How Much ‘Sales’ Should be in Product-Led Sales

Happy New Year! 2024, we’re officially here.

This feels like the year that many companies have now realized that sales-led and product-led aren’t exclusive; they’re more of a spectrum. 

There is room for combinations in different parts of your GTM motion. 

The challenge comes down to knowing when and how much.

When and how much product exposure is needed for people understand what you do…

When and how much human interaction to add value…

To help with this, I’m sharing insight on factors to consider from an experienced operator.

Let’s get into it.

Factors to Consider for Product-Led Sales

There are important factors that make a purely product-led growth motion easier. The reason to start purely product-led and work into sales is that these factors will help you gauge how much sales to introduce to your motion.

John Messina, VP of Revenue at Hex outlines 3 important core factors👇

1. Effort

How much time and resources does it take for a customer to get started using your product? 

If it’s a low barrier to entry from an effort perspective, it’s easy for people to get started. That’s a great way to just get people into the product with low human touch points. 

2. Risk

Does your product exist in a category that’s associated with high risk coming into that organization?

For example, if customers need to hand over the keys to any of their core systems, this is a high-risk move for them. 

People are generally going to want to talk to somebody before they go through that process to understand all the different factors there.

3. Cost

What is the cost associated with getting started? 

If it’s relatively low-cost to entry and easy to get started, it’s more suitable for pure product-led. You could have one person sign up and get value out of it.

Analyzing these three factors helps figure out the right amount of sales to introduce to find the optimal recipe for product-led sales.

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💚 Partner shoutout:

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👀 More for your eyeballs:

David Sacks published a great piece about the dark side of sales, outlining sales incentive problems and elements of the sales compliance regime.

On the tactical side, Haris Halkik shares a compilation of helpful list of resources on prospecting in this LinkedIn post.

On the strategic side, 2024 predictions have been flowing for the past two weeks. Here are a few of our favorites at GTMfund:

  • Max Altschuler (General Partner at GTMfund): “2024 will be a huge year for M&A. Public SaaS companies spent the year getting fit and are now seeing their value rise again, while many overfunded private companies realize M&A will be the only option. Should make for a lot of interesting deals.”
  • Alex Poulos (CMO at Crossbeam): “Efficient growth is reimagined. In 2023 companies were in a defense mode when it came to seeking efficiencies. Mostly budget cuts, layoffs, and focus on bringing ARR per Employee to reasonable levels. Next year, we will see companies move into offense mode for efficient growth. Invest more in certain roles, invest more in those programs that have positive ROI, invest more in moat-building efforts. Payback will be the metric to pay attention to.”
  • Anthony Kennada (Founder & CEO of AudiencePlus): “Building a direct (owned) relationship with audiences will enter the mainstream mindset.”
  • Wes Yee (Head of Growth at Flex): “Much more investment in events and in-person. Hopefully teams empowered to focus on the right strategies for their businesses vs any copycat go-to-market strategies.”

👂 More for your eardrums:

Eran Aloni is the Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Ecosystem at Gong. He has been a leader at Gong for eight years, previously holding the titles of Chief Customer Officer and Chief Operating Officer. In this episode, you will learn about the evolution of AI and how companies can drive further value leveraging AI, along with insight to leadership development.

🚀 Start-ups to watch: 

Pocus is a fantastic example of PLG done well. They also have an annual Product-Led Sales Benchmark Report, which is robust and freely available for anyone to go download and check out.

🔥 Hottest GTM jobs of the week:

  1. Expense Management Account Executive at finally (Boca Raton, Florida)
  2. Customer Success Manager, Scaled at Vanta (Remote – US)
  3. Head of Customer Success at Coast (NYC, New York)
  4. Scaled Partner Manager at Gorgias (Toronto, Canada)
  5. Product Marketing Manager at Writer (Remote – US)

See more top GTM jobs on the GTMfund Job Board.

That’s it, that’s all.

Beginning of the year calls for resolutions, if that’s your jam.

I’ll leave you with a quote that helps me put my resolutions and goals in perspective any year, at any point in the year:

“It’s not about having a specific set time; both personal and professional lives are 24/7. It’s simply more about making the right allocation to each one and recognizing that it’s going to be different every single day.” – Ellen Kullman, former CEO of DuPont.

Kicking off the year with gratitude – thank you for allocating a few of those precious minutes to spend with me here. My goal is to make this as helpful as possible for you, so if there are any specific topics or things you would love to see this year, drop a comment or send me an email.

Barker ✌️

Please support our sponsor so we can keep providing you with great content for free: Common Room.
Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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