How to scale your SaaS business faster with the ProductLed System™️

Wes Bush

Founder of ProductLed and bestselling author of Product-Led Growth.

Wes Bush

Founder of ProductLed and bestselling author of Product-Led Growth.

Last Updated
December 20, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
18 minutes

Table of Contents

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Most entrepreneurs I talk to want to build and scale a product-led business.

But where do you start?

  • Do you start with improving your onboarding experience?
  • Do you optimize your pricing model?
  • Do you focus on simplifying your strategy?

As you can probably guess by these questions, the answer is a lackluster “it depends.”

That’s okay, though.

The ProductLed System™ I’m about to share with you takes all the major components of building a product-led business and helps you spotlight what you should focus on first.

Right now, you’re probably worrying needlessly about a hundred different things yourself. Let’s try to remove some of them by looking at a wide-angle view of your business and its components.

*If you're more of a visual learner, be sure to watch the video below.

Introduction To the ProductLed System™️

Hi, I’m Wes Bush, and I’m here to make your life as a CEO easier. I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how we drive predictable, profitable growth for 7-figure product-led businesses around the world – without the chaos and overwhelm that most founders deal with. Yes, you’re going to be able to GROW without the constant grind…

If you follow the ProductLed System™.

In the next 20 minutes, I’m going to show you:

  • The 3 phases to unlocking exponential growth
  • The nine components that are holding you back from scaling
  • The (very important) order of attack to gain the most traction

My goal is to help you scale your self-serve revenue faster without working harder.

Before we start, let’s cover three critical points…

There is a pivot point in every successful business owner’s life. Where growth by hustle is replaced by growth through leverage.

And my mission is to help you make that pivot.

But before you learn, you must be willing to unlearn.

A lot of what I’ll show you may be at odds with what you’ve learned so far in your journey. It goes against everything the “gurus” would have you believe.

Our approach is extremely logical, and you’ll come to see that. I expect you to have lots of “aha!” moments.

It is, however, going to be about the proven principles to scale for long-term success. It is going to be about simplicity and helping you achieve your big goals without the grind.

So if you’re ready to make your life easier — and learn a new, better, simpler way to scale — then let’s get started.

Here’s the first point you need to understand. Write this down. It seems easy, but 99% of entrepreneurs don’t really understand this.

#1: Synergy is a precursor to scale

We all know 1+2 = 3.

Yet, with synergy sometimes 1+2 can equal 10.

How?

When you combine two or more complimentary elements the combined effect can be greater than the sum of its parts.

We know this to be true.

Not in math but in the practical world. ????

Take an automobile, for instance. It has 1,000+ parts. Each on its own is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t hold much value to the everyday consumer. Yet, put those same 1,000+ parts together and build a Ferrari. Those parts have created a synergy that holds incredible value and utility.

The same truth holds true for your business.

Your business has hundreds, if not thousands, of moving pieces.

Creating synergy is daunting.

Yet, if you zoom out and look at your business, there are only three parts you need to align to create synergy:

  1. Your company – which represents what you’re really good at.
  2. Your product – which signifies how you create a ton of value.
  3. Your customer – which represents who you serve best.
A Venn diagram explaining how to scale with product, customer, and company

Yet, how often do we find ourselves servicing non-ideal customers and creating features that don’t align with what our company is really good at building?

Every time we make one of these blunders we lose our synergy and scaling becomes harder.

Creating synergy starts with being self-aware as a business owner and getting clear on these three questions:

  1. What you’re really good at?
  2. Who do you serve best?
  3. How do you create a ton of value?

Companies that are clear on these three questions create 10x synergy that helps them scale.

Your struggling company turns into a profitable company.

Your okay product turns into an empowering product.

Your pain-in-the-butt customers are replaced with effortless customers.

A Venn diagram explaining how to scale by empowering product, profitable comapny and effortless customers

And scaling, well, that becomes a whole lot easier once you have synergy.

Yet, even though synergy is a precursor to scale, if you don’t master engagement, your product-led business is doomed.

#2. “How” you sell is just as important as “what” you sell

To sell anything, you need these three growth pillars:

  • Acquire = Getting people to find out about your business.
  • Monetize = Converting people to customers and growing customer value.
  • Engage = Delivering value through your product/service.

With the introduction of product-led growth (PLG), have the fundamentals of business changed?

The answer to the question is no.

So what has changed with the introduction of PLG?

You need to prioritize one of the fundamental elements of doing business earlier.

In a product-led model, you need to engage before you monetize.

the main difference between a sales led model and a product led model is engagement

Here’s why…

What did you do the last time you installed an application on your phone and couldn’t figure out how to use it or get to value?

If you’re like most people, you didn’t use it again.

Or if you’re a minimalist like me you just uninstalled it.

We’re not ruthless people, it’s just how it works.

If you don’t create an experience that engages users, it’s game over.

Engagement is the lifeblood of a product-led business.

Yet, on the flip side of this question.

What did you do the last time you installed an application on your phone and couldn’t believe how much value you got from it?

If you’re like more people, you kept using it.

And if you really enjoyed using it, you might have purchased it.

This brings home the secret to product-led growth.

Your users’ success will become your success.

To make your users successful, you need to do three things well:

  1. Acquire — the “right” users
  2. Engage — by creating incredible user value
  3. Monetize — by growing customer value

When you master these three growth pillars and prioritize engagement before monetization, you truly change “how” you sell for the better.

But rolling out these changes in your business can be overwhelming. Most entrepreneurs waste a lot of time just wondering where to get started. Luckily, there’s an order to approach this.

#3: There is a very strategic order to growth.

What you focus on is important, sure. But even more important is the order you work on those problems.

For example:

If you try to fix your onboarding before you’re clear on who your ideal user is, you’ll waste your time and not get a good ROI.

Trying to hire before you have customer traction? You’ll burn your runway and have little to show for it.

The good news: the strategic way I’m going to show you will make growth faster and easier.

Growth graph indicating you can start, build, and grow

This is ALL possible if you follow the ProductLed System™.

I’ll walk you through the three phases:

  1. Phase #1: Start - is all about building the Growth Blueprint that will set you up for scale. It’s about taking a step back and crafting a strategy and product-led model that is grounded in helping your ideal users win.
  2. Phase #2: Build - is about building your Growth Engine and truly creating a product that sells itself. We’ll re-launch your offer, onboarding, and pricing so that it speaks to your ideal user and creates an experience that blows them away with value.
  3. Phase #3: Grow - is about scaling your growth. We’ll dig into your data, growth process, and team to understand what are the biggest levers for you to scale faster.

Regardless of which phase you think you’re in, start with Phase #1 as you need to build a strong foundation to scale growth.

So let’s dive in…

Phase #1: Growth Blueprint

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Lewis Carroll

A blueprint is a roadmap that ensures every action you make as a business is with intention.

If you don’t have a blueprint for your business, it’s all too easy to take the long, meandering path to growth.

Or as A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin mention in Playing to Win, "You're either playing to win, or you're playing to play.”

I take it you want to play to win.

Playing to play in business can be fun, but you’re not being intentional with how you invest your time, resources, and energy.

In the short term, you might not notice a huge difference, but over the long term, the results speak for themselves.

playing to win versus playing to play

To build your growth blueprint, we focus on three core components:

  1. Vision Component: getting crystal clear on what your company is really good at and defining what winning looks like.
  2. User Component: getting crystal clear on who you serve best.
  3. Model Component: clarifying how you can create a ton of value for your users to win.

Once you’ve completed your growth blueprint, you’ll have an elite roadmap that will help your team execute with precision.

Let’s go through each of the components.

A graph representing the first phase of the productled method

Vision Component

Successful business owners have a clear, compelling vision that gets them fired up, and their team is excited to contribute to the vision. A good vision sets the direction for the business and has a crystal clear strategy that breaks down how the company is going to move closer to the vision. A bad vision is uninspiring and has no strategy whatsoever to get there. In ProductLed Academy, we’ll help you nail down your vision. Even if you’ve already identified what your vision is and feel confident in it, I challenge you to rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • We have a compelling vision that everyone on the team is excited about.
  • We have a mission that communicates what the focus is for the business and is easy for everyone to understand and see progress over time.
  • We are crystal clear on what our company is really good at doing.
  • We have a winning strategy.

The purpose of scoring each component for your business is to help you quickly identify where you need to focus. As you go through each component and rank it, you’ll pinpoint where you need to focus the majority of your attention.

Here's an extensive guide on how to craft your vision.

Once you get clarity on your vision, the next step is to get clear on who your ideal user is.

User Component

Users are the people who interact with your product on a regular basis and rely on it to achieve their desired outcome or solve a particular problem. Users are the lifeblood of any product-led business. As such, you need to know your users well. In ProductLed Academy, we’ll go through how you can better understand your users. We’ll go beyond just understanding what their job to be done is and put ourselves in their shoes to understand what they think, feel, and do at each stage in their journey with your product.

For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • Our entire organization is crystal clear on who our best users are.
  • We know what our user's main job to be done is and what challenges they need to overcome to experience it.
  • Everyone in the company is aligned on what user success is for your customer.
  • We track what percentage of users achieve value.

I want you to know what makes your users tick so that you can design a product-led model that helps these users accomplish something meaningful in their lives, albeit for free.

Here's how you can find your ideal user.

Model Component

A product-led model is what you decide to give away for free and gate behind a paywall. A good product-led model will give the user everything they need to see incredible value. While a bad product-led model will typically not give the user enough value. Either way, you can quickly spot a bad product-led model if you have a low free-to-paid conversion rate. Most times, companies focus on improving their onboarding yet overlook the fact that they’re just not giving away the right free stuff to hook their users into wanting more. In ProductLed Academy, we’ll help you identify the right product-led model for your ideal users — one where your users can experience the right value and be tempted to upgrade.

For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • We have a generous free plan.
  • A high percentage of free users get to value and upgrade.
  • We are intentional about what we give away for free and gate.

Here's how you can identify your product-led model.

Growth Blueprint Summary

Your growth blueprint is the 80/20 of growth.

Take the time to get this right, and it’ll pay dividends.

If you rated yourself poorly on any of these components, you should focus on improving them first before building your growth engine.

Trying to scale a growth engine without a great blueprint is the equivalent of building a house without a solid foundation.

Don’t do it!

Phase #2: Growth Engine

Create a product experience that is so good the product sells itself.

To turn your product into a growth engine, you need to build out three core components:

  1. Offer Component: craft an irresistible free offer for your ideal users.
  2. Experience Component: create an effortless path to value for your users.
  3. Pricing Component: make it easy for your users to upgrade on their own without talking to you

Each of these three components helps you build a product that sells itself.

Let’s go through each of the components.

A graph representing the seond phase of the productled method

Offer Component

Crafting an irresistible offer comes down to understanding three undeniable facts about your product:

  1. What are the results of using your product?
  2. Why is there less risk when using your product?
  3. How is your product better than the competition or alternative solutions?
venn diagram showing and overlap between result, risk and better

In ProductLed Academy, you’ll craft an irresistible offer that your ideal customers will get excited to sign up for. We’ll even walk you through how to create a high-converting homepage to get more signups. For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • We have an irresistible offer.
  • It’s effortless to sign up for our free product.
  • A high percentage of users sign up for our free plan.

Here's how you can craft an irresistible offer for your product-led company.

Having an irresistible offer is nothing more than a promise.

You need to deliver on it for it to mean anything to the user.

Let’s unpack how we can do that by creating an effortless path to value.

Experience Component

Even if you have an irresistible offer, none of that matters if users can’t experience your product’s value. On average, 40-60% of users who sign up for products won’t give you a second chance. That’s why one of the hardest challenges in building a product-led business is creating an effortless path to value.

Now, be honest and rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • It’s effortless to get to value in your product.
  • The majority of users experience an “aha moment” in the first 5 minutes of using your product.
  • Our product experience takes into consideration our user’s job to be done and guides them to value.
  • We have a system to help users who get stuck that works.

For most companies we talk to, getting users to value is by far the hardest one to master, so don’t feel bad if you scored the lowest here. In ProductLed Academy, we can help you improve your onboarding quickly by deploying the Bowling Alley Framework to help your users see value almost by accident.

Here's how to implement the Bowling Alley Framework to create an effortless experience for your users.

The bowling alley framework to reduce time to value.


Yet, even if you have an effortless path to value, I’ve still seen way too many companies overcomplicate their pricing to the point that they scare away those hard-earned users. In the Pricing Component, we change that around.

Pricing Component

Having a strategy around your pricing is often overlooked. You need to identify the best way for you to charge for your product(s) and craft a pricing page that converts free users into paying customers without needing to talk to you.

The most underrated yet important part of this component is to identify a value metric that scales with the value your user receives from the product. Put in layman’s terms, the more value the customer gets, the more value you get as a business. This creates aligned incentives between your company and the customer.

For your current pricing, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • It's effortless for our users to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Your pricing is transparent and easy for users to understand which plan is right for them.
  • You charge based on a value metric that scales with the value your users receive from the product (i.e., per subscriber, per transaction).

If you have a low score, don't worry. Here's how to create a SaaS pricing page that skyrockets your upgrades.

Growth Engine Summary

Once you build out the three components of your growth engine, you’ve made it:

  1. Effortless for your ideal users to sign up.
  2. Created an effortless path to value.
  3. Made it effortless to upgrade to a paid plan.

These are the key ingredients to build a product that sells itself.

Pro tip: if your offer component has a low score, always start there.

Here’s why…

If you bring in the wrong users because your messaging is vanilla, your onboarding will be a mess, and not many users will upgrade.

Second, if you have a solid offer, but your experience component is low, optimize that first.

Users who get a lot of value will find a way to upgrade if they continue using your product.

Focus on delivering value first and then worry about simplifying your pricing.

Once you complete Phase 2, you’ve built a value-generating machine for both your user and business. This is when Phase 3 comes knocking, and it’s time to scale.

Phase #3: Exponential Growth

Exponential growth is the result of compounding progress.

Put simply, the key to exponential growth lies in compounding the efforts of your team’s time.

How can you 10x the impact of your team?

For starters, you need these three components:

  1. Data Component: You need insight into where users are getting stuck in your growth engine. Just like your car has certain lights that go on when it needs a tune-up, the same applies to your business. The faster you know what’s not working, the more you can apply your team’s leverage.
  2. Process Component: You need to install a growth process that enables your team to build out experiments, prioritize the high-impact ones, and launch the ones that are easiest.
  3. Team Component: You need a team of A players to help you get to the next level and take ownership of key areas of your growth engine.

Once you have these three components, you’ll have built an unstoppable business.

Let’s go through each of the components.

A graph representing the third phase of the productled method

Data Component

Having good data allows you to make better decisions and spot the highest-leverage opportunities in your business. In ProductLed Academy, we’ll map out your customer journey metrics and identify the top 5 to 15 metrics that are mission-critical to understanding how your company and customer are doing. This scorecard will be something you and your team use daily to spot small issues before they turn into big ones. More importantly, everyone on your team will be accountable for one of these metrics. For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • At least one team in our company is accountable for what percentage of free users experience value in our product.
  • We know where the majority of users drop off in our customer journey at all times.
  • We have a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly scoreboard our entire team uses to quickly understand what is and isn’t working.
  • Everyone on the team is responsible for a key metric.

Once you’ve got the right data, metrics, and accountability in place, it’s time to turn up the heat and build your growth process.

But first, here's how to build a data-led organization.

Process Component

Our Growth Process is where the real fun begins. I’ll walk you through a 7-step process that will help consistently optimize your business month over month. When you install this Growth Process in your business, you’ll be able to identify root issues to big problems, prioritize initiatives that will have a high likelihood of solving the problem, and have a weekly rhythm to optimize the business.

what the growth process is in the productled method

For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • We launch multiple experiments every week.
  • We have a growth process to prioritize experiments based on impact & share learnings once completed.
  • A high percentage of our experiments are successful.
  • We're growing month-over-month.

Once you’ve got a solid growth process in place, you’ll start to notice that you’re building a backlog of high-impact experiments, and your bandwidth starts limiting your growth.

Here's how to 10x your SaaS workflow and boost your company’s efficiency.

Now it’s time to hire. You’ve built the product that sells itself, and you’re growing month-over-month. It’s time to build your team.

Team Component

Hopefully, you’ve heard this saying before “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The same applies to building a world-class product-led business.

You need to identify the right team to help you realize your vision. This starts by recognizing where the biggest opportunities are in your growth engine and putting the right team members in place.

For now, rate yourself 1 out of 5 on the statements below, with five being world-class and one being terrible.

  • We have the right skillsets on our team to support building a world-class product-led business.
  • Everyone on our team understands that our user's success will ultimately become our success.
  • Every team collaborates extremely well with each other.
  • Each leader is accountable for a specific part of the growth engine and has the resources, team, and support needed to make a big impact.

Building a team that collaborates effectively together and has the right skill, will, and focus is no small feat. But it’s one of the most rewarding parts of building a successful product-led business.

Here's how to design a high-performance SaaS team to scale your product-led business.

So, in summary…

This may be a lot to digest. But here’s what you need to know:

First of all, STOP.

  • Stop the hustle and grind.
  • Stop the short-term, “I just need more signups” focus.
  • Stop doing the same things that haven’t worked for years.

To break through to the next level, you need to shift the way you do business. What got you here to your current level of success won’t get you there – to that next level of achieving “it all”… So you have to adopt the new, smarter way to scale.

Here’s your new, simpler, better way to scale a wildly successful product-led business:

  • There is a proven order to get more traction and make things easier as you scale.
  • It all starts with an elite growth blueprint.
  • From there, it’s about building a growth engine – as you now know, everything you want to achieve is possible on the other side of the machine.
  • And from there, you can drive exponential growth (without the chaos and overwhelm).

So what’s next? What do you need to do?

Well, there are two paths from here…

You can do what most entrepreneurs do: try to figure it all out yourself. You can guess, grind, hustle your way, read a few books, and hope that it all just ‘clicks’…

OR

You can take the fast track.

If you’re serious about long-term growth and success, and you want hands-on guidance and support then we can help.

After all, it’s what we do day in and day out with product-led businesses across the globe.

We work with you to guide you step-by-step on how to scale your business for predictable long-term growth and success.

It’s not about information. It’s about implementation and turning your business into a growth machine using the proven ProductLed System™. We have optimized our systems and strategies for years to help save you years of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Seriously.

Let alone the growth we provide.

Looking To Scale Your Self-Serve Revenue, Faster? Join ProductLed Academy.


We all need a helping hand in this lonely world of business.

And if you’re like most business owners, you’re either stuck and don’t know what to do next… or you’re just working on the wrong things.

Either way, we can show you how to claim back ownership of your business, by working on what will actually move the needle for you.

So if you’re looking for guidance to get on track and achieve everything you want from your business, we’ve got your back.

We’ve coached and mentored thousands of SaaS business owners just like you. ProductLed Academy is a 12-month coaching program where you'll work directly with me (Wes Bush) to master each of the nine components of a successful product-led business (we spend around six weeks on each of these topics):

  • Vision: What is your company really good at?
  • User: Who do you serve best?
  • Model: How do you create a ton of value for your users to win?
  • Offer: Have you crafted an irresistible free offer for your ideal users?
  • Experience: Have you created an effortless path to value for your users?
  • Pricing: Is it easy for users to upgrade without talking to anyone?
  • Data: Do you know where users are getting stuck in your product?
  • Process: Do you have a growth process that enables your team to build out experiments, prioritize the high-impact ones, and launch the ones that are easiest?
  • Team: Is your team full of A players capable of taking you to the next level?

While you can have one or more of these dialed in perfectly, if you’re missing one of these key players, you’re going to have a hard time with growth.

Apart from focusing on those key areas of your strategy, ProductLed Academy comes with the following:

  • Weekly 60-minute group coaching call with Wes Bush, where you'll go through each of the components of the ProductLed System (including pricing) to master a self-serve model.
  • Weekly non-negotiable tasks to keep you accountable.
  • Access to an exclusive ProductLed Founder Community so you can meet other ambitious founders and receive support 24/7.
  • Access to the ProductLed Vault, where you'll gain access to all of our programs (including ProductLed Acquisition and Accelerator), templates, and frameworks.

If you're ready to break through to the next level and master product-led growth, be sure to check out ProductLed Academy.

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