B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 8 months ago

99: A Guide to Product-led Growth w/ Jimmy Fong

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Product-Led Growth is defined as a go-to-market strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers

But how to know if it’s the right strategy for your business?

In this episode, Jimmy Fong, Chief Commercial Officer at SEON, joins the show to explain how product-led growth introduces a potent dynamic to customer engagement.

We talked about ways to implement product-led growth, focusing on time-to-value, and learning from B2C marketing.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast in your favorite podcast player.

You're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast, dedicated t helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi welcome to be to be a REVEUacceleration. My name is Olamaj and an er today with Jimmy funk chiefcommercial officer at Sion, how you doing toda GM yeah right, great, reallygood to be on the show. Thanks for Havping me, that's an absolute pleasure.So today we want to speak about product lead Growvh, which is very interestingto pick. But before we go into the detail and start the conversation, canyou please tell us a little bit more about yourself as well as the company,your represention yeah sure? So you know a real quick summary. Ever sinceUni I've been fortunate kind of landed in the text base, so back even the lastfinancial crisis is kind of when I enterd the ECOLMAND payments world andI've been everywhere from individual contributor up to team, lead up to kindof managing enterprise sales teams responsible for region and Rev, andthen more laterally helping at a CCO over at a early stage, RISTEC startupto kind of PRESERIESA and responsible for sales and marketing for us. But aswe're going to today, it's a bit of a funny scenario because we like to do itvery differently at Sayon. So we are a very product led and almost anti sales,which is kind of weird right. S is different. Ait's got to be difficult.If you had, he chief commercial officer, put you in the room at the back of theyourpysial thing like that, it's ut it's interesting, because Iwould have soid that you know product led gross conversation would probablybe led Bo more by product marketing person. If you willso hea. I, like I like the to pick a init aratively distructive coming fromTHI chief commercial ofihom yeah. Indeed- and I think its as well intosome of the vises I had in the in the thirteen years ever since I wasinvolved in kind of tech sales, Tech...

Rev just over that time- it's not you know.Obviously, enterprise and sales works. Of course it does nobody saying that,but there is a slight shift in the way that buyers by that and I think whatPLG product lik growth taps into is that kind of macrol the much wide ofview that is slowly shifting slighly and as we'll go into generally the moreincess things become competitive and saturated? Then things like product ledprinciples, probably stick out as a bit of a competitive advantage for what youdo, especially what we do were in fraud, tech, which man that's been around liketwenty oud years right. So sybe security is mathic yeah, it's Super STyeah and is complicated right. I get it from the other side of the fence ifyou've got a risk and fraud problem, man is so hard to find. You knowrelevant tech for what you need and when you do, it seems like there's tenother options, at least for what you do, and so I think some of the principaleswill go into and share they're, not totally divergent from.You know, kind of what we do at sales, but they just put a different twist onhow that dynamic works. When you engage with a buyer, that's the the KiofeeKysa. Yes, I would have said that you use use product, glad growth in twodifferent aspect when I espect of acquisition almost and one aspect ofretention of the customer but b t lets, let's get straight into thepracticality of it. So how do you? How do you apply that concept of ProductLid growth at sn yeah lots, an lots of ways- and I think I think was good? iswe go back to first principals with tech and that's kind of mainly mybackground is even though being on the refsite. Ultimately, I've been reallyfortunate to Aligne with companies that were seen at the forefront of what theywere doing at the time and then were you know, successful enough to beacquired, quite frankly, so acquired by the likes of visa, the likes of AMX andthe likes of ingenical payments over...

...the last three kind of adventures, andbut all of them it was about trying to find the tech that was seen as thecutting edge at what they do. So your conversations wivh prospects,ultimately go back to our first principle of having something thatreally helps straight away. So what we do at say on to make it practical interms of when we talk about Prothertlik growth, is we try and do things verydifferently from the traditional engagement model, if someone's tryingto buy something, especially in fraud, tech, the three things classically wealways talk about, is Manggo ahead and do your research online and findcompetitive solutions and just try and do three things number one trying firstof all find out the PRICON for it on their website. You know that's a prettykind of low barrier to what you want and you know find out before you buysomething right. It's just what the heck the price in is number one.Pricing number two try and go ahead and if you're interested enoughbookanatural demo was so one in the next thirty minutes, try and do that.If you see a Damol page, it's generally a propy for contact us, it's reallyfrustrating right. It's just a ney'll, get back to you whenever they get backto you and chances are they're going to qualify the Heckou of you, because, ifyou're too small they're nat going to help and that really that's reallyfrustrating and then thirdly- and this is our bigger bet- it's going to movevery deav led a lot of these decisions and it's going to be experience of how somebody interactswith your API.How quickly it is to use is the documentation understandable and cansomeone get you in in the proder worldmap and that's about sampling abit of value before you even have to interact with a human. So those are thethree things are saying. We believe unbelievably strongly in so so ourwebsite is our shop and it is the mean interaction point for a customer, soyou can book a Dam more straight away. You can sample the product and thirdly,you can see clear pricing. Everything about PLG is about transparency, andyou can do all that without interrectins, as is person. Yes polon.This is cool. Okay, Col I get it so so...

...so it's really the sort of certanservice kind of okay. You know what we're going to be very honest with youand we won't do hat all our competitors. Think is the right thing, which is E.I'm gonna call you and I'm going to try to absolutely tell you that I need tomeet with you. Then, when I met with you, I will try to fossit themb on youthat you may not want to see me as my process. You know we want to do it deMo. We want to she your stuff and at the end of the day, wor. Well, ask youif you've got O prodect if you'll heve a project youll, never off you again,and you know so, okay, so so, basically, what you're trying to do ther is almosteducate the prospect online, with full transparency and almost building upthat sort of relationship wher. They will trust the brain a little bit moreby the time you engage and and Iguess by Tho time you engage. You've got abetter qualification of a better quisitioning from the prospect is ofhis interest towards your solution. Yeah. That's that's a hundred percentAri and just to extend on that. So the other way to look at it is a thedynamic of the engagement classically speaking an enterprise mid size upenterprise up sales right wids, it's a top down approach. That's why you goahead and work. You know with a partner like you to get interest, but then alsowhen you engage your own inhouse team, those guys are probably engaging at CXlevel or exact level to try and get sponsorship. Why is that the case,because classically the deal with complicated problems that need somesort of like endorsement from the top down? The Bet we're making is the SASSworld is moving more and more towards bottom up adoption. So we've seen thisin other Domans, like slack like Twilio, where essentially the end operator, hasa problem, and the indoperator is trying to look for a tool online as weall are, as we all are consumers right, we all research in the Hecko stuff andthey want to kind of experience value to so to help their day, job Dndo andso our kind of approaches by ennabling those kind of bottom up or operativepeople, then theyre the they're, the...

...early fans and letting them do freetrials. Len them experience the product without any kind of friction means thatwe're not seeying top down doesn't exist. Of course, W E, you know we'readding in an outband component to what we do at Sayon, but it makes aconversation so much richer. When you can turn round to the CIO, and you cansay hey, I see that your team has already been utilizing. Our product forthe last six months and theire usage Ra is this: can we have a chat about? Youknow th about this in a wide skill? That's a much more rich conversation.Of course. No now appreciatee that make pefect sinse. But do you do you believeit's that product Lat Gross Trecegy is? Is Relevant Bot companies weer muchmore complex, O Sycol, so wha were talking about ea when Le Les TeinkAbout Complex SOS like because there is not of interpretation. For me, it's kinof the Mosin by your corsoner journey. So I'm coming with something you know.Slack is very successful, but technically you could have wet sup. Youcould have sky or business. You could have lot ofposof stuff, it's like it',just tol everybody, Wan slike, because Mikeins cool, but you know some of ouras ve e, very distructive solution. They basically creating a category forthemselves because no one did wat dead before so di. You think e sort ofStragege- U Goton, Paca Sea could could be applied to the small, complex andcycles. Well. First of all, you may have to kiss a few frogs before you canfind your print champing and the game wil. Actually sponsor. You actuallytake some money out of that pooket to finance your project, but also when youget there. They really want to. You may have proof of value that is alread asking for a certain level ofcommitment from the prospects organization because they may have togive critical information or they may have to open up someselves or whateverit is yeah. All those dynamics are like pray. The reality is Al Thos stillexist and in what we do with wristteat froute, that's really complicated.That's a that's! A really that's full...

...of loss of dependencies, lots of datasecurity, loss of data right and in this time, in age or GDPR and beingbased on the EU. It's a really tricky thing, so this actually happens to usas well for sure. So I think the key principal whent looking at somethinglike a product led Growtis, to take away concepts like time to value. That'sreally what you're looking to get the prospect to experience now we SEGMENTARAR product. So there's lots of different usecases which can use us foras most frodtech you can and it's about trying to package it up so that littlebits are understood and you can essentially sample something tangiblewhich is easy to do without necessarily having to do a massive, complicatedproject. That's the first thing so time to value. So when we talk about productlike growth and a lot of our analytics and data and measurement are aroundtrying to help convert customers to something that gives them a light,buld moment or an a Ha moment. So the cool thing from this Samry is these arebe to see concerts. These aren't just be to be things so I'll use example,like you know, look at spotify. I look at Netflix like you can bet they arespending their gazilions of research with data scientists checking when youdownload that product. How engaged are you quickly and they're adjustingeverything right from AB testing the lamguage they using to the CTAS, theCULTU actions they're trying to took you towards, because that's whatthey're trying to do theye trying to get you to experience value as soon aspossible? We all know this intuitively, but where it's not being well adoptedis in certain spaces, I would say: Payments and fraud is a little bitbehind, but in Sass this is very well understood. That's the way that we gosay on about it. So the more complicated I would argue, the moreripe it is for PLG. Okay. So what concert do you think you just startedto mention that, so what concertion we take from BTC to a play to be to beingthat that particularionstance w? What...

...would be the the key tactical thingsthat if I'm starting my Jorny, I should do straight away? I should be lookingat straight away yeah, so the bar is sat really high from an experientialpoint of view. Right we are now conditioned with all the same things weget from our BTC experience. We should be thinking about from a be to be pointof view incorporating those, so some of the ones we have, for instance, at on atactical level, are one of the objections to any risk and fraudteckers its such a complicated pro project to go ahead and do if you aredoing it, even when you experience time to value that just gets you over acertain hill, but really for us. You don't really see value until your livewith a live environment and you seen live transactions and that's a reality,no matter what anybody says, that's the reality! So for us we try and flip onhis head. So for us we don't have multier contracts, Reallan we're morelike Netflix, where it's a thirty day contract and it's a complete flip, because nobodyelse does that and the, but the psychology behind it is man it its allthe product risk on us as a vendor as assass company and it's design. So thatis d risking from the CFRs point of view. That's that's a that's one. BTCconcept right is that we're all used to that imagine Netflix Tri to tie you infor a year right that would suck you youknow. whatmy next question is aboutAly playder to the STAD. His business well, and I think you know this is this-is so yer to realize as well. We realize tat for because we also thiscompany, you can Gan get the twelve months contracteng stuff lik that butthe barrier is like people are cook. We need you to prove yourself n and, if te, if the service is good, you just soueway s good. We want to keep going.If it's not good, we want to be able to change yeah, the hundred percenthundred percent and- and you know the reality of situation is- is think aboutthe back psychology. For someone to choose say working with you guys, it'snot like a quick decision right, there's a lot of kind of logic, there'sa lot of justifications, a lot of business case and by the time somewasactually invest that time with you, ITD...

...be very rare that somebody would rampyou up for thirty days and it would suck and it was- and there was noreparable way to kind of do that and turn you off, because that's not whatboth parties want. They want to make it work, of course, so that so it does, itdoes make sense as well, but I get it we're moving from a legacy world ofbooked revenue. Some of this is accountancy legacy and how SASScompanies have done it, specially n payments and fraud. But for us that's athat's a that's an easy thing. We can learn from the BTC worll other conceptsin the BTC world, the level of measurement on analytic usage. So ifyou're going to go selfserve like you know what Sayon does, then you betterbe great at measuring all those interaction points behind the scenes,because then you can start segmenting your users and you can start doingthings like communications were appropriate, so theperson that starts a trial account doesn't ever actually go into thesystem and interact with. It is very different from the one that invites tenteammates and the ten teammates start. You know using the system, so you wantto start segmenting. So that way, there's clever enough communication,that's appropriate for that user and what we think about sayin is trying tospend time with the ones which win instead of the ones which I'm going toengaged, so we're not trying to push a a rock up, a hill right, we're tryingto work with the guys that get value, and it should be mentioned we're earlystage, so we're all about trying to get fans. So that's why these bt C conceptsare so key to us, because we don't care about converting the whole market yetand we care about finding. You know those fans which are going to turnaround and talk about Theneppi Net provon promoters of Saon, so thatquestion what was kind of coming to the back of my mind, Iveive, been in sheconversation with investors. This is P companyes, investing in to start Tut aneliosutidays. You need to have recurring revenue, you need to Avmenyou.We speak about arrwe speak about valuasion. So do you think thet product lay theproject we'r speaking about one of the...

...tectical aspect, which is like thes,thirty days kind of notice at any time, and you know stemes off type of stuff,but do you think his associate with be sestainable for you? Let's sayin fiveyears from now, ten years from now whucd you have to move to a moretraditional subscription, because you can you now like the equevaent of a salspouse you're, not the equivalent of Ha sub is now you know the equivalent of aslack and Slik porly cane go to Thai clients, and if someone want slack,they want it. So bad SA look is twelve months minimum and that's fine becauseI wantit so bad, but my friends use it. So you think I you stand efor in thelong tem or do you think you will have to when you can afford it? You may haveto change that from poduct lad to a more SASS big company type of approach.Yeah- and you know we remember- The SASS numbers came out a little bitearlier this year and they reported a significant portion of their rev whenthey passed. The EX billion in err was Dong to enterprise. No slacky never sawof like as traditional eneprise, but it makes sense right. Look at bigthey arenow that's where the mark is so. I think everyone adapts is a shore answerarigt and to this we're at the stage we we're just three years old, so t we'rein the very fun stage right were in there we're in the hey. We've got abunch of earlyadoptor fans and we're just getting we're getting dragged intobigger and bigger deals and we're trying to keep to ICP ideal customerprofile. That's very important to us, but I would say inevitably we'realready being dragged into deals where the customer wants hey. We don't wantto sign a thiry days notice a we love the idea, but actually we need you forsix to twelve months because it takes us a lot longer to go ahead and findthe redundancy if something happens so tha. This is already happeningorganically. Of course, maybe it on to that topic of VC's, a kind ofinvestment and how they look at Kpis like us. So if we're PLG, then I wouldsay that it just moves the type of metrics that we that they look at forus slightly different, but it's the same basis as still monthly recurring revenue MRR and it'sthe velocity right. It's how much...

...growth are you still getting? And youknow you can still measure churn from that and you can still measure ArrEstrapla Arr from that as well, and so those still met those same metrics arevery much still being tracked, an our and that's no different, but using plg.I think the fact that we have you know like a thiry days notice, isn't so mucha barrier because other SASS companies, Thas kind of, is kind of become morestandard now across other Sass, and you can measure the turn. The key is, youknow, is a turn ramping up the you know with that. The tricky thing from Ouranwe've had thare from day one, and it goes back to Ra for us the founderstory of Seon. You know literally to young smart guys out of CorvinisUniversity and Buddhapesh. They were a critto exchange initially and they werehit by fraud and they looked at the market because they needed the froudsolution right there right, then otherwise, twe're going to burn, andthere was great solutions out there, there's brilliant solutions, but theyall take weeks, if not months, to get up and running and they didn't havethat affordability. So everything about saying was designed around thatprinciple: around kind of no barrier commercially to kind of gettingoferonic. It's it's some of our customers call us. I don't know if it'sgood or bad but the stripe of fraud prevention and I think that's a goodanalogy, because in the same way for payments that they made it so easy towork with them is kind of what we're trying to do for the more complicatedworld of fraud and risk. Yeah were thanks for inside Gimmy. We get intothe end of the of the session to them. Fortunately, and what we ask usuly atthat at that point of the of the conversation is if people wants tocarry on the conversation, pick your brain up and and carry on or discussabout, seein Speiak about your solution. An now you could add them was the bestway to get intouch with your GM. So our website, Sayon, dod Io, is, is a greatplace. Where reachable you know pretty much most times in there funnly enough,I'm manning the chat just now as if they really want to get in touch doingworking ours there. I'm part of the...

...chat team just now otherwise, Linedon aso just my name, Jimmy Fom, Efe Ng. That's perfect! Well many things. Onceagain, Gmeet was an Actua pleasure to have understoodtething great to be onthanks. Ory thanks OAGAING operadics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing insize sales teams in househas existed for many years, companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see Ow operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics. Dot Net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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