Every company cares about its Customer acquisition cost (CAC)—the cost of acquiring a customer. It’s often a blended cost that includes your sales and marketing headcount, ad spending, etc.
Correspondingly, every company cares about CAC Payback, the time it takes to recover your CAC from your customers in revenue.
In a traditional go-to-market (GTM) strategy, companies rely heavily on outbound marketing & sales efforts. This meant high CAC fueled by headcount costs plus the budget to run advertising campaigns to support this strategy.
Then came a more efficient model: the Inbound Marketing strategy championed by companies like Hubspot. Where the investment went into creating a brand and thought leadership through content, and customers found you through search engines organically. This drove CAC costs down.
The next stage of this evolution is Product-led Growth, leading with your product front and center as your growth strategy, reducing CAC and payback time, and driving scalability and profitability.
- What is Product-Led Growth?
- What is Product-Led Growth Software?
- What is the difference between PLG growth and Sales-led growth? Which is better?
- What Should You Look for in a Product Led Growth Software Tool?
- The 10 Best Product-Led Growth Software Tools to Use in 2023
What is Product-Led Growth?
Product-led growth (PLG) is a business strategy where your product is the primary driver of customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. It focuses on creating a compelling user experience that allows customers to discover, adopt, and derive value from your product with minimal friction.
A PLG strategy involves leveraging your product to attract, engage, and retain users. Instead of solely relying on traditional sales and marketing efforts, PLG emphasizes your product’s inherent value, aiming to drive growth through user satisfaction.
What is Product-Led Growth Software?
Product-led growth software helps you implement a product-led growth strategy, focusing on user-centric features, analytics, and AI automation to drive growth across the customer lifecycle—acquisition, monetization, retention, expansion, and advocacy.
The goal is to turn users into paying subscribers or buyers, with the product as the primary driver of growth and revenue.
Product-led growth tools help you:
- Deliver aha moments and business value to users
- Showcase the best use of your product
- Gather valuable product usage data,
- Collect customer feedback,
- Understand user behavior,
- Enhance user experience, and
- Increase your retention rate
What is the difference between PLG growth and Sales-led growth? Which is better?
Product-led and sales-led growth are very different approaches to achieving business growth. Here’s an overview of how they differ:
|Aspect||Product-Led Growth (PLG)||Sales-Led Growth|
|Focus||PLG centers around the product as the primary growth driver. It prioritizes creating an intuitive product, is easy to adopt, and provides immediate value to users.||Sales-led growth relies heavily on the efforts of a sales team to drive customer acquisition and revenue. The sales team actively contacts prospects, conducts demos, negotiates deals, and closes sales.|
|Customer Acquisition||Emphasis on allowing users to discover and adopt the product through self-service, often without direct involvement from a sales team. Aims for a compelling product experience to drive user acquisition and retention.||Involves a hands-on, personalized sales process where the sales team guides and persuades potential customers through the sales funnel.|
|Key Metrics||Metrics revolve around user engagement, activation rates, product usage, and user satisfaction. Success is measured by the product’s continuous value delivery and growth without heavy reliance on traditional sales channels.||Sales pipeline, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs (CAC), and revenue generated through direct sales efforts.|
PLG is often considered more scalable and cost-effective once the product gains traction since it relies less on man-power intensive sales efforts.
Most successful companies use a hybrid approach, initially focusing on a PLG model. Once the product has traction, they move to a sales-assisted model to support the needs of scale and expansion.
What Should You Look for in a Product Led Growth Software Tool?
Choosing the best product-led growth tool (PLG) requires a thoughtful approach. Here’s a quick guide:
- User-Friendly Interface: Look for a tool with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. You want something that your team can easily adopt without extensive training
- Integration Capabilities: Check if the PLG tool integrates seamlessly with your existing software stack, especially with tools like CRM, product analytics, and communication platforms
- Scalability: Ensure that the software is scalable and can handle increased usage as your user base expands
- Analytics and Reporting: The tool should provide actionable insights into user behavior and engagement
- Security and Compliance: Ensure that the product-led growth tool complies with industry security standards
The 10 Best Product-Led Growth Software Tools to Use in 2023
ClickUp’s customization caters to various project teams. Let’s look into some key features of ClickUp:
ClickUp best features
ClickUp Automation: Streamline workflows and cut down on repetitive tasks. Save valuable time and elevate the customer experience by minimizing manual work
ClickUp Mind Maps: Visualize the entire product development lifecycle for your business teams, such as sales, marketing, and design. Provide transparency not just to your internal product teams but also to external users, informing them about the product’s future plans and enhancing customer engagement
ClickUp Tasks: Build a product-led growth business by managing and organizing various tasks related to different projects. Choose from 35+ ClickApps to customize your tasks and seamlessly collaborate with your team
ClickUp AI: Incorporate new features into your product and use 100+ AI tools to optimize your product development process. Write Product Requirements Documents (PRD), create compelling product content, design user testing studies, and craft test plans faster than usual
ClickUp Views: Align your business with a product-led growth strategy, enhancing user engagement and allowing self-exploration of the platform. Choose from various view options—List, Board, Box, Calendar, and more—to visualize your projects at a glance and filter, sort, and group various tasks/projects
- Navigating through the mobile app can be difficult due to multiple boards and extensive features
- Free Forever
- Unlimited: $7/month per user
- Business: $12/month per user
- Enterprise: Contact for pricing
- ClickUp AI is available on all paid plans for $5 per Workspace
ClickUp ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)
Refiner is a customer feedback and survey solution software that allows you to conduct customizable surveys, generate user feedback, conduct market research, and centralize all your research data.
This product-led growth (PLG) tool was designed for web and mobile product companies and works best for data-driven SaaS companies. Get better insights on customer satisfaction and needs, enhancing user retention through appropriate product enhancements.
Refiner best features
- Survey widgets: Use Refiner’s ready-to-use survey templates or build a fully customizable survey. Create micro surveys with the 12 question types, including NPS, CSAT, CTAs, and more, to gather user feedback
- User segmentation: Segment your customer base to target specific groups for surveys, enabling you to collect feedback from desired audiences instead of a general group
- Integration: Integrate with third-party project management tools like Segment, Google Sheets, Make, Zapier and others to gain comprehensive knowledge and customer feedback
- Refiner doesn’t support the inclusion of audio, video, or images in the survey questionnaire
- Trial version: Free
- Essentials: $79/month billed annually (Ideal for startup companies)
- Growth: $199/month billed annually (Ideal for companies needing personalized surveys)
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Refiner ratings and reviews
- G2: Not enough reviews
- Capterra: Not enough reviews
Productboard is product management software that is designed to help product teams, sales teams, and others in a business to collect, prioritize, and manage product ideas.
It provides a platform for product managers and your teams to deliver the right product that best suits the needs of your users.
Productboard best features:
- Continuous customer insights: Get AI-generated summaries compiled from various sources, enhancing your understanding of customer needs. Personalize insight boards to highlight crucial customer feedback so your marketing/ sales team can focus on creating product-led growth strategies and increasing customer satisfaction
- Dynamic roadmaps: Stay up-to-date during the entire product development journey by tracking progress. Integrate workflow by staying connected and in sync with your sales and marketing teams
- Prioritization: Segment and prioritize project ideas and customer feedback to direct company resources toward developing a genuinely needed product in the market
- Productboard pricing is on the higher side
- Limited integration list
- Trial version: Free
- Essentials: $20 per maker/month billed annually (suited for individuals)
- Pro: $80 per maker/month billed annually (suited for small teams)
- Enterprise: Custom pricing (suited for organizations)
Productboard rating and reviews
- G2: 4.3/5 (230+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (140+ reviews)
Mixpanel offers analytical solutions for product-led companies, primarily focusing on tracking and analyzing user interaction and engagement with web and mobile apps.
With Mixpanel, you can comprehend user behavior and pain points, optimizing your product for user-centric growth and aligning with a product-led strategy.
Mixpanel best features
- Flow reports: Analyze your user journey and identify where they dropped off. Optimize key processes and product development cycles so that you can increase your customer retention
- Cohort analysis: Segment your users and create user cohorts, grouping customers based on user behavior and patterns. Target specific user cohorts and push personalized nudges and notifications
- First-time users may find the user interface overwhelming and not intuitive
- Customer support is slow and below average
- Starter: Free (includes 20 events/month)
- Growth: $20/month (includes unlimited saved reports)
- Enterprise: $833/month (includes all advanced features)
Mixpanel ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (1080+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (125+ reviews)
Chameleon is a digital adoption (DAP) software designed for SaaS companies.
Whether you’re a product manager or part of a product development team, this software enhances user adoption and engagement within your software products by creating personalized and highly customizable user experiences.
Chameleon best features
- Product tours: Help customers understand your product better by creating step-by-step product tours and walkthroughs. Share interactive product demos that guide users to key features and new releases
- Continuous customer feedback loop: Gather customer feedback directly from your product/software using micro surveys and multi-button surveys, achieving up to a 3x response rate
- Launchers: Create helpful links, paths to product features, and onboarding checklists for your customers with customizable in-app widgets
- There are minor bugs in the new UI that can make navigating time-consuming
- Helpbar: Free (CMD+K search available)
- Startup: $279/month (ideal for building custom experience)
- Growth: $1250/month (ideal for scaling)
- Enterprise: Custom pricing (ideal for managing multiple products)
Chameleon ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (150+ reviews)
- Capterra: Not enough reviews
Tableau is a comprehensive visual analytics platform with AI capabilities, empowering you to explore product usage data, make informed decisions, and streamline tasks at scale.
Whether in the cloud, on-premises, or integrated with Salesforce CRM, Tableau provides a deep analytics platform with AI/ML capabilities, governance, and collaboration.
Tableau best features
- VizQL (Visual Query Language): Convert user actions into queries, making data visualization and analysis easy
- Mobile version: Use the mobile app to create dashboards and layouts without compromising on the features and view
- You need to have knowledge of SQL to create intricate datasets from multiple data sources
- Tableau Viewer: $15/user/month
- Tableau Explorer: $42/user/month
- Tableau Creator: $70 user/month
Tableau ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.4/5 (1950+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (2150+ reviews)
Userpilot helps your product grow by improving user activation, trial conversions, and expansion revenue through in-app experiences.
Optimize user onboarding for increased trial-to-paid conversions, enhance user engagement for better retention, and uncover expansion opportunities with in-app surveys with Userpilot.
Userpilot best features
- Feature adoption: Guide users to key features and updates with in-app messages, walkthroughs, and tooltips, increasing feature and product adoption crucial for product-led growth
- Dynamic User Interface (UI): Create interactive and multiple UI patterns by choosing from various options like modals, sliders, tooltips, checklists, and more
- The pricing is high compared to others on the list
- Users report slow performance while performing multiple actions
- Starter: $249/month (billed annually)
- Growth: $499/month (billed annually)
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Userpilot ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (220+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (55+ reviews)
ChartMogul is a subscription analytics and revenue recognition platform designed for SaaS (Software as a Service) companies and other subscription models.
It helps you analyze your subscription metrics like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) so you can make data-driven decisions.
ChartMogul best features
- Integration: Easily connect various billing apps and payment gateway, reducing manual data entry
- Currency conversion: It supports 169 currencies and automatically converts foreign currency to your primary one
- Limited customer support
- Limited customization options
- Launch: Free (for less than $10K in MRR)
- Scale: $100/month (for more than $10K in MRR)
- Volume: Custom pricing (for high-scale businesses)
ChartMogul ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (98 reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (42 reviews)
Segment is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that provides in-depth customer data and helps businesses collect customer feedback, and clean and organize product data.
The enterprise nature of the software ensures high levels of data integrity and quality. This will give you the confidence to launch intelligent automation-based triggers and campaigns for your customers.
Segment best features
- Customer segment: Create and manage customer segments based on user behavior, attributes, and user journey so that you can create targeted marketing strategies
- Audience engagement: Offers a complete view of your real-time audience and boosts user engagement by activating 450+ marketing tools
- Sharing financial details with a third-party platform may raise security and privacy concerns
- Free: $0/month (include 1000 visitors/month)
- Team: $120/month (includes 10,000 visitors/month)
- Business: Custom pricing
Segment ratings and reviews
- G2: 4.6/5 (510+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (70+ reviews)
Baremetrics is a software that provides subscription analytics and insights.
If your product-led company runs on subscription models, then Baremetrics helps you track and understand customer behavior and get more insights on revenue.
Baremetrics best features
- Cancellation insights: Get detailed information on customer journey and customer cancellations with reasons to identify the gaps in your product and improve them
- Forecasting: Predict future revenue from your subscription-based product so that you can make data-driven decisions, enhancing your product adoption
- It is only suitable for subscription-based businesses
- Recover: $58/month (ROI guarantee)
- Metrics: $108/month (Business insights)
- Cancellation insights: $108/month
Baremetrics ratings and reviews:
- G2: 4.5/5 (60+ reviews)
- Capterra: Not enough reviews
Choose the Best Product-Led Growth Tool for Your Team
The versatility of PLG allows your business to align with user expectations for immediate value, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. It helps your product become the central force behind sustained growth.
With the right product-led growth software, create a user-centric growth engine that drives community and advocacy among customers and sustained success in the market.
Whether you choose to stack some of these product-led growth tools or go ahead with the all-in-one ClickUp App, invest in PLG to make your customers happy and sticky!