Top 10 PLG Companies to Watch in 2024

Top 10 PLG Companies to Watch in 2024

Traditional business growth models typically demand considerable investment. This often involves expanding the sales team to reach loftier goals and increasing advertising expenditure to generate more leads.

However, there is a more efficient way to grow; satisfied customers can become your most effective advocates. Numerous companies are moving away from these conventional scaling methods, opting for a product-led growth strategy instead.

This strategy contrasts with traditional sales-led models where sales teams and marketing efforts are at the forefront.

Product-led growth (PLG) is a business methodology where product usage drives customer acquisition, expansion, and retention. As this strategy is more economical and offers a more sustainable path to expansion, it is increasingly vital today.

Businesses looking to adopt or refine a PLG strategy can learn valuable lessons from observing successful product-led companies. These PLG companies demonstrate how to effectively leverage the product to reduce customer acquisition costs, enhance user experience, and create a viral growth loop.

In this article, we’ll talk about the top 10 PLG companies you can follow to build your own effective go-to-market strategy.

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10 PLG Companies to Use as Inspiration in 2024

In today’s digital landscape, where user expectations are high and competition is fierce, a robust PLG strategy can be a game-changer. Here are ten such PLG companies to take tips from.

1. ClickUp

ClickUp 3.0 Dashboard Simplified
A comprehensive app to manage all your team’s work: ClickUp

Key Learning: Flexibility and adaptability in a product can be a major growth driver. Also, catering to a diverse range of industry needs within one platform can exponentially increase user acquisition.

ClickUp, a comprehensive product management software, exemplifies the power of a product-led growth strategy in the crowded SaaS market. With its innovative approach, ClickUp has rapidly expanded its user base, winning over 6 million users in five years.

At its core, ClickUp’s success story is attributed to its user-friendly interface and robust freemium product-led growth model, which has been instrumental in attracting and retaining a diverse user base.

The platform has positioned itself as a multifaceted solution in PLG software tools. ClickUp offers an efficient way to do everything from process mapping and documentation to goal-setting and task automation. It also caters to a broad spectrum of user needs across project management, product development, marketing, human resource management, and more.

ClickUp 3.0 Golas simplified
Establish measurable goals in ClickUp; effectively achieve objectives with defined timelines and targets

The platform aims to help you work faster and better to reach your project management goals more efficiently. It’ll get you started quickly with everything from product launch templates to growth plan templates and custom dashboards to goal-setting solutions. 

This approach streamlines user workflows and enhances the user experience. A great experience and improved efficiency encourage a shift from free to paid plans, rapid user base expansion, and increased engagement.

ClickUp’s PLG strategy reduces customer acquisition costs while maximizing product usage. Moreover, they continually evolve based on user feedback, ensuring their solutions remain at the forefront of user needs.

This strategy has propelled ClickUp’s product-led growth, showcasing the power of a user-first approach in the SaaS industry.

Innovating further with ClickUp 3.0

With the new ClickUp 3.0 launch, users now have even more powerful features to enhance their productivity. These include a brand-new personalized Home that cuts distractions, a Universal Search feature that covers all your ClickUp-integrated apps too, a newly designed Inbox, a common Hub for all your files, dashboards, and whiteboards, custom fields and tasks, new integrations and automations, and much more.

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ClickUp’s hottest new feature is ClickUp Brain, the AI-powered knowledge management assistant. It’ll help you create content, generate project updates, and get quick answers from your connected apps. It will also give instant contextual answers to anything you ask about your work in ClickUp. That’s not all—it includes 100+ AI tools to support diverse work needs. 

By effectively using an intuitive and customizable product as a primary tool for lead generation and customer acquisition, ClickUp demonstrates how PLG companies can achieve rapid growth and revenue expansion while keeping acquisition costs low. 

2. Figma

Figma dashboard
Figma is a design platform for teams to build products together

Key Learning: The more ‘shareable’ and ‘collaborative’ your product is, the quicker it can grow. Also, a strong community can be a goldmine for user retention and engagement.

Figma, a trailblazer in the design world, stands out as a quintessential example of Product-Led Growth or PLG companies. Renowned for its innovative approach, Figma has redefined the landscape of design tools by prioritizing end-user engagement and satisfaction.

Central to Figma’s PLG strategy is its ability to deliver instant value. The platform enables users to jump right into design creation with minimal setup time and a range of templates and tools catering to beginners and professionals. This immediate delivery of value ensures users quickly recognize the utility of Figma, fostering rapid adoption and long-term engagement.

Figma’s growth is fueled by its robust focus on user feedback. The platform continually evolves by incorporating user insights, ensuring it remains at the forefront of design trends and user needs. This user-centric approach has been pivotal in Figma’s journey to becoming a leading product-led growth company.

Figma also exemplifies the efficient use of product-qualified leads (PQLs), leveraging product usage data to identify and nurture potential customers. Figma effectively converts engaged users into loyal customers by focusing on user actions, such as creating components and collaboration within teams.

3. Calendly

Calendly and similar PLG companies have simplified scheduling
Calendly – Scheduling automation platform for efficient call booking

Key Learning: If your product naturally exposes itself to non-users during regular usage (like when sharing a scheduling link), you’ve got a powerful growth loop.

Calendly, an automated scheduling tool is a standout example of a company leveraging product-led growth (PLG) combined with virality for impressive growth. As a tool that simplifies meeting scheduling for professionals, Calendly has effectively utilized its product’s inherent value to drive user acquisition and retention.

Key to Calendly’s success is its strong product-market fit. The platform addresses a universal pain point: the cumbersome process of scheduling meetings. By providing a user-friendly and efficient solution, Calendly has managed to attract and retain a diverse user base. This strong product-market fit is essential for any PLG strategy, ensuring the product resonates with its intended audience and meets a real need.

Calendly’s growth is propelled by its inherently viral nature. Each time a user sends a Calendly invite, they’re not merely scheduling a meeting but also introducing new users to the platform. This creates a viral loop where recipients of Calendly invites can immediately see the product’s value and often sign up to use the service themselves.

Calendly’s approach demonstrates the power of a product that naturally involves others and delivers clear value.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot sales CRM
HubSpot is a powerful and easy-to-use sales CRM to supercharge your sales process

Key Learning: Embracing data-driven, contextually relevant user engagement can enhance immediate product experience and set the stage for long-term user retention and business growth.

HubSpot, a renowned player in the SaaS industry, has set a benchmark in product-led growth (PLG) through its innovative onboarding strategies.

Product-led onboarding (PLO) is the crux of HubSpot’s approach, focusing on data-driven user engagement that is attuned to users’ behavioral patterns and proficiency levels. This product-led strategy leverages historical data and user context for effective onboarding experiences.

HubSpot’s journey in developing its PLO framework has been marked by extensive experimentation and continual optimization. Initially relying on third-party tools for customer onboarding, HubSpot eventually developed its custom management tool, Projects, enhancing the user experience by integrating customer goal-setting, accountability, and educational content into one platform.

The shift to a CRM-centric approach marked a significant transition for HubSpot. Recognizing that users were employing their marketing platform as a CRM, HubSpot pivoted, which led to an increase in monthly sign-ups and enhanced user engagement. This CRM focus now forms the cornerstone of HubSpot’s product-led strategy.

Key to HubSpot’s PLG success is its diverse range of self-service resources, including community access and a wealth of articles and videos. The company employs various onboarding tactics like live chat, automated CRM flows, tooltips, walkthroughs, documentation templates, and personalized welcome messages carefully tailored to different user segments.

The company’s focus on understanding and catering to different user roles and personas is critical. By assessing behavior both within and outside the product and considering various marketing personas, HubSpot tailors its onboarding processes to meet diverse user needs effectively.

5. Slack

Slack for work communication among PLG companies
Bring all your work communication to one place using Slack, one of today’s well-known PLG companies

Key Learning: Making your product sticky by being at the center of all workplace activity is key. Also, a rich ecosystem of integrations can lock users into your platform.

Slack, a trailblazer in business communication, exemplifies the successful implementation of a product-led growth (PLG) strategy.

Its journey from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader is anchored by a transformative mission: reinventing workplace communication. By integrating messaging, file sharing, and real-time collaboration, Slack addressed a widespread need for cohesive communication tools.

Key to Slack’s rapid growth was its strategic adoption of a freemium model, enticing users with a compelling free version and the promise of advanced premium features. This approach engaged users and spurred them to promote Slack within their organizations, creating a viral growth loop.

Another cornerstone of Slack’s success was its meticulous user onboarding. Slack ensured users quickly grasped its features through interactive tutorials and contextual assistance, winning them sustained user engagement.

6. UserMotion

Usermotion is a PLG company for predictive lead scoring
UserMotion is a sales intelligence platform for predictive lead scoring

Key Learning: Utilizing AI for predictive lead scoring and focusing on product usage data can significantly streamline the lead prioritization process and drive revenue growth for PLG companies.

UserMotion is a cutting-edge sales intelligence platform designed specifically for B2B SaaS companies. It uses predictive lead scoring to identify potential accounts for purchase, expansion, or churn and guides engagement through expert-crafted playbooks.

This approach is particularly beneficial for businesses seeking to optimize their sales strategies and target accounts most likely to generate revenue.

UserMotion’s AI-driven platform prioritizes accounts using a blend of product usage data and customer fit insights. Using this tool, companies can double their pipeline by focusing on the most promising leads for revenue growth.

The platform helps maximize revenue through actionable insights and aligns sales strategies with product usage patterns, revealing the most effective routes to revenue generation.

UserMotion offers a comprehensive solution for evaluating and enhancing go-to-market (GTM) strategies. Its data-driven insights help businesses understand their sales performance, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

7. Grammarly

Grammarly for English communication assistance
Grammarly is an AI-enabled English communication assistance technology 

Key Learning: Community building and a values-driven approach, combined with a focus on user feedback, can propel a company to the forefront of its industry.

Grammarly, renowned for its advanced digital writing assistance, is a shining example of successful PLG companies in the information technology and services field.

The core of Grammarly’s PLG strategy involves leveraging marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to attract initial users into viral loops.

By providing a compelling and user-friendly tool that can be easily downloaded and installed, Grammarly creates an environment where new users are naturally drawn to its offerings. This initial engagement is critical in fostering a user-driven, product-led growth model.

Grammarly’s sales team plays a pivotal role by engaging with promising product-qualified leads, ensuring the platform’s value is well communicated and understood. This targeted approach helps in converting interested users into loyal customers.

The customer success (CS) teams at Grammarly are equally integral to their PLG strategy. They focus on helping onboard new users, especially those needing help with specific features. The CS team proactively identifies and addresses PLG churn risks, working to retain and revive churning customers.

Also Read: Product feedback software for the best customer insights

8. Zapier

Zapier is an example of PLG companies
Zapier is a workflow automation platform for efficient teams, tools, and processes

Key Learning: Strategic timing and market positioning, a focus on customer-centric growth, and a robust content and SEO strategy can lead to exponential growth in the tech industry.

Zapier’s journey to a staggering $230 million Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and a $5 billion valuation, achieved with $1.3 million in funding, is a testament to the power of strategic growth and innovation.

Zapier’s launch coincided with the growing ubiquity of APIs and a surge in cloud services and SaaS adoption. They tapped into a burgeoning $9 billion iPaaS market, offering a no-code solution to connect various SaaS applications and making integrations accessible to non-technical users.

Unlike many startups, Zapier’s growth was fueled by a single seed funding round. This capital efficiency and limited reliance on external funding allowed them to maintain significant ownership and control.

Early on, Zapier focused on building strong customer relationships through active engagement in forums, with their customer success teams offering direct help and building trust. Their emphasis on exceptional customer support and making customer success a core company value was crucial in their early growth phase.

A robust SEO strategy also drove Zapier’s growth. They created thousands of automated, SEO-optimized landing pages for each app integration, capturing high-intent search traffic. Coupled with a content marketing strategy focused on app use cases and reviews, Zapier managed to attract a broad audience.

Zapier’s growth story is a prime example of how strategic positioning, customer focus, efficient use of capital, and adaptive strategies can lead to exponential growth in the competitive tech industry.

9. Miro

Visual workspace that enables distributed teams to design and build – Miro

Key Learning: Immediate utility and a taste of the product’s capabilities can turn new users into lifelong customers. By integrating your product with other essential tools, you can make it indispensable.

Miro, a visual team collaboration platform, is redefining the standard for product-led growth (PLG) strategies in the SaaS industry. With over 45 million users worldwide, Miro’s success is rooted in a meticulously crafted go-to-market (GTM) strategy. They leverage the product as the primary vehicle for customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion.

Central to Miro’s PLG success is its customer-centric approach, where understanding and adapting to user needs is paramount. By regularly reassessing its core audience and main use cases, Miro ensures its offerings remain relevant and valuable. Training in customer empathy is also a critical aspect of their strategy, focusing on genuinely understanding and addressing user requirements.

Miro’s platform stands out for its simplicity and rapid time-to-value. The freemium product-led growth model offers immediate, tangible benefits, encouraging users to explore and later upgrade to more advanced features.

Their extensive range of templates serves as both an acquisition and activation strategy, allowing users to start with structured, inspiring frameworks rather than a blank canvas.

10. Zoom

Zoom is an all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform that makes connecting easier

Key Learning: Simplicity and reliability in a product can appeal to a wide range of users. Adapting quickly to user feedback, especially in challenging times, is crucial for sustained growth.

Zoom, a leader in video conferencing, has become a household name, especially during the pandemic, evolving from a simple communication tool into a vital part of our daily lives.

In fact, ‘Zoom’ has become a verb, signifying the platform’s profound impact on how we connect digitally. Its seamless integration into various aspects of life—from school classes to corporate meetings—demonstrates its universal appeal and ease of use.

Zoom’s journey is a testament to the power of product-led growth (PLG). The platform’s intuitive design, robust free version, and premium features for paid subscriptions have expanded its user base exponentially.

The pandemic fueled this growth, which transformed Zoom from a business tool into a critical component of remote learning, telecommuting, and social interactions.

Zoom’s ability to scale operations rapidly to accommodate the surge in demand during the pandemic is a notable achievement. They adeptly navigated challenges like security concerns and user privacy by listening to customer feedback and adapting quickly.

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Embracing Product-Led Growth

The success stories of these top 10 product-led companies can inspire businesses aiming to navigate the ever-evolving digital marketplace. 

From ClickUp’s adaptability in meeting varied industry needs to Zoom’s simplicity and reliability, each SaaS company showcases unique approaches to leveraging product-led growth. As we observe these industry leaders, the underlying theme of PLG companies is clear: Integrating customer-centric strategies with innovative product development is key to sustainable growth and market leadership in the digital era.

These software companies demonstrate the power of product-led growth and inspire a roadmap for others to follow, proving that focusing on the product experience can lead to remarkable success.

Discover how ClickUp can adapt to your industry’s needs and improve productivity. Start your journey with ClickUp today and join the ranks of successful companies leveraging product-led growth to achieve remarkable results.

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