B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year 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.

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You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is alien, with you and I'm here today with Jimmy Funk, chief commercial officer at see on. How are you doing to the Jimmy? Yeah, right, great, really good to be on the show. Thanks for having me. That's an absolute pleasure. So today we want to speak about product led growth, which is a very interesting to pick. But before we go into the the detail and stop the conversation, can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself, as well as the company your represents? H Yeah, sure. So you know, real quick summary, ever since Uni I've been fortunate kind of landed in the text base. So back even the last financial crisis, is kind of went enter the ECOMMON payments world and I've been everywhere from individual contributor up to team lead, up to kind of managing enter price sales teams responsible for a region and rev and then, more laterally helping at a c Seo over at an early stage risk text start up, so kind of pre series a and responsible for sales and marketing for us. But as we're going to today, it's a bit of a funny scenario because we like to do it very differently at, say, on so we are at very product led and almost empti sales, which is kind of weird right. This is different. Is Good to be difficult if you had the shift commercial of yourself between the room at the back of the office something like that. It's not. But it's interesting because I would have said that, you know, a product led gross conversation would probably be led more by a product marketing pus an if you win. So yeah, I like I like to pick up, I need to relatively destructive coming from the chief commercial of his helm. Yeah, indeed, and I think it suits well into some of the biases I had in the in the thirteen years ever since I was...

...involved. And can a 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 buy that and I think what plg product like growth, taps into is that kind of macrol the much wide of you. That is slowly shifting slightly and, as we'll go into generally, the more incess things become competitive and saturated, then things like product led principles probably stick out as a bit of our competitive advantage for what you do, especially what we do. We're in fraud tech, which, man, that's been around like twenty our years, right, cyber security is mass yeah, it's super, super and is way to go about it. Yeah, and it's complicated, right, I get it from the other side of the fence. If you've got a risk and fraud problem, man, is so hard to find, you know, relevant tech for what you need and when you do, it seems like there's ten other options at least for what you do. And so I think some of the principles will go into and share and they're not totally divergent from, you know, kind of what we do at sales, but they just put a different twist on how that dynamic works when you engage with a buyer. That's the kind of feet key thing. Yes, I would have said that use use product led growth into difference aspect when the respect of acquisition on must and one aspect of retention of the customer. But but let's get straight into the practicality of it. So I'll do you. How do you apply that concept of product led growth at seem? Yeah, lots and lots of ways and I think I think what's good is we go back to first principles with tech, and that's kind of mainly my background is, even though being on the red side, ultimately I've been really fortunate to align with companies that we're seen at the forefront of what they were doing at the time and then we're, you know, successful enough to be acquired, quite frankly, so acquired by the likes of visa, the likes of Amex and the likes of in genical payments over the last three kind of adventures, and but all of them it...

...was about trying to find the tech that was seen as the cutting edge at what they do. So your conversations with prospects ultimately go back to our first principle of having something that really helps straight away. So what we do at say on it to make a practical in terms of when we talk about product like growth, is we try and do things very differently from the traditional engagement model. If someone's trying to buy something, especially in fraud tech, the three things classically we always talk about is man go ahead and do your research online and find competitive solutions and just try and do three things. Number one, try and first of all find out the pricing for it on their website. You know, that's a pretty kind of low barrier to what you want to you know, find out before you buy something. Right, it's just what the heck the pricing is? Number One, pricing. Number two, try and go ahead and, if you're interested enough, book a natural demo. Was So one in the next thirty minutes. Try and do that. If you see a demo page is generally a proxy for contact us. It's really frustrating, right. It's just they'll get back to you, whenever they get back to you, and chances are they're going to qualify the Hecko of you, because if you're too small then are going to help, and that really that's really frustrating. And then thirdly, and this is our bigger bet, it's going to move very deav led a lot of these decisions and it's going to be experience of how somebody interactive your API, how quickly it is to use. Is the documentation understandable and can someone get you in in their product woradmap? And that's about sampling a bit of value before you even have to interact with a human. So those are the three things are say on. We believe unbelievably strongly in so. Our website is our shop and it is the main interaction point for our customers. So you can book a them all straightaway, you can sample the product and, thirdly, you can see clear pricing and everything about Plg is about transparency and you can do all that. We thought interacting with the SOLS person. Yeah, spun on, this is cool. Okay, cool, I get it. So it's really that...

...sort of self service kind of okay, you know what, we're going to be very honest with you and we won't do it all our competitors think is the right thing, which is a I'm gonna call you and I'm going to try to absolutely tell you that I need to meet with you. Then when I meet with you, I will try to Foscel Demo on you that you may not want to seem as my process. You know, we want to do a demo, we want to shoe your stuff and then, at the end of the day, more, we'll ask you if you've got a project, if you'd have a project. You've never I often again and you know. So okay. So basically what you're trying to do that is almost educate the prospect online with full transparency and almost building up that sort of relationship where they will trust the brand a little bit more by the time young gage and and I guess by the time you engage, you've got a better qualification of a better positioning from the prospects is of his interest towards your solution. Yeah, that's that's a hundred percent a right. And just to extend on that. So the other way to look at it is and the dynamic of the engagement, classically speaking, and enterprise, midsize up enterprise, up sales. Right, it's a it's a top down approach. That's why you go ahead and work, you know, with a partner like you to get interested, but then also when you engage your own inhouse team, those guys are probably engaging at CX level or exact level to try and get sponsorship. Why is that the case? Because, classically, to deal with complicated problems that need some sort of like endorsement from the top down. The Bet we're making is the SASS world is moving more and more towards bottom up adoption. So we've seen this another domains, like slack, like twilly Oh. We're essentially the end operator has a problem and the end operator is trying to look for a tool online, as we all are, as we all are consumers, right, we all research and the hecker stuff, and they want to kind of experience value to sort to help their day job. They and they out, and so our kind of approaches by enabling those kind of bottom up or operative people, then they're they're the early fans, and letting them do free trials,...

...letting them experience a product without any kind of friction, means that we're not saying top down doesn't exist. Of course, you know we're adding in an outbound component to what we do at say on but it makes a conversation so much richer when you can turn around to the CIO and you can say, Hey, I see that your team has already been utilizing our product for the last six months and their usage rate is this. Can we have a chat about you know about this in a wider scale. That's a much more rich conversation of course, now appreciate that next Prophet since, but do you believe it's that product led gross strategy is is relevant for companies, whether much more complex? So Cycle. So what I'm thinking about the whatever when I speak about complex things like could, because there is not some interpretation. For me, it's kind of the moots by your personal journey. So I'm coming with something you know slightly is very successful. But technically you could have what Sapp you could have skype for business, you could have lots of us are stuff. It's like it's just what everybody wants, like because make it's cool. But you know, some of our comes of a very destructive solution. They basically creating a category for themselves because no one did what they had before. So do you think the sort of strategy as you got a see and could could be applied to the small, complex and cycles? Well, first of all you may have to kiss a few frogs before you can find your prince charming and the game we get actually sponsor you, actually take some money out of that boocket to finance your project. But also, when you get there, they really want to you may have approve of value. That is already asking for a certain level of commitment from the prospects organization because they may have to give critical information or they may have to put up some sellvers or whatever it is. Yeah, all those dynamics are like bray. The realities, all those still exist and in what we do with risk, TEP protect, that's really complicated. That's so that's a really that's full of loss of...

...dependencies, lots of data security, lots of data right and in this time in age or GDPR and being based on the EU, it's it's a really tricky thing. So this actually happens to us as well, for sure. So I think the key principle when looking at something like a product like growth is to take away and concepts like time to value. That's really what you're looking to get the prospect to experience. Now we segment o our product, so there's lots of different use cases which can use us for as most fraud tech you can, and it's about trying to package it up so that little bits are understood and you can essentially sample something tangible, which is easy to do without necessarily having to do a massive, complicated project. That's the first thing. So time to value. So when we talk about product like growth, and a lot of our analytics and data and measurement are around trying to help convert customers to something that gives them a light bulb moment or an Ahr moment. So the cool thing from this Sam rays. These are BETC concepts. These aren't just be to be things. So I'll use example. Like you know, look at spotify, look at Netflix, like you can bet they are spending their gazillions of research with data scientists checking when you download that product, how engaged are you quickly, and they are adjusting everything right from AB testing the language they're using to the Cetas a call to actions. They are trying to Tweeke you towards because that's what they're trying to do. They trying to get you to experience value as soon as possible. We all know this intuitively, but where it's not being well adopted is in certain spaces, I would say payments and fraud is a little bit behind, but in Sass this is very well understood. That's the way that we go at say on about it. So the more complicated, I would argue, the more ripi it is for PLG. Okay, so what consert you think so. You just started to mention that. So what concert should we think from etc. To a braid to be to being that that particular instance would be do the...

...key tactic gold things. That's if I'm starting my Johnny, I should do straight away. I should be looking at straight away. Yeah, so the bar is said, really high. From an experiential point of view, right, we are now conditioned with all the same things we get from our BTC experience. We should be thinking about from a B tob point of view, incorporating those. So some of the ones we have, for instance on a tactical level, are one of the objections to any risk and fraud techs is such a complicated product project to go ahead and do. If you are doing it, even when you experience time to value, that just gets you over a certain ill. But really, for us it you don't really see value until your life with a live environment and you see live transactions, and that's a reality, no matter what anybody says, that's the reality. So for us we try and flip on his head. So for us we don't have multi year contracts. Really we're more like Netflix, where it's a thirty day contract and it's a complete flip, because nobody else does that. And then, but the psychology behind it is man it puts all the product risk on us as a vendor, as a SASS company, and it's designed so that is d risking. From the CFO's point of view, that's that's a that's one betc concept, right, is that. We're all used to that. Imagine Netflix try to tie you in for a year, right, that would suck. You know what? My next question is about all your play that to the Sun. Is Business will and I think you know this is this is some yet we realize as well. We really is at up, because we are savvy's company and you can go and get the twelve months contract and stuff like that. But the barrier is let people, I could. We need you to prove yourself and and if the if the sad sees good, it just have tways good. We want to keep going. If he's that good, we want to be able to change. Yeah, the hundred percent, a hundred percent. And and you know the reality of situation is is think about the back psychology for someone to choose to say working with you guys. It's not like a quick decision, right. There's a lot of kind of logic. There's a lot of justifications, a lot of business case and by the time someones actually invest that time with you, would be very rare...

...that somebody would ramp you up for thirty days and it would suck and there was and there's no reparable way to kind of do that and turn you off, because that's not what both parties won they want to make it work, of course. So that so it does. It does make sense as well. But I get it. We're moving from a legacy world of book to revenue. Some of us is accountancy legacy and how SASS companies have done it, specially in payments and fraud. But for us that's a that's a that's an easy thing. We can learn from the BTC world. Other concepts in the BTC world the level of measurement on analytic usage. So if you're going to go self serve, like you know what say on does, then you better be great at measuring all those interaction points behind the scenes, because then you can start segmenting your users and you can start doing things like communications where show appropriate. So the person that starts to trial account doesn't ever actually go into the system and interact with. It is very different from the one that invites ten teammates and the ten teammates start a you know, using the system. So you want to start segmenting so that way there's clever enough communication that's appropriate for that user. And what we think about, say, one is trying to spend time with the ones which win instead of the ones which aren't going to engage. We're not trying to push a rock up a hill right. We're trying to work with the guys that get value. And it should be mentioned we're early stage, so we're all about trying to get fans. So that's why these BTC concepts are so key to us, because we don't care about converting the whole market yet and we care about finding, you know, those fans which are going to turn around and talk about the net be net proponent, promoters of sale. So that question what was kind of coming to the back of my mind. I've been I've been in full conversation with investors. This is the companies investing in startups and now, lad sat to days you need to have recurring revenue, you need to have multier. We speak about Aarr, we speak about valuation. So do you think that product led a project it we speaking about it one of the tactical aspect, which...

...is like the serty days, kind of nuts at any time, and you know sen self type of stuff. But do you think this is so? Yet would be sustainable for you, let's say, in five years from now, Daniels, from now, when you have to move to a more traditional subscription, because you can? You now like the the equivalent of a seal as farce. You're not the equivalent of a service. Now, you know, the equivalent of a slack and it's like probably get go to their clients and if someone wants like they wanted so bad, look it's twelve months minimum and that that's fine, because I wanted so bad what my friends you it. So you think it's just sill everyone in the long time, what do you think you would have to you when you're going to Fard it? You may have to change that from product led to a more SASS big company type of approach. Yeah, and you know, we remember the SASS numbers came out a little bit earlier this year and they reported a significant portion of their rev when they pass the x billion N Arr was down to enterprise. Now slack. You never solved like as traditional enterprise. But it makes sense, right. I look at big they are now. That's where the market is. So I think everyone adapts as a short answer, right, and to this, we're at the stage worth. We're just three years old, so we get we're in the very fund stage, right. We're in. We're in the hey, we've got a bunch of earlier doopter fans and we're just getting we're getting dragged into bigger and bigger deals and we're trying to keep to ICP ideal customer profile. That's very important to us. But I would say inevitably we're already being dragged into deals where the customer wants, Hey, we don't want to sign a thirty day's notice that we love the idea, but actually we need you for six to twelve months because it takes us a lot longer to go ahead and find the redundancy if something happens. So this is already happening organically, of course. Maybe on to that topic of VC's, a kind of investment and how they look at kpies like us. So if we're PLG, then I would say that it just moves the type of metrics that we that they look at for us slightly different, but it's the same basis as still monthly recurring revenue, MRR, and it's the velocity right. It's how much growth are you still getting? And you know, you can...

...still measure churn from that and you can still measure arr extrapolate Arr from that as well, and so those still meant those same metrics are very much still being tracked on our end. That's no different. But using PLG, I think the fact that we have, you know, like a third day's notice isn't so much a barrier because other SASS companies as kind of is kind of become more standard now across other Sass and you can measure the churn. The key is, you know, is a turn ramping up, you know, with that the tricky thing from our end. We've had that from day one and it goes back to Ray. For us, the founder story of say on, you know, literally two young, smart guys out of core vinish university in Budapest. They were a crypto exchange initially and they were hit by fraud and they looked at the market because they needed the fraud solution right there, right then. Otherwise you're going to burn. And there was great solutions out there. There's brilliant solutions, but they would all take weeks, if not moms to get up and running and they they didn't have the he affordability. So everything about saying was designed around that principle, around kind of no barrier commercially to kind of getting up and running. It's it's some of our customers call us. I don't know if it's good or bad, but the stripe of fraud prevention and I think that's a good analogy because in the same way for payments that they made it so easy to work with them. It's kind of what we're trying to do for the more complicated world of fraud and risk. Yeah, what thanks. By inside GIMMY. We get into the end of the decisions. Then, fortunately, and what we asked usually at that at that point of the of the conversation is if people wants to carry on the conversation, get your brain up and carry on. I'll discuss about seeing speak about your solution and know you could add them's the best way to get into trees, Jimmy. So our website, say on dot Io is, is a great place where reachable, you know, pretty much most times, and they're funny enough. I'm manning the chat just now excutely. Really want to get in touch during working hour. Is that I'm part of the...

...chat team just now, otherwise Linkedin as so just my name, Jimmy Fom Fong. That's perfect. Well, many things. Once again, Jimmy eat was an absolute pleasure to have on this for today. Great to be on. Thanks very thanks again. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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