping the account realise value
There might be a small self-serve land
The product drives usage growth within the customer organically
Intervention effectively conveys enterprise value during the fourth quarter of the game to close a bigger contract
If everything aligns, the PLS game can be over quickly:
Customer in ICP has a burning need and signs up
Quickly meets PQA scoring threshold
Buyer is also a user and ready to transact
Intervention leads to a quick close
But don’t try to force the sale before the account is ready.
In both cases, sales team engagement shouldn’t happen before signals confirm that readiness.
There are things you can and should do to encourage adoption, engagement and value realisation in the product (using both product itself and using human assist roles), but patience is key.
It’s really hard for companies transitioning from traditional top-down sales-led approaches to have that patience, especially in the current environment.
But it’s essential for PLS to scale effectively and efficiently.