Revealed: Digital Transformation for Product-Led Growth Teams

 Stop Selling and Start Listening

Prospects will tell you when they are ready to buy. They are ready to buy when they’ve realized value with your technology. Realizing value with your technology happens when prospects spend time with your technology. Spending time with your technology starts by them getting to test drive your technology. Knowing what a prospect is doing with your technology and for how long are indicators they are going to buy. You access these indicators as results-based reports about technology test drives.   

I'm sharing experiences from over 20 years of traditional and product-led Go-To-Market (GTM) sales cycle success. I may be wrong, but traditional GTM calls for distinct functions and systems. With distinct functions, we have distinct disconnected customer experiences. 

Traditional GTM sales cycles start with engineers releasing a well-documented product to direct and channel marketing functions. Marketing creates keen stories around buyer personas to develop a lead generation model. Lead models are aligned to sales structures composed of account managers and sales engineers. Sales structures create frameworks for leads to become prospects, and prospects to become customers. Customers require services and training on the technology in order to realize value. Customers who realize value require support and additional features not currently available. Support organizations notify engineers and customers notify sales, who notify engineers. Soon after, engineers release a well-documented product to direct and channel marketing functions, again; wash, rinse, and repeat, every 6-18 months. 

Distinct disconnected customer experiences disrupt a prospect’s ability to realize value. By example, development and support functional groups will commingle development operations and site reliability engineering (SRE) in to one team. The commingled team results in a collaborative release-operate-create experience for customers. Meanwhile, marketing, sales, and training continue to operate as distinct disconnected customer experience functions that disrupt value realization. 

Traditional GTM’s top-down lead-to-customer cycle disrupts customer self-service options. When customers will buy indicators will not exist without customer self-service value realization. For customer self-service to occur, marketing, sales, and training functions must collaborate as a product-led GTM team. The product-led GTM team commingles to build customer experiences, test-drives, and content. 

Product-led GTM experience includes test drives, demos, and instructor-led community training workshops. Test drives and demos created by your product-led team tell you when prospects realize value from your technology. It is then that prospects will tell you they are ready to buy. 

Digital Transformation of Traditional GTM Teams

The figure below illustrates how traditional separate GTM functions work on reducing customers time-to-value from technology. 

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Figure 1: Functional groups and systems of record

Each of these functions is working in a vertical. Their vertical purpose is to deliver exceptional, distinct customer experiences. Each function delivers an experience according to their ability to showcase a technology. For example, marketing would like to fill a lead funnel and may do this with a trial download, or a webinar with demo experiences.

The figure below illustrates experiences created by a marketing function.

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Figure 2: Marketing teams, experiences, technology environments, and content

Leaders within a vertical function operate staff, content creation, and technical environments for a distinct customer experience. Continuing our example, marketing is creating a free trial download technology environment or webinar with a demo to support lead generation models. The lead models create outputs used by sales and channel functions, and training function. The figures below illustrate those distinct customer experiences and disconnected functions.  

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Figure 3: Sales and Channels teams, experiences, technology environments, and content

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Figure 4: Many silos for teams, experiences, technology environments, and content

Each function is working toward a common goal. Each function delivers a disconnected result for one customer journey (lifecycle) to achieve a common goal. Amplifying disconnected results, each function hires similar staff, creates similar content, and builds similar, yet not coordinated, customer experience environments.

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Figure 5: Functional silos create disconnected experiences and technology environments. 

I’ve reimagined what a team is and ask you to create a vision for your business with a reimagined team framing. I propose that the changing social and financial environment will ask you to re-imagine, evolve, and adapt. I have done this for other companies and startups, so your journey will be eased with my experiences. Read the closing details in Part 2 where I cover unified teams, experience app stores, technology environments, and content.

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