What Is Product-Led Growth? 26 Experts Weigh In

What is Product-Led Growth (PLG)?

When writing the book on Product-Led Growth, I had the same question so I asked 26 world-class SaaS experts what Product-Led Growth was and why they were excited about it. 

Here’s what they had to say:

“The future of growth belongs to product-led companies. At HubSpot, we realized this a few years ago, which is why we disrupted our own business model before anyone else could.”

- Kieran Flanagan, VP of Marketing, HubSpot

Product-Led Growth is about helping your customers experience the ongoing value your product provides. It is a critical step in successful product design." 

- Nir Eyal, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

“The future of growth is product-led. Data shows that companies leveraging a Product-Led Growth strategy perform better on average – faster growth, higher margins, lower burn and stronger valuation multiples. Product-Led Growth will soon become the norm, making it table stakes for SaaS companies that want to win in their markets. What is your company doing to adapt to the product led growth revolution?”

– Blake Bartlett, Partner, OpenView

Product-Led Growth changes how companies grow because it brings a focus on how the product you've built can help you acquire more customers. Customer acquisition doesn't just become something marketing is focused on, the responsibilities for acquiring great customers expands to the product team as well.”

- Hiten Shah, Co-Founder of FYI, Product Habits and Crazy Egg

Product-Led Growth might be buzz-wordy right now but this is going to just be called "good business" very soon.”

- Val Geiser, Digital Strategist

“In a world where brands promise more than they can deliver, companies that embrace Product-Led Growth stand out from the pack. Promising a better life to our buyer is now table stakes. We need to deliver on that promise. Our customers deserve it. Instead of hiding our product behind closed doors - it's time to lead with our product and let people see for themselves if we deliver on our promise.”

- Shobhit Chugh, Product Manager for Crashlytics, Google

Product-Led Growth is about prioritizing the user experience in everything you do: your product, pricing, marketing, customer engagement and even buying experience. An incredible user experience inevitably leads to faster growth, greater customer expansion and best-in-class retention.” 

- Kyle Poyar, VP of Market Strategy, Openview

"Organizations that adopt product-led strategies don't just have higher customer satisfaction ratings, they scale faster all while spending a fraction on acquisition when compared to traditional sales-led organizations. Product is now the single biggest lever for growth - if you're not already moving in this direction, watch out."

- Jackson Noel, CEO, Appcues

Product-Led Growth is the only distribution model worth undertaking once the market is mature.” 

-Pankaj Prasad, Director of Product Management, Salesforce

“Many SaaS businesses strive for $0 customer acquisition cost (CAC) and yet most still end up spending a small fortune acquiring each new customer. If you want to get to $0 CAC, Product-Led Growth is the only way you're going to make it happen.”

- Olof Mathé, CEO, MixMax

"Product-Led Growth is the multiplier on top of all the marketing every company is already doing. If you're advertising without a product that naturally markets itself you might as well be lighting your cash on fire."

- Amar Ghose, CEO, ZenMaid

Product-Led Growth means that every team in your business influences the product. Your marketing team will ask, “how can our product generate a demand flywheel.” Your sales team will ask, “how can we use the product to qualify our prospects for us?.”  Your customer success team asks, “how can we create a product that helps customers become successful beyond our dreams?.” By having every team focused on the product, you create a culture that is built around enduring customer value.”

- Allan Wille, Co-Founder & CEO, Klipfolio

“From a marketing and sales perspective, Product-Led Growth is a game-changer. It means you can deliver on your promise to prospects. It also means the product sells itself if you get in front of people at the right stage of the buying process. Rather than stuffing leads into a leaky funnel, you are retaining happy customers who spread the word to others.”

- Juliana Casale, Head of Marketing, CrazyEgg

Product-Led Growth is about using your product and your product data to convert prospects, retain users and expand customers. In today's highly competitive SaaS market, Product-Led Growth needs to be an essential component of your technology business."

- Eric Boduch, Chief Evangelist, Pendo

“A strong brand and social proof are no longer enough to build trust with the modern buyer. You need to let people try before they buy. The Product-Led Growth model is how you make this whole approach to doing business a reality.”

- Karim Zuhri, Head of Product Marketing, SafetyCulture

“At heart, Product-Led Growth is incredibly intuitive. It's understanding that no amount of flashy marketing or hard selling can replace the value a customer receives from a product built to fit their needs. Make something that consistently provides value and you can rely on your customers to come back again and again.”

- Kristen DeCosta, Growth Marketer, Churn Buster

“The sales-led way of buying software: Read about the software, create a list of features needed, let sales qualify you, do a demo, and twist their arm so they give you a trial. 

The product-led way of buying software: Just start using the product. Ask for help if you get stuck. Based on your usage and profile, receive personalized recommendations.

Which sounds better to you as a buyer?" 

- Peter Caputa IV, CEO, Databox

“Given the low-barrier to entry in SaaS, competition has never been more fierce. To stand out from the crowd, you need a competitive advantage.  Product-Led Growth is the one way to build a sustainable business while lowering your customer acquisition costs and churn.”

- Anumita Bhargava, Digital Marketing Specialist, Altina

“Product Led Growth is a powerful framework, taking the best parts of product development and go to market expertise to build a customer-obsessed and fast-growing business. Putting your customer at the center of the experience helps you tap into their motivations and behaviors, building loyalty and driving revenue!”

- Francesca Krihely, Director of Growth Marketing, MongoDB

“Understanding Product-Led Growth is more than just understanding a new business philosophy...it's about empowering yourself to craft a strategy that will result in a better ROI for you and your business. Because in a Product-Led Growth world, your product sells itself and has the self-service levers to make that happen without needing to invest a fortune in sales and marketing.”

- Matt Bilotti, Product Manager, Growth, Drift

Product-Led Growth is the next evolution of software. Just look at the mobile apps market. Companies like Fortnite have made over a billion in revenue by using a freemium model where you simply pay for upgrades. By eliminating all barriers for someone to try the product and get value from using it, their product sells itself. Product-Led Growth is simply how you make this approach to doing business a reality.”

- Justin McGill, CEO, LeadFuze

“At Tettra, we believe in growing our business via a product our customers use daily. Too often, VC-backed companies grow in an unsustainable way, forcing sales of a sub-optimal product. Instead, with a Product-Led Growth strategy, our growth is fueled by the value we bring to our customers every single day.”

- Kristen Craft , Chief Revenue Officer, Tettra

Product-Led Growth isn't a tactic or hack. It's a model that drives teams and companies to deliver the maximum value and experience to their customers directly from the products they build and design. Getting this right means you need a deep understanding of those you serve and how to help each customer become successful. If you can just get these two things right, you'll increase your odds of building a company with legacy value.”

- David Axler, Growth and Business Development, WaveHQ

“I love Product-Led Growth because it's the only way to scale your growth without dramatically increasing your resources. You're using the product to sell itself which is the easiest kind of sell.”

- Jennifer Stoldt, Head of Online Growth, Checkfront

“In our experience, a growth at all costs mentality distracts you from what's really important - helping your customers become successful. As a SaaS company, Product-Led Growth gives you a laser-focus on satisfaction and retention in order to build a sustainable business in the long run.”

- David Roch, Head of Product, Marketgoo

“The way to achieve sustainable, recurring growth is not through sales, but through the product. At Lightning AI, we embraced Product-Led Growth and have been able to increase our activation rates by 164% when onboarding new users.”

- Colette Nataf, CEO, Lightning AI

Since publishing the book on Product-Led Growth, here’s a recent interview where I define Product-Led Growth and how to implement it into your business.

How about you?

How do you define Product-Led Growth?

Leave a comment below and if it's insightful, I'm happy to add it to the blog post.

Wes Bush
Wes Bush
Wes Bush is the bestselling author of Product-Led Growth. He’s a renowned Product-Led Growth pioneer and has challenged an entire industry to find a better way to approach SaaS growth.
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