Welcome to Episode 200! Brad Birnbaum is the Founder & CEO @ Kustomer, the first intelligent platform for customer experience that enables you to know everything about every customer. To date, Brad has raised over $38m in funding for Kustomer from some of the very best in the SaaS business, including Tomasz Tunguz @ Redpoint, Ed Sim @ Boldstart, Canaan Partners, Box Group and Social Leverage, just to name a few. Previously, he was the Co-founder of Assistly, which was acquired by Salesforce and became Desk.com. Prior to that, he was CTO for Talisma and Co‑founder & CTO of eShare Technologies. In addition, Brad was also the CTO @ Sean Parker’s Airtime and VP of Engineering with Salesforce.
In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
How Brad made his way into the world of customer experience and SaaS over 20 years ago.
On November 7 (yes, the day after the midterm election), we hosted leaders from some of the fastest growing software companies for our 3rd Product Led Growth Summit. Each speaker had their own unique take on the topic. Some came from companies that had been product led from inception (e.g. Trello, Lucidchart) while others have more recently pivoted their businesses to embrace product led growth (e.g. HubSpot). Some speakers rose through the ranks from the product or technical organization while others started in marketing, design or even industries outside of SaaS.
Despite these differences in perspectives, one thing was clear. Companies of all types and sizes are becoming much more sophisticated in their adoption of product led growth. They’ve done so not just because it promises more efficient growth (which, by the way, it does), but rather as a matter of necessity. Customer expectations are simply changing.
There is no doubt about it, product led growth (PLG) is transforming the world of SaaS. Here at OpenView we evaluate thousands of software companies every year. We recognize there are varying levels of maturity in adopting PLG strategies. Some businesses have adopted product led growth since their inception. Others are just beginning to take a product led approach to growth by de-laboring their sales process, creating product qualified leads, investing in a delightful user experience and so much more.
Unsure where you are on your PLG journey?
In just 5 to 10 minutes, we’ll gather a snapshot of your current PLG strategy and rate your maturity. Based on your score, we’ll provide recommendations on how you can further orient your company around PLG in order to increase acquisition, conversion and expansion. As we collect more data, we’ll benchmark your PLG sophistication against similar companies to give you a robust
From the early days of computing, there has been a subset of users who think that software should be free. “Most of you steal your software,” Bill Gates charged in his famous 1976 Letter to Hobbyists. “Who cares if the people who work on it get paid?”
Gates’ point was that someone needs to foot the bill for the costs of software creation or there will be no software. He won that debate, but more recently the divide has been over business strategy rather than ethics. The prevailing view is that prices should be kept as low as possible to spur growth. The counter – that raising prices will result in a higher-quality product and take some of the financial pressure off – doesn’t get as much play.
The reality is that most companies are setting their prices too low. There isn’t much danger in at least experimenting with
Product led companies flip the script on every aspect of their business. They break the mold when it comes to marketing, pricing, sales and customer success. There are lots of people talking about how to adapt these functional areas to keep up in a product led world. But what about product management? After all, product is at the epicenter of everything a product led growth (PLG) company does. So how do the product organization and its PMs need to adapt to fuel growth at these businesses?
Over the past few months we’ve chatted with product management leaders from top product led growth companies including Atlassian, Intercom, Dropbox and many more. Throughout these conversations we’ve identified five major lessons on what sets product management at these all-star companies apart:
Special thanks to Tristan Eid and Laura Rosca for helping compile this research.
Back in the the 1980s, software was sold on the golf course. Field sales was the norm and Oracle reigned supreme. In the early 2000s, Salesforce and a host of others disrupted that model with outbound sales over the phone, which promised a similarly high close rate at one-third the cost and one-third the amount of time. Fast forward a few years and the late 2000s saw the rise of marketing-led sales, driven by content marketing, social selling, and automation.
The next frontier of go-to-market is Product Led Growth (PLG). Companies with a PLG strategy – think Slack, Expensify, Atlassian, and Dropbox – rely on product features and usage as their primary drivers of customer acquisition, retention and expansion. It’s through this strategy that companies are able to grow faster and with less cash. They forgo spending
Co-Founder at Plato, Jean-Baptiste Coger (JB), held a session with CEO at Datadog, Olivier Pomel, at SaaStr Europa. Pomel focuses his talk on making your SaaS startup customer-centric. He talks about how event marketing has helped him integrate his engineering and sales teams. He also talks about product managers and ways to utilize them effectively. Lastly, he provides his piece of advice to all founders that are looking to become customer-centric. What’s your take?
Also, if you didn’t attend SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Don’t miss out on the chance to get your tickets. 🙂
TranscriptCEO @ Datadog | Olivier Pomel Co-Founder @ Plato | Jean-Baptiste CogerJB: My name is JB, I’m one of the founders of PLATO. So I start with a simple question. How many of you guys’ product rely on the highly functioning engineering team? Yeah, everyone, right? So that’s pretty Continue reading "Olivier Pomel, CEO of Datadog: How to Build and Sell a Product that Customers Love (Video + Transcript)"
This session with leaders in the customer success space discusses best practices for your customer success teams in 2018. They talk about when to hire your VP of Customer Success, qualities to look for in your team and how to ask for feedback at the best times in the customer journey. After all, Jason Lemkin says 90% of your revenue goes into customer success.
Also, if you didn’t attend SaaStr Europa, we’re having it again in 2019. Be sure to grab tickets before October 1st because prices will be going up come November 1st. This is your very last chance to grab tickets starting at $199!
TranscriptKatherine Barrios | CMO @ XenetaEmilia D’Anzica | Principal @ Customer Growth AdvisorsSue Doris | Director of Marketing & Customer Experience @ M4 CommunicationsSue Doris: Hello everybody! How’s everybody doing? If you’re in the right place, this is Very Best Continue reading "Best Practices in Customer Success in 2018: Maximizing Revenue, NPS and Happiness (Video + Transcript)"