The State of Product-Led Experience

INSIGHTS & DATA DERIVED FROM THE PRACTICES OF 40 PRODUCT-LED ORGANIZATIONS

40 SaaS Organizations Surveyed

Product-Led practices showcase on every stage of the customer journey

200 Unique Benchmarks

Exhaustive set of product growth data on Activation, Retention & Expansion

Product Performance Analysis

Product experience assessment via a set of unique metrics

Product-Led Onboarding (PLO)

Product-Led Onboarding framework analysis

The Product-Led Challenge

We all know how challenging it is to deliver a product to multiple customer segments. Finding the optimal point, that makes prospects convert, especially when we refer to B2B solutions applying to a range of personas and industries, is a rather complicated task. Multiple factors affect a SaaS offering before customers are sold on its value proposition.

Throughout the years, growth responsibility has been changing hands, quite often. Like a trophy everybody wants, but nobody really owns. From Sales to Marketing, to the product itself.  

For a while now, the emerging Product-Led practices raise the one million dollars question: What defines customer experience?

The frictionless seamless experience B2C solutions provide is now expected in B2B too. This shift is elevating the product as a primary growth driver and disrupts – the ever-changing SaaS landscape. 

But inconsistencies in GTM practices, limited experimentation, and infinite handholding still have their fair share across the SaaS industry. If we add on that, the reduced switching costs, the surge of competition and the strength of customers’ voice on social mediums we have the rise of an era where delivering stellar experiences is not a choice but a necessity. To cope with that challenge, SaaS organizations need to develop a systemic process delivering personalized and tailored experiences.

To uncover more of those challenges and competing strengths Product-Led organizations employ, we embarked on a mission to define product experience in the SaaS landscape. To achieve this we surveyed 40 SaaS organizations and interviewed 50 executives who own or lead onboarding.

The goal of our effort is to map, through real-world examples, Product-Led techniques used and estimate how they affect key aspects of the customer journey. 

Research Scope

Research Overview

Product Managers

48%

CSMs

24%

Growth Managers

24%

Founders

20%

50 Interviewees

Most executives surveyed (48%) were Product Managers, followed by an equal percent of Customer Success Managers and Growth Managers (24%) and SaaS Founders (20%). All participants were interviewed on their responsibilities, effectiveness, organizational structure, and the current array of Product Led techniques employed.

Research Overview

Human-Assisted Onboarding

44%

Self Serve Onboarding

56%

40 SaaS Onboarding Strategies

In total 40 strategies were examined divided between Self Serve (55%) and Human Assisted (44%) onboarding

Small Medium Businesses

52%

Mid Market

48%

Enterprise

11%

All three main industry segments were surveyed

The industry segments examined were 52% Small-Medium businesses, 48% Mid Market and 11% Enterprise.

Teams & Sole Users- Human Assisted

66%

Teams & Sole Users- Self Serve

47%

Teams- Human Assisted

33%

Teams- Self Serve

11%

Sole Users

16%

Only 22% (mean ratio) across participants focus solely on Team Onboarding

  • 16% of Self Serve adopters onboard only sole users.
  • The majority of organizations onboard both teams and sole users, with 66% and 47% preference on Human Assisted and Self Serve onboarding respectively.
  • 33% and 11% of Human Assisted and Self Serve adopters focus on Team Onboarding.

Multiple

68%

Two

20%

One

15%

68% of the participants onboard multiple personas.

While most participants onboard most personas (68%), a limited 20% onboards two and 16% only one

Free Trial

70%

Gated

13%

Freemium

11%

Hybrid

11%

What affects product delivery?

The main factors affecting the product delivery method were:

  • User Acquisition
  • Customer Segment
  • Product Value Delivery
  • GTM strategy

Participants

Special thanks to our participants for helping us compile the most extensive research on Product-Led practices, to date.

Product-Led Onboarding

As a business function, the magnitude onboarding has for SaaS organizations renders it more critical by the day. Especially now that customer experience needs to be stellar and user satisfaction established in the early stages of the customer lifecycle.

The transition to Product Led practices, radically affects onboarding activations. They don’t include anymore invasive, out of context in-app interactions presented at large in front of users. In addition, product data exploitation overrules the assumption implying product engagement activations cannot supplement the systemic process humans deliver. On the contrary, onboarding becomes the connective tissue between the two.

Product Led onboarding (PLO) Is a set of data-driven product engagement practices, that consider behavioral notions and users’ proficiency.

Strategically, it avoids random feature introduction to users. Instead, it exploits historic data and considers a prospect’s proficiency level when exploring a product for the first time. Contextual guidance constitutes its main pillar and enables product experience to double down on users’ workflow early on by following their progressive route to excellence.

Product-Led Onboarding

Evaluating Product Experience

To make products competitive and an investment reflecting customers’ expectations, product teams ship feature changes daily. Product-Led onboarding practices introduce those changes on time, flawlessly by providing the right context.

Following this logic, Product Management needs to measure daily interactions and reassure they yield the expected results. 

Onboarding has to deliver both initial and repetitive value. To achieve that it needs terms like Product Onboarding Efficiency (POE) to measure and calculate the effectiveness of its activations. Those calculations can accurately monitor and guide onboarding efficacy on every stage of the customer journey.

Product Experience Assesment

Onboarding Benchmarks

Extensive Analysis of 80 onboarding key performance indicators

To establish context behind participants’ onboarding activations, we asked an array of questions regarding onboarding KPIs, product activations, A/B constituents, user behavioral metrics, personalization factors, and the adopted toolset.

This section is the most critical throughout this report and provides actionable analysis and insights in regards to the multidimensional evaluation of product experience.

This chapter explores:

  • Onboarding metrics allocation
  • Personalization factors
  • User behavioral metrics per strategy & department
  • Onboarding key performance indicators 
  • Onboarding A/B constituents
  • Onboarding scalable tactics
Onboarding Benchmarks

Activation Benchmarks

Product-Led Activation 

Being the lifeblood of new business, activation is the set of practices leading to first impressions. On Human Assisted onboarding activation is subject to the Sales organization activities. Prospects taste a solution’s magic via a series of demos, likely to be followed by a POC (Proof of concept) or “controlled” trial. While, on Self Serve onboarding, the product is accountable for sealing the deal. In reality, regardless of the execution, activation is the acquisition grasp derived from the product itself.

This section provides actionable analysis and insights in regards to the effect Product-Led practices have on the Activation Stage.

This chapter explores:

  • Self Serve activation constituents
  • User segmentation tactics analysis
  • User segmentation toolset
  • Activation Key Performance Indicators
  • Onboarding email flows best practices
Activation Benchmarks

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